Who we are

Our Story

In 1987, Bonnie Nelson and Diane Nygaard, two former San Francisco Municipal Railway managers, founded the firm in Diane’s basement. They believed it was possible to create a transportation planning firm that would foster a fun, egalitarian, and creative work environment, and would provide high-quality, principled work for its clients. Their vision proved successful; Nelson\Nygaard has offices across the nation.

Nelson\Nygaard attributes our success to adhering to our mission and core values. We remain deeply committed to mobility, accessibility, and sustainability for all. Helping communities achieve their larger goals defines our approach to transportation planning.


Our People


We are diverse, talented, and committed to creating places with transportation choices for all ages. Our experts are leaders in their fields, from multimodal street design and transit delivery to biking and emerging mobility.

Our Perspective


We are the the forefront of transportation today. Our planners are thought leaders with innovative ideas. We create new tools and integrated approaches to help find the best solution for your community.

Our Awards


Our projects worldwide have received many awards, including from the American Planning Association, the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the American Public Transportation Association.

Our Publications


Our ideas and research regularly appear onto the pages of professional journals from Planning Magazine to ITE Journal to Transit Cooperative Research Program publications.