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Transport Infrastructure

Integrating deep knowledge of each transport mode with best practices in strategic planning, risk management, finance, project organization, infrastructure development and operations.

As transport infrastructure contributes to the economic output of a region, it is an important measure of productivity. However, developing efficient and cost-effective transport infrastructure is challenging. When deciding what to build, infrastructure planners and policy makers often need to balance complex political, economic, social, and environmental tradeoffs. At the same time, transport infrastructure requires large capital investments, and public finances are increasingly strained. Stakeholders often face a difficult choice. Either they optimize an existing, flawed asset or they build something new; either they continue with a proven asset or they invest in sustainable technology. Transport projects that proceed often exceed timelines and budgets.

What we do

Our Travel, Logistics & Transport Infrastructure Practice combines deep knowledge of individual asset classes—roads, railways, metropolitan transport systems, airports, and seaports—with distinct functional expertise. By drawing on insights from other industries and applying best-practice tools and methodologies developed through client work, we bring a fresh perspective to complex problems within the transport industry. Our global network of over 40 transport development consultants advise clients on the following topics:

  • Planning, financing, and risk management. We support clients on asset planning and prioritization, financial projections—including demand modeling, and business and operating models. We also work with clients to define contracting strategies—including public-private partnerships (PPPs)—and to manage risk.
  • Stakeholder management and project organization. Drawing on our extensive experience serving transport authorities, government agencies, banks and funds, and other public and private entities, we work to ensure that stakeholders are aligned and project outcomes are mutually beneficial. In particular, we have strong experience advising clients on risk and regulatory management.
  • Asset design. We help clients balance technical and commercial design considerations. At the same time, we support clients in building capabilities so that project leaders have the fact base and skill set to make the appropriate trade-offs going forward.
  • Value engineering. We systematically apply design-to-cost and design-to-market principles. To maximize the value of transport infrastructure, we apply proprietary tools and methodologies, including engineering trade-off approaches, construction cost benchmarking, and clean sheet analysis.
  • Procurement strategies. We have developed multiple purchasing and subcontractor management best practices, such as our Category Consolidation approach and our Supplier Negotiation Academy, to help clients optimize costs and align the incentives of downstream suppliers and subcontractors.
  • Lean construction. To improve productivity and complete projects on time and on budget, we help clients implement lean construction techniques such as Critical Path Compression, Parallel Processing, and Last Planner System. At the same time, we consider potential organizational barriers to implementation and manage accordingly.
  • Operational excellence. Our detailed understanding of individual asset classes and their unique maintenance and operations enables us to understand the full cost of ownership at the outset of a project. During the development phase of a project, we help clients balance short- and long-term considerations to minimize maintenance costs once an asset is in operation.
  • Commercial excellence. By maximizing both fare and non-fare revenue we help clients achieve commercial excellence. We apply cutting-edge sales and marketing techniques to support our clients in understanding customers, developing pricing strategies to optimize yield, and brainstorming non-fare revenue strategies, such as retail shops in airports and real-estate developments near railway stations.

Examples of our work

  • We assisted a South American toll operator in meeting its growth objectives, while controlling its costs. We helped the client design a new organizational structure for the corporate center and its subsidiaries, redefine roles, adopt a shared service model, and develop a five-year strategy to support its future growth goals.
  • We helped a Scandinavian government agency analyze its road maintenance and finance decisions. This fact base was used by the ministry of finance and parliament to determine future funding. Subsequently, we supported the road authority in achieving savings of 15-20%.
  • We helped a European rail developer improve margins by renegotiating major contracts, increasing frontline efficiency, improving procurement practices to deliver better services at a lower cost, and driving efficiency at each step of the logistics and material supply chain.
  • We supported an urban transit system in identifying and implementing cost efficiency measures in metro and bus operations, as well as reducing its broader administrative and support functions.
  • We helped a government entity in North America design a new public-private agency to oversee infrastructure investments and to invest public funds to spur private investment in public infrastructure.
  • We assisted a department of transport in North America in developing a strategy to guide and prioritize infrastructure investments, based on a range of quantitative and qualitative metrics. In addition, we helped the client design the organizational structure and processes required to efficiently roll out the strategy to regional sub-divisions.

Featured capabilities

We have developed a number of proprietary tools and solutions, which enable us to deliver rapid results for our clients. Examples include:

  • Rail network model. A tried and tested Excel model that incorporates the main elements of a rail network to model potential improvements and their associated value and cost.

  • Capex value chain creation tools. A set of tools and approaches to increase capital project value at all stages. This set of tools covers lean construction, cost control, procurement and capital project risk assessment. All tools are designed to quickly generate on-site value.

  • End-to-end PPP process. A comprehensive process map for PPPs and a related suite of tools that help clients capture maximum value in PPP situations. Modules address a range of specific topics including process management and governance.

  • TCO road maintenance model. This model is used to calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO) and optimal maintenance of road surfaces.


Stuart Shilson

Senior Partner, London

Shannon Peloquin

Partner, San Francisco

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