Blog

Forward Motion, August 2021

Mobility 21 Virtual Summit Agenda Announced!
Late Registration Closes Sept. 17!

The 2021 Mobility 21 Summit agenda is now available to view online! Click here to plan your day on Thursday, Sept. 30 and Friday, Oct. 1.

Closing Session Highlight:
Mobility 21 Officers’ Roundtable: Infrastructure Outlook – Projects, Jobs and the Economy
The transportation world in the summer of 2021 has been consumed with watching the progress, or lack therein, of the Infrastructure Bill discussion in Congress. But even as Congress continues to discuss how best to partner with states and local agencies for the foreseeable future, Southern California transportation agencies and civic organizations that support transportation improvements have been creatively and robustly utilizing available funds, maximizing the pandemic shutdowns for construction projects and rethinking transit service and how to best interact with our communities. In this Closing Session, the Executive Board of Mobility 21 will share their thoughts on the intersection of transportation projects, job creation and a recovering economy, and discuss where we go from here.

View full agenda here!

Agenda:
Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021
(9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Expo Hall Open)
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Opening General Session
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Breakout Sessions
1: Chairs’ Roundtable: Road to Recovery
2: Southern California’s Global Ports & Supply Chain
3: Carbon Neutral 2045
4: Are Employees Quitting to Reduce Commutes?
10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Luncheon General Session
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Face Time with Regional Executives
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
Keynote Speaker

Friday, Oct. 1, 2021
(9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Expo Hall Open )
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Breakout Sessions
5: Transportation Advocacy: Life After COVID
6: Equity Not Forgotten
7: Contractors Roundtable: Crossing the Finish Line
8: How Do We Plan Transportation and Housing Together?
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Closing General Session
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Face Time with Regional Executives

Registration:
Late Registration: $325 (closes Sept. 17!)
Student/Military Personnel: $165



Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Sarah Catz
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 Researcher 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 a 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 was recently appointed to the University of California Institute of Transportation Studies Board of Advisors. She is also an attorney and public affairs consultant.

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.


Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Joe Toolson
Senior Vice President and South West Area Regional Manager
Mott MacDonald

M. Joseph Toolson is currently Senior Vice President and South West Area Regional Manager for Mott MacDonald (MM). As a part of this international full-service engineering organization of over 16,000 employees world-wide, he brings expertise in Rail and Transit, Highways and Bridges, Utilities, Airports, and transportation program systems delivery. He is a student of project implementation in completing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Structural Engineering from San Jose State University in 1988. He has furthered his education through international training at MM.

Throughout his 30-year career, he has focused in different sectors of transportation from planning, engineering, and environmental, to design, and construction implementation, and claims. He has a firm understanding of the issues which surround project delivery specifically in transportation infrastructure which he has learned from his participation with multiple self-help county programs starting with the original Measure A in Santa Clara County legislated to improve regional transportation. Along with this program in Santa Clara, he has supported the project delivery teams associated with many other transportation improvement programs throughout the State of California such as those in Alameda, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Orange Counties.

Aside from fulfilling his role as a South West Regional Manager for MM, Mr. Toolson has also served many major regional projects including the OC Bridges grade separations, SR-22 Design-Build, and I-405 Improvement Project as a technical consultant lead for the Orange County Transportation Authority. Mr. Toolson’s past roles have also included serving as a practice lead for MM for Highways and Bridges and Deputy Practice Lead for the Program Management practice.


Rebar matting in place on the I-405 S, Huntingdon Beach, CA

Summit Titanium Sponsor Spotlight:
Jacobs

Here in Southern California, Jacobs takes on our clients’ most complex transportation projects; while globally, we are solving infrastructure challenges in ways not thought of before. Our passion lies in helping our clients in every aspect of mobility.

Our diverse and inclusive workforce brings different capabilities and perspectives to everything we do. The projects we help deliver establish the backbone of productive, economically strong communities as assets essential to commerce, trade, public safety, and quality of life. We thrive on the larger purpose behind what we build—linking communities, creating vibrant and sustainable places, advancing economic and social flexibility and equity, and developing the next generation of professionals that will drive infrastructure development into the future. We are a proud partner of Mobility 21 and its member agencies, and will continue to provide solutions for a more connected, sustainable world. For more information, contact Judy.Johnson@Jacobs.com.


The Orange County Transportation Authority introduced a discounted Welcome Pass and made additional changes to OC Bus services to remain flexible to riders needs and encourage them to safely return to public transit. Photo courtesy of OCTA.

OCTA Welcomes Riders with Additional Service, Discounted ‘Welcome Pass’

Additional service change shows OCTA’s continuing flexibility to serve ridership demands and focus on safety during ongoing COVID-19 challenges

The Orange County Transportation Authority in mid-August increased OC Bus service on several routes and introduced a discounted Welcome Pass to encourage riders to safely return to using public transportation.

The OC Bus August service change was approved by the OCTA board as an additional change to Orange County bus service. This is in addition to the scheduled changes to service that take place three times a year, in February, June and October.

“OCTA continues to respond to the needs of OC Bus riders during the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said OCTA Chairman Andrew Do. “We will always keep the safety of our passengers and employees as the first priority, while ensuring the best level of transit services so our residents, workers and visitors can get where they need to be.”

As part of the service change, which took effect on Sunday, Aug. 15:

  • 289 additional bus trips were added throughout the county
  • More frequent service was added on 14 routes
  • Improved hours of operation with earlier and/or later service was added on 19 routes
  • Two routes previously suspended were added back.

At the same time, OCTA introduced a Welcome Pass, which can save riders up to 40 percent compared to the already affordable OC Bus passes.

Options for the Welcome Pass include:

  • Five one-day Welcome Passes for $15 (a $10 savings compared to the regular price).
  • A 30-day Welcome Pass for $40 (a $29 savings over a traditional 30-day pass).

Welcome Passes are good for use between Aug. 15 and Nov. 15, 2021. Once activated, the 30-day Welcome Pass must be used for 30 consecutive days during this time period.

Information on the Welcome Pass is available online at www.ocbus.com/welcome.

In September, OCTA is also introducing a six-month promotional Youth Ride Free Pass, which will allow passengers ages 18 and under to ride any OCTA fixed-route bus in Orange County for free.

Throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis, OCTA has remained flexible and committed to protecting the health of the public and employees. That initially meant reducing service to encourage the public to only take essential trips, and adding numerous safety measures to OC Buses, including hand-sanitizer stations and free face coverings for those who needed them.

As the number of coronavirus cases receded and more businesses reopened, OCTA has gradually added back service to meet the increasing ridership demand. Last week, OC Bus ridership reached an average of 71,000 daily riders, the highest number since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

Safety remains the priority and masks are still required to be worn aboard all OC Bus and OC ACCESS paratransit buses.

The next OC Bus service adjustment is scheduled for October and then again in February 2022. But OCTA will make changes, as needed, to respond to the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.

For more information, visit www.ocbus.com.


New Schedules Start Sept. 12: Expect Additional Bus and Subway Trips

Metro normally updates schedules every June and December, but as we recover from COVID-19 and restore bus service to pre-pandemic levels, we’re making another update in September.

Beginning Sunday, Sept. 12, we’re adjusting some routes and adding more bus trips to accommodate returning students and other riders. Some bus stops have also been removed to improve travel times.

The following lines will have additional trips weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays:

  • 2, 4, 16, 33, 45, 55, 70, 76, 92, 110, 117, 152, 162, 165, 169, 206, 212, 224,
    242/243, 246, 258, 602, 690

WEEKDAYS, the following lines will have additional trips:

  • 10, 14, 28, 40, 51, 53, 78/79, 81, 90, 108, 111, 115, 120, 127, 150, 161, 164, 166, 204, 230, 233, 234, 236, 237, 240, 251, 256, 344, 550, 662, 690, 720, 754, 761, 901, 910
  • Peak period headways on the B Line (Red) and D Line (Purple) will increase to trains every 10 minutes.

SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS, the following lines have additional trips:

  • 154, 155, 210

Metro Micro will also begin service in a new zone, the Northwest San Fernando Valley, on Sept. 12. Hours of operation are Monday through Sunday, 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Rides are $1 and can be booked via the Metro Micro app, online at book.metro-micro.net or by calling 323.GOMETRO.

Check for changes to your bus line with our online tool at metro.net/mybus. A brochure summarizing all bus service changes is also available here. If you use Transit app, Metro’s official smartphone app, schedule changes will appear by Sept. 12.

At this time, we are not collecting fare on buses. Regular fares apply on Metro Rail and other services.

Reminder: masks are still required when riding public transit. Please be sure to wear a mask on Metro.


SCAG Regional Planning Working Groups

As SCAG is in the beginning stages of development for Connect SoCal, the 2024 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS), we are eager to share the “relaunch” of our Regional Planning Working Groups!

The Regional Planning Working Groups (RPWG) are a forum for SCAG staff to engage stakeholders in the development and implementation of plans and policies to advance the region’s mobility, economy, and sustainability.

To help us better serve our stakeholders, we have consolidated the previous groups into four streamlined RPWGs.

The Active Transportation, Go Human Steering Committee and Transportation Safety groups will be the Safe and Active Streets RPWG. The Public Health and Environment Justice working groups will now be the Equity RPWG. The Natural & Farm Lands Conservation will remain the same. And the Sustainable Communities and Climate Adaptation groups will be renamed Sustainable & Resilient Communities.

This update will not affect the status of participants in their current group(s) and there is no need to rejoin. If you would like to join one of the groups or otherwise modify your status, please click here.

For more information, please visit the RPWG website, the primary source for general RPWG updates, upcoming meeting dates and meeting materials.


Project rendering of the Jurupa Road Underpass in Jurupa Valley. Measure A, the 2003 voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements in Riverside County, helped bridge a $25 million funding gap, allowing construction to begin in early August.

Riverside County Measure A Sales Tax Measure Bridges Funding Gap for New Road/Rail Underpass in Jurupa Valley

The stretch of Van Buren Boulevard in Jurupa Valley between Clay Street and Route 60 is a vital corridor for motorists, Union Pacific Railroad, and Metrolink passengers. Cars and trains run parallel to each other for much of the corridor and even cross at busy intersections, including Jurupa Road. The County of Riverside has ranked the Jurupa Road at-grade crossing as its highest priority for separating cars from trains.

In July, the Riverside County Transportation Commission approved $25 million in funding from Measure A, the 2003 voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements in Riverside County. This allocation will provide the final piece of project funding, which is comprised primarily of $108.4 million from Senate Bill 132 enacted in 2017. The County of Riverside is the lead agency for the project. Measure A will make up a funding shortfall caused by the need to design a pump station for drainage, additional right of way costs, and higher construction costs than originally estimated.

The project will improve safety, traffic flow, and reduce air pollution in this area. Regional population growth and rail freight traffic from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have increased congestion and delays at the existing at-grade crossing. These delays affect motorists, residents, businesses, pedestrians, air quality, and emergency vehicle access and response times. The project will enhance speed, efficiency, and reliability of freight and Metrolink trains in Riverside County by eliminating conflicts between trains and vehicles.

“RCTC is gratified to fill the funding gap and move this project closer to construction. Like all of the projects we fund and deliver, safety is our guiding principle. This project in Jurupa Valley is no exception,” said RCTC Chair and Palm Desert Mayor Pro Tem Jan Harnik.

When completed, the new underpass on Jurupa Road will cross beneath the train tracks and Van Buren Boulevard with the addition of a connector road to Van Buren from Jurupa Road. Construction began in August and is expected to take about two years.


Orange County Community Indicators Report

The results of the 2021-22 Orange County Community Indicators Report will be presented at a virtual event on September 16, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The Report that tracks the region’s health, prosperity, and where the county is performing and making progress, and includes the latest data and trends on transportation, infrastructure, housing, jobs, health, and other key metrics to help Orange County plan for the future.


 

 

2021 Virtual Focus on the Future Conference

The Self-Help Counties Coalition leadership will once again be hosting the 32nd Annual Focus on the Future Conference in a virtual conference setting Monday, Nov. 15 and Tuesday, Nov. 16, at a reduced rate.

The agenda will include educational sessions such as project delivery, revenue funding, BIG DATA, organizational management during and post-COVID and the future of the highway, The conference will also include the ever so popular CEO and Agency Staff Roundtables, in addition to a vendor networking showcase.

Educational sessions will be recorded, allowing attendees from around the state to participate on their own schedule. All sessions and the platform will be available for viewing six months post-conference. You must be registered to access the platform and sessions.


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