Who We Are

Urban Rail Today is a rail transit planning and community outreach consultancy.

Principals

Lyndon Henry — Austin, Texas
• Transportation planner, former transit authority board member and vice-chairman, former transit agency data analyst; led successful effort to install rail transit (MetroRail) in Austin.

John Schneider — Cincinnati, Ohio
• Civic leader, organized educational tours for local officials and community leaders and led successful effort to launch streetcar project. Known as Cincinnati’s “Mr. Streetcar”.

Bio Details

Lyndon Henry

• A writer, editor, investigative journalist, and transportation consultant currently based in Central Texas, Lyndon Henry holds a Master of Science in Community & Regional Planning, with a focus in Transportation, from the University of Texas at Austin (UT), 1981.

• From 1973 to 1989 Lyndon was executive director of the Texas Association for Public Transportation, and presented the original proposals and feasibility studies for light rail transit (LRT) that led to the inclusion of rail transit in the Austin-area planning process.

• From 1981 to 1985 he served as a transportation consultant to the Hajj Research Centre at King Abdul Aziz University, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has also served as a transportation planning consultant on several other transit projects in the USA.

• In 1983-84 he was a member of the Austin-Travis County Transit Task Force which recommended a transit authority for the Austin area. That agency, eventually named Capital Metro, was created in 1985. Lyndon also participated in Capital Metro’s Transitway Corridor Analysis Project that eventually led to the designation of LRT as the metro area’s Locally Preferred Alternative.

• From 1989 to 1993, Lyndon served as a board member and vice-chairman of Capital Metro. From 1990 to 1992 he was an Adjunct Faculty member at St. Edwards University, teaching a course in public policy.

• In the mid-1990s, together with Dave Dobbs, a local colleague, Lyndon proposed a DMU-based light railway service in Capital Metro’s railway corridor between downtown Austin and suburban Leander (subsequently approved by voters in 2004, and now operating as MetroRail).

• In 2000, Lyndon was a pro bono technical advisor to the Austin area’s initial LRT referendum campaign. Subsequently, he has been a technical consultant to the Light Rail Now Project of the Texas Association for Public Transportation.

• In 2001, Lyndon collaborated with several Los Angeles-area rail transit advocates to provide technical data and analysis that helped to successfully persuade LA’s MTA board to select LRT rather than BRT as the preferred mode for Exposition corridor. (The Exposition LRT was subsequently installed and is now in operation.)

• From 2002 to late 2011 Lyndon served as a Data Analyst in the Business and Community Development Department and Planning Department of Capital Metro. In 2003, as a member of the Joint City of Austin-Capital Metro Rapid Transit Committee, Lyndon again proposed use of DMUs on a segment of Capital Metro’s railway line, and introduced the concept of streetcar technology for a UT-area circulator system. In 2004, he provided technical support during the successful voter referendum to establish MetroRail.

• Lyndon is also a member of American Public Transportation Association’s Streetcar and Heritage Trolley Subcommittee and Light Rail Transit Technical Subcommittee. Currently he writes a blog column for the online edition of Railway Age magazine and blog articles on big data and analytics issues for the All Analytics website and forum. He is also a reporter for the online news publication Examiner.com.

• Lyndon has, directly as well as remotely, participated in successful rail transit support efforts (campaigns, initiatives, persuading decisionmakers, etc.) in Austin, Memphis, Los Angeles, Seattle, Charlotte, and Cincinnati, and has provided technical and logistical support for rail transit proponents in San Antonio, Houston, Albuquerque, Tucson, Kansas City, St. Louis, Louisville, Milwaukee, New Orleans, and elsewhere. He also created and now moderates an international online forum to promote and assist rail transit development worldwide, with hundreds of members around the globe. In addition, he is a contributing editor for the Light Rail Now blog and Austin Rail Now blog, and editor of the Future Power Now blog.

John Schneider

• John received undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics and public administration from the University of Cincinnati and has been named a distinguished alumnus of its College of Arts and Sciences. Currently he is the managing director of First Valley Holdings LLC, with real estate interests in and around downtown Cincinnati.

• John was a founding member of Downtown Cincinnati, Inc. and served as its first transportation committee chairman. In that role, he proposed and helped to advance the reconfiguration of Interstate 71 through downtown Cincinnati, proposed a new riverfront home for the Cincinnati Reds, and chaired the campaign that resulted in Hamilton County voters overwhelmingly approving the site Second and Main for the Great American Ball Park.

• John is a member of the City Planning Commission, Leadership Cincinnati, and chairs the Alliance for Regional Transit. He has authored articles on Cincinnati’s infrastructural issues and has been quoted in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory recently named Schneider “Mr. Streetcar” for his role in returning passenger rail transit to Cincinnati after a sixty-year absence.

• John and his wife, April, have resided happily in downtown Cincinnati for many years without a car.

Contact us: nawdry[at]gmail[dot]com

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