News

Forward Motion, March 2015

Summit Sponsorships Selling Quickly!

Sponsorships are selling quickly for the 14th Annual Southern California Transportation Summit on Friday, Aug. 28 at the Disneyland Hotel.

Available sponsorships include:

  • Platinum Sponsorships – $10,000
    • Closing Session (1 left)
    • VIP Reception (2 left)
  • Gold Sponsorships – $5,000
    • Breakout Session (6 left)
    • NEW! Tumbler (1 left)
    • NEW! Coffee Mug (1 left)
  • Silver Sponsorships – $4,000
    • Breakfast Buffet (1 available)
    • Hospitality Suite (2 available)
    • Morning Networking Break (1 available)
  • Copper Sponsorships – $2,500
  • Bronze Sponsorships – $1,000 (open to registered small businesses and nonprofits only)

Click here to view more information about the sponsorship packages or contact Kristin Slocum to sign up.

 


Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Gary Gallegos
Executive Director, San Diego Association of Governments

Gary Gallegos is the Executive Director of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and a Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member. He is a nationally recognized expert in transportation, land use, regional public policy making and bi-national planning and diplomacy.

Mr. Gallegos leads a staff of about 300 professionals who develop public policy initiatives for elected officials on numerous issues encompassing population growth, transportation, environmental management, economic development, municipal finance, binational coordination and public safety.

SANDAG is the leading research, planning and transportation agency for the San Diego region. The agency builds consensus; makes strategic plans; obtains and allocates resources; plans, engineers and builds public transportation, and provides information on a broad range of topics pertinent to the region’s quality of life. Agency policymakers are elected officials from each of the area’s 18 cities and the county.

Under his direction, SANDAG in October 2011 became the first Metropolitan Planning Organization to adopt a Regional Transportation Plan with a Sustainable Communities Strategy, in accordance with California Senate Bill 375. The 2050 RTP/SCS lays out how $214 billion will be spent by mid-century to address transportation needs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve quality of life.

Mr. Gallegos’ recent accomplishments at SANDAG also include overseeing the completion of the Interstate 15 Express Lanes, a $1.3 billion expressway within a freeway, and spearheading the acquisition of the State Route 125 toll road, commonly known as the South Bay Expressway, for $341.5 million.

In January of 2003, Mr. Gallegos ushered SANDAG into a new, expanded role. State Senate Bill 1703 consolidated the responsibilities of SANDAG with many of the functions of the Metropolitan Transit Development Board and the North County Transit Development Board, allowing SANDAG to assume regional transit planning, funding allocation, project development and eventually construction.

In 2004, Mr. Gallegos led the charge to extend TransNet, a regional half-cent sales tax for transportation; 67 percent of county voters approved the extension. Administered by SANDAG, the original 20-year TransNet program generated $3.3 billion to fund highway, transit and local road projects. The 40-year TransNet extension will raise another $14 billion for similar improvements. Gallegos also led the effort to create the TransNet Early Action Projects program, which focuses on jump-starting construction of the top priority transportation infrastructure projects and programs identified in the Regional Transportation Plan.

Most recently, Mr. Gallegos has worked with partner agencies toward securing the federal and state approvals necessary to create a third international border crossing in San Diego County – Otay Mesa East – and a short connecting highway. SANDAG will administer a toll that will generate funds to pay for the facility.

In addition, Mr. Gallegos is the Chief Executive Officer of the SANDAG Service Bureau, the nonprofit public benefit corporation chartered by SANDAG.

Prior to joining SANDAG in 2001, Mr. Gallegos held the position of District Director for Caltrans District 11, covering San Diego and Imperial Counties. Mr. Gallegos holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of New Mexico. He is a registered civil engineer.


Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Brad Kuhn

Attorney and Partner, Nossaman LLP

Brad Kuhn is an attorney and partner at Nossaman LLP and a Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member. Nossaman LLP is one of the leading law firms delivering legal expertise and policy advice to clients across California and the nation — with a focus on transportation and infrastructure project delivery, including procurement, finance, environmental approval and delivery of right-of-way.

Mr. Kuhn serves as the Chair of Nossaman’s Eminent Domain and Valuation Practice Group, likely the largest group of skilled eminent domain attorneys in California. He handles a wide variety of real estate matters, and places a particular emphasis on eminent domain, inverse condemnation, regulatory takings and valuation matters. He provides strategic advice to public agencies to creatively resolve complex land acquisition and valuation disputes through effective planning and litigation practices. Mr. Kuhn has successfully overseen many of the most significant infrastructure projects in California, and he has handled some of the largest, multi-million dollar eminent domain and valuation cases in California.

Mr. Kuhn’s track record of success has resulted in numerous accolades and recognitions, such as:

  • “Top 20 Under 40,” Daily Journal, a recognition given to the top 20 lawyers in California that are on the cutting edge of legal issues, and who are making an impact on changing an industry, region or society;
  • “Top Rated Lawyer in Land Use and Zoning,” American Lawyer;
  • “Best Land Use/Zoning Attorney in Orange County,” OC Metro/Orange County Register;
  • “Southern California Rising Star,” Los Angeles Magazine, a designation only given to the top 2.5% of attorneys in California; and
  • AV-Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell, a significant rating accomplishment given to only those attorneys who exhibit the highest level of professional excellence based on a review of their peers.

Mr. Kuhn is actively involved in California’s transportation industry. In addition to serving on the Advisory Board for Mobility 21, he also serves on the Executive Board of the Riverside/San Bernardino Chapter of the International Right of Way Association, the United States’ premier organization for right of way acquisition. He also participates on the Eminent Domain & Land Use Committee for the Transportation Research Board. Given his expertise, Mr. Kuhn is routinely called upon to present on appraisal, valuation and property acquisition-related topics across California and the United States. He also regularly writes articles on court decisions and policies impacting eminent domain for the Daily Journal, Law 360, and on the Firm’s California Eminent Domain Report blog.

Mr. Kuhn assists many of Southern California’s transportation agencies with project delivery and right-of-way acquisition, including Los Angeles County Metro (Westside Subway and LAX/Crenshaw Projects), San Bernardino Associated Governments (sbX E-Street Corridor BRT and Downtown Passenger Rail Projects), San Diego Association of Governments (Mid-Coast Transit Corridor, South Bay BRT, Sorrento Valley Double Track, and Inland Rail Trails Projects) and Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (Expo Line Project).

Mr. Kuhn earned his degree from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, cum laude, and his Juris Doctorate from Chapman University School of Law, magna cum laude. He has spent his entire career at Nossaman. Mr. Kuhn lives in San Clemente with his wife, Nicole, and their two sons, Preston and Jack.


Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight

CH2M HILL is an employee-owned consulting, design, design-build, operations and program management firm. The people of CH2M HILL are forward-looking, innovative experts and leaders who perform at their best. Because the firm is employee owned, we chart our own course and make the business decisions that are best for our employees and clients. We help our clients succeed through collaboration, careful cost management and high levels of quality and value maintained on every project, large or small, around the globe.

“M21 is a great organization that assists the local transportation agencies in keeping Southern California moving. M21 has created a forum to support state and local collaboration, influence transportation legislation and support local sales tax measures,” said CH2M HILL’s Sam Hout, Senior Vice President of Southern California Transportation and Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member. “I am proud to be on the M21 Advisory Board in our Southern California region to continue speaking with one voice in regards to transportation solutions.”

What CH2M HILL does: We provide full-spectrum strategy, planning, design, design-build, operations and maintenance and program management services that meet the specific needs of our clients and their communities. CH2M HILL delivers consistent focus and commitment on projects of all sizes and scope, anywhere in the world, and especially in the state of California. CH2M HILL is committed to making California the best place to live, work and play. We provide innovative and holistic solutions to complex problems, and include environmental, social and economic sustainability best practices as integral parts of our approach.

How CH2M HILL does it: We help our clients achieve their goals by listening and understanding their needs, then delivering customized solutions in a flexible and responsive manner. We respect our people, our partners and our planet. Our work is rooted in the values of trust, accountability, humility and ethical personal and corporate behavior.

What clients get: When working with CH2M HILL, clients enjoy peace of mind. They receive lasting value from the proven experience, services and solutions we provide. Our clients rely on us to work alongside them to solve their unique project challenges, each one different from the next, and to do the right thing. Clients who work with CH2M HILL safely develop their communities; achieve their business, social, economic and environmental goals; and enhance quality of life for their constituents.


Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight

Skanska shares Mobility 21’s mission to support the transportation infrastructure that will keep Southern California growing and thriving for generations to come.

We’ve been part of the region’s growth since 1919. We built many of the freeways that connect our region. Today, we’re improving them to handle modern needs while also constructing many of the new transit lines that will enable better mobility throughout our communities.

Projects like the Exposition Line Phase 2 extension to Santa Monica show the possibilities. Instead of hoping for the best of traffic on the 10 freeway, residents will soon have a dependable link from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica. That’s a game changer. This design-build project is also driving jobs and opportunities for local businesses, including certified disadvantaged business enterprises.

The Expo line, like many other projects, is funded through initiatives like Measure R. While we believe similar efforts are needed, it is clear that Southern California needs additional funding routes to fully tackle its transportation needs. That’s why we also encourage the extension of existing legislation that enables large-scale public-private partnerships

Southern California is growing and moving better than ever. It needs every tool at its disposal in order to support that growth and thrive.


Metros next CEO Phillip Washington flanked by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts. Photo: Steve Hymon/Metro.

Mayor Garcetti Announces Phillip Washington
As New Metro CEO

Excerpt from Metros The Source

On Thursday, March 12, L.A. Mayor and Metro Chair Eric Garcetti announced that the Metro Board had appointed Phillip Washington as the next CEO of Metro.

“Phil Washington is the ideal person to manage our $36 billion transportation infrastructure program to ease congestion, cut smog and boost our economy for decades to come,” Mayor Garcetti said. “Phil Washington’s track record of maximizing project efficiency, securing much-needed funding and increasing customer service will well-serve Metro riders and taxpayers.”

Washington comes to Metro from Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) where he was unanimously selected as RTD’s CEO in December 2009 after serving as interim CEO for 6 months and the Assistant General Manager for nearly ten years.

“I am excited to help Mayor Garcetti and the Metro Board deliver the best possible transit experience and infrastructure for the L.A. area,” Washington said.

In Denver, Washington was implementing the FasTracks program, one of the largest voter-approved transit expansion programs in the country. He was responsible for a total agency budget appropriation of $2.8 billion and managed more than $5 billion in active transit expansion projects. Under his management, RTD’s West Line Rail was completed eight months earlier and under budget and the award-winning Denver Union Station was completed 5 months ahead of schedule.

In 2012, Washington’s emphasis on safety training led to a 40 percent decrease in preventable bus accidents and he has achieved an on time bus and rail rate of 90 percent and a 96 percent ADA on time performance.

Originally from the south side of Chicago, Washington is a 24-year veteran of the United States Army where he held the rank of Command Sergeant Major, the highest non-commissioned officer rank an enlisted person can achieve. Washington holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Columbia College and a M.A. in Management from Webster University.


Metrolink Board Chairman Shawn Nelson and incoming Metrolink CEO and current Metro CEO Art Leahy. Photo: Metrolink.

Metrolink Hires Art Leahy as Next CEO

The Metrolink Board of Directors announced Art Leahy will become the agency’s next CEO effective April 20, 2015. The motion and contract was unanimously approved.

“When the position became available at Metrolink, I was immediately intrigued,” Leahy said. “Having had the opportunity to work at both Metro and Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), I have witnessed first-hand the incredible diligence of the Metrolink staff, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to further grow and enhance Southern California’s six-county rail system.”

The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), the agency that governs Metrolink, is made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. In addition to those counties, Metrolink provides service into northern San Diego County.

“As a board, we could not be more excited about Art deciding to take the helm of Metrolink,” said Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson, chair of the Metrolink Board of Directors. “Given Art’s leadership at Metro, along with his previous stewardship of OCTA, he brings a unique perspective of leadership at the highest levels of transportation that will be of tremendous value to Metrolink.”

One of the nation’s leading transit officials, Leahy served as chief executive officer of Metro for six years. During that time, he guided implementation of one of the largest public works programs in United States history, securing billions in federal and state dollars to help finance construction of dozens of transit and highway projects.

Prior to his tenure as Metro CEO, Leahy led OCTA (2001-2009) and served as the general manager of Metro Transit (1997-2001) in Minneapolis-St. Paul.


Valley Express Launches Local
Transit Service in Heritage Valley

Residents of the Heritage Valley can now enjoy local fixed-route transit service, thanks to the Valley Express. The service kicked off with a day of free rides on the local fixed-route service on March 2.

Prior to the Valley Express, the communities of the Heritage Valley – Fillmore, Piru and Santa Paula – had been served only by the VISTA Dial-A-Ride and Ventura County Transportation Commission’s (VCTC) Highway 126 route. The Dial-A-Ride service, while popular, had not kept pace with the needs of the community, particularly with respect to student transportation.

In 2013, VCTC completed its Heritage Valley Transit Study, which assessed community demographics, travel patterns, transit usage and mobility needs. Surveys and community outreach were used to gather as much input from residents as possible. The study ultimately recommended the development of a fixed-route transit service with a supporting dial-a-ride program.

The service is a collaboration by the cities of Fillmore and Santa Paula, the County of Ventura and the Ventura County Transportation Commission. A local Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) made up of representatives from the four partners guides decision-making for Valley Express.

VCTC assists with the administration of the service. Service was formally launched on Monday, March 2, with a public event at Santa Paula City Hall. Local elected officials and members of the community were invited to learn more about the service, attend the ribbon-cutting and see the new vehicles.


RPRP logo

 

 

Redlands Passenger Rail Gets Final
NOD of Approval for Environmental Clearance

The San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) received the Notice of Determination (NOD) of its Redlands Passenger Rail Project Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) in a public hearing and Board meeting on March 4. The Board determined the report met all review processes required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Having also received the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Record of Decision on Feb. 17, the project is now cleared for final design and construction.

“After years of studying alternatives to reduce San Bernardino County travel congestion, we have approval to move forward on a passenger rail solution that will connect residents and businesses with systems across the region,” said SANBAG Board President L. Dennis Michael. “The project offers a reliable transportation alternative that also improves air quality and supports economic development.”

Rail connectivity has been a long-standing commitment of Measure I. Projected population growth and increased congestion, along with physical barriers like the Santa Ana River and Interstate 10 led SANBAG to look at alternative cost-effective travel options for communities along the Redlands Corridor. The Redlands Passenger Rail Study became a key project for the voters’ consideration.

The EIS/EIR outlines SANBAG’s detailed process of reviewing and eliminating alternatives based on environmental and social impacts. SANBAG studied significant potential effects like land use and planning, air emissions, noise levels, visual aesthetics, floodplains and hydrology. Other transit alternatives, like light rail and bus rapid transit, were removed from consideration due to additional property acquisition requirements and longer travel times.

The Locally Preferred Alternative, as designated by the SANBAG Board, runs along the existing railroad right-of-way from E Street in San Bernardino east to the City of Redlands, roughly a nine-mile extension of passenger rail service ending at the University of Redlands. Other features of the EIS/EIR Local Preferred Alternative include:

  • Passenger rail service of up to 25 average daily trips, connecting to other regional transit modes with access to Los Angeles, employment and shopping centers throughout the Inland Empire, and destinations in the San Bernardino Mountains and high desert.
  • Majority use of existing SANBAG right-of-way.
  • New track and replacement/retrofit of existing bridges.
  • Passenger boarding at four new stations; with station stops at five locations (from San Bernardino Transit Center).
  • Use of existing train layover and maintenance facility.
  • Safety improvements at 22 at-grade crossings, including Quiet Zones (determined by Memorandums of Understanding with the Cities of Redlands and San Bernardino on Feb. 4, 2015).
  • Five public at-grade crossings closures for added safety.
  • Use of Diesel Multiple Units with Tier 4 emissions technology that are smaller, quieter and more efficient than standard passenger locomotive hauled units.

Funding for the $242 million project is anticipated to come from a combination of local, state and federal sources. These sources include Measure I; State Transit Assistance Funds and Proposition 1B; Federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) Funds; and Federal 5307 and 5309 Grants. In addition, the Redlands Passenger Rail project has private investment for the completion of rail stations.

According to Jack Dangermond, Esri president, “The Redlands Passenger Rail will offer an attractive travel alternative and efficiently move employees and visitors in and out of Esri’s global headquarters every day. The alternative also will divert cars off the roads, enabling greater potential for the movement of goods. I expect this project will transform the capability of economic growth in the Inland Empire.”

Since SANBAG began the CEQA and NEPA process on the project in early 2012, SANBAG has consulted stakeholders and the public for input on the project, including four formal public comment periods, a project website, media notices and public open houses and presentations. Next steps include the final design and construction, which could begin as soon as late-2015, with operation in 2018; however, construction and operation schedules may vary based on procurement of rail vehicles, commuter rail service options along the corridor, and availability of funding.

The CEQA NOD was filed with the State Clearinghouse and San Bernardino County Clerk upon approval. To review the Final EIS/EIR and follow updates on the project, please visit the SANBAG website at www.sanbag.ca.gov.


Sign Up to Receive Free Subscription to ACCESS Magazine

Mobility 21 members have an exclusive opportunity to receive a complimentary subscription to ACCESS Magazine! ACCESS reports on research funded by the University of California Center on Economic Competitiveness in Transportation (UCCONNECT). The goal of ACCESS is to translate academic research into readable prose that is useful for policymakers and practitioners. Articles in ACCESS catapult academic research into debates about public policy, and convert knowledge into action. To receive a free subscription, please follow this link.


Southern California Logistics &
Supply Chain Summit

Thursday, April 23
Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center, Pomona
More Info | Register | Sponsor

Use promo code 15Mobility21 in order to purchase tickets for $99; this code will work up until the week of the event.

The 2015 Southern California Logistics & Supply Chain Summit is the premier annual event that addresses the entire Southern California network of logistics and supply chain interconnectivity within Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and the Inland Empire. From the ports, to the railways and trucking, to air cargo and warehousing – Southern California is like no other region in the country.

More that 500 of the region’s top logistics and supply chain leaders will gather to discuss the current state of affairs as well as the future trends that will impact Southern California’s ever expanding logistics and supply chain network. Engaging panel discussions and keynote insights will be combined with more than a dozen topical breakout sessions to offer attendees a comprehensive view of the industry and critical information needed to capitalize on this region’s astounding economic growth.


Join SCAG@50!

May 7-8
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, Palm Desert
More Info | Register | Sponsor

Did you know that the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink), HOV lanes and ridesharing were ideas that took root at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)? Celebrate the past, present and future at SCAG’s 2015 Regional Conference and General Assembly, May 7-8, at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa. The event will commemorate 50 years of regional collaboration and service to SCAG’s 191 member cities and six counties as well as engage attendees in envisioning a sustainable future for Southern California. The Regional Conference and General Assembly will feature networking opportunities, sponsor exhibits, the annual Sustainability Awards as well as breakout panels on new automated vehicle technology, how sharing apps are poised to transform the goods movement industry, innovative approaches to improving transit access and increasing ridership, and others. The event will culminate with a blast into the past at the gala celebration dinner and evening post-reception.


Transportation Events in the Community

Tuesday, April 7
Forecast LA
More info | Register

Tuesday, April 7
Southern California Regional Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials: Building Ladders of Opportunity – A Pathway to Transportation
More info | Register

Tuesday, April 14
WTS-LA: Reception for FTA Senior Advisor Carolyn Flowers
More info | Register

May 4-7
ACT Expo 2015
More info | Register

Tuesday, May 5
LA Chamber: World Trade Week Kickoff Breakfast
More info | Register

May 7-8
SCAG: Regional Conference and General Assembly
More info | Register

May 11-15
Infrastructure Week 2015
More info

Wednesday, May 20
California Transit Association: Spring Legislative Conference
More info | Register

May 20-22
WTS International: Annual Conference in Chicago
More info | Register

Thursday, May 21
California Transportation Foundation Awards
More info | Register

Thursday, June 18
SANBAG: General Assembly
More info

Thursday, June 25
FuturePorts: Strong Ports=Strong California Conference
More info | Register

Friday, Aug. 28
Mobility 21: 2015 Summit at Disneyland Hotel
Sponsor

Nov. 15-17
Self-Help Counties Coalition: Focus on the Future Conference
More info

Nov. 18-20
California Transit Association: Fall Conference and Expo
More info

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