Under New Ownership, TJKM Transportation Consultants Focuses on the Fast Lane

In one sense Nayan Amin, the new President of TJKM Transportation Consultants, has come full circle. In the process, however, he has expanded his orbit considerably.

Last August, Amin and Ruta Jariwala, a colleague he had been working with for more than a dozen years, purchased 100 percent ownership of the Hacienda company. In doing so, Amin went back to work at the firm that had hired him in 1996, just after he finished his graduate degree in civil engineering with an emphasis on transportation.

At that time, TJKM was a 22-year old firm with a solid track record, perhaps most notable for its visionary design of the Hacienda transportation infrastructure - a plan that remains effective today. Outside the park, however, vehicular movement wore a different face: congestion. Tri-Valley drivers routinely confronted a two-hour commute over the Sunol grade to their jobs in Silicon Valley, Amin recalls. It was a terrific opportunity to have a hand in resolving some of the region's major transportation hot spots. Among the projects on the young engineer's desk were the I-680 carpool lane between the Sunol grade and Highway 237, and ramp-metering on the I-580 and I-680 corridors, both of which have since come to fruition.

After roughly five years, Amin left TJKM to diversify his professional experience. He and Jariwala spent almost a decade with a leading international provider of engineering, construction, and technical services. Part of their work included the traffic operational analysis and design for the I-680 Southbound Express Lane project, which opened in September 2010.

Having kept in touch with TJKM owner Chris Kinzel over the years, Amin and Jariwala learned that Kinzel had an eye on retirement. "We started talking acquisition, and it all worked out," Amin relates. "We asked Chris to stay on with the firm and be a mentor to support and help me grow the business, and he agreed."

The new owners are poised to expand the business into a new market segment, a result of the engineering and business savvy they developed during nine years at a public corporation with 50,000 employees. To TJKM's current expertise in multimodal transportation planning and surface street design, they are adding design, traffic operational studies for freeways, major corridors, and complete streets. "This is where we want to grow," he asserts.

Under the new ownership the firm has grown from 18 to 23 employees, and, when the lease on its old office expired in December, it moved into new quarters at 4305 Hacienda Drive. Having spent so much time here previously, the partners are gratified to remain in the park.

The surroundings also serve as an ongoing reminder of the TJKM legacy. The Hacienda traffic plan owes its success to the firm's ability to "project the correct level of demand and provide sufficient capacity to accommodate that demand," Amin explains, noting the demand/capacity numbers are just as critical in freeway projects. "If you know the land uses, you can easily project demand," he states. With a few recent contract wins, TJKM can expect to play a significant role in calculating those numbers as well.

For more information, visit TJKM.com .

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