PerformanceCreativityInspirationLeading the edge worldwide

Research Awards / Accolades


  • Lea+Elliott is an internationally recognized transit vehicle and systems engineering firm, highly regarded for its depth of experience and expertise.
  • Over the last 40 years, the firm has enhanced its civil, structural and architectural capabilities through strategic hiring and direct experience in these areas for airports, public transit authorities and private sector clients. The firm’s Facilities Design Criteria Manual has become widely regarded as a critical element in successfully managing the system and facility interfaces in design and construction activities.
  • Lea+Elliott has flourished throughout its history (steady growth from 6 to 100 employees while remaining financially stable) while turning down billable work from transit vehicle and system providers. This allows the firm to represent its clients without any risk of bias.
  • Lea+Elliott is the vehicle and systems engineer of choice for many of the largest engineering consulting firms in the world.

Procurement Services

  • Lea+Elliott is recognized world-wide as a leader in developing procurement strategy, performance-based technical specifications and commercial terms and conditions that meet the unique requirements of their clients.
  • Lea+Elliott developed and continues to refine its Design-Build-Operate-Maintain procurement documents. Initially applied to airport people mover systems, these documents were applied by Lea+Elliott to Honolulu’s Rapid Transit system procurement in the early 1990s and subsequently to the many other large urban systems by Lea+Elliott and the transit industry at-large.
  • Lea+Elliott is the prime consultant to BART to Oak Project, the first Penta-P (Public-Private Partnership Pilot Program) project selected by the Federal Transportation Administration.

Driverless Transit Systems

  • Lea+Elliott provided Independent Safety Analysis for SFMTA’s Advanced Train Control System (ATCS) project, the first communications based train control installation in a public transit system in the United States.
  • Lea+Elliott led the procurement of SFO’s Airtrain, resulting in an award that was 36.9% below budget.
  • Lea+Elliott has led or played a significant role in the planning, procurement and implementation of approximately 75% of all operating automated people mover systems at airports worldwide – nearly all of these systems are rubber-tired.
  • As many of the automated people mover systems installed by Lea+Elliott have matured and needed to be upgraded or replaced, Lea+Elliott has mastered expertise in this area and currently has more experience in this specialized area than any other engineering consulting firm.
  • Lea+Elliott provided program management services for each of the three projects selected by the FTA to participate in its Downtown People Mover System Demonstration Project. These systems are located in Miami, Detroit and Jacksonville.
  • Lea+Elliott has provided over 25 technical white papers, studies and analyses to the Federal Transit Administration covering a wide range of bus and rail transit subjects.
  • Lea+Elliott has served the FTA’s Program Management Oversight Office for over 20 years, providing technical, program management and commercial analyses of new start rail transit projects funded in part by the federal government.

Provision of Services to the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority

  • Lea+Elliott has served as Independent Engineering Consultant for the NY MTA (one of the largest transit authorities in the world) for 13 years. In this role, Lea+Elliott provided oversight for large (over $100M) rolling stock, signal and traction power projects undertaken by New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad.

Encouraging the Growth of Small, Minority and Woman-Owned Businesses

  • Lea+Elliott has helped start 3 minority and woman-owned businesses; all three are active today.
  • In 2008, the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) named Lea+Elliott its Employer of the Year for the work the firm has led on the BART-Oakland Connector.
  • In 2005, the DFW Airport awarded Lea+Elliott its Leadership Award for the way in which the firm mentored MBE firms during the DFW Skylink APM project.

Bus Projects

  • Lea+Elliott has led the procurement of 11 bus fleets for 8 public transit and airport owners. These buses have included diesel, articulated, dual-powered ETB, CNG, and propane.
  • In 1989, Lea+Elliott completed one of the earliest, if not the first, Bus-to-Rail studies, evaluating the feasibility of installing a bus transit system that is easily convertible to rapid transit. This study was for the Washington Dulles Corridor.

Other Awards and Distinctions

  • In 1996, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) presented Lea+Elliott with its New Horizons Award in recognition of our role in the development of procurement and contracting standards for transit equipment, systems, construction and goods and services.