2023 Mobility 21 Summit Will Sell Out!

Registrations and sponsorships are on track to sell out for the 2023 Mobility 21 Summit on Friday, Sept. 29 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif. The Summit is the only place where you can mix and mingle with every transportation CEO in Southern California, policy makers and nationally-known transportation experts. Click here to view the sponsorship packages. 

Available Sponsorships:
Titanium – $30,000 (SOLD OUT)
Platinum – $12,000 (3 LEFT)
Gold – $6,500 (6 LEFT)
Copper – $3,500
Bronze – $1,500 (open to registered SBEs, DBEs and non-profits only)

Registration Now Open!
Early bird registration is still open! Join more than 1,000 transportation stakeholders, industry leaders and elected officials at California’s largest one-day transportation event. Hurry, Early Bird registration ends Aug. 11! We anticipate we will sell out!

Early Bird Registration: $375
Registration after Aug. 11: $495
Student/Military Personnel Registration: $195
Click here to register online!

Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Sarah L. Catz

Researcher, Institute of
Transportation Studies, UC Irvine

Sarah L. Catz is a Researcher in the Institute of Transportation Studies at University of California, Irvine as well as a lecturer. She joined the Mobility 21 Advisory Board in 2015.

For over 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. She is also a Senior Partner at Vectis Strategies.

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.” Additionally, Sarah 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, Joe has focused in different sectors of transportation from planning, engineering and environmental, to design, 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, Joe 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. Joe’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.

Arcadis is proud to serve as the CMSS Lead for the transformative Regional Connector transit project.

Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:

For over a quarter-century, Arcadis has been revolutionizing mobility in Southern California by supporting our client’s visions for better mobility. Triggered by economic, social or environmental changes, the environment we live in is constantly evolving and the infrastructure we design and build has to support that. This is futureproofing mobility and building resilient mobility networks based on  solutions that can stand the test of time,  withstand cyber-attacks, power outages or major sporting events, and acclimate to the changing environment.

At Arcadis, we see a transformative role for technology in mobility, with solutions like ridesharing, electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles reshaping how we travel. We’re planning for these changes, aiming to ensure that infrastructures are adaptable to future needs. Our work is guided by six key priorities: reliable travel times, reducing carbon footprints, future-proofing assets, safety, maximizing the lifespan of existing infrastructure and providing real-time, actionable information.

In partnership with our clients, Arcadis is facilitating efficient and stress-free transportation solutions that help people and goods move seamlessly.

Our vision is simple yet powerful: Improving the Quality of Life.

Atkins’ Growing Investment in California

Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:
Atkins North America

We combine traditional engineering with state-of-the-art technologies to deliver safe and reliable transport infrastructure that connects communities and promotes sustainable living. Our end-to-end services span the entire transportation ecosystem, from railways to roadways and ports to airports, and we never forget communities are at the heart of everything we do.

We support this by taking a collaborative approach to help drive efficiencies, improve mobility for people, businesses and organizations and unlock vital regional growth. Understanding each project is different, we provide creative, smart, affordable and sustainable solutions underpinned by robust funding models to ensure transportation networks serving communities deliver maximum benefit.

We’re proud to use our expertise to deliver innovative, cost-effective solutions for transformative infrastructure projects throughout California like LA Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project and the OC Streetcar Project with the Orange County Transportation Authority. Our work has also helped increase safety and reduce congestion in iconic locations like Yosemite National Park and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

We love being part of the Southern California community and investing in change agents like SEED LA. We seek to support the region’s goals as we work to engineer a better future for our planet and its people.

Redlands Passenger Rail Project

Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:

Flatiron embraces the challenge to create sustainable, mobility infrastructure for all —reliable, safe, equitable and accessible. We answer the challenge of change to enhance the well-being of communities and all people.

The Redlands Passenger Rail Project connects downtown San Bernardino to the University of Redlands in California. Lower-emission diesel and soon Zero Emission Multiple Unit (ZEMU) trains, a first in North America, serve the sleek Arrow service trains for a quieter, energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly ride.

This Flatiron/San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) collaboration extended the San Bernardino Line by nine miles and added five highly accessible stations. Trains travel on Flatiron-built rail infrastructure, passing 26 reconstructed roadway intersections with state-of-the-art Positive Train Control safety technology and providing a transportation option purposely integrated with existing car, bus and bicycle routes.

The large-scale, complex project brought together SBCTA, the university and local stakeholders to benefit the region. Innovative, passenger-centric mobility solutions such as Redlands Rail help communities meet challenging public transportation needs.

Along with experience and expertise, Flatiron teams bring a collaborative mindset to each project, large or small. Ongoing collaboration with clients, construction partners and other stakeholders enables Flatiron to meet vital commitments while managing project challenges, complexities and risks.

Flatiron is the trusted partner to deliver innovative solutions to infrastructure challenges across the U.S. and Canada.

Kimley-Horn delivers effective teams and strategies to implement mobility solutions across southern California.

Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:
Kimley Horn

As one of the nation’s premier planning and design consulting firms, Kimley-Horn is proud to sponsor the 2023 Mobility 21 Summit. Kimley-Horn is a nationally recognized industry leader creating sustainable transportation solutions for communities and regions, large and small. Whatever the scale, our dedicated team is focused on the partnerships necessary to establish effective and collaborative strategies. Our integrated planning process, mode integration strategies, and experience with local, regional, and statewide transportation planning and design position us to offer our clients access to local experience and national expertise. Kimley-Horn has a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 7,000 professionals which is the foundation of the firm’s consistent recognition by Fortune magazine in its “100 Best Companies to Work For” issue for 16 years.

From our 12 California offices, we link transportation planning, technology, equity, and design to help communities overcome challenges important to California’s cities and regions. Automated and connected vehicles working in concert with mass transit, active transportation, safe and efficient roadways, electric vehicle infrastructure, travel demand management, complete streets, and Kimley-Horn’s KITS Advanced Traffic Management System combine to create a formula for future success. By leveraging our in-house expertise in these areas, our long-range solutions are providing more effective strategies for the future of mobility in California.

Digital twin technology supports project 3D deliverable requirements such as roadway and bridge models.

Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:

Transforming Project Planning and Delivery Through Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not just a technology for Parsons; it’s ingrained into every facet of our DNA, culture, and business solutions. At its simplest form, artificial intelligence is a field, which combines computer science and robust datasets, to enable problem-solving.

From our global workforce to our technologies across all business lines, AI is the force-multiplier behind our innovation, efficiency, and ability to deliver transformative solutions to our customers.

Parsons is deploying AI to improve project planning and execution, enabling predictive maintenance, advancing asset management, and facilitating the efficient allocation of resources for transportation and infrastructure projects. Parsons internally developed a tool to evaluate the urban form of existing and future developments, using machine learning (ML) to predict a project’s walkability, the effect of proximity to public transit, land use mix, and land use density. The model is used in several of the company’s large design infrastructure efforts around the world to improve sustainability, safety, and economic access.

Parsons’ critical infrastructure business has deployed over 40 intelligent transportation projects utilizing AI technology to improve the safety, mobility, and efficiency of the world’s transportation networks. Key projects include the deployment of predictive analysis to enhance pedestrian safety and reduce vehicle collisions as well as ML models for decision support and traffic flow optimization.

Click here to view Metro’s proposed fare chart at full-size.

Metro Updates Fare Capping Proposal to Keep Fares at
Current Prices and Continue Free Transfers

We’ve finalized our proposal to make paying fares easier and to ensure that no one overpays for riding Metro buses and trains. Based on customer feedback, the staff recommendation is to keep base fares at their current prices and continue free one-way transfers between Metro buses and trains for two hours, among other changes. 

Quick background: in October, Metro released a fare capping proposal that would change our fares to make them more simple and affordable for our most frequent riders. We then held a public hearing on Monday, November 14, to gather feedback from our customers.

We take the public comment process seriously and have modified the fare restructuring as part of the formal recommendation. The Metro Board of Directors will consider the staff recommendation at their meeting on Dec. 1 at 10 a.m. You can listen/watch the meeting online here. You can comment at the meeting — the instructions are on page 4 of the agenda.

Other key info you should know about the staff recommendation:

  • The modified approach still introduces daily and weekly fare capping in which no one will pay more than $5 a day or $18 a week for unlimited rides. That’s lower than the $6 a day and $20 a week in the original proposal.
  • With fare capping, riders would no longer have to purchase daily, weekly or 30-day Metro passes in advance. You pay as you go with Stored Value on TAP cards — and when you reach the fare cap then you pay no more.
  • The staff recommendation keeps the base fare the same for senior and disabled riders and the off-peak fare is being eliminated so you can ride any time for the same price. Also, the base fare is lower for student and college/vocational riders.
  • Our LIFE riders will receive 20 free rides per month (with free transfers within two hours) under the staff recommendation and then pay per ride until they reach the daily or weekly cap. LIFE riders will only pay for rides they take.
  • The staff recommendation is to eliminate charging extra fare for the J (Silver) Line and express buses. Fares for the J Line and express buses would be the same as for all Metro buses and trains.
  • The staff recommendation also includes extending the 50 percent discounts to our regular daily, 7-day and 30-day passes until fare capping is implemented — which would happen next summer if the Board approves the proposal.
  • A friendly reminder: to take advantage of fare capping you need to pay fares with a TAP card. We encourage all our cash paying riders to get a TAP card — the savings for many of you will be significant.

The chart shows our current fares in the left column, the original fare proposal in the center column and the revised proposal in the right column.

Freeway Service Patrol: 30 Years of Service in Riverside County

For the past three decades, the Riverside County Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) has helped make bad days just a little bit better for stranded motorists traveling through the County. On June 28, RCTC celebrated FSP’s 30 years of service in Riverside County.

FSP drivers offer services such as jump-starting dead batteries, refilling radiators, changing flat tires, or minor mechanical repairs. If they can’t get a vehicle running within 10 minutes, they tow the motorist to safety to one of many CHP-approved locations. Over the last 30 years, Riverside County FSP drivers have assisted more than one million motorists. This includes more than 130,000 flat tires changed and over 75,000 accidents cleared. And the best part? It’s completely free to the motorist. No payments or tips are expected or accepted.

Click here to watch the video!

The service began in June of 1993, with only eight tow trucks on patrol. Back then, the program only covered two of Riverside County’s highways, with an average of 16,000 assists per year. Fast forward 30 years, 25 trucks average over 60,000 assists per year on Riverside County highways. FSP service covers 101 miles across western Riverside County, including on Interstates 15 and 215, Routes 60 and 91, and the 15 and 91 Express Lanes.

The FSP team includes 60 certified drivers from contracted private tow companies. These drivers continuously rove and watch for motorists with car troubles on selected Riverside County highways during peak commute times. Service is provided during the busy morning and afternoon commute hours. Extended mid-day and weekend service is also available on select beats, where traffic is more highly impacted. Additional FSP service may also be provided during major construction zones and for special events to enhance safety and traffic flow.

FSP service has proven to be popular with motorists, who often refer to FSP drivers as superheroes, angels, and lifesavers. Upon receiving assistance, motorists are given a pamphlet that contains program information and a survey link to provide feedback on the drivers and the service, and needless to say, the reviews are glowing.

Motorist Pamella B. shared, “…not only was the driver wonderful, pleasant and concerned with my safety, I was also greeted by a CHP officer, checking on my well-being.”

Funding for the FSP program is provided by Caltrans and RCTC. RCTC also administers the program while the California Highway Patrol provides supervision, training, and oversight of tow operators.

Riverside County FSP tow operators and CHP make a great team making the FSP program one of the highest benefit/cost ratios in California – providing residents with significant value for the program funding.

Metrolink to Expand Ventura County Line Weekend Service on July 1

Beginning in July, Metrolink expanded its Ventura County (VC) Line schedule. Metrolink is adding two new weekend trains, adjusting the schedule of VC Line train 162 and adding service on Sundays along the VC Line corridor.

“As a Ventura County resident and frequent Metrolink rider, I am excited that we are now offering more weekend service along the Ventura County Line,” Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle said. “Thank you to our freight partners at Union Pacific Railroad and the Ventura County Transportation Commission for working with us to deliver more convenient and flexible train service for Southern Californians. With the two new trains and expanded Sunday service, more people can easily explore the region between Ventura and Los Angeles.”

Metrolink offers a $10 Weekend Day Pass on Saturdays and Sundays that allows for unlimited rides system-wide on the date of purchase. The Weekend Day Pass is a true bargain, especially as each fare-paying adult can bring up to three kids 17 years of age and younger along for free.

Effective July 1, Metrolink will implement the following schedule changes on the VC Line on both Saturdays and Sundays.

New trains:

VC Line train 163 will depart Los Angeles Union Station at 10:31 a.m. and reach the Ventura-East Station at 12:22 p.m.

VC Line train 164 will depart the Ventura-East Station at 4:14 p.m. and reach Los Angeles Union Station at 6 p.m.

Schedule change for VC Line train 162:

VC Line train 162 will depart the Ventura-East Station one hour and 37 minutes later at 1:10 p.m. to offer more rail passenger service options throughout each weekend.

The Metrolink schedule change complements existing Amtrak Pacific Surfliner service and codeshare trains along the VC Line.

People can view the entire VC Line weekend schedule at metrolinktrains.com/vc-weekends.

The additional trains between Ventura and Los Angeles will also be available on July 4, as Metrolink operates its weekend schedule on specific holidays with service on the Antelope Valley, Orange County, 91/Perris Valley, San Bernardino, Inland Empire-Orange County and Ventura County lines with a $10 Holiday Pass. Metrolink trains will not operate on the Riverside Line on Independence Day.

The $10 Holiday Pass can be purchased on the Metrolink Mobile App or at Metrolink station ticket machines found under “special ticket options,” and will apply on Independence Day. The $10 Holiday Pass allows for unlimited rides throughout the system.

People can view the entire Metrolink train schedule at metrolinktrains.com.

For VC Line B-roll video, click here.

Transportation Corridor Agencies Boards Approve Balanced Fiscal Year 2024 Budgets

The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) Boards of Directors adopted Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) budgets with expenditures totaling $290.8 million — $135.7 million for the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency (SJHTCA) and $155.1 million for the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA) — at the June board meeting.

The Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) budgets reflect positive transaction and revenue trends while remaining conservative, maintain the Agencies’ history of cost containment, incorporate FY24 activities from the Boards’ approved strategic plan, are aligned with the Agencies’ Debt Management Policies, and meet the fiduciary responsibility to bondholders.

The approval of the budget concludes a thorough and collaborative three-month development process, where members of TCA’s committees provided input.

The adopted budgets reflect a continued focus on strong fiscal management and provide the ability for early bond paydown and a cash-funded capital program.

“These budgets continue to advance important mobility initiatives like the 241/91 Express Connector, a project that will reduce travel times for SR 241 drivers headed north and along State Route 91 in both directions,” said F/ETCA Chair and San Juan Capistrano City Council Member John Taylor. “We applaud the members of TCA’s committees and staff for their commitment to delivering a fiscally responsible budget that supports the Agencies’ Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).”

TCA’s FY24 CIP, also approved by the Boards of Directors, is updated annually to provide a summary of projects completed and an outline of proposed on-system improvements to be delivered by 2030 for residents and commuters.

The budgets reinforce TCA’s commitment to meeting bond obligations following an early paydown of $150.8 million in bond principal through open market bond buybacks in early 2023 that saved the Agencies $150 million in interest, as well as an early paydown of $125 million of bond principal in July 2022, saving $180 million in interest.

“This budget continues an enhanced, refreshed commitment to fiscal stewardship. In recent years, both boards have increased their bond ratings, bolstered credibility and transparency with our 2.3 million accountholders and the public, and reduced future debt obligations by $1.275 billion,” said SJHTCA Chair, TCA Finance Committee Chair, and Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill. “The TCA boards will continue to provide reliable infrastructure and high customer service as a regional mobility partner.”

In accordance with TCA policy adopted by the Joint Boards of Directors in 2019, a 2% toll rate adjustment is included in the adopted budgets and will take effect July 1, 2023. The rate adjustment amounts to pennies per transaction for drivers. The Frequent Driver Discount program continues to provide $1 per toll discounts on The Toll Roads for eligible drivers with a TCA prepaid FasTrak® account. Toll rates can be found at TheTollRoads.com/Map-Rates.

Join SCAG at the 34th Annual Demographic Workshop. Click here to register.

SCAG’s 34th Annual Demographic Workshop

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy are pleased to invite you to the 34th annual Demographic Workshop, “The Seismic Generational Shift,” on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

Generational differences have long captured the popular imagination – and in an age of accelerated technology and dramatic economic shifts, generations may be diverging more than ever before. This workshop will bring together a lineup of leading experts who use the lens of generational dynamics to uncover insights on the changing demographic landscape of Southern California and implications for housing, transportation and sustainability. The program will also feature a keynote address on cutting-edge research about generational differences.

For additional details about the workshop, please visit scag.ca.gov/demographics. Please contact update@scag.ca.gov with questions or for additional information.

The Port of Los Angeles received $149 million in state funding for its Maritime Support Facility Improvement and Expansion Project on Terminal Island.

Port of Los Angeles Receives $233 Million in
State Infrastructure Grants

The Port of Los Angeles recently received $233 million in grants from the State of California to complete essential infrastructure projects aimed at creating a more efficient and sustainable supply chain. In addition, important regional projects, which received formal support from the Port in order to access one-time state funding, received an additional $191 million in grant funding. The grants were among $1.5 billion announced by Gov. Newsom and State Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin.

“This nearly quarter-billion-dollar investment in critical Port of Los Angeles projects –– along with funding for other projects in the region –– will accelerate our efforts to boost competitiveness, create jobs and enhance decarbonization efforts,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Gov. Newsom, CalSTA Secretary Toks Omishakin and our state legislators for this historic commitment to building a more resilient California freight system.”

Port of Los Angeles infrastructure projects supported by the new state grants include:

  • Maritime Support Facility (MSF) Improvement and Expansion Project – The MSF provides chassis and empty container storage for all 12 container terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, critical to facilitating goods movement throughout the complex. With this new funding, the area will be improved and expanded from 30 to 71 acres. Improvements will include utilities, drainage, sewage, power, water supply, as well as a paved perimeter roadway. The $198.2 million total project amount includes $149.3 million from CalSTA and $48.4 million in matching funds from the Port of Los Angeles.
  • Rail Mainline/Wilmington Community & Waterfront Pedestrian Grade Separation Bridge – In addition to demolition work and soil remediation, the project involves construction of a 400-foot dedicated pedestrian bridge over freight tracks, creating a safer connection between the Wilmington community, several local area schools and the Port of Los Angeles’ Wilmington Waterfront area. The project will also include construction of retaining walls, storm drainage, electrical and utilities, sidewalks and landscaping. The total project cost of $57.9 million includes $42 million from CalSTA, $5.62 million from the Port of Los Angeles and $10.2 million from LA Metro.
  • State Route 47/Seaside Avenue and Navy Way Interchange Improvements — This project will modify the intersection of Navy Way and Seaside Avenue to improve traffic operations, reduce collisions and improve safety. Improvements will add a new westbound auxiliary lane, a new eastbound two-lane collector-distributor road, a new off-ramp termini and eliminate a traffic signal, among other upgrades. Total project cost of $62.98 million includes $41.79 million from CalSTA and $21.19 million in Port of Los Angeles funds.

Regional projects funded with grants that will support the Port of Los Angeles include $100 million for BNSF’s “High Desert Operational Efficiency Project” to increase operational efficiency of freight rail movement to and from the San Pedro Bay ports, through the Los Angeles Basin, and within the High Desert Freight Corridor; $76 million for the South Coast Air Quality Management District for the deployment of Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC) and hydrogen refueling dispensers at seven locations near the San Pedro Bay ports, the Inland Empire, San Fernando Valley, and major railyards to support zero-emission drayage fleets and a short line hydrogen fuel cell locomotive demonstration operating in and around Southern California; and $15 million for the Hobart/Commerce Intermodal facility, which will improve capacity and efficiency of the nation’s busiest intermodal facility near the Port.

Separately, the Port of Los Angeles received a $15 million grant from the California Transportation Commission for a four-lane grade separation on Terminal Island that will reduce truck delays and improve public safety.

Of the $1.5 billion awarded by the California State Transportation Agency, approximately $250 million is allocated for zero-emission infrastructure, locomotives, vehicles and vessels.