Forward Motion, December 2018

Mobility 21 Honors SoCal Dignitaries at
Annual Legislative Reception

Last Friday, the Mobility 21 Board of Directors hosted a legislative reception honoring Southern California’s elected officials for their leadership in transportation. The intimate and exclusive event also included leading public and private sector members from our Advisory Board who are shaping the future of transportation and mobility in the region.

Dignitaries in attendance included:

  • Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard
  • Assemblymember Steven Choi
  • Assemblymember Laura Friedman
  • Assemblymember Miguel Santiago
  • City of Highland Mayor Larry McCallon
  • City of Glendale Councilmember Ara Najarian
  • SCAG President and City of Ontario Mayor Pro Tem Alan Wapner

Mobility 21 to Host 5th Annual
Sacramento Legislative Reception

Join the Mobility 21 Board of Directors and Advisory Board Members in honoring California’s transportation leaders at a reception in Sacramento.

Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

The Citizen Hotel
926 J Street, Sacramento

Sponsor the Event
$1,000: Includes complimentary attendance for three and logo on promotional materials and signage at the event
$500 (open to registered small businesses and nonprofits only): Includes complimentary attendance for one and company name on promotional materials and signage at the event

Contact Kristin Slocum to sponsor the event.

$65 Private Sector
$35 Public Sector/Nonprofit
Elected Officials and Elected Staff complimentary

Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Hasan Ikhrata
Executive Director, San Diego Association of Governments

Considered one of the preeminent transportation planning experts in the nation, Hasan Ikhrata is the Executive Director of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). 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. Hasan leads a staff of about 350 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.

Hasan has over 30 years of public and private sector transportation planning experience in the region. As Executive Director of SANDAG, he directs day-to-day operations of the agency and implements policies set by its governing board. In addition, Hasan is the Chief Executive Officer of the SANDAG Service Bureau, the nonprofit public benefit corporation chartered by SANDAG.

Hasan has received several awards and honors from various organizations and agencies including the American Society of Public Administration, Southern California Leadership Council, Orange County Transportation Authority, Orange County Business Council, League of California Cities, City of Los Angeles, State of California Certificate of Recognition, Association of the San Bernardino County Special Districts, the Building Industry Association, regional chapters of the Women’s Transportation Seminar and numerous others.

Hasan holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Civil and Industrial Engineering from Zaporozhye University in the former Soviet Union; a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from UCLA, and a PhD Candidacy in Urban Planning and Transportation from the University of Southern California.

Prior to joining SANDAG in 2018, Hasan worked for Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).

Hasan is an adjunct professor in the business school at California State University, Northridge.

Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Stephen J. Polechronis
Senior Vice President, Regional Business Line Leader – Transportation, AECOM

Stephen Polechronis is a transportation industry executive and project manager with extensive transit project management experience, including development, design, and construction of light rail, heavy rail subway, and commuter rail projects. His project management experience includes complex multi-disciplinary assignments at all stages of project development from concept to commissioning.

Concurrent with his project work, Stephen has held a number of executive positions with AECOM Transportation including his current assignment as AECOM’s Transportation Regional Business Line Leader in Greater Southern California and Nevada. Previously, Stephen had responsibility for the development of AECOM’s Latin American transportation initiative, business development in AECOM’s Western Region, was Director of West Program Management, West Coast Unit Manager, Western United States Transit Director, and West Coast Regional Manager of Business Development. He has held positions with both P&L and business development responsibility.

Stephen was the recipient of the 2016 Honorable Ray LaHood Man of the Year Award, Women’s Transportation Seminar, Los Angeles Chapter, is active in APTA, CMAA and the Central City Association of Los Angeles.

Rendering from Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies.

Metro and ARTT Co-sign Letter of Intent to Begin Negotiations on Developing Gondola to Dodger Stadium

Metro announced this month that it has signed a Letter of Intent with Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies LLC (ARTT), an action that formally begins the negotiations necessary to make a privately-funded aerial gondola to Dodgers Stadium a reality.

“This is a critical milestone in developing an innovative and exciting way for Dodgers fans to get to the game while reducing traffic,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “For the sixth year in a row, the Dodgers have led Major League Baseball in attendance and we want to keep that streak going by finding ways to make it more convenient to reach the stadium.”

The Letter of Intent signals Metro’s interest in implementing the project and moves it from the Unsolicited Proposals evaluation stage to project development. Metro and ARTT will now negotiate to reach agreements on roles and responsibilities for planning and constructing the gondola.

“The Dodgers are excited that Metro is moving forward with new, innovative ways for people to get to and from Dodger Stadium,” said Tucker Kain, Chief Financial Officer of the Los Angeles Dodgers. “We will continue to work with local agencies and community groups on ways to improve the stadium experience for Dodger fans, stadium visitors, employees and local residents.”

“The signing of a letter of intent with Metro is a critical step in building the gondola between Union Station and Dodger Stadium,” said ARTT Project Manager, Martha Welborne. “This privately-funded, zero-emission transit line will have the capacity to move thousands of people every hour while reducing traffic and directly linking Dodger Stadium with the region’s public transit system. We look forward to working with Metro staff to get the aerial off the ground and fans flying to the stadium in 2022.”

Metro has run the popular Dodger Stadium Express free bus service from Union Station since 2010. A second route between Harbor Gateway Transit Center in the South Bay and the ballpark was added in 2015.

A gondola and other options for improving access to Dodger Stadium were part of an informational study in 1990 by the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, which later merged with the RTD to form Metro.

The idea was never pursued until earlier this year when ARTT revived the concept and submitted an unsolicited proposal to Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation.

Metro created its Unsolicited Proposals program in 2016 to encourage innovation through partnerships with the private sector that would not have occurred through the agency’s normal procurement process.

“This proposal is precisely the kind of out-of-the-box thinking we envisioned when we set up our Unsolicited Proposals process,” said Metro Chief Innovation Officer Joshua Schank. “By allowing potential partners to come to us with ideas and solutions, Metro has positioned itself to tap into the creativeness and ingenuity of private sector innovation.”

The Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors recently approved the Long Range Transportation Plan, which guides the vision for transportation planning in Orange County for the next 20 years. OCTA completes a long-range plan every four years. Photo courtesy of OCTA.

OCTA Vision Invests $43 Billion in Transportation Future

The Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors has approved a $43.4 billion plan that will serve as a blueprint for how people move throughout the county for the next two decades and beyond.

OCTA, the county’s transportation planning agency, develops a Long-Range Transportation Plan every four years, taking into consideration changing demographics and anticipated growth in travel demand.

A copy of the plan, called Designing Tomorrow, can be reviewed online at

“OCTA has earned a reputation for delivering a reliable state-of-the-art transportation system for Orange County,” said OCTA Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, also the county’s Fifth District Supervisor. “It is precisely this kind of planning, with input from the public and collaboration with our stakeholders, that ensures we are successful in preparing for a diverse transportation future.”

The plan establishes transportation priorities and analyzes revenue challenges and emerging transportation issues and technologies.

Orange County’s population is expected to grow by 10 percent or by about 311,000 people by 2040, and employment is anticipated to grow by 17 percent – or about 275,000 jobs – over the same time period. 

By 2040, it is projected that an additional 1.7 million daily trips will occur in Orange County.

That’s a 12 percent increase compared to now. Without the OCTA plan and implementation of the projects, it’s expected that congestion would increase by an estimated 66 percent.

The LRTP identifies projects to improve roadways, public transit and bike paths, while considering evolving technologies such as autonomous vehicles and on-demand ridesharing.

The plan addresses key issues and challenges, such as the high cost of housing, limited land for expansion of freeways and streets, challenging emissions standards and an evolving public transit market.

The Measure M program, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation also known as OC Go, is the centerpiece of long-range planning. The plan includes Measure M projects and looks beyond that at additional needs in all areas of Orange County. 

To help shape the plan, OCTA sought and received extensive input from the community including: 

  • An online survey completed by more than 1,200 people
  • A telephone town hall, in which nearly 1,000 participants listened in and asked questions
  • A quantitative survey with more than 2,500 people who responded.

 Several themes emerged as transportation priorities from that input, including: 

  • Keeping Orange County moving by continuing to synchronize traffic signals, maintain local roads and improving freeways
  • Expanding transit by exploring innovative transit options
  • Using a balanced approach to transportation funding by investing across many modes of transportation to help relieve congestion.

 The plan will be submitted to the Southern California Association of Governments, where it will serve as Orange County’s input into the Regional Transportation Plan, the guiding document for regional transportation planning in Southern California.  

For more information, visit

The Riverside County Transportation Commission is continuing development of a new lane on westbound 91 between Green River Road and State Route 241 and recently improved the entrance and exit points to the 91 Express Lanes.

New Westbound 91 Lane at Green River Rd. in Corona Moving Forward; Other 91 Improvements Complete

Keeping its promise to commuters, the Riverside County Transportation Commission is continuing development of a new lane on westbound 91 between Green River Road and State Route 241 and recently improved the entrance and exit points to the 91 Express Lanes.

At its December Commission meeting, RCTC provided an update of work it has aggressively pursued since this spring to add the new lane, also referred to as the 91 Corridor Operations Project or 91 COP. Report highlights include:

  • The estimated construction cost is $36.1 million ($43 million total).
  • The 91 Express Lanes in Riverside County will experience an estimated net loss of $165.5 million in toll revenue between 2022 and 2035 due to the 91 COP.
  • Design and environmental work are ongoing concurrently and can be complete by late 2019.
  • Advertising for construction could occur in early 2020.
  • The soonest the 91 COP can be open to motorists is late 2021.

To view the presentation update, please click here.

In September, RCTC extended the northbound I-15 entrance lane to the 91 Express Lanes one mile south so that vehicles entering the express lanes can move from the general-purpose lanes sooner and help overall traffic flow on I-15. RCTC also restriped the transition point between the Riverside County and Orange County segments of the 91 Express Lanes in November to provide a smoother transition for motorists entering and exiting the express lanes. RCTC Commissioners authorized these improvements after thoroughly evaluating traffic data and listening to public suggestions.

Nominations Open for Outstanding
Southern California Sustainability Projects

Don’t miss your chance to help reward the plans and projects that have improved mobility, livability, prosperity and sustainability in Southern California! SCAG will be accepting nominations for our prestigious annual Sustainability Awards, which recognize excellence in land use and transportation planning, through Jan. 16. Nominations are open to all parties, including local governments, non-profits and private developers. SCAG’s Sustainability Awards have honored a diverse catalog of projects including community bike share programs, local general plan updates, transit fleet electrification and more. Eligible projects include plans, projects or programs completed after Jan. 1, 2015 and prior to Dec. 1, 2018.

The winners of the SCAG Sustainability Awards will be recognized at the 2019 Regional Conference and General Assembly next May. For more information and to download the nomination packet, visit the SCAG Sustainability website. Submissions are due no later than 2:00 p.m. on Jan. 16. If you have any questions, please contact India Brookover at

Toll Roads customers can now resolve toll violations at 7-Eleven locations nationwide with launch of PayNearMe Cash Payment Network.

Toll Roads Expands its Cash Payment Network –
Making it Even Easier for Drivers to Use the Toll Roads

The Toll Roads of Orange County is the largest network of toll roads in California and with more than 330,000 daily trips, cash paying customers can now process their toll payments at 7-Eleven locations nationwide using PayNearMe’s barcode technology.

As part of its continual efforts to enhance customer service, The Toll Roads is now allowing cash paying customers to process toll payments at popular retailers such as 7-Eleven. The PayNearMe system is a seamless interface with the Transportation Corridor Agencies’ back office system to post payments to appropriate customer accounts.

“Improving customer service and providing a congestion-free drive are two important goals for The Toll Roads,” said Samuel Johnson, TCA’s Chief Operating Officer. “Our customers and drivers can continue to get both with the launch of our new nationwide cash payment network.”

PayNearMe initially launched in October, allowing customers to bring their toll evasion notice into any 7-Eleven location where a store clerk will scan the barcode on the notice and collect the cash payment. Future plans include expanding the locations to other retail chains and allowing both FasTrak® and ExpressAccount® customers and non-accountholders to pay for tolls on the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads.

To-date, nearly 4,000 payments have been processed with PayNearMe from 7-Eleven locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Texas and North Carolina. Nearly 70 percent of those payments were processed for first-time customers using The Toll Roads.

PayNearMe has been processing cash payments for thousands of businesses and government agencies since 2009 and today, is accepted at over 27,000 retail locations in the U.S. The Toll Roads plans to expand its PayNearMe retail program to CVS and Family Dollar locations in spring 2019.

Kristin Decas, CEO and Port Director, and Tony Skinner, President of the IBEW Local 952, sign the historic agreement

Port of Hueneme Signs First Ever Project Labor Agreement
Keeping Labor Local for Public Works Projects

Earlier this month, Oxnard Harbor District Board of Commissioners took a historic step in signing a Project Labor Agreement. The first of its kind in the Port’s 81-year history, the Project Labor Agreement (PLA) will ensure local labor for all Port projects estimated at or over $250,000. The PLA will last for three years and may be extended by mutual consent of both the Port and the Unions.

“The Port’s priority has always been to hire contractors and labor from our local community, the PLA formalizes this priority and ensures that our projects directly support our local workers and families,” said Oxnard Harbor District President Mary Anne Rooney. “We are eager to continue moving the Port forward as the leading provider of homegrown good-paying jobs, real ladders of economic opportunity, and strong environmental leadership for our community.”

According the agreement, the parties will work toward having at least 30% of all construction labor hours worked come from qualified workers residing in the cities of Oxnard and Port Hueneme as first priority, those residing in Ventura County as second priority, and those workers residing within Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties as third priority.

“Although our cargo comes from all over the world, this agreement guarantees that we will continue to provide economic opportunity for our local workforce first and foremost,” expanded Oxnard Harbor District Board Secretary Jess Ramirez. “Our projects, and the millions of dollars the Port is planning on investing in our community, is now guaranteed to directly support our local families and workers who help us modernize our Port.”

As party to the PLA, both the Port and labor will participate in the “Helmets to Hardhats” program. This program assists in creating and maintaining an integrated database of veterans interested in working on Port projects and participating in apprenticeship opportunities.

“I would like to thank the Port and Harbor Commissioners for their leadership to accomplish this historic agreement,” stated Tony Skinner, President of the IBEW Local 952. “This PLA will go a long way in putting our local people to work, expanding our apprenticeship programs, and giving our returning veterans a place to work when they come home.”

“This agreement will provide good paying jobs for our local trades. It provides access to a reliable supply of well-trained, highly-skilled workers and helps keep projects on time and on budget. This is a real win-win for the Port, our labor force, and the community,” said Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director.

The PLA is not just for new construction projects at the Port, it will apply to all construction, abatement, demolition, renovation, rehabilitation, upgrade and improvement work and new construction projects to be performed under a contract with the Port, as well as all subcontracts flowing from those contracts.

Call for Absracts: TRB 6th International Conference on Women’s Issues in Transportation

You are invited to submit a 300-400 word abstract by Jan. 30, 2019 to have your work considered for presentation at the 2019 TRB Women’s Issues in Transportation International Conference. The 2019 Women’s Issues in Transportation International Conference will be held in Irvine, California, from Sept. 10 to 13, 2019. Potential abstract proposal topics include:

  • Women’s travel behavior patterns
  • Transportation planning and policy processes to consider women’s issues
  • Women’s safety, personal security and health considerations in transportation
  • Women and emerging transportation innovations
  • Women in the transportation workforce

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