Forward Motion, Feb. 2011

Mobility 21 to co-host reception for California Transportation Commissioners

Join Mobility 21, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and WTS San Diego for an evening of networking with transportation professionals and elected officials as we honor the California Transportation Commission (CTC) for their dedication to keeping Californians moving, even amidst challenging economic times.

$500 sponsorship opportunities are available. Benefits include your logo on all pre-event marketing materials, your logo on event signage and your company recognized during the event program.

When: Wednesday, March 23 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Where: Sheraton Suites at Symphony Hall
Ovations Room
701 A Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Registration free: Limited space available
Parking: Self parking is available at the hotel for $10

Mobility 21’s transportation and business leaders 
fight for mobility and jobs in Washington, D.C.

During an advocacy trip to Washington, D.C. this month, members of Mobility 21‘s Board of Directors and Advisory Board joined together to fight for transportation funding amidst the latest round of budget cuts.

“Transportation investment is the antidote to our nation’s economic recovery,” said Will Kempton, Orange County Transportation Authority CEO and Mobility 21 Chairman. “Southern California, along with the rest of the nation, is ready to leverage local dollars raised through sales taxes to create jobs, but we can’t do it alone. We need a strong federal partner.”

The group, composed of Southern California’s leading transportation stakeholders from public and private sectors, met with members of Congress and their staff, including Sen. Barbara Boxer, and Reps. Ken Calvert, Peter DeFazio, John Duncan and Gary Miller to emphasize the importance of infrastructure investment to create much-needed jobs now to jump-start the economy.

Trip participants were armed with suggestions to maximize existing dollars, expedite project delivery and maintain the United States’ global competitiveness, all without major impacts to the federal budget’s bottom line.

“We came to Washington with the message that we’re not here for a handout,” said Marnie O’Brien Primmer, Executive Director of Mobility 21. “We’re coming with concrete solutions as to how we can partner with the federal government to make sure taxpayers get a return on their investments.”

State and federal budgets: The bottom line for transportation

Earlier this month, the White House released the FY 2012 budget request, including a spending increase above baseline levels out of the Trust Fund by $115 billion over the next six-year FY 2012-2017 period. While this is good news for transportation, the budget request to increase funding falls short of identifying a source of revenue.

At the state level, thanks to aggressive advocacy efforts of Mobility 21 in conjunction with other transportation stakeholders, budget committees in both houses of the state legislature have approved reenacting the gas tax swap and supported the governor’s truck weight fee proposal. If the proposals are approved on the Floor in early March, we will prevent the loss of $2.5 billion in funding for critical state, regional and local transportation projects, provide $1 billion in general fund relief and help to create or save 63,000 jobs.

Transportation and business leaders testify during federal transportation hearing

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) and the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) held the first ever bi-partisan, bi-cameral field hearing in Los Angeles last week on improving our nation’s transportation programs to support the economy and spur job growth.

Southern California’s transportation providers and stakeholders provided testimony to EPW Committee Chair Sen. Barbara Boxer and T&I Committee Chair Rep. John Mica (R-FL). Among those who testified, Orange County Transportation Authority CEO and Mobility 21 Chairman Will Kempton shared Southern California’s transportation priorities for greater flexibility during challenging economic times. In his written testimony, Kempton states, “Whether it is the Los Angeles 30/10 program, Riverside County’s need for TIFIA funding, or OCTA’s capital needs along with our efforts to break down existing barriers to expedited project delivery, we hope that the federal government will continue its important role in the investment of transportation by supporting the kind of regional partnership commitments which we are making here in Southern California.”

Riverside County Transportation Commission Executive Director and Mobility 21 Board Member Anne Mayer, Los Angels Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Supervisor Don Knabe and Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman Joseph Czyzyk also testified during the hearing.

Mobility 21 Executive Director Marnie O’Brien Primmer was live tweeting from the hearing. Sign up for Twitter updates from Mobility 21and read more testimonies from the hearing on our Facebook page.

AASHTO’s new report addresses transportation revenue shortfall

According to a congressional commission, there is a $137 billion gap between 
current revenues and the amount needed for surface transportation and capital needs each year. In response, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) issued a report to address the shortfall. Members of Congress, including House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-FL), as well as leaders from the private and public sectors contributed to the report, which addresses near- and medium-term funding options for the federal surface transportation programs, expanded applications of current federal financing tools and best funding and financing practices at the state and local level.

Click here to view the full report, “The Forum on Funding and Financing Solutions for Surface Transportation in the Coming Decade.”

Inland Empire Economic Partnership realigns organization 
to meet needs of business community

The Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP) recently announced changes to its organization to better the business climate and quality of life in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

President and CEO of IEEP and Mobility 21 Board Member Paul Granillo announced several steps the Partnership will take, including:

  • Creation of the Inland Empire Business Council
    Appointment of Dr. John Husing as Chief Economist and the development of the Inland Empire Economic Center housed at the IEEP
  • Restart of the Inland Empire Public Partners
  • A strategic alliance between IEEP and The Community Foundation serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties

“Riverside and San Bernardino Counties deserve an organization dedicated to making Inland Southern California a better place to live and do business; these changes are the beginning steps of making our Partnership that group.”

Click here to read the news release.

Engineering publication recognizes OCTA as one of top 6 companies to watch in 2011

Engineering News Record (ENR) California named the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) as one of the top six companies to watch in 2011. The popular industry publication highlighted five companies and one public agency, OCTA, as leading the way toward economic recovery in the state this year.

ENR California praised OCTA for effectively managing local, state and federal funds to sustain economic growth and create jobs in Orange County. In 2010, OCTA began work on or completed construction projects totaling $525 million, which translated into an estimated 9,500 jobs for the region.

In addition, OCTA leveraged $600 million in funds received from the state and federal governments to help make the countywide Measure M revenues go even further.

Metrolink seeks federal assistance to implement Positive Train Control

Metrolink officials traveled to Washington, D.C. this month to provide an update to Congressional members on Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation efforts. They discussed some of the challenges they anticipate with implementation issues related to interoperability and functionality between all rail systems and technology.  Metrolink officials are concerned with obtaining approval from the Federal Communications (FCC) to purchase spectrum, radio bandwidth that ensures seamless and uninterrupted communication between trains and other components of the PTC system such as wayside devices.

Although Metrolink submitted an application in March 2010, they do not have a determination from the FCC on its application. Metrolink must move forward with the implementation of PTC based on assumptions that the FCC will grant the determination to stay on schedule. If the FCC does not make a determination by the spring, Metrolink may begin to experience delays in implementation of this critical rail safety upgrade.

Even with the challenges Metrolink faces, the agency has a positive outlook. “We are pleased to lead the nation in the implementation of this life-saving technology. Southern Californians can look forward to an even safer commute on the Metrolink system, said Metrolink CEO John Fenton. “When you consider PTC in combination with the numerous other safety-focused initiatives, Metrolink is on its way to world-class safety performance.”

Last week, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, which would fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year and make an additional $61 billion in cuts to the FY 2010 spending levels. The bill proposes deep cuts to transportation funding, including zeroing out funding for PTC for FY 2010.

Metrolink was awarded two grants for PTC, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Railroad Safety Technology Grant for $6.5 million and the High-Speed Rail Intercity Passenger Rail Grant for $13.1 million. Although the grants were awarded in October 2010, the funding comes from FY 2009 funds. Currently, Metrolink officials do not believe the grants are impacted by the proposed cuts to PTC in H.R.1, but they are working with the FRA to confirm this information.

Metrolink will continue to work closely with its delegation to ensure that PTC funding is protected in any final appropriations bill that is approved by Congress. The cuts could be detrimental for commuter rail agencies on a national level as they struggle to fund PTC in their regions.

Mbility 21 partners with Transportation & Logistics Summit

Mobility 21 is a proud partner of the 2011 Southern California Transportation & Logistics Summit. This year’s event will be held at the Ontario Airport Double Tree Hotel on Friday, April 15. With a projected attendance of nearly 600 people, the Summit will provide a unique opportunity for business, civic leaders, planning agencies and elected officials to discuss and develop thoughtful and effective solutions facing the transportation and logistics industry. This year’s theme, New Realities in Transportation and Logistics, is sure to provide a lively and productive discussion. Click here to learn more about the conference.

Forward Motion guest article: An update from a.ker.fa

We asked Vaughn Spethmann of a.ker.fa, who gave an inspiring keynote presentation during the 2010 Mobility 21 Summit with partner Dustin McBride, to give us an update on the work his organization is doing in Africa. Here’s what he had to say:

Here in Zambia we have run out of the blocks at a full sprint. We have a goal of distributing 1,000 Zambulances and bicycles this year. We’ve had a great response from attendees at the Mobility 21 conference last year. Every $800 donated is equivalent to a bicycle ambulance, canopy, bike, spare parts, tools, mechanic training, transportation of the unit to the site and a 30-day and 90-day follow-up. If we distribute 1,000 Zambulances this year, everyone in Zambia will have access to a rural health center. That means people no longer will have to be brought into clinics on wheel barrels and women can get pre- and post-natal care and ensure HIV is not transmitted to their newborn babies.


Thursday, March 3
CSULB Center for International Trade & Transportation and Metrans Conference
more inforegister

Friday, March 4
WTS Los Angeles: Moving California with High-Speed Rail
more inforegister

Thursday, March 13-15
APTA: 2011 Legislative Conference
more inforegister

March 14-16
OCBC: Washington, D.C. Advocacy Trip
more inforegister

March 22-23
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce: ACCESS Sacramento Advocacy Trip
more inforegister

Wednesday, March 23
Mobility 21, SANDAG & WTS San Diego: Reception honoring members of the California Transportation Commission
more inforegister

Thursday, March 31
Mobility 21, OCBC’s OCMoves & WTS-OC: Measure M1 Completion Celebration
more inforegister

March 30 – 31
World Research Group: Green Energy Technology Conference
more inforegister

March 31 – April 1
IEEP: Inland Empire Quality of Life Summit
more inforegister

Friday, April 15
Transportation & Logistics Summit
more inforegister

Thursday, April 21
USC / AGC Construction Management Symposium: Sustainability in Transportation

May 5-6
SCAG: Regional Conference & General Assembly
more inforegister

Friday, Sept. 30
Mobility 21: Annual Transportation Summit
information coming soon

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