Mobility 21 to Co-host Holiday Reception Honoring California Transportation Commission
Please join RCTC, IEEP, Mobility 21 and SBCTA on Wednesday, Dec. 6 for a holiday reception honoring the California Transportation Commission (CTC).
Wednesday, Dec. 6, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Riverside County Administrative Center
$1,000 – Host Level: Includes logo on event marketing and two complimentary tickets
$500 – Support Level: Includes logo on event marketing and one complimentary ticket
$250 – Small Business Level: Includes logo on event marketing and one complimentary ticket
Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Director of Government and Community Relations
San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments
Ricky Choi is Director of Government and Community Relations at the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) and is responsible for overseeing local, state, and federal public policy and legislative advocacy, communications, public outreach and stakeholder engagement for the Alameda Corridor-East Project, a comprehensive program of safety improvements and mobility upgrades at 53 railroad crossings and 19 roadway-railroad crossing grade separation projects in Los Angeles County. He has nearly two decades of extensive experience in local and state government, public affairs, and strategic communications. Ricky has led the execution of construction outreach for a broad range of capital and transportation infrastructure projects, directed grant funding and government affairs efforts, and has supported regulatory compliance and infrastructure program oversight and implementation, including project development, environmental clearance, property acquisition and construction.
Prior to joining the SGVCOG, Ricky served as Communications Director at BuildLACCD, Community Relations Manager at the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority and was a key community liaison and legislative advisor in the California State Assembly, California State Board of Equalization and the Office of the California Lieutenant Governor. Ricky graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and was named to the 40 Under 40 List by the National Association of Asian Pacifics in Politics and Public Affairs.
Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Chief Executive Officer
San Diego Association of Governments
Hasan Ikhrata is one of the preeminent transportation planning experts in the nation. As chief executive officer of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), Mr. Ikhrata sets the vision of the agency, implements policies set by its Board of Directors, and oversees a staff of more than 400 professionals who plan, implement, and build solutions.
Every day, SANDAG tackles problems like transportation access, the housing crisis, climate change, and social equity. By bringing together local decision-makers, the latest data, and public input, SANDAG is transforming transportation in the San Diego region. The agency is a role model for public sector innovation with an ambitious work program and a reputation for success.
Mr. Ikhrata has more than 35 years of public and private sector transportation planning experience. Prior to joining SANDAG in 2018, Mr. Ikhrata worked for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).
Mr. Ikhrata earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in civil and industrial engineering from Zaporozhye University in the former Soviet Union, a master’s degree in civil engineering from UCLA, and a PhD candidacy in urban planning and transportation from the University of Southern California. He is an adjunct professor in the business school at California State University, Northridge, and serves as a mentor for graduate students at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.
He has received several awards and honors from various organizations, including the American Society of Public Administration, Southern California Leadership Council, Orange County Transportation Authority, Orange County Business Council, League of California Cities, City of Los Angeles, State of California, Association of the San Bernardino County Special Districts, the Building Industry Association, regional chapters of the Women’s
Transportation Seminar, and numerous others.
Being part of the SANDAG team has been one of the proudest accomplishments in his 30- plus-year career. In December 2023, he will vacate his post at SANDAG to serve as a professor at USC and as an ITS Senior Fellow at UCLA. He plans to continue his contributions to major infrastructure and policy challenges throughout Southern California and the state as a leader in innovative, data-driven solutions and projects.
Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:
Founded in 1969 in St. Joseph, MO, Herzog is the only private contractor in the U.S. that builds, operates, and maintains rail transit systems. Our expertise encompasses a wide array of rail technologies including metro rail, commuter rail, light rail, and streetcar systems. Moreover, Herzog Transit Services, Inc. (HTSI) is the largest private passenger rail operations and maintenance (O&M) provider in the U.S., overseeing 18 transit properties nationwide. In California, HTSI manages O&M for the Altamont Corridor Express operating from Stockton to San Jose, while our subsidiary, TransitAmerica Services, Inc., operates the Arrow service from San Bernardino to Redlands, and provides dedicated O&M services for Caltrain in the Bay Area. Herzog is currently involved in the startup efforts for the OC Streetcar project for the Orange County Transportation Authority.
Herzog’s California presence extends over four decades, marked by the successful completion of over 100 rail transit construction projects and job order contracts in the state. Recent project highlights include the completion of the award-winning, 11-mile SANDAG Mid-Coast Transit Corridor (MTS Blue Line Extension) in San Diego, showcasing our team’s dedication to delivering exceptional rail mobility solutions. Herzog also led and supported the teams that constructed the recently opened Brightline’s 129-mile high-speed rail system in South Florida and is currently providing pre-construction services for Brightline West – a 218-mile high-speed rail route from Southern California to Las Vegas. Our commitment to excellence is also evident in the ongoing track and signal maintenance for 546 route miles of the Metrolink system in Los Angeles.
Past construction work on California projects such as the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor, the Metro Southwestern Yard Maintenance Facility, POLB Middle Harbor – Pier E, and SMART IOS-1 & 1a have collectively contributed to the completion of an impressive 378 miles of rail infrastructure in the state. Herzog’s legacy in California continues to shape the future of rail transit across the region, cementing our reputation as a trusted partner in rail innovation and development.
Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:
SoCalGas’s proposed Angeles Link project could provide clean fuel to hydrogen fuel cell trucks.
Last year, SoCalGas announced its proposal to develop Angeles Link, which would be the nation’s largest green hydrogen energy infrastructure system to deliver clean, reliable renewable energy to the Los Angeles region. The proposed Angeles Link would support the integration of more renewable electricity resources like solar and wind and would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric generation, industrial processes, heavy-duty trucks, and other hard-to-electrify sectors of the Southern California economy. It would also significantly decrease demand for natural gas, diesel, and other fossil fuels in the LA Basin, helping accelerate California’s and the region’s climate and clean air goals.
The Los Angeles Basin is home to many potential green hydrogen users. Angeles Link’s green hydrogen could:
- Displace up to 3 million gallons of diesel fuel per day by replacing diesel powered heavy-duty trucks with hydrogen fuel cell trucks
- Eliminate up to nearly 25,000 tons of smog forming NOx per year
- Provide the clean fuel to convert up to four natural gas power plants to green hydrogen
Angeles Link would deliver green hydrogen in an amount equivalent to almost 25 percent of the natural gas SoCalGas delivers today. Building the system to provide a clean alternative fuel could, over time and combined with other future clean energy projects, reduce natural gas demand served by the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, facilitating its ultimate retirement while continuing to provide reliable and affordable energy to the region.
To learn more about Angeles Link, click here.
Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:
Ontario International Airport
Southern California’s Easiest Airport: Ontario International Airport
One hundred years young, Ontario International Airport (ONT) has emerged at the gateway of choice for millions of Southern Californians. In fact, based on travel times, 10 million people live or work closer to ONT than any other airport. And that’s just the start. With a service area that’s centered in the dynamic Inland Empire, ONT has a projected long-term capacity of 33 million passengers – more than five times current levels.
But it’s ONT’s bigger role in the region – as an economic driver, jobs creator and global gateway – that truly stands out. According to a 2022 study by Oxford Economics, Ontario International generates $3.8 billion in annual economic activity, supports 27,800 jobs, and serves as the hub of a global supply chain network that generates another $17.8 billion in economic output.
Today, ONT can stake claim to both the fastest-growing passenger airport in the U.S. for the past five years, according to Global Traveler magazine, and one of the Top 10 cargo airports in North America. It also is celebrating both 100 years since its birth as a small landing strip and seven years since its return to local ownership – all while living up to its motto, “So Cal, So Easy.”
Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:
Southwest Mountain States Carpenters
The Southwest Mountain States Carpenters represents more than 90,000 members across twelve states: Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska.
We work with contractors, developers, and elected leaders to raise the standard of building and living for all workers. As an affiliate of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, SWMSRCC is the largest Council in the Brotherhood.
Our members build the biggest transportation projects in the western states including airports, rail transit, roads, subways, bridges, and freeways.
SWMSRCC provides our members with the tools to succeed, including steady jobs with high wages, and a strong benefits package to keep themselves and their families healthy. Our members also receive a pension, so they can retire in dignity.
Southwest Mountain States Carpenters Build Better.
A Throne in a park in the eastern U.S.
Our Pilot Program to Test Restrooms for Riders and Staff Begins this Month at Four Metro Stations
One of the challenging issues that we’ve grappled with over the years is the frequent request by riders for Metro to add public restrooms at stations. Quite understandably, riders want to be comfortable — especially on long trips across our huge service area.
Beginning this month, we’re launching a six-month pilot program that will add toilets at three busy stations for riders — Westlake/MacArthur Park on the B/D Lines, Willowbrook/Rosa Parks on the A/C Lines and Norwalk on the C Line. We’re also adding a non-public Throne at the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station for bus operators taking breaks.
The interior of a Throne unit
These will join the public restrooms that we already have at Union Station, El Monte Station and Harbor Gateway — three very busy hubs for sure but a fraction of the hundreds of rail and bus stops that Metro uses across L.A. County.
The pilot program is in partnership with a start-up company called Throne, which is trying to solve a problem that is prevalent in many parts of the world: a severe lack of public restrooms.
Each Throne unit is portable, ADA accessible, touchless and includes a flush toilet, a sink with running water and robust ventilation system. The units run on solar power and require no connections to water, sewer or electricity; each unit has a freshwater and wastewater tank that is more than four times larger than what’s found in a regular portable toilet, according to Throne.
Users can rate their Throne experience with their phones
Here’s how it will work:
- The toilets will be free and can be unlocked via QR code or by sending a quick SMS text message with a cell phone — a smartphone or flip phone will work (our most recent customer survey shows that 92 percent of riders have a basic cell phone or smartphone). Tying use to a phone number allows Throne to add accountability to public restrooms by warning or restricting access to users that break rules or damage the restrooms.
- Toilets will generally be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. Exact hours may vary by location. All visual and audio instructions are provided in English and Spanish.
- Each Throne unit is equipped with 21 internet-connected sensors that allow Throne to know if everything is working — and when units need cleaning. In addition, users will be asked to rate their restroom experience and let Throne know when there are issues that require attention.
- Throne use is limited to 10 minutes, which is consistent with other automated restrooms such as the ones at El Monte and Harbor Gateway. Visitors are made aware of the time limit when entering the restroom and the door automatically opens after 10 minutes with ample warning to the user. The door will stay open until the user exits.
- Metro Ambassadors will have the ability to open toilets if not in use and will be monitoring the toilets to help riders access them if needed.
Public restrooms have long been a contentious issue, especially on public transit. Riders often say they want them, while transit agencies often cite the expensive burden of keeping restrooms clean, safe and free of inappropriate or illegal activity. This New York Times article from earlier this year looks at the dearth of public restrooms in the United States and beyond — and some of the new approaches that cities and public agencies are taking.
The pilot is made possible by Metro’s unsolicited proposal process overseen by our Office of Strategic Innovation. Unsolicited proposals have proven to be a good way to quickly get good ideas in the door and out on the system.
We expect to learn much from the pilot, specifically how the public toilets perform, the demand for them and public acceptance. The findings will help guide us when it comes to public restrooms in the future. Restrooms has been a much discussed issue in the past on The Source; comment away please!
The training day, typically held twice a year, gave service animals the chance to ride the bus for free around Anaheim Resort District to get accustomed to real-life conditions
Hundreds of Dogs Practice Riding OC Buses to
Help Serve the People Who Need Their Assistance
At one curb, Molly the white lab mix, wagged her tail as the ramp came to a stop and she successfully guided her trainer onto an OC ACCESS paratransit bus.
A few feet away, a black lab mix named Daisy, hesitated as the doors of a 40-foot OC Bus swung open, sitting at the curb as a coach operator welcomed her inside. But with a little encouragement from her trainer, Daisy led the way onto the bus and happily to her spot under a bus seat next to a line of other canines ready to serve.
In all, more than 200 dogs and their trainers took advantage of OCTA’s semi-annual Service Animal Training in Anaheim on Saturday, Oct. 7. The day allows dogs training to serve people with special needs practice with distractions and loud noises – yelling, pops, screeches – everything they could encounter on the streets of Orange County and wherever they travel.
Trainers came to the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) by car and train from all over Orange County and surrounding counties to ride OC Buses, dispatched every 20 minutes, to stops at GardenWalk shopping center and Downtown Disney.
Participants from organizations such as The Guide Dogs for the Blind and Canine Companions routinely participate in the training – both for puppy practice and for building stronger human relationships.
OCTA has been holding the training for more than a decade, usually about every six months. The day of practice for service dogs was put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic but resumed last year. The next training has yet to be scheduled but will likely take place in spring 2024.
For more information and updates, visit octa.net/ServiceAnimal.
Help OCTA Expand and Enhance Public
Transportation Services in Orange County
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is developing the 2024 OC Transit Vision Master Plan (OC Transit Vision), which aims to integrate, enhance, and expand transportation services in Orange County. This study will build upon the previous 2018 plan and other recent studies to establish a framework for future transit investments to include bus, streetcar, microtransit (ex. community shuttles), and more across the county.
Here is how to get involved:
Attend the Zoom Webinar
November 2, from 5:30-6:30pm. Register here!
Participate in the Online Survey
Take the survey by November 17 for a chance to win one of four $50 gift cards!
Learn more about the plan and how you can get involved by visiting octa.net/OCTransitVision.
71/91 Interchange Project: Progress Update
More than nine months have gone by since the Riverside County Transportation Commission, along with project partners, began construction of the 71/91 Interchange Project in the city of Corona. This project will improve traffic flow in this heavily traveled area between Riverside, Orange, and San Bernardino counties. Once completed, the new interchange will improve safety, expand access to other modes of travel, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance traffic flow by replacing the existing single-lane loop connector with the two-lane direct connector.
Since the shovels broke ground in January, crews have made significant strides on the project. If you have driven on the 91 lately, you probably have seen cranes, drills, bulldozers, and so much more on the side of the 71 and 91 and in the median.
In early June, the project completed a major construction task. Crews moved large equipment and materials to the median of the 91 to build a large support column that will support the new connector. The support column is a large rebar cage weighing more than 232,000 pounds with a 14-foot diameter and 160 feet tall. Crews were able to fit this structure into a 15-foot diameter, 160-predrilled hole in the median and fill it with 700 cubic yards of concrete.
To build the new eastbound 91 to northbound 71 connector, crews now need to build the support structures that will be approximately 30 feet high and will span across the 91. Beams measuring 120 feet long and weighing 18 tons each will be placed across supports to create a tunnel-like structure. To accomplish this safely, the project will require full weeknight eastbound 91 closures starting on October 16 through November 21, Monday through Wednesday. For more information on the closures, visit rctc.org/7191closures.
This project is a covered activity under the MSHCP and is in close proximity to the Santa Ana River. As an important corridor for native wildlife, the project will support continued movement through this area by mountain lions, bobcats, and coyotes. RCA, RCTC, and project partners are working closely together to ensure the protection of sensitive habitat during the life of the project.
Construction crews have maintained open drainage culverts to facilitate the safe passage of animals. Wildlife fencing and native plants are being used to funnel wildlife into existing crossings. Easy access through this area helps animals pursue food and mates, avoid inbreeding, and increase genetic variation. Safe wildlife movement also dramatically reduces motorist-animal collisions.
The project is anticipated to open in 2025. To learn more about this project and to register for construction updates, visit rctc.org/71-91interchange.
SBCTA Business 2 Business Expo
The annual SBCTA Business 2 Business Expo is held at the Ontario Convention Center with the goal of connecting prime and subcontractors for future teaming opportunities, enhancing awareness of local labor, and educating prospective bidders on contracting opportunities through SBCTA. This event has a focus on transportation, which represents the type of projects SBCTA designs and builds. The event is incredibly successful and draws in more than 300 attendees. This gathering of representatives from throughout the industry includes a State of Transportation address and networking opportunities.
Click here to download the flyer and register today!
By implementing a new element, the SBCOG-supported Small Business 2 Business panel and networking, the goal is to provide a forum for the gathering, engagement, and networking of small business throughout the region. SBCTA recognizes and appreciates that the key to success of this feature will be the participation of its member agencies. Small businesses seeking government contracts may see enhanced success in gaining those contracts through the city and county procurement processes.
As such, the small business element will focus on connecting the small businesses with SBCOG’s member agencies as well as with resources available to them in the forms of non-profits and non-government organizations, such as Inland Economic Growth & Opportunity and Chambers of Commerce. The panel discussion will be designed around upcoming procurements and tips on how to be successful in the procurement process. The panel will be composed of procurement and project management staff from our agency’s members that will be able to provide clear perspective from the agencies themselves. In addition, small businesses will have the opportunity to network with resources and other businesses.
The event is scheduled for November 7, 2023, and attendance is free. For more information about the SBCTA Business 2 Business Expo, visit goSBCTA.com.