“It is crystal clear that we are in for many big changes, from how our vehicles are powered, such as electric vehicles, to how they operate with autonomous and connected vehicles, not to mention new ways people have to get from point A to point B because of transportation network companies,” Olson said. “Much of this will require new infrastructure and change how we plan for the future. It will be a new era, and I’m excited to be a part of the change that is just getting started.”
Bringing nearly 20 years of experience, Olson has worked with various modes of transit, including light rail, commuter rail and accompanying terminals, bus and bus rapid transit and streetcars. In prior positions at HDR, Olson filled several roles, including the Transit Engineering Director. He managed several of HDR’s award-winning streetcar projects, including the Kansas City Downtown Streetcar and the Dallas Oak Cliff Streetcar, the nation’s first off-wire rail transit project.
In addition to his project management expertise, his knowledge extends to delivering services throughout the project development, design and delivery phases, and he brings a passion for mentoring up-and-coming staff to maximize their career opportunities.
“Luke is respected throughout the industry for his innovative and collaborative approach when developing and delivering transit programs,” said Global Transit Director Tom Waldron. “He will use this combination to further grow our transit market in the central region and will be an invaluable asset as part of the transit leadership team serving geographies across North America and elsewhere.”
Olson earned his civil engineering degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is a graduate of the Leadership APTA (American Public Transportation Association) program as well as the Executive Leadership Program of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.