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Forward Motion, June 2019

2019 Mobility 21 Summit Expo Nearly Sold Out!

All Mobility 21 Summit sponsorships include an exhibit booth at the largest one-day transportation event in California! Network with more than 1,300 attendees – click here to view the sponsorship packages. 

Don’t Miss Out on Early Bird Registration!
Early bird registration is now open for the Mobility 21 Summit on Friday, Sept. 27 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif. Join more than 1,300 transportation stakeholders, industry leaders and elected officials at California’s largest one-day transportation event. Hurry, Early Bird registration ends Aug. 9!

Early Bird Registration: $295
Registration after Aug. 9: $395
Student/Military Personnel Registration: $175
Click here to register online!

Reduced Hotel Rate Reservations
Discount hotel rates are available to conference attendees! Click here to reserve your room now. Space is limited and the discount is only available until it’s sold out or Thursday, Aug. 27.


2019 Mobility 21 Washington, D.C. Advocacy Trip

Mobility 21 held its  Washington, D.C. delegation trip June 3-5, 2019. The 29-person delegation from Southern California’s leading public and private transportation organizations met with more than 40 Members of Congress, the Administration and Congressional staff to advocate for a long-term and much-needed federal transportation bill.

Check out Mobility 21’s Facebook page for more photos from the trip.


Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Mark Baza
Executive Director
Imperial County Transportation Commission

In May 2010, Mark Baza was appointed as the Executive Director of the Imperial County Transportation Commission (ICTC). ICTC is the Regional Transportation Planning and Transit Agency for Imperial County. ICTC recently celebrated its 7th Anniversary as it was established as a County Transportation Commission in 2009 under Senate Bill 607 (Ducheny) and became a new agency effective Jan. 1, 2010. Under the direction of the Commission, Baza led the development of the new agency’s organizational structure, staffing and work programs. ICTC is one of six County Transportation Commissions within the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) region. SCAG is the federally mandated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the six counties and as is recognized as the largest MPO in the United States.

As the regional transportation planning agency for Imperial, ICTC is responsible to plan and develop the regional transit and highway network in partnership with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), California Transportation Commission, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Transit Administration and SCAG. Together, key regional transit and highway improvements have been completed and are underway. In 2018, ICTC and Caltrans received a $3 million grant from the California Transportation Commission (CTC) from Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP) to carry out the Project Approval and Environmental Document for the Calexico East Port of Entry Bridge Expansion. ICTC received an additional $20 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) to complete the Design and Construction. The project is scheduled to complete environmental in May 2020 and subsequently initiate the Design-Build process in Fall 2020. Other milestones for ICTC in partnership with Caltrans is to begin construction in January 2020 to complete the Interstate 8 Imperial Avenue Interchange Reconstruction project, a $44 million State Transportation Improvement Program investment for Imperial County; and the State Route 98 Widening project (Ollie and Rockwood Ave.), a $10 million investment with a combination of State and Federal funds.

As the regional transit agency, ICTC plans and operates the Imperial Valley Transit which includes fixed route public transit services, paratransit services, and dial-a-ride services throughout the county. Since 2012, ICTC has purchased and now owns its fleet of over 60 transit vehicles. Other accomplishments include: increasing express route services; expanded hours of service on Saturdays; all new limited schedule of service on Sundays; planning and design of intra-city bus services in the cities of Brawley, Imperial and Calexico; completion of transit centers at Imperial Valley College, the cities of Brawley, El Centro, and most recently in the City of Imperial. A new Intermodal Transit Center (ITC) in the City of Calexico is in the environmental and design phase. The Calexico ITC proposes to serve public and private transit shuttle operators, Greyhound bus operations, farm labor buses, taxi and ride share service.

Additionally, ICTC administers the County’s “Measure D” half-cent sales tax program on behalf of the Imperial County Local Transportation Authority. As one of twenty-six “Self Help Counties” in California, ICTC distributes the lion’s share of the Measure D funds to each of the seven cities and County of Imperial to complete local road pavement rehabilitation projects; improve pedestrian and bicycle access; improve access as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and local road operational improvements. The Measure D program also provides local contributions to state highway and transit projects. In 2012 and 2018 ICTC efforts for the cities and the County of Imperial to bond against future sales tax revenues that allowed the agencies to accelerate many local road projects throughout the region.

Mr. Baza has nearly 30 years experience in the transit/transportation planning and engineering industry. Prior to his position at ICTC, Mark began his career with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 11 for 21 years. In the Planning, Baza had lead responsibilities for public transportation, non-motorized and regional transportation planning and goods movement planning. Later served as Project Manager for a portfolio of planning and capital projects to improve goods movement in Southern California, and ground access to all of California’s six land ports of entry with Mexico, and the Port of San Diego’s seaport terminals in National City and San Diego’s Barrio Logan Community. Mr. Baza earned a Bachelor’s degree in Urban & Rural Planning Studies from the University of California, San Diego and completed a post-graduate Certificate Program in Transportation Planning for Air Quality at the University of California, Riverside.


Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Sarah Catz
Executive Director
Center for Urban Infrastructure

Sarah L. Catz is the Director of the Center for Urban Infrastructure at Brandman University – Chapman University System and a Research Associate in the Institute of Transportation Studies at University of California, Irvine. She joined the Mobility 21 Advisory Board in 2015.

During the past two decades, Sarah has been a leading transportation/infrastructure and public policy expert and has played a key role in critical transportation and infrastructure projects, both at the local and state levels. She has served as the state’s acting Deputy Secretary of Transportation as well as the project manager for The Commission on Building for the 21st Century, a California infrastructure commission that included projects within water, transportation, housing, facilities and technology areas. While with the state of California, Catz also helped secure state funding for critical infrastructure projects, including major rail projects in Southern California.

Sarah spent 10 years on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Transportation Authority and served as Chairman of the Board, and was a founding member and two-term chairperson of the Board of Directors of Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink). Sarah is the immediate past chair of the Orange County Forum, a nonpartisan current affairs organization convening the Orange County civic community to exchange ideas, and discuss public policy issues with distinguished speakers and national leaders.

Sarah recently joined Vectis Strategies, a national public relations and public affairs firm, as Senior Partner. Prior to joining Vectis, Sarah was Vice Chancellor of External Affairs at Brandman University-Chapman University System with responsibility for community and government relations as well as advancement and alumni relations. She has also been a partner in a national law firm and operated her own public affairs consulting practice.

Sarah has been recognized by The League of Women Voters of Orange County with the “OC Woman of Achievement” Award and by OC Metro Magazine as one of “10 Women Making a Difference in Orange County.” She also is the recipient of the California Transportation Foundation Tranny Award for “Citizen of the Year” and has been named “Woman of the Year” three times by the Orange County Chapter of WTS.

Sarah received her law degree from the University of Santa Clara and her bachelor’s degree from George Washington University.


Grand opening of Metro Bike Hub at Expo Line Station in Culver City.

Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:
Parsons

Enhancing Westside Mobility

Parsons is proud to have provided complete architecture, engineering, and signage design for the new Metro Bike Hub located at the Expo Line Station in Culver City, which opened March 1, 2019. The $1.4-million facility offers high-capacity, secure bicycle parking to encourage transit ridership by accommodating “first mile, last mile” connections. The company also served as final designer of the remainder of the station, and was lead designer and a joint-venture partner for the Expo Line Phase 1 construction.

Looking forward, Parsons recently began developing a decision support system for the nearby I 405 Sepulveda Pass corridor on behalf of California State Department of Transportation District 7 and Los Angeles City Department of Transportation. The decision support system will use artificial intelligence to help relieve hot-spot congestion areas and improve travel reliability along the corridor, which is the most congested highway segment in the United States.

Parsons has a long history of successfully completing design services for transit and transportation projects throughout the Los Angeles area, with a focus on continually improving the transit/transportation system’s efficiency and effectiveness and the most responsible application of taxpayer dollars.


L.A. Metro’s Purple Line Extension Phase 1 Tunneling Operations

Summit Platinum  Sponsor Spotlight:
Skanska

This year marks Skanska’s 100 years of service as a premier builder in Southern California. Throughout the storied history, our people have been building the projects that matter, positively affecting the lives of millions. As a mainstay in the Mobility 21 region, Skanska is committed to being a good neighbor and delivering innovative project solutions that improve the lives of the traveling public.

Our “Drive to Zero” journey is a cornerstone of every construction work plan. Our California operation worked over 3 million hours in 2018 with Zero lost time recordables. A testament to our focus and commitment to safety.

Skanska is also committed to increasing the sustainability of our civil construction projects in Southern California. We are a charter member of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, which has developed Envision® as a sustainability rating system for all civil infrastructure. Our Los Angeles Expo 2 Light Rail Extension project became the first Envision Platinum certified transit project in the U.S. in 2016. This year, our L.A. Metro, Purple Line Extension Phase 1 project earned another Envision Platinum certification, bringing the total number of Skanska Envision-certified projects to four.

Our focus for continued diversity and inclusiveness is a prized part of Skanska’s culture. The opportunity to build what matters belongs to everyone. As planned transportation and transit projects come to fruition, ultimately providing predictable commute times and more travel options to the public, having a diverse team that reflects our community strengthens the process and resulting facilities.


SCE helped Penske install 14 fast charging stations for heavy-duty electric vehicle trucks at four Southern California facilities.

Summit Platinum  Sponsor Spotlight:
Southern California Edison

This year, Southern California Edison (SCE) launched Charge Ready Transport, a program that aims to add charging stations for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles at a minimum of 870 commercial sites within the utility’s 50,000 square-mile service area.

“This program is specifically tailored to Southern California, where the goods movement industry is critical to the economy but is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution,” said Katie Sloan, SCE director of eMobility.

The $356-million program, which was modeled after SCE’s successful Charge Ready pilot for electric passenger cars, will help install charging infrastructure to support at least 8,490 industrial vehicles over a five-year period. It will also provide rebates to help some customers, like school bus operators and transit agencies, with the purchase of charging stations.

SCE remains committed to its vision of putting more than 7 million electric vehicles and over 200,000 medium- and heavy-duty vehicles on our state’s roads and in its freight yards by the year 2030.

Charge Ready Transport is one of several Charge Ready pilots and programs SCE is launching to electrify buses, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, forklifts, and other non-road cargo handling equipment.

Learn more at www.edison.com/te.


A comparison of space consumed by cars, buses and bikes. Credit: City of Muenster, Germany.

When Buses Get Priority,
Riders Prioritize the Bus

As part of the northern segment closure of the Blue Line — which is being modernized — Metro is running bus shuttles to carry riders that would usually take the train. In the southern part of DTLA, those buses are using Flower Street, which is already plenty busy with other bus routes and car traffic.

To keep traffic moving, the city of Los Angeles’ Department of Transportation (LADOT) and Metro are testing a bus-only lane between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays. One of the curb lanes is being used for the bus lane with enforcement courtesy of the LAPD.

Not surprisingly, the bus lane has been a hit thus far. Bus service is faster and more frequent, which greatly improves the experience for thousands of bus riders.

Metro thinks the bus lane is efficient because a bus takes up relatively little street space and can easily carry 40 or more people at a time. Whereas cars typically only carry one or two people and cumulatively take up a lot of space, as the well-known poster at right from Germany shows.

Speeding up buses is part of Metro’s Vision 2028 Plan, which outlines the strategies the agency intends to pursue over the next decade. Metro buses currently average 11 miles per hour — not a misprint! — and Metro hopes to use a range of options including bus lanes, traffic signal priority and possibly queue jumps to increase bus speeds to a minimum of 18 mph for Rapid lines.

Again, the idea here is to increase people we can move along a street. That’s something that’s good for current riders and may also make taking the bus a more attractive alternative to those who don’t take transit.

But let’s also be real: bus lanes can raise questions because installing a bus lane may mean sacrificing a traffic lane or parking lane. That’s why it’s important to understand:

  • Bus lanes — like the one on Flower — may only be used at some hours of the day. And moving buses to their own lane gets them out of the way of traffic in the other lanes.
  • Metro can’t unilaterally install bus lanes. The streets are overseen by the cities where they’re located. That means that Metro has towork with cities, residents, businesses and other stakeholders to make a bus lane happen and to mitigate any impacts.

Point of emphasis: Our bus projects are intended to give everyone a good, affordable option for getting around and are not intended to fundamentally change neighborhoods or hurt mobility.

Your turn, people. What do you think of the Flower Street bus lane and bus lanes in general?


RCTC Shortlists Four Design-Build Firms
for 15/91 Express Lanes Connector

RCTC is working to select a design-build firm for the 15/91 Express Lanes Connector, which could begin construction in the fall of 2020.

Design and construction of the 15/91 Express Lanes Connector moved a step further with the selection of four firms to submit proposals for design and construction.

The Riverside County Transportation Commission received statements of qualifications in April from seven design-build teams and chose the following four to continue with the selection process:

  • Flatiron West, Inc.
  • Guy F. Atkinson
  • MCM Construction, Inc.
  • Myers-Rados

Proposals are due in November. RCTC expects to choose a design-builder by early 2020. Construction may begin in fall 2020, and the connector is anticipated to open in late 2022.

The connector will link the eastbound 91 Express Lanes with the northbound 15 Express Lanes that are currently under construction. It also will link the southbound 15 Express Lanes that are being built with the westbound 91 Express Lanes. Linking the two tolled facilities will expand RCTC’s express lane network and provide more travel time savings and travel time certainty.

Funding to build the connector was not available as part of the 91 Project or the 15 Express Lane Project. Plans for the connector originally were included in the 91 Project, but a downturn in the economy required RCTC to reduce the scope of the project.

RCTC received $180 million in state funding for the Express Lanes Connector, which is estimated to cost $220 million. The balance of funding will be provided by toll revenue that has been collected from the 91 Express Lanes or from grant funding, if the Commission is successful in receiving funding from a federal grant application submitted in March.


Orange County transportation officials broke ground on a $581 million Interstate 5 improvement project in south Orange County between State Route 73 and El Toro Road. The project is largely funded by OC Go, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation, and is scheduled to be completed in 2025. (Left to right: Caltrans District 12 Director Ryan Chamberlain, OCTA Chairman Tim Shaw, OCTA directors Lisa Bartlett, Joe Muller and Laurie Davies, and OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson. Photo courtesy of OCTA).

I-5 Freeway Project in South Orange County Gets Underway

The Orange County Transportation Authority and Caltrans broke ground in June on an I-5 freeway construction project that will improve traffic flow on 6.5 miles of freeway between SR-73 and El Toro Road in south Orange County.

Transportation and community leaders gathered in Mission Viejo overlooking Interstate 5 to commemorate the beginning of construction on the $581 million project on Thursday, June 6. The project will add a regular lane in each direction, extend a second carpool lane between Alicia Parkway and El Toro Road, and improve interchanges and streets.

“I’m excited to see this highly anticipated project get under way and I’m looking forward to it bringing much-needed congestion relief to all those who travel on the I-5 through South County,” said OCTA Chairman Tim Shaw, also a La Habra Councilman. “This will allow Orange County residents and workers to spend less time in their cars and more time doing the important things in life.”

Approximately 360,000 cars travel through that stretch of freeway, which runs near the cities of Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest and San Juan Capistrano.

The improvement project is largely funded by Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, also known as OC Go. Other funding is coming from a mix of state and federal funds.

“This is one more example of OCTA delivering on our promises to voters when they approved Measure M and entrusted us with their tax dollars,” said OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson. “With last year’s completion of freeway improvements between San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente, this is the next step in ensuring OCTA meets the transportation needs of all those who live, work and visit South Orange County.”

The project is scheduled to be complete in 2025.

“The I-5 South County Improvement – SR-73 to El Toro Road project demonstrates the strength of the partnership between Caltrans and the Orange County Transportation Authority,” said Caltrans District 12 Director Ryan Chamberlain. “We look forward to continuing our cooperation to further improve the Orange County state highway transportation system for the more than 3 million residents of Orange County through future projects.”

The improvements will be built in three segments, the first segment to be built by contractor Flatiron West. HDR Engineering is providing construction management.

Several streets that intersect the freeway also will be improved and widened, as well as ramps that enter and exit the freeway. Those major intersection improvements include La Paz Road in Mission Viejo and Laguna Hills, and Avery Parkway in Mission Viejo and Laguna Niguel. The overpass at Los Alisos Boulevard in Lake Forest and Laguna Hills also will be widened.

Newly constructed retaining walls will include designs reflecting the ranching heritage of the local communities.

For updated information on the project and to sign up for construction alerts, visit www.octa.net/southcounty.


Orange County’s Toll Roads Send New Free Sticker Transponders to 700,000+ FasTrak Accountholders

FasTrak Customers, You’ve Got Mail.

Beginning this month, The Toll Roads of Orange County are mailing 15,000 new sticker transponders per weekday to FasTrak® accountholders to replace the hard-case transponders currently in use. The new transparent, bandage-size transponder is free and adheres to the inside of a windshield to collect tolls.

Communication began in April, notifying more than 650,000 FasTrak accountholders of the approaching introduction of sticker transponders by sending an informational postcard and issuing new license agreements. Customers will receive one sticker transponder for each vehicle listed on the account.

Equipped with state-mandated technology, the new sticker transponder works on all California’s toll bridges, lanes and roads and may eventually be used nationwide. The Toll Roads are the first tolling agency in the state to make the transition to sticker transponders and allows The Toll Roads to simplify payment options for its more than 1.5 million accountholders.

FasTrak customers continue to pay tolls automatically from a pre-established, prepaid account. And beginning in October 2019, FasTrak customers can choose to “Pay as You Go” and have tolls charged to a credit card as they are incurred. Starting July 1, The Toll Roads are also eliminating TCA’s monthly account maintenance fee for FasTrak accounts – a potential average savings of nearly $50 per year.

Here’s what to remember when you receive your new sticker transponder in the mail:

  • Adhere the sticker transponder to your windshield– Follow the mounting instructions on the sticker packaging or website TheTollRoads.com/sticker.
  • Don’t adjust the sticker transponder– Moving or adjusting it once adhered will cause it to break and become unusable. If this happens, a replacement can be ordered online or via The Toll Roads app.
  • Recycle your old transponder– If you have an old standard hard-case FasTrak transponder, you can dispose of it the way you would a battery. But, if you carpool on designated express lanes throughout California, keep using your switchable FasTrak transponder to be eligible for carpool discounts.

Orange County’s 51-miles of Toll Roads make up the largest network of toll roads in California. The 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads remain the fastest, easiest and most predictable way to get to and through Orange County.

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