Experienced transit agency pros join HNTB in Boston and Denver

AUSTIN, Texas (Aug. 17, 2021) – HNTB has expanded its transit expertise with the recent hire of two transit industry executives. Pranaya Shrestha, PE, and Todd Johnson have been named senior program managers in the Denver and Boston offices, respectively.

Shrestha has been involved for 30 years in every aspect of commuter and light rail transit projects, from investment study to state of good repair, in multiple cities. He has managed design, construction and integration and testing programs on major projects with varying delivery systems, including P3s. He most recently was senior manager, program management for Denver’s Regional Transportation District, where he managed planning design, construction quality assurance, engineering, systems planning and support services for the $6.9 billion FasTracks program.

While he offices in the Northwest Division, Shrestha works as a senior advisor to help HNTB deliver the most complex transit programs for clients nationwide. He already has begun work supporting the Blue Line project under Project Connect, a transformational Austin program that includes a new rail system, a downtown transit tunnel, an expanded bus system and a transition to an all-electric fleet. Project Connect will improve access to essential jobs, health care and education.

“The transit work HNTB is doing lays the foundation from which future generations will benefit,” Shrestha said. “I hope to share lessons learned through managing and running the Denver Regional Transportation District FasTracks program to help our team set up for success.”

Shrestha holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado. A registered professional engineer, he is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a Transportation Research Board member and a member of the American Public Transportation Association.

Johnson brings expertise in public transportation strategic management and administration drawn from a 25-year career with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, where he most recently was chief operating officer. In that role, Johnson led a team of more than 5,200 transportation professionals and managed MBTA’s overall daily operations to safely and efficiently transport 1.3 million weekday riders.

He also assisted in developing the Authority’s capital improvement plan and planned the largest system diversions and shutdowns to deliver capital projects on time and on budget. His work helped the MBTA deliver a record $1.8 billion capital program in 2020.

In his new role with HNTB, Johnson lends a users’ perspective to project design, phasing and delivery.

“Because I’ve spent my career in the transit agency world until now, HNTB and I see an opportunity for me to contribute a full-circle operations point of view to client projects, from concept to design to build to operations and maintaining a state of good repair,” he said.

Johnson is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association, having served on multiple committees over the years.

“We are thrilled that two transit professionals of Pranaya’s and Todd’s caliber have chosen to bring their experience and expertise to HNTB,” said Ronnie Hakim, transit/rail market sector leader. “They embody the technical excellence that is characteristic of HNTB. Their industry careers and familiarity with transit organizations nationwide will contribute additional HNTB expertise to clients who are planning and developing important projects around the country.”