Forward Motion, October 2018

Clockwise from the top: Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Second Vice Chair Eric Garcetti; Automobile Club of Southern California’s anti texting and driving vehicle display; more than 1,300 people attended the 2018 Summit; California State Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Chair Jim Beall.

2018 Mobility 21 Summit Features California as Transportation Center of Excellence

National infrastructure experts joined forces on Friday, Oct. 19 at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live for the sold-out Mobility 21 Summit, highlighting California’s position and ability to lead the nation and world as a “transportation center of excellence.”

The largest one-day transportation event in the state, the 17th annual Mobility 21 Southern California Transportation Summit attracted more than 1,300 transportation, business and elected leaders to the full-day conference and expo hall with more than 120 exhibitors.

During its general and breakout sessions, the Summit featured more than 60 leading transportation voices from throughout the country, including keynote speaker Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Topics covered at the Summit included goods movement, autonomous transportation, microtransit, aviation, big data, legislative fix-list, innovation and workforce development.

Check out the photos on our Flickr albums from the Summit and #Mobility21 Photobooth! Missed one of the General Sessions? Catch the playback on our YouTube channel.

Mobility 21 to Co-host Holiday Reception
Honoring California Transportation Commission

Please join the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, Inland Empire Economic Partnership, Inland Action, Mobility 21, Monday Morning Group, RCTC and SBCTA on Wednesday, Dec. 5 for a holiday reception honoring the California Transportation Commission (CTC).

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 5-7 p.m.
The Atrium at the Riverside County Administrative Center

$35 Private Sector
$10 Public Sector, Nonprofits, Students, Elected Officials

$500 – Event Sponsor: Includes logo on event marketing and one complimentary ticket
$250 – Small businesses and nonprofits only: Includes logo on event marketing and one complimentary ticket

Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Kristin Decas
CEO & Port Director, Port of Hueneme

A proven leader, Kristin Decas repeatedly demonstrates her ability to build vision and implement strategy through open, collaborative processes that foster results.

Since beginning her tenure with the Port of Hueneme in February 2012, the Port has realized several successes. Tonnage totals have grown every year since her arrival from 1.3 million tons for FY 2012 to over 1.6 million metric tons in FY 2018, marking the Port’s strongest sustained trade years since its inception in 1937. The Port’s revenues have climbed 42% with cargo up 23% since Kristin took the helm. Known as the California niche port for automobiles and bananas, Kristin has been able to increase the diversity of cargo the port handles by growing the high and heavy cargo segment by 40% and non-banana fresh fruits by 185%. Over the same period, automobile cargo also grew by 28%. In September of 2012, Kristin championed the first annual Port Banana Festival, drawing over 12,000 visitors to the Port.

Port of Hueneme related activities generate $1.5 billion in annual economic impact and create more than 13,600 direct, indirect, induced and influenced jobs. Most recent successes include securing a $12.3 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery(TIGER) grant and a $1.5 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant. Also under her leadership, the Port will be advancing a harbor deepening project in concert with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Prior to serving the Port of Hueneme, Kristin served as CEO and Port Director for the Port of New Bedford, MA, the nation’s number one value fishing port. Under her leadership, the Port realized significant growth in port development, cruise and recreational boating activity.

Kristin is recognized by Trade Administration officials for her impressive work in promoting economic development through international trade promotion, and for her service on several federal shipping and port committees. Kristin was awarded high-profile appointments by the U.S. Department of Transportation to both the National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC) and the U.S. Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council (MTSNAC). Mrs. Decas is the current President of the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA) representing California’s 11 deep water ports, providing educational leadership and advocacy on issues related to transportation, trade, the environment, land use, energy and other subjects affecting port operations. In 2015, Kristin served as the national Chairperson of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), a trade association representing more than 130 public port authorities in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Kristin was the first woman to lead both the Port of New Bedford in its more than 50-year history and the Port of Hueneme in its 81-year history. She was also the 4thwoman to chair the Association of American Port Authorities in its 106 years. Her most recent recognition was to be named among the Top 50 Women in Business by the Pacific Coast Business Times in 2018, a recognition also received in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, Kristin was named Maritime Executive of the Year at the Green Shipping Summit USA, acknowledged as Top Port Director of the Year by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP), and, in November of that year, was named Outstanding Woman of the Year in International Trade by Women in Transportation – Los Angeles Chapter (WIT-LA). Kristin also made the list for thePacific Coast Business Times2017 “Who’s Who” in Business Leadership. In 2016, Kristin was recognized by World Wide Branding as a Top Female Executive. Kristin was awarded the Pacific Coast Business Times Editor’s Choice Award in 2015, and named Woman of the Year by the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce in 2014.

Kristin also supports her community by serving on the Dignity Health Ventura County Community Board, and on the Habit for Humanity Ventura County Advisory Board. She lives in Oxnard, CA with her husband, and is the proud mother of two daughters.

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 firm of over 16,000 employees world-wide, his focus has been in Rail and Transit, Ports and Harbors, Highways and Bridges, Airports, Tunnels, and transportation program delivery. He is a student of project implementation in completing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Structural Engineering from San Jose State University in 1988. He has furthered his education through international training at MM.

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

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

Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:

As a leading solutions provider, Jacobs offers best-in-class technical and delivery capabilities to meet any need. Our values include safety, integrity, ethics, diversity and inclusion; a focus on quality and long-term client relationships; a commitment to sustainability; and serving clients with the best talent in the industry.

In Southern California, we are taking on our clients’ most complex transportation challenges and solving them in innovative ways. Our people—the most talented professionals in the industry—are the secret to our success, and we have hundreds of projects across the southland that prove this. Our passion lies in helping our clients in every aspect of mobility—aviation, bridge, highway, port, transit, rail, tunnel, road and active transportation projects—with expert planning, environmental, design, engineering, project and construction management, and alternative delivery services. We are also neighbors and community members, thriving on the larger purpose behind what we build—linking communities and advancing economic and social mobility.

Jacobs will continue its longstanding commitment to Mobility 21 and its member agencies, and we look forward to solving complex challenges ahead together.

For more information, contact

Summit Gold Sponsor Spotlight:
Sara Costin Mockus, Costin Public Outreach Group

As President of Costin Public Outreach Group, Sara leads the firms’ overall vision, planning and client service. For each client she focuses on developing communications strategies and creating innovative approaches while delivering an outreach program to meet the needs of the project. With more than 25 years of experience in community outreach and engagement, Sara has been the Outreach Manager for dozens of signature transportation projects throughout Southern California. In addition, Sara has managed events for major associations and organizations including Construction Management Association of America, Mobility 21, Women’s Transportation Seminar of Orange County and Inland Empire.

Prior to moving to Southern California in 2003, Sara lived in New York and Washington, D.C. where she worked in politics. In New York she was the Field Director for the election of the New York State Comptroller, she managed the coordinated campaign for the Democratic National Committee and she was a political director for the President of the SEIU, Local 1199 Union. In Washington, D.C., Sara was the Northeast Political Director for the Clinton/Gore re-elect, managing twelve states and the District of Columbia. After the campaign, she was a Legislative Assistant in the U.S. Senate, a Legislative Analyst at the Department of Health and Human Services and a Vice President and Issues Director for Ted Kennedy, Jr.’s management firm.

Summit Gold Sponsor Spotlight:

It all started three decades ago with a call from the Santa Fe Railway.

“They needed some video work, and they needed a person who understood railroads and transportation…” said Mary McCormick, president of MBI Media (MBI). “We knew something about railroads, and we knew a great deal about video production, so it was a good match.”

McCormick started the company, 30 years ago, with a desk in a spare bedroom, a telephone, a Rolodex full of contacts, and a reputation. She made history as the first female TV news photographer in Seattle and later handled field assignment positions at KABC-TV, Los Angeles and NBC News, Burbank, before making the plunge to freelance work for a variety of broadcast clients.

Early work for Santa Fe opened doors into the world of industrial, non-broadcast video, where her news background of fast, efficient work in a photojournalism environment was well received. Soon, clients were asking about all sorts of communication tools for both in-house use and a broader range of audiences.

“Our news background and storytelling roots have served us well over the years” said McCormick. “As technology and client needs have evolved, particularly with the internet, we have grown into a full-service strategic communications provider for clients who have a story to tell, honestly and accurately.”

With a growing list of clients in public and private sectors, MBI has moved from humble, home-office roots to a well-respected company based in Covina, California with satellite locations across Southern California and the Bay Area.

“Every time I drive up to our office building, I remember how we started and how we still strive to deliver quality communication services to our clients, done honestly, creatively, on-time and on-budget,” said McCormick. “Our satisfied clients are the foundation for our strong future, and we believe that our 30 years of success are only the beginning of big things in the future… or… to come for MBI.”

MBI is a California-based privately-held strategic communications firm, specializing in the fields of transportation, engineering, and construction for public and private sectors. 

Green Line Extension to Torrance:
Two Routes Recommended for Further Study

The Green Line Extension to Torrance project returned to the Metro Board of Directors last month with the release of a Supplemental Alternatives Analysis and an agency staff recommendation to further study two of the four routes under consideration. Here’s the staff report and here is the project’s home page.

The project includes a 4.6-mile extension from Redondo Beach (Marine Station) south to the Torrance Transit Center (TC), currently under construction by the city of Torrance.

The two routes to be carried forward into the project’s formal environmental study are:

  • Alternative 1, along the existing rail right-of-way. This alternative would continue the existing aerial section south from the Redondo Beach Station over Manhattan Beach Boulevard before coming to grade at 166th Street with stations at Redondo Beach and Torrance Transit Centers. The estimated cost of this alternative is $893 million.
  • Alternative 3, which would leave the Metro right-of-way to parallel the 405 freeway. The alignment would then travel at-grade along Hawthorne Boulevard, before returning to the rail right-of-way near 190th Street. As the staff report notes, this alternative — which was developed based on stakeholder input — serves the commercial areas along Hawthorne Boulevard and provides opportunities for potential transit-oriented communities if local cities choose to update their zoning. This alternative has a cost estimate of $1.003 billion to $1.22 billion, which is more than the funding available.

Metro staff are asking the Board to approve taking the above alignments forward into a more comprehensive environmental study. Under the Measure M spending plan, the project has a groundbreaking date of 2026 with a completion date range from 2030-33. The Measure M spending plan allocates $891 million for the project, which includes $272 million of local and state funding, some of which is coming from the Senate Bill 1 gas tax and vehicle fee package.

The project is also part of the Metro Board-approved Twenty-Eight by ’28 Plan to complete 28 major projects in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. In order for that to happen, additional funding will have to be secured.

Here is a Metro staff presentation on the project (pdf here).

Related: Metro staff are also talking to stakeholders this month about a potential operating plan for the Crenshaw/LAX and Green Lines.

The issue: As part of the Crenshaw/LAX Line project, the tracks for the new rail line were joined with the Green Line tracks just west of the Green Line’s Aviation Station. That gives Metro the opportunity to move trains between the two lines, meaning there are several options for running rail service in the future.

Metro staff recommended some scenarios to the Metro Board in July and were asked to do more community outreach and return to the Board with more options in October. In the meantime, here is a new update to the Metro Board (pdf here).

Finally, one more note: Metro staff have also issued a report to the Board on transit line renaming — something that must be done because of the Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line junction, as well as the Regional Connector project that is trying together the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines. Here’s a Source post with maps.

The OC Streetcar, which will have a design similar to other OCTA transit options with the familiar blue, orange and white exterior, will run along a 4.1 mile route through downtown Santa Ana to Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove. Construction is set to begin by the end of this year. Artist rendering courtesy of the Orange County Transportation Authority.

OCTA Board Awards Contract to Build OC Streetcar

Plans for Orange County’s first modern streetcar will soon become reality, as the Orange County Transportation Authority board of directors recently awarded a contract for the construction of the OC Streetcar to Walsh Construction Co.

“This is an important milestone that puts us one step closer to breaking ground on the OC Streetcar,” said OCTA Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, also the county’s Fifth District Supervisor.

Walsh Construction, with local headquarters in Corona, submitted a bid of $220.5 million and was selected among four construction firms that met pre-qualification requirements. The procurement was handled in accordance with the board’s previously approved procedures for public works projects, which conform to federal and state requirements.

The OC Streetcar will run on a 4.1-mile route between commuter rail at the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center and Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove, connecting with several of the county’s busiest bus routes along the way.

“OCTA, in partnership with Santa Ana and Garden Grove, have been planning the OC Streetcar for years and today is a great day as we look forward now to starting construction on an exciting new transportation option in the heart of the county,” said OCTA Director and Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido.

The total OC Streetcar project is estimated to cost $407 million, with funding from a mix of federal and state sources, and from Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, also known as OC Go.

OCTA has been working closely throughout planning and design with the Federal Transit Administration, which is considering a full funding grant agreement that, along with other federal funding, would pay for about half of the project’s cost.

Because OCTA met all federal guidelines during the development of the project, FTA officials gave OCTA pre-award authority to move forward with the purchase of vehicles and the construction contract.

In March, the OCTA board approved a $51.5 million contract with Siemens Industries to provide the vehicles for the OC Streetcar system, which will havesix vehicles in operation and two spare cars that can be rotated into the system as needed.

The OC Streetcar will operate from the busy Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center, along Santa Ana Boulevard and Fourth Street and along the Pacific Electric right-of-way to Harbor Boulevard.

The route will serve Santa Ana’s thriving downtown and dense employment areas that include county and local government offices and courthouses in the Civic Center. The OC Streetcar route will also connect with many of OCTA’s busiest bus routes and Metrolink and Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner. It is expected to carry more than 7,300 passengers per day within its first year of operation.

Construction on the OC Streetcar is set to begin later this year with testing and operations beginning in 2021.

Port of Hueneme Awarded $3 Million from the California Air Resources Board to Launch Zero Emission Ship to Shore Freight Project

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has awarded $3 million to the Port of Hueneme to fund their ship to shore zero emission energy project. This project was a part of a joint application with the Port of Los Angeles for the statewide Zero- and Near Zero- Emission Freight Facilities (ZANZEFF) Grant solicitation funded through the state’s Cap and Trade dollars. Cap and Trade is a statewide initiative that puts billions of dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Port will provide a $200,000 match to the grant funding for a total project cost of $3.2 million.

“This type of funding allows our ports to continue to lead the world in reducing emissions and implementing green initiatives,” said Mary Anne Rooney, President of the Oxnard Harbor District. “It was a pleasure to partner with the Port of Los Angeles on this application, as it is a great example of how two ports, two air districts, two counties, and various private partners can come together to make real positive impacts for our environment and local communities.”

The spirit of collaboration will continue as the equipment funded through the ZANZEFF grant will be utilized by the Port’s private customers to transport their cargo from the ship to the shore. This segment of the Port’s goods movement supply chain will now have the capability to be completely zero-emission. Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director elaborated, “The projects funded by this grant will lay the foundation for the next phase of green infrastructure and equipment at the Port, which will support electric cranes, electric cargo handling equipment, and a hydrogen-fuel-cell truck dedicated to moving our customer’s fresh produce to the market place. You will be seeing zero-emission avocados, bananas, and pineapples coming out of the Port soon!” In addition to the two electric yard trucks, the Port’s project will largely include the infrastructure to make charging electric cargo handling equipment feasible on-dock.

“It is encouraging to see the state investing dollars in disadvantaged communities like those surrounding the Port,” stated Jess Ramirez, Secretary of the Oxnard Harbor District. “As a generator of over 13,600 jobs, the Port can continue to reduce air emissions even further and transition to zero-emission handling equipment, all while creating jobs and enhancing the level of service we provide to our customers at the Port of Hueneme.” The Port would like to thank the grants team of the Port of Hueneme and Port of Los Angeles for their work to secure this funding.

SCAG’s Ninth Annual Economic Summit
Explores Technology and Growth

The face of business in Southern California is changing as new, cutting-edge technologies are sparking innovation in the region’s keystone industries and emerging new economy services. Join SCAG to explore these changes at the upcoming ninth annual Southern California Economic Summit: “Exponential Growth, Exponential Future.” SCAG, in partnership with the Southern California Leadership Council, is co-hosting the summit at The L.A. Hotel Downtown in the heart of Los Angeles on Thursday, Dec. 6. Local civic and business leaders will be in attendance to assess the current state of the region’s economy, discuss the role of technology and innovation in our region’s future, and look at ways in which the region can maintain leadership and support growth in new transportation technology.

Reserve your seat today! Early bird registration is $100 per person until Nov. 12. Elected officials and city managers may attend for free.

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