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Forward Motion, March 2021

Click here to watch our save the date video!

Summit Sponsorships Selling Quickly!

Sponsorships are selling quickly for the 20th Annual Southern California Transportation Summit, held virtually this year over two days – Thursday, Sept. 30 – Friday, Oct. 1, 2021!

Available sponsorships include:

  1. Titanium Sponsorship – $25,000 SOLD OUT!
  2. Platinum Sponsorships – $10,000 SOLD OUT!
  3. Gold Sponsorships – $5,000
    Breakfast Buffet and Breaks (2 available)
    Notebook (1 LEFT)
    Golf Towel (2 available)
    Mask (2 available)
  1. Copper Sponsorships – $2,500
  2. 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:
Paul Hubler
Director of Government & Community Relations
Alameda Corridor-East Project

Paul Hubler is Director of Government and Community Relations for the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) and is responsible for securing grant funding for the $1.8 billion Alameda Corridor-East program of freight rail-highway grade separations in Los Angeles County. In partnership with Los Angeles County Metro and Caltrans, the SGVCOG is also responsible for construction of the State Route 57/60 Confluence Chokepoint Relief Project, a $420 million improvement to the second-highest truck accident location in Southern California and the 11th-most congested truck chokepoint in the United States.

Hubler is serving a three-year term as Chairman of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors, a 60-member coalition based in Washington, D.C. that has long advocated for dedicated federal funding for freight projects, resulting in a new $2 billion a year program authorized by Congress in 2015. Paul was invited to join the Mobility 21 Advisory Board in 2015 and most recently served a four-year term as President of the San Gabriel Valley Public Affairs Network.

Hubler previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Congressman (formerly State Senator) Adam B. Schiff, working on legislation and initiatives to secure funding for Southern California transportation, environmental and open space priorities. Paul served as staff lead on state legislation establishing a joint powers construction authority to complete the Foothill Gold Line light rail project.

Hubler received his bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College in Claremont and his master’s degree in public administration from the University of La Verne, where he serves as Chairman of the MPA Advisory Board. He is also past president of the Southern California Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, the second largest chapter in the United States. Paul, his wife Patty Rhee, and their teenage children live in Glendale.


Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Eugene D. Seroka
Executive Director
The Port of Los Angeles

Gene Seroka is the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest container port in North America. Nominated by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on May 27, 2014 and confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council on June 11, 2014, the Port of Los Angeles has experienced historic, record-breaking performances since his appointment.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Seroka—who lived in China during the 2002-2004 SARS epidemic—has led the Port of Los Angeles’ response to the global health crisis, keeping cargo flowing as an essential service to the nation. In March 2020, Mayor Garcetti named Seroka the Chief Logistics Officer for the City of Los Angeles, while concurrently serving as the Port’s Executive Director. Seroka also leads the Logistics Victory Los Angeles (LoVLA) response effort that assists in getting critical personal protective equipment (PPE) and emergency supplies to healthcare workers and others throughout the supply chain. In December 2020, Supply Chain Dive named Seroka Executive of the Year for his leadership throughout the pandemic.

As Executive Director, Seroka interacts with a wide range of stakeholders, including Port customers around the globe, industry partners, elected and appointed officials at all levels, business leaders and local residents. A respected global trade expert, Seroka has advocated for rules-based trade agreements that benefit American exporters and manufacturers.

As chief of America’s top port, he is responsible for managing a more than $1.6 billion budget, advancing major capital projects, growing trade volumes and promoting innovative, sustainable practices that strengthen the region’s economy. Under his direction, the Port has taken a leadership role in adopting cutting-edge technologies to improve the reliability, predictability and efficiency of the flow of cargo across global seaborne trade, including the launch of the digital information portal Port Optimizer™ and companion data tools The Signal and The Return Signal.

While serving as Executive Director, Seroka has been appointed to serve on four federal committees to enhance the speed and efficiency of cargo movement and supply chain optimization, including the U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness, U.S. Maritime Administration Marine Transportation System National Advisory Committee, Federal Maritime Commission Supply Chain Innovation Team and U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation’s former Port Performance Freight Statistics Working Group. He currently serves as Chair of the California Association of Port Authorities and on the Board of the American Association of Port Authorities.

Seroka brings more than 33 years of experience in shipping, global logistics and executive management. After several key overseas positions for American President Lines (APL) Limited, he returned to the U.S. in 2010 to become President – Americas for the shipping line in Phoenix where he managed APL’s Liner Shipping business, including 1,000 employees, and was responsible for all commercial, port terminal, intermodal, land transportation and labor activities throughout the region.

Seroka joined APL in 1988 as a sales support representative in the company’s Cincinnati office after earning an MBA and Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of New Orleans. Over the years, he has held various positions in sales and management with increasing responsibility and high-level assignments all over the world. Throughout his career, he played a key role in global marketing and corporate strategies for APL.

Seroka’s first overseas posting was in Shanghai where he served as Director of Sales and Marketing for North and Central China from 1999 to 2003. He then moved to Jakarta where he was President Director of PT APL and APL Logistics in Indonesia for two years before relocating to Singapore in 2005 to become Vice President of APL Logistics’ business units in 26 countries in the company’s Asia/Middle East and South Asia regions. From 2008 to 2010, he served as Vice President for APL and APL Logistics Emirates LLC in Dubai where he managed APL’s business in the Middle East and East Africa Region.


Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:
Moffatt & Nichol

Moffatt & Nichol has supported economic growth and recovery since our founding in 1945, right here in Southern California. Whether it was building our regional economy and infrastructure after World War II, strengthening our role as a leader in global trade at our seaports, or hiring and innovating locally during the great recession of the last decade, we have remained committed to Southern California’s economic development, its transportation needs, and its infrastructure—our infrastructure—for more than 75 years.

While no one can predict what the future holds for Southern California, our shared history shows that a commitment to open competition, transparent government policies, and long-term funding commitments will lead to our continued success and economic recovery.

We know the world of transportation is changing rapidly. We also know that the way to adapt to that change is through good science, good commercial practices, and an openness to new ideas.

Mobility 21 is the right forum to effect that change.


Learn more about our CARE strategy at Parsons.com/care/.

Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:
Parsons

Reinforcing Our Commitment to Delivering a Better World
At Parsons, we are driven by our core values of safety, quality, integrity, diversity, innovation, and sustainability in our quest to deliver a better world. Our recently launched Cultivating a Responsible Enterprise (CARE) strategy reaffirms and formalizes Parsons’ long-standing and industry-leading environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. Parsons is focused on reducing absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20 percent by 2025, enhancing gender diversity, and enhancing ethnic/racial diversity.
CARE is an enterprise strategy grounded in our corporate purpose and core values to enhance revenue, recruiting, and retention while maintaining a focus on operational excellence and shareholder value. Establishing new goals and increasing accountability on ESG topics inspires meaningful change and is directly tied to our corporate mission.

Our teams around the world understand that our local actions have a global impact. With deep roots in Southern California, we are proud that many of these local actions are in support of our Southern California customers, employees, and communities. We will continue to help solve our state’s transportation challenges, connecting communities and fostering improvements in mobility, economic growth, and safety.

Learn more about our CARE strategy at Parsons.com/care/, and about our transportation capabilities at Parsons.com/connected-communities/.


WSP employees made a pledge to be a voice for inclusion and diversity in the workplace.

Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:
WSP

At WSP USA we foster a work environment of equal opportunity where all employees experience a true sense of belonging, recognition, value and purpose. To support this aim, WSP has appointed a new vice president of Inclusion & Diversity and established a National Inclusion & Diversity Council to ensure that our leadership team, employees, work environment and strategies continue to inspire a diverse and inclusive culture across the organization.

Locally, we are interfacing with clients throughout Southern California walking the same journey within their agencies, exchanging ideas on how to engage all toward a more equitable society.  WSP’s Southern California- Nevada Inclusion & Diversity working group, led by Claudette Moody, adopted a mission statement and four pillars to approach diversity and inclusion in 2021.  Our local mission statement is:

To create a welcoming and inclusive culture in the workplace and encourage opportunities for discussion, continuous education, training and celebrating our diversity.

It is telling that in a recent poll of staff in Southern California, the word most often cited to describe what diversity means was “Everyone.”  As we interact with our employees, with our clients, and with the communities in which we live and work, we will continue to include, respect, appreciate and develop projects for Everyone.


The tunnel boring machine arriving this month at Wilshire/La Cienega Station. Photo by Ken Karagozian for LA Metro.

First Tunneling Machine Reaches Future
Wilshire/La Cienega Subway Station

Earlier this month, Metro announced that its first Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), named Elsie, broke through to the Wilshire/La Cienega subway station in Beverly Hills. It is the first of two TBMs that will reach this last station on Section 1 of the Metro D Line (Purple) Extension project.
Tunneling for the first four-mile section of the subway project is now two-thirds complete. More than 90 percent of the tunnels have been mined safely and Metro anticipates completing tunnel mining this summer. Excavation for all three subway station boxes beneath Wilshire Boulevard has been completed.

Elsie, the 1,000-ton, 400-feet long Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), started west at the Wilshire/Fairfax station on May 29, 2020, and broke through to the Wilshire/La Cienega station site about one mile away on February 25. Metro’s first TBM “Elsie” arrived at Wilshire/Fairfax on April 4, 2020.

Reaching this milestone is a significant win for Metro. Section 1 of project tunneling has presented challenges that have been successfully overcome by the project. En route to Wilshire/La Cienega, the agency’s modern, high-tech TBMs have mined through a unique combination of soils and geologic conditions, including tar sands and methane gas.

Metro’s TBMs were first lowered into the ground at Metro’s Wilshire/La Brea station site in the Miracle Mile area of Wilshire in October 2018. While advancing, the TBM tunneled about 60 feet per day. They worked five days a week, 20 hours a day.

Metro’s TBMs are pressurized, closed-face machines that minimize ground settlement during excavation. The tunnel is lined with precast concrete segments that are bolted together to form a ring. Segments are also gasketed to make the joints between segments water- and gas-tight.

When tunneling is finished for this project section, both of Metro’s TBMs will have mined nearly half a million cubic yards of earth — the equivalent of filling 2.3 million bathtubs with dirt.

The TBMs were manufactured in Germany by Herrenknecht AG. Metro has contracted with Skanska Traylor Shea (STS), a joint venture to design and build the first section of the project.

The $9.3-billion Metro Purple Line Extension is a nine-mile underground subway project that will extend the Metro Purple Line from its terminus in Koreatown to Westwood/VA Hospital in West Los Angeles. Section 1 is expected to be completed in 2023, Section 2 in 2025 and Section 3 in 2027.

For more information on the Purple Line Extension Project, go to www.metro.net/purplelineext.


The Orange County Transportation Authority is beginning to study the concept of adding mobility hubs, providing residents with access to OC Bus, Metrolink commuter rail and more transportation options closer to where they live, work and play. Photo courtesy of OCTA.

OCTA to Study Mobility Hubs for More Seamless Transportation

Imagine a place near where you live, work or play to conveniently access walking or biking trails, rent a scooter, take public transportation or access a shared ride without having to get behind the wheel of a car to reach your destination.

That’s the idea behind a mobility hub. And the Orange County Transportation Authority board this month took the first step toward creating these integrated transportation hubs in various parts of the county to help residents, workers and visitors access a range of seamless transportation options to keep moving safely and efficiently.

“OCTA’s mission is to provide a variety of travel options that add up to a balanced and sustainable transportation system,” said OCTA Chairman Andrew Do, also the county’s First District Supervisor. “Future mobility hubs will help make those options more accessible and convenient for the people who live and work in our county. In the process, I hope these hubs will help us to provide critical connections, reduce the cost of transportation and curb pollution.”

The OCTA board recently approved the selection of global consultant Steer Davies & Gleave, which has offices in Los Angeles and international experience developing transportation solutions, to develop a strategy for determining where mobility hubs should be located, what they should look like and what features they should include.

Users would be able to access more options for getting where they need to be while navigating a more seamless process of accessing various transportation options. Mobility hubs, flexible in their size and design, tend to be situated within activity centers with high concentrations of jobs, housing and/or recreation.

The objectives of creating mobility hubs include:

  • Increasing transit ridership on OC Bus, OC Flex, OC Streetcar, Metrolink, rideshare and other public options
  • Providing convenient alternatives to single-occupancy vehicle trips and reducing car dependency
  • Increasing the amount of shared rides
  • Reducing air pollution and encouraging active transportation
  • And providing equitable transportation solutions that meet the needs of all communities.

The Orange County Mobility Hubs Strategy is in the first stage, and part of the study will be outlining next steps once the concept is further refined. Those concepts will require more detailed planning, engineering and coordination between partners to move forward.

Results of the study, which will go back to the board for further consideration and direction, are expected in mid-2022.


SCAG Releases Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Awareness
Website, Baseline Conditions Report & Public Survey

Last July, SCAG declared racism a public health crisis and, in the months, since has led regionwide discussions on ways to eliminate barriers that reduce opportunity for millions of Southern Californians.

As part of this commitment to meaningfully advance inclusion, diversity, equity and awareness, the Special Committee on Equity & Social Justice was formed to advise SCAG’s Regional Council on policies and practices and has focused on helping guide the development of:

  • An agency‐wide working definition of “equity.”
  • An Equity Inventory Report, which catalogs the existing equity‐related activities throughout SCAG’s planning departments.
  • An Equity Framework containing indicators of existing inequities and disparities.

Find more information on the newly created inclusion, diversity, equity and awareness website including the working definition of Racial Equity, the recently released Racial Equity: Baseline Conditions Report, draft Racial Equity Early Action Plan and public survey.

We Need Your Input: Help us Shape the Racial Equity Early Action Plan!

We have prepared a survey to collect feedback on the framework for the draft Racial Equity Early Action Plan. The survey contains questions on the key actions SCAG can take to advance equity over the next one to three years and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Responses are completely confidential. The survey closes on Tuesday, March 30. Submit your feedback here.


Transportation Corridor Agencies and CHP
Partner to Put the Brakes on Excessive Speeders

The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) are partnering with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to increase the presence of law enforcement officers on The Toll Roads to encourage drivers to respect posted speed limits.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, TCA and the CHP have observed a complete disregard for posted speed limits by some drivers on The Toll Roads, prompting the Boards to act in the best interest of public safety. As a result, TCA will fund nearly 200 hours of targeted enforcement through the end of June.

“As a Director at TCA, public safety is my top priority. Just because fewer cars are on our roads (due to more remote working) does not give people a license to break the law. Neither I, nor anyone at TCA, condones reckless driving. We are putting our dollars to work and ramping up law enforcement because we want people to drive safely and arrive alive,” said Director Don Wagner, Third District Orange County Supervisor and TCA Board Member.

Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, 2020, CHP officers across the state issued 4,851 citations for speeding in excess of 100 miles per hour, a 93 percent increase when compared to the same period the previous year, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS).

The targeted patrolling performed by CHP, the official law enforcement agency for all state highways, will be in addition to the hundreds of hours of enforcement already performed each month. Officers will increase comprehensive patrolling of the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads.

“These additional hours will allow TCA and CHP to pinpoint the bad behaviors that we need to eradicate on our roads and serve as a reminder that paying a toll doesn’t buy drivers out of following the rules of the road,” said Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency Chair Peggy Huang, who serves as Mayor of Yorba Linda. “I’m committed to public safety in my city and on The Toll Roads. Supporting this effort was an easy policy decision.”

“We thank our CHP officers for aiding in this effort to ensure The Toll Roads remain the safest and most reliable travel choice for Orange County residents. Safety on our roads is paramount in our overall effort to provide enhanced mobility in our region. That we can implement a program like this by shifting priorities while staying within our lean fiscal year budget is a testament to the work of our staff,” said San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency Chair and Mission Viejo Mayor Trish Kelley.

For more information on TCA’s programs and services, or to sign up for a FasTrak® account, visit thetollroads.com.


Cyclists enjoy a late winter ride on the Santa Ana River Trail in Riverside. RCTC is continuing work to expand the SART, which eventually will connect between Huntington Beach and Mentone.

Riverside County Expanding Trails for More Outdoor Fun, Fitness

With spring in the air, it’s a great time to brush the cobwebs off your bike or running shoes and get outside for some exercise. Riverside County trails offer many options for cyclists, walkers, runners, and equestrians to explore the great outdoors.

Looking for someplace new? The first phase of the Salt Creek Trail opened in late December and includes a four-mile segment along the north side of Salt Creek flood control channel between Goetz Road and Antelope Road in Menifee and a one-mile segment along Domenigoni Parkway between Sanderson Avenue and Searl Parkway in Hemet. The trail includes a hard surface Class 1 bike path and a soft surface pedestrian path.

During its meeting on March 10, the Riverside County Transportation Commission approved an additional $160,000 in federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funding toward the total $8.1 million project, which was administered by the County of Riverside and is now operated by the Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District.

In a ceremony to mark the opening of the first phase of the trail, RCTC Commissioner and Menifee Mayor Bill Zimmerman noted this “awesome milestone” and explained that the four-mile segment of the trail in his city will benefit not only residents of Menifee, but also those of Canyon Lake, Perris, Winchester, French Valley, and Murrieta.

RCTC Commissioner and Hemet City Council Member Linda Krupa voiced appreciation to the County of Riverside and its partners for completing the first phase of the trail, which she said is being used in Hemet.

Further west, RCTC is continuing its planning efforts to expand the Santa Ana River Trail, envisioned to be the longest multi-use trail in southern California, stretching 110 miles between Huntington Beach and the National Forest boundary near Mentone. RCTC is working on multiple segments to fill gaps in the SART between Green River Road in Corona to the Hidden Valley Wildlife Area east of Norco.

RCTC has been coordinating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop a one-mile segment of the trail referred to as “Phase 4” between West Rincon Street and Butterfield Drive, just east of the Corona Municipal Airport and adjacent to Butterfield Park. Work on the trail is expected to start this fall and continue until 2023.

Longer term, RCTC is conducting engineering and environmental studies for other trail segments, some in conjunction with planned Army Corps projects. Pending the completion of these studies, construction of some segments could start as early as 2023.


Rebuild SoCal Partnership (RSCP) Supports Proposed
Historic Traffic Relief Project from the Valley to the Westside

Rebuild SoCal Partnership (RSCP) has agreed to lend their support to the proposed San Fernando Valley to the Westside traffic relief project currently under review.

On March 25th, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will formally vote to embark on a Preliminary Development Agreement (PDA) with two teams competing to build a rapid transit system from the San Fernando Valley to the Westside and potentially to LAX and the South Bay.

This novel and innovative PDA approach toward potentially entering into a Public-Private Partnership will bring together funding from both the private and public sectors to ultimately pay for and construct one of the biggest and most ambitious construction projects ever undertaken in the United States. The Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor Project will at long last bring commuting and travel relief to the most impacted roadways in the world—the 405 Freeway and the residents along this 19-mile corridor.

As MTA CEO Phil Washington noted, “As we work diligently to create a world-class transportation system here in the Los Angeles region, we will also be creating a new market for infrastructure innovation that can potentially help us build the most challenging project Metro has ever built.”

The two teams competing for the project bring different technologies to what essentially will be an intense transit competition over the next couple of years with the most extensive community outreach and engagement effort ever undertaken by Metro. The best technological, financial, sustainable, and accountable proposal will emerge at the end of this period and then design and construction will commence with an estimated project delivery date of 2028 to the Westside and 2030 if it is extended to LAX and the South Bay, per the monorail proposal.

One team, the LA SkyRail Express (LASRE), is comprised of John Laing, BYD, HDR, Gensler, Innova and Skanska is proposing an electric, automated monorail system from the Valley to the Westside, and offered an extension to LAX, as well as a proposed direct connection to UCLA. The line would run along the median of the 405 and stations would be off the freeway but near key commercial and cultural centers. Total cost is estimated at $6.1 billion for the Valley to Westside, and still under the Measure M budget of $9.5 billion for the entire corridor from the Valley to LAX.

“Our mission is to work with elected officials and educate the public in Southern California on the continued need for infrastructure funding,” said RSCP Executive Director, John Hakel. “We are happy to offer our support on this worthwhile project.”

It was interesting to hear comments about monorail at the last few MTA meetings and in the media. In researching current monorail systems in operations, according to the International Monorail Association, 42 cities around the world have urban monorail systems totaling 269 miles and over 400 stations and several are being designed and built in several countries including Salvador and São Paulo Brazil, Cairo, and Bangkok.

The second team, Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners is headed by Bechtel Corporation, Meridiam and American Triple I Partners. Their plan is to build a heavy rail system with tunneling 60% of the alignment and elevated guideway 40% of the alignment, from the Valley to Westwood at a projected cost of $10.8 billion.

Both teams have significant transportation and transit experience here and around the world and promise fast and user-friendly rides with both access and fare equity for a diverse ridership along the route.

The Rebuild SoCal Partnership, an organization of 2,750 contractors and 90,000 union workers, stands ready to help build the selected project and in doing so, seeing thousands of jobs created. We were proud to support MTA’s Measures R and M as well as SB 1 for transit and infrastructure funding. Our members have been leaders in building many of the region’s road, rail, bus, aviation and water projects for over 100 years.

But we also see huge opportunities for scores of young apprentices, minority subcontractors, disadvantaged business enterprises, women-owned businesses and veterans to contribute to this landmark project. We are encouraged to see the significant DBE commitment made by both teams for the PDA phase, and look forward to continued commitment throughout the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the system.

This is a unique and complex undertaking with underground earthquake faults, utilities, ground water storage and supply and geotechnical challenges facing the ultimate winner of this two-team competition.  But that’s what is so novel about MTA’s approach and will prove beneficial to commuters along the 405.

We watched the last MTA Board meeting where this project was discussed ahead of the final vote in March.  Clearly, there will be debate about alignment, additional funding sources, station locations, the best way to connect to UCLA and commercial centers and life cycle costs. And this is where the public input throughout the process will greatly impact the choice of one team to finance, design, build, operate, and maintain the regional transit system that will dramatically improve the region’s congested commute.

MTA Board member and City Councilman Paul Krekorian who represents the Valley was absolutely correct in his comments at the recent board meeting that the Valley cannot be shortchanged in this process and with the final project design.  That is exactly what the PDA process selected by MTA will ensure!

Once we are post-COVID (and, hopefully, that day will come soon), we know the gridlock, lost hours, driver frustrations and bad air quality will return to the 405. So, let’s keep this project on track and moving as fast as these two teams and the MTA are promising LA.

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