Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Gold Mine On The Gold Line

Just over a year ago, Los Angeles residents took their first rides on the Gold Line, a spiffy new trolley route meandering 14 miles from L.A.'s Union Station out to Pasadena. At the new line's last stop in Pasadena, passengers were greeted with a large banner saluting none other than Booz Allen Hamilton, the McLean-Va.-based consulting firm, for its work on the project.

"We paid for that sign, I think," confides Gary Schulman, a Booz Allen vice president and co-leader of its transportation practice.

Booz Allen can be excused for patting itself on the back when it comes to public transportation, a specialty that has helped its overall transportation business grow at a five-year, annualized rate of 17%. That outpaces the five-year revenue growth rate for the firm as a whole by seven percentage points. Of the 500 employees in Booz's transportation practice, half now work on mass transit matters.

And the way ahead looks golden. Why? There's demand here for one of Booz Allen's foremost specialties: updating technology. Ghassan Salameh, another Booz VP at the head of its transportation practice, says transit agencies are now getting around to overhauling technology that in many instances hasn't been touched in 20 or 30 years. Half of the firm's mass transit consulting revenue comes from technology-related jobs.

Full story at Forbes.com