RTA 2019 Transportation Breakfast: The possibility of a hyperloop future

Friday, July 12, 2019
presented by:  Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina
7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary

Links and downloads

About the 2019 event

The regional business community welcomed Ryan Kelly, Head of Marketing and Communications, with Virgin Hyperloop One as keynote speaker of the RTA 2019 Transportation Breakfast. Mr. Kelly discussed the new “hyperloop” transportation technology concept, which employs electric propulsion and magnetic levitation to quickly move people and product in capsules gliding in a low pressure tube. Mr. Kelly was joined by Alan Eckman with AECOM who spoke to a new preliminary Triangle hyperloop pre-feasibility report that will be released at the event.

NCDOT Chief Deputy Secretary David Howard also offered state perspectives on technology and disruption.

Additional speakers and panelists who also discussed the emerging intercity transportation technology and potential implications:

  • Virgin Hyperloop One – Ismaeel Babur, senior civil engineer
  • AECOM – Sreekanth Nandagiri, VP, North Carolina Transportation Business Unit leader
  • NC Department of Transportation – Jason Orthner, rail division director
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority – Michael Landguth, president and CEO
  • Research Triangle Park – Scott Levitan, president and CEO
  • UNC Chapel Hill – Brad Ives, associate vice chancellor for campus enterprises and chief sustainability officer; RTA regional transit chair
  • MetLife – Geoff Lang, vice president and general manager, Cary global technology and operations; RTA chair
  • Regional Transportation Alliance – Joe Milazzo II, executive director

RTA 2018 Transportation Breakfast

Friday, July 27, 2018
7:30 am – 9:30 am
The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary

The regional business community welcomed Joe Esposito, Senior Vice President, Delta Air Lines, as the keynote speaker of the annual RTA Transportation Breakfast on July 27, 2018. Mr. Esposito spoke to current air industry trends as well as insights into the domestic and global strategy of RDU Airport’s largest carrier, and what that means for RDU as a focus city for Delta. Nearly 250 business, elected, and transportation leaders attended the event.

Media and downloads

2017 RTA Transportation Breakfast

Friday, July 14, 2017
7:30 – 9:30 a.m.
The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary


The regional business community welcomed NC Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon who discussed how the Department is providing enhanced mobility and accelerated congestion relief across our region and state.

We also welcomed John Dillard, Resident Vice President-State Relations, CSX Transportation who discussed the Carolina Connector (CCX) intermodal terminal hub in Rocky Mount, near I-95 and future I-87, and its impact on commerce in the Triangle.

The event also included a regional business leaders panel with speakers including:

  • Robert Doreauk, AT&T North Carolina; RTA development chair
  • Kerry Grace Heckle, UNC REX Healthcare; RTA communications chair
  • Pete Marino, Smith Anderson law firm; RTA freeways chair

More than 200 business, elected, and transportation leaders attended the 2017 event.

2016 RTA Transportation Breakfast:
Creating a “Street Smart” Transit Future

Friday, April 29, 2016
7:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

View the final presentation deck here (Wake Transit overview, keynote presentation)Event overview

Attendees learned how we can enhance our urban future with a “street smart” approach and how the Wake Transit plan could help create a more attractive, competitive market.

National keynote speaker Sam Schwartz, PE, former New York City traffic commissioner and author of “Street Smart,” eddiscuss the transformation of how people are moving around their cities, and Triangle business leaders highlighted the implications for our regional transit strategy.

Local business leaders discussed next steps towards the fall 2016 Wake County transit referendum and the benefits of a regional transit approach for the Triangle.

Business panelists included:

  • Steve Brechbiel with QuintilesIMS and 2016 RTA chair
  • Eric Braun representing Golden Corral Corporation and RTA Transit chair
  • Valerie Jordan with Cisco Systems, Inc. and RTA Transit vice chair
  • John Kane with Kane Realty Corporation and RTA Leadership Team member

More than 200 business, elected, and transportation leaders from across the region will attend.

Questions? Contact Natalie Griffith at 919.664.7062 or natalie@letsgetmoving.org

Interactive:  tag #RTAbfast16, follow @RTATriangle

RTA 2015 Transportation Breakfast

The event was held Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at the Umstead Hotel and Spa featuring two expert speakers on air service and air transportation economics:

In addition, Mike Landguth, A.A.E., RDU President and CEO, and RTA leadership offered remarks from a regional perspective.

With RTA’s ongoing focus on growing domestic and international air service at RDU, including our new Air Service Advancement Project (ASAP) initiative to secure a new nonstop international flight to an intercontinental gateway, the event offered timely information for members of the regional business community as well as our elected and transportation partners. Read more about the significance of enhanced air service from a recent RTA blog and an event preview by John Heimlich.

Learn more about our region’s pursuit of international flights and RTA’s ASAP initiative from this recent Triangle Business Journal cover story.

>> Read about the event from the Triangle Business Journal
>> Download the full presentation

      [Dr. Belobaba: slides 34 – 55; Mr. Heimlich: slides: 56 – 79] 
>> Watch the full event or individual presentations 


  • Dr. Peter Belobaba, Principal Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
    “Good information is a precursor for good decision-making, whether by airlines or a community looking to support new air service.”
  • John Heimlich, Chief Economist, Airlines for America (A4A):
    “It is critical that regional leaders in the vibrant Research Triangle area want to have this dialogue on the realities of expanding air service and are committed to embracing a business climate that values air travel, promotes tourism and commerce, and enables airlines to further invest in North Carolina’s economic prosperity.”
  • Michael Landguth, President and CEO, Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority (RDU):
    “With 1.5 million people traveling between RDU and international destinations each year, our region is poised for additional transatlantic service.”
  • Bruce Sargent, IBM Corporation and RTA Air Service chair:
    “Understanding air service economics will allow us to apply our efforts to support air service expansion at RU where they can be most successful.”

RTA 2013 Transportation Breakfast
Presented by North Carolina Outdoor Advertising Association 

The event was held March 21, 2013, at the Renaissance Raleigh Hotel at North Hills where NC Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata shared the Administration’s goals for improving transportation during the next four years, as well as the future of mobility in the Research Triangle area and across our state. Tata also addressed how the regional business community can work together to achieve those goals.

Download the 2013 event presentation

Media coverage:  (News 14, WRAL 12)

RTA 2012 Transportation Breakfast

The event was held on April 27, 2012, where legislative leaders offered their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges associated with advancing higher speed rail between North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, DC at the 2012 RTA Transportation Breakfast event (download 1-page pdf here).

Download the 2012 event presentation


  • N.C. Senator Fletcher L. Hartsell, Jr. — chair, VA-NC High Speed Rail Compact
  • Va. Senator John Watkins — immediate past chair, VA-NC High Speed Rail Compact
  • N.C. Senator Neal Hunt — co-chair, N.C. Senate Appropriations Committee
  • Mr. Corey Hill — director, project development and delivery, Federal Railroad Administration

RTA 2011 Transportation Breakfast

The event was held on March 8, 2011 at the Research Triangle Park headquarters featuring remarks from area county commission leaders regarding the process for advancing the regional transit system.  Keynote speakers included:  Michael Page, Chair, Durham County Board of Commissioners; Bernadette Pelissier, Chair, Orange County Board of Commissioners; Tony Gurley, Immediate Past Chair, Wake County Board of Commissioners.

RTA 2010 Transportation Breakfast

The 2010 event was held on April 13, 2010 at the headquarters of The Research Triangle Park.  The event featured remarks from area county commission chairs regarding the process for advancing the regional transit system.


  • Michael Page, Chair, Durham County Board of Commissioners
  • Valerie Foushee, Chair, Orange County Board of Commissioners
  • Tony Gurley, Chair, Wake County Board of Commissioners

Media: News 14 story

RTA 2009 Transportation Breakfast

The event was held on May 14, 2009 at the Cardinal Club in Downtown Raleigh.