Intercity Travel Conference

Hon. David Collenette, P.C., B.A., (Hons), M.A., L.L.D., F.C.I.L.T, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

David CollenetteDavid Collenette served as a Member of the Canadian House of Commons for more than 20 years in the Cabinet led by three Prime Ministers, Pierre Trudeau, John Turner and Jean Chretien for a period of eleven years. He held a number of portfolios: Minister of State-Multiculturalism; Minister of National Defense; Minister of Veterans Affairs); Minister of Transport and Minister of Crown Corporations; and Regional Minister for the Greater Toronto Area. As Transport Minister, Mr. Collenette authored Straight Ahead, a major policy document which charted a course for Canadian transportation policy over the next decade. In addition he initiated a number of legislative changes, including the Canada Marine Act and amendments to the Competition Act to deal with the restructuring of the Canadian airline industry. In 2007 he served as Chair of the Mayor of Ottawa’s Task Force on Transportation which produced a landmark report, Moving Ottawa whose key recommendations have been adopted with the building of the new light rail system in the nation’s capital. In October 2015 he was named Special Advisor on High Speed Rail to the Government of Ontario and authored a report High Speed Rail in Ontario, released in May 2017. Currently, Mr. Collenette is Senior Counsellor at Hill&Knowlton Strategies Canada and acts as an adviser to a number of Canadian and US companies in the transportation and defense industries.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Master of Arts in political science an Honourary Doctorate from York University, Toronto and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

Peter Crockett, Oxford County, Woodstock, Ontario, Canada

Peter Crockett - Oxford CountyWith 20 years of experience in senior-level municipal leadership, building on a diverse career started in municipal engineering, Peter M. Crockett brings expertise in strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, program reviews, cost effectiveness and efficiency assessments, change management, organizational change, municipal amalgamation implementation, and leadership development. In his current role as Chief Administrative Officer of Oxford County, Peter spearheaded the process to develop a grassroots strategy for community sustainability. His key leadership accomplishments at the County include the development of the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan; the County’s participation in a Canadian Index of Wellbeing community survey; development of Oxford’s 100% Renewable Energy and Zero Waste plans; transitioning to a municipal green fleet; introducing net zero energy performance standards into municipal housing and facility construction; advocating for Southwestern Ontario public transportation improvements; and working to establish a sustainability cluster to serve as a “living lab” for sustainability initiatives and social innovation. Peter has previously held positions with the City of Edmonton, Mohawk College, the Region of Peel, the City of Hamilton, the Region of Halton, and the City of Toronto. Peter is a graduate of McMaster University’s Civil Engineering program.

Murtaza Haider, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Murtaza Haider - Ryerson UniversityMurtaza Haider is an associate professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, in Toronto. Murtaza  researches housing markets, transport planning, and infrastructure planning and development. His research interests also include human development in Canada and South Asia. Murtaza is the author of Getting Started with Data Science: Making Sense of Data with Analytics which was published in 2015 by Pearson/IBM Press. He contributes to the Global and Mail, the Toronto Star, and routinely appears on Canadian news media on matters related to real estate dynamics and transport infrastructure. Murtaza blogs for the Huffington Post and also writes about socio-economic challenges in South Asia for the Dawn newspaper. He holds a Masters in transport engineering and planning and a Ph.D. in Urban Systems Analysis from the University of Toronto. Murtaza is also an adjunct professor of engineering at McGill University.                                  

Tim Hoeffner, Michigan Department of Transportation, Lansing, Michigan, USA

Tim Hoeffner, Michigan Department of TransportationTim Hoeffner is director of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT’s) Office of Rail. The Office has overall responsibility for rail-related activities at MDOT, including the department's relationship with the rail industry, rail economic development, regulatory activities associated with grade crossings and rail clearances, funding for grade crossings, and railroad engineering, as well as passenger and freight operations. Mr. Hoeffner has more than 37 years of experience at MDOT, including manager, Freight Safety and Services Division; manager, Rail Passenger Services Division; and administrator, Intermodal Policy Division, where he served as policy advisor on critical transportation issues, and analyzed and monitored federal and state legislation. He has also been Governor Rick Snyder's representative on the Midwest Intercity Passenger Rail Commission, where he served as chair until September 2017. Mr. Hoeffner is a licensed professional engineer, with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Michigan Technological University.

Paul Langan, High Speed Rail Canada, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Paul Langan - High Speed Rail CanadaPaul Langan has been a passenger rail advocate for over 25 years. In 2008, he decided to focus on high speed rail (HSR) as there was a definite gap in knowledge in Canada on the subject. His purpose is simple: educate Canadians on the benefits of HSR and ensure that everyone has access to the multitude of Canadian HSR studies that have been undertaken to date. Paul has made presentations on high speed rail in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. He fights to get all Canadian high speed rail studies released and posted on the HSR Canada website. As a result, the HSR Canada Blog, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube channels have become the premier resource for HSR information in Canada. Based on the interest from across the country, he is cautiously optimistic that high speed passenger rail renewal is on the horizon in Canada. Paul holds a communications degree from the University of Windsor.

Corina Moore, Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, North Bay, Ontario, Canada

Corina Moore, Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC)Corina Moore has been Chief Executive Officer and President at Ontario Northland Transportation Commission since August 2015. She has been leading Ontario Northland's recent transformation efforts, which are focused on achieving long-term sustainability, improving efficiency and promoting the value of the organization’s transportation expertise. Corina joined Ontario Northland in 2005 as Director of the Telecommunications Division and has since served in several executive leadership roles within the organization. In 2010 she became Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of the Refurbishment Division, providing direction on several external remanufacturing contracts, leading labour negotiations with Ontario Northland’s five union groups, modernizing operating processes and creating a culture of innovation. The role also included managing the Corporate Services Departments of Human Resources, Information Technology, Facilities Management and the Project Management and Continuous Improvement Office. Previous to her tenure with the ONTC, Corina worked in both the public and private sectors, gaining extensive leadership experience and a strong business background. She holds a degree in Systems Design Engineering and Business Administration and Management from the University of Waterloo.

Paul Nimigon, WSP Canada Group, Thornhill, Ontario, Canada

Paul Nimigon, WSPPaul Nimigon, Vice President ‐ Rail and Transit Division at WSP, is responsible for expanding the participation of the company in the Heavy and Commuter rail industry in Canada. Paul joined the company in July 2005 and has more than 40 years of railway experience having worked with the Class #1 Railways and associated consulting firms. With over 300 staff, the Rail and Transit Division supports major projects across the country and internationally. Specific to the Toronto area, Paul, within a Joint Venture arrangement, is WSP’s Executive in Charge of the Metrolinx Eglinton Crosstown Project, the TTC's Toronto York Subway Extension and the Metrolinx RER Technical Advisor contracts. Paul’s continued focus is to expand and execute WSP's Rail and Transit Transportation strategy across Canada. Paul was a past President of the Canadian Association of Railway Suppliers and remains active on other rail and transit associations. He holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo.

Mark Platteel, ACS Infrastructure Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Mark Platteel, ACS Infrastructure CanadaMark Platteel is the General Counsel of ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras, S.A., the concession/P3 and operations arm of ACS Group.  Mark is actively involved in all legal, commercial and financing matters involved in ACSIC’s activities in Canada. His responsibilities include the structuring, negotiation and settlement of all documentation with procuring authorities and ACSIC’s partners and funders. In doing so, he works closely with the executive, finance, technical and project teams at ACSIC. Some of the significant ACSIC mandates that Mark has worked on are the submissions and closings for each of the New St. Lawrence Bridge in Montreal, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and Highway 427 Extension projects in Toronto, the refinancing of the South Fraser Perimeter Road project in British Columbia, the extension of the Ottawa Confederation Line LRT project and the submissions for the Go Transit East Rail Maintenance Facility, Regina Bypass, Edmonton Valley Line LRT, Southwest Calgary Ring Road and George Massey Tunnel Replacement projects. Prior to joining ACSIC, Mark was an associate at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP in Toronto for 10 years working on corporate and debt financing transactions. Mark obtained both his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia.

Carsten Puls, Deutsche Bahn Engineering and Consulting USA, California, USA

Carsten Puls - Deutsche BahnWith over 20 years’ experience in the rail industry and a proven track record for complex solutions, service and project management, Carsten Puls recently became President of Deutche Bahn Engineering and Consulting USA Inc. A subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG in Germany, the company offers technically sophisticated and customized infrastructure, mobility and transport solutions, from feasibility studies to operations. In 2014, Carsten joined Deutsche Bahn as head of Saudia Arabia operations where he managed numerous projects, including the design of the Gulf Cooperation Council Rail Project (2,177 km) and the Haramain High Speed Rail Project (453 km). Prior to Deutsche Bahn, Carsten was COO and shareholder of Sytecsa S.A. in Colombia, a mid-sized company focused on rail systems, rail maintenance and spare part management. From 2002 to 2011, he was employed by Siemens where he worked on major metro turn-key projects in Colombia and USA as well as telecommunications, electronic manufacturing and IT in Germany. Carsten holds a Master’s Degree in telecommunications engineering and is a certified Project Management Professional.

Jim Richards, Steer Davies Gleave, London, UK

Jim Richards, Steer Davies GleaveJim is an experienced transportation professional with a successful career in the private and public sector. Since joining Steer Davies Gleave in 2008, he has worked on many projects in the UK, Europe and North America, providing strategic direction and advice to a variety of rail-related studies and strategic transportation planning initiatives. He has been active in the Toronto transit sector in recent years acting as Steer Davies Gleave’s Project Director on Metrolinx studies for the GO Electrification, Lakeshore Express Rail and the Transportation Access Study for Pearson Airport. More recently, he has been the Project Director for the MTO’s High Speed Rail business case and VIA Rail’s Higher Frequency Rail business case. Previously, he worked for the UK's Department for Transport where he sponsored rail franchise replacements and engaged with senior policy makers and Ministers. Within Steer Davies Gleave Jim combines his project activities with a senior management role.  

Michael Schabas, FCP Rail Consultants, London, UK

Michael Schabas - First Class PartnershipsMichael Schabas has had leading roles planning, building, financing and operating passenger railways in the UK, Germany, Australia, the USA and Canada. Since 2008, he has been a Partner in First Class Partnerships (FCP), a UK-based rail strategy consultancy, and in 2014, he led a team that prepared the initial Business Plans for High Speed Rail and Regional Express Rail for the Ontario Government. FCP continues to be retained by Metrolinx advising on implementation of the Regional Express Rail system, which is a key enabler of HSR. FCP also recently completed an independent review of operating costs and revenues for the California High Speed Rail system, as required by state law. In 1994, Mr Schabas founded GB Railways Group Plc which acquired Anglia Railways during the privatization of British Rail. During the 7-year franchise, GB Railways doubled passenger services on the London – Norwich route, and acquiring new rolling stock, all without subsidy and without raising average fares. GB also led the successful transformation of Great Southern Railway in Australia into a self-supporting commercial business, and launched Hull Trains, a wholly private company operating 125 mph trains along Britain’s busy East Coast Main Line. Mr Schabas has also worked extensively on rail projects and services in Germany, China, and Africa. A Toronto native, he received a Master’s degree in transportation planning and policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.  He is the author of The Railway Metropolis – How Planners Politicians and Developers Shaped Modern London which is based, in part on his experience advising the Canadian developers of London’s Canary Wharf on the upgrading and extension of the Docklands Light Railway and Jubilee Underground Line. 

 Doug Switzer, Ontario Motor Coach Association and Motor Coach Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Doug Switzer, Ontario Motor Coach AssociationDoug Switzer has been President and CEO of the Ontario Motor Coach Association (OMCA) and Motor Coach Canada (MCC) since July 2011. OMCA and MCC are among the largest travel and tourism-related associations in Canada. They are the voice of private sector bus operators, inter-city bus lines, charter and coach tour companies as well as tourism suppliers in Ontario and at the national level. Prior to joining OMCA and MCC, Doug was Vice President of Public Affairs at the Ontario Trucking Association for 11 years. He also spent 16 years working in government at both the federal and provincial levels.

Derrick Toigo, Infrastructure Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Derrick Toigo - Infrastructure OntarioWith over 27 years of experience, Derrick Toigo brings a high level of expertise in engineering, construction, and project management to Infrastructure Ontario (IO). During his 11 years at IO, Derrick has successfully led teams that have procured and delivered numerous civil and social projects, such as healthcare and correctional projects, as well as the Pan Am Games sports venue legacy projects. Derrick leads the Civil Infrastructure group at IO to manage major transit and highway infrastructure projects on behalf of the Province. These projects include the Eglinton Crosstown project, Highways 427 and 401, as well as the recently completed Union Pearson Express rail link, the Ottawa and Waterloo Light Rail Transit projects and the GO Transit East Rail Maintenance Facility. He currently collaborates in the planning, procurement and Implementation for the provincial government’s Regional Express Rail program, together with Metrolinx, which will transform commuter rail transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Derrick is a Professional Engineer, and a certified Project Management Professional. He is a member of CSA – Technical Standards Facility for Healthcare institutions; the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (CET); and the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA). Derrick has authored three articles in industry magazines on IO’s Alternative Financing and Procurement process.