People News: HART, HDR, WSP

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Scott Drainville, CEO, Hillsborough Transit Authority (left); Sean Flaherty, Transportation Sustainability and Resiliency Director, HDR (center); and David Cochrane, Senior Vice President and Transportation Program Director, WSP

Scott Drainville, CEO, Hillsborough Transit Authority (left); Sean Flaherty, Transportation Sustainability and Resiliency Director, HDR (center); and David Cochrane, Senior Vice President and Transportation Program Director, WSP

Scott Drainville has transitioned from interim to permanent CEO of Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART), which runs the TECO Line Streetcar in Tampa, Fla. Also, Sean Flaherty is the new Transportation Sustainability and Resiliency Director at HDR, a design firm specializing in engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services; and David Cochrane will now lead high-speed rail projects at engineering, environment and professional services consultancy WSP.


The HART Board of Directors on Nov. 6 appointed Scott Drainville CEO, following interim service since April.

Drainville joined HART in 2018 as Deputy Chief of Maintenance, where he oversaw the authority’s core business in maintenance, facilities, inventory control and the communications/electronics divisions, and was responsible for directing the overall funding, environmental, design, permitting, construction, and project close-out of capital construction projects. He was later named Chief of Maintenance and Transportation.

With more than 30 years of public transportation and fleet management experience, Drainville has also served as Director of Transportation and Maintenance for CitiBus in Lubbock, Tex.; held transit leadership positions at the D.C. Circulator in Washington, D.C.; and was Mechanical Foreman with the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority for more than 18 years.

“Scott Drainville is a partner with our Board in bringing more transparency to HART,” HART Chair Councilman Luis Viera said. “I and our Board of Republicans and Democrats enthusiastically gave Mr. Drainville a unanimous approval for a reason—because he is the right person with the right values and for the right time for HART.”

“I appreciate the confidence the Board of Directors has placed in my ability to lead HART,” Drainville said. “My focus is on bringing stability to the organization and continuing to maximize our resources to deliver the best possible transportation service for Hillsborough County.”

In a related development, the Florida Department of Transportation earlier this fall awarded HART a $700,000 Commuter Assistance grant, which will allow the TECO Line Streetcar to remain free for another year.


HDR has named Sean Flaherty Transportation Sustainability and Resiliency Director, responsible for leading sustainability and resiliency efforts across the company’s transportation-related service offerings. He will also support services throughout the full program life cycle.

According to HDR, Flaherty’s 16-year career has centered on advancing sustainability efforts across the Carolinas, with public sector, private and nonprofit experience. Most recently, he was the Energy and Transportation Program Manager for the Central Pines Regional Council, where he managed projects focused on regional, state and national sustainable development. In his career, Flaherty has developed or expanded programs to prepare for electric vehicle readiness, improve sustainability outcomes in Charlotte’s business district, and coordinate new sustainability offices across North Carolina. In 2005, he launched North Carolina State University’s first environmental-focused spring break service trip, which continues today.

“Sean’s practical experience helping clients implement and fund their sustainability visions will be an asset across HDR’s transportation work,” said Janet González Tudor, HDR’s Transportation Advisory Services Director.

In other news, HDR in September selected Buzz Berger as Railway Design Leader and Matthew Tucker as Global Transit Director.


David Cochrane is WSP’s new Senior Vice President and Transportation Program Director, based in the Pacific Northwest region. He will be responsible for “delivering emerging complex mega-projects, in response to significant congestion and growing mobility needs in the region,” according to the firm.

Cochrane has more than 35 years of experience, having held numerous senior leadership positions delivering civil engineering transport infrastructure in the U.K., including high-speed rail and highway programs. His most recent and notable work was on High Speed 2 (HS2), Britain’s new zero-carbon, high-speed railway, where he spent the past several years gaining experience developing the route and leading strategic engineering for phase 2 from 2016 to 2020. He was responsible for technical oversight of the high-speed rail line for this phase, managing the work of four major design joint ventures and supporting design for six area teams. Beginning in 2020, Cochrane was head of engineering and environment for construction of the northern section of phase 1 from Warwickshire to Birmingham and beyond with connections to phase 2, the northern sections of HS2.

“David’s exceptional experience and technical excellence speaks volumes about his leadership skills and international expertise that we’re eager to share with our clients,” said Jannet Walker-Ford, WSP Senior Vice President and National Transit and Rail Market Leader.

Additionally, WSP recently elevated Patrick Watz to Midwest District Transportation Leader and Santiago (Sandy) Amores to South Florida Local Business Lead.

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