Transportation Events

Acumen’s Participation

Christian Montoya, Alyssa Walker and Gian Fiero at the COMTO Holiday Dinner, Scholarship & Awards Program on December 6, 2019 in Oakland.

Walter Allen and Farah Soltane of Acumen participated in SmartTransit, a conference in Los Angeles, October 28-30, 2019 that showcased transit agencies’ service innovations from pilot programs for Mobility as a Service to integrated fare payments across multiple modes.

WTS Women's Equality Event

Walter Allen and Farah Soltane of Acumen (second photo from bottom right) participated in a Women’s Equality Day celebration on August 26, 2019 hosted by WTS San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.

California High-Speed Rail Event

On August 5, 2019 over 90 businesses participated in a California High-Speed Rail forum which brought out small and large businesses from across the state. Acumen’s President & CEO Walter Allen (left) met with Director of Estimating John Douglas of Balfour Beatty.

Move LA Event

Acumen’s President & CEO Walter Allen (far left) attended Move LA’s 10th annual Transportation Conversation on March 1, 2019. The coalition-building conference focused on “how to rebuild LA County’s transit ridership, promote equitable community development and affordable housing near transit, and strategies to modernize LA’s regional transit system and services.”

COMTO News & Events

Walter Allen Article in COMTO Accelerate Magazine

Transportation: Autonomous vehicles, transportation networking companies & public transit

Walter Allen Honored at COMTO Awards Dinner

COMTO’s Northern California chapter presented Acumen President & CEO Walter Allen with the Advocate of the Year Award at the organization’s Twelfth Annual Scholarship and Industry Awards Dinner in December 2015. Every year, the chapter recognizes the contributions of organizations and individuals who have worked to promote and strengthen the roles of minorities in Northern California’s transportation industry. The event also supports local college students studying for careers in transportation with scholarships named for prominent people of color in transportation history such as Rosa Parks and former SFMTA director Curtis Green, the first African American to head a major US transit system.

Acumen has become a fixture at the COMTO dinner over the years, and has helped make the scholarship programs possible through financial contributions. COMTO’s recognition of Mr. Allen as a pillar of the local transportation community further cements the strong bond between Acumen and COMTO and their shared commitment to education, assistance, and support for minority professionals in transportation. Read more about Acumen’s work with COMTO below, and see the Awards page for other honors Acumen and Walter Allen have received.

Comto 12th Awards

Dr. Beverly Scott of Beverly Scott Associates with Acumen President & CEO Walter Allen.

Comto 12th Awards

Acumen’s Robert Pilgrim and Elisa Minaya.

Comto 12th Awards

Walter Allen with MTC’s Raymond Odunlami and Ming Ng of Cornerstone Transportation Consulting.

Acumen Supports COMTO CITY Internships


August 7, 2015 – Acumen honored Erik Jimenez, its Careers in Transportation for Youth (CITY) Intern for 2015, during a recent evening gathering at its Oakland headquarters.  Acumen’s staff was joined by COMTO members and leaders, including the Federal Transit Administration’s Leslie Rogers, and Dana Lang, COMTO Northern California chapter president.  As Acumen’s 2015 CITY Intern, Erik supported Acumen in its efforts to develop transit system technology products and smartphone applications.  He also worked in support of Acumen’s team for the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District’s (BART) 19th Street/Oakland Station Renovation Project, and he assisted Acumen’s new business development by compiling strategic contact databases for potential clients, vendors and competitors.  Erik said of his time at Acumen: “I am more inclined to pursue a career in transportation after going through this internship.  Visiting Acumen project sites increased my knowledge of transit and construction project management.  I have acquired invaluable networking skills and made many connections with industry officials, and I plan to keep in touch.”

Leslie Rogers, Regional Administrator, Federal Transit Administration’s Region IX; Dana Lang, COMTO Northern California Chapter President; Erik Jimenez, Acumen CITY Intern 2015; Sheila Evans-Peguese, Senior Contract Compliance Officer, SFMTA; and Walter E. Allen, President & CEO, Acumen

Leslie Rogers, Regional Administrator, Federal Transit Administration’s Region IX; Dana Lang, COMTO Northern California Chapter President; Erik Jimenez, Acumen CITY Intern 2015; Sheila Evans-Peguese, Senior Contract Compliance Officer, SFMTA; and Walter E. Allen, President & CEO, Acumen


Jeremy Barnette, Acumen’s CITY Intern for 2014, was introduced to many key Bay Area transit agency stakeholders and projects, and given work assignments that bolstered his computer science background, including learning more about Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. RFID plays a big part in the transit industry’s security and fare collection sectors.  Jeremy graduated in May 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science from Norfolk State University and is now working for Dell Corporation’s Telecom Expense Management team as a web developer focusing on user interface design.  Jeremy said at the conclusion of his internship at Acumen. “I think COMTO is a great organization that puts a strong emphasis on supporting young people who are eager to learn about transit’s increasingly critical role in the world.  I am very grateful for the internship opportunity and look forward to building on my knowledge base catalyzed by my summer at Acumen.”


Jeremy Barnette, CITY Intern 2014

COMTO “White House Summit”

March 13, 2012 – Acumen CEO & President Walter Allen joined the Conference Of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) in Washington, D.C. for a White House Summit on March 13, 2012. COMTO leadership, members, and staff gathered together for a meeting with officials from several U.S. transportation agencies and White House staff to glean insights on the future challenges facing the transportation industry and COMTO’s continuing importance in this arena.

COMTO members in front of the White House. Acumen’s Walter Allen is in the 2nd row, third from the right.

COMTO members get ready to contribute their insights at the White House.

Photos Courtesy of Frank Martin, COMTO Board Member

Acumen Sponsors COMTO 2011 Scholarship, Awarded to UC Berkeley’s Denisse Gonzalez

December 9, 2011 – Acumen’s Benjamin Murray, program manager, and Lionel Fluker, senior designer, attended the COMTO Northern California chapter’s 7th annual 2011 holiday and scholarship awards event at Oakland’s Marriott City Center.

Over the past six years, COMTO has collaborated with both national and local transportation companies to provide approximately $140,000 in scholarships to 100 hardworking students in need. Acumen joined the ranks of companies such as AECOM, CUBIC, and Jacobs in sponsoring 2011’s scholarship awards. The program is designed to assist students whose goal is to pursue a professional career in the transportation field.

Denisse Gonzalez was the recipient of the scholarship award sponsored by Acumen. She currently attends the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Political Science. Her career plans focuses on running for public office in her local community and working on improving transportation legislation.

(L-R): Lionel Fluker, Denisse Gonzalez, COMTO scholarship winner, and Ben Murray

(L-R): Lionel Fluker, Grace Crunican, project manager at BART, and Ben Murray

Acumen and other sponsors of COMTO Northern California 2011 Scholarship Award