Edward Lamar Thomas
Senior Transportation Planning Associate
Edward Thomas has over 35 years of professional experience in transportation planning, development and management of mass transit fixed guideway systems – rail and bus rapid transit introducing innovations like BRT, Design-Build Project Delivery and Ultra-Wide Band wireless communication technology. His experience includes serving as General Manager for Planning and Strategic Programs (IT and Real Estate) for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and a 24-year tenure at the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) which including serving as Associate Administrator for Research, Demonstration and Innovation.
As General Manager Planning and Strategic Programs for WMATA, Edward provided direction to a staff of 168 planning, engineering, real estate and IT professionals, and prepared the annual planning and capital program budgets, and corporate strategic plan. He also conducted asset management planning including development of a $450 million per year Infrastructure Renewal Program including $53 million in lighting retrofits. He conducted corridor and systems planning and coordinated regional long-range planning and managed the FTA capital grant program. Edward also managed the IT infrastructure and provided support to the Operations Control Center and developed innovative technology systems. He managed the Real Estate Program and joint developments at Metro Rail stations. Some of his key accomplishments include the Dulles Airport Silver Line Metro Rail Extension, DC Streetcar Lines, Arlington Light Rail Lines, and an area-wide 19 corridor BRT, approval for a 10-year funding campaign for WMATA $4.5 billion Infrastructure Renewal Program, Joint Development Real Estate Projects which generated over $20 million per year in added lease revenue, and development of a $58 million IT Renewal Program.
As FTA Associate Administrator for Research, Demonstration and Innovation, Edward managed a staff of 45 professionals and a $147 million annual budget for the Research, Development and Technology Demonstration Program annual budget. He testified before Congress on the annual research budget, and worked with the Federal Highway Administration in joint management of the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Initiative to ensure compliance with the National ITS Architecture. Some of his key accomplishments include a Research and Technology Strategic Plan which became a model for other Research Programs in the USDOT, legislative approval for a Joint Public-Private Partnership Program for the Introduction of Transit Innovations, and legislative approval for an International Mass Transit Program to advance domestic commercial interest abroad.
As a consultant, Edward completed a Conception and Program Management Plan for Transit Oriented Development and ultra-wideband wireless communications (5G) for the Birmingham Downtown Bus Rapid Transit System. He convened and conducted 12 conferences addressing transit planning, transit asset management, wireless communications and innovative financing. He assisted in securing multimillion-dollar contracts to deploy lighting and wireless control system upgrades in parking garages and contracts to deploy new open fare payment systems. He also completed PMO assignments for the $2 billion Charlotte, NC Northeast Light Rail Extension and the $900 million New Haven, Connecticut Rail Yard Improvement Program including Grand Central Station Operation Control Center, and completed a guide for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Transportation Research Board (TRB) on Transit IT and ITS Enterprise Systems Architecture Planning.
Edward has a Master of Science Degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University with concentration in Urban Transportation and Land Use Planning, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Behavioral Sciences from the University of Maryland specializing in Geography, Urban Planning and Computer Science.