Mobility 21 Transportation Summit
Talks Transportation Beyond Limits

National infrastructure experts joined forces last Friday at the Mobility 21 Summit to highlight Southern California pushing boundaries in infrastructure to transform the region’s future.

During an exclusive media availability at the Summit with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, thought-leaders provided insight into transportation’s nexus with opportunities and challenges Southern California faces in addressing affordable housing, bolstering the economy and developing resiliency to address our region’s vulnerabilities to climate change, natural disasters and an aging infrastructure system.

“In L.A, we’ve always pushed beyond the limits of what’s possible, because we’re not just preparing for the future of transportation — we’re driving it, said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This summit is about working as a region to address the challenges of today and make our communities stronger and more resilient for generations to come.”

The 18th annual Mobility 21 Southern California Transportation Summit attracted more than 1,300 local, state and federal elected officials, public agency leadership and private sector leadership throughout California to the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. Experts from a broad spectrum of backgrounds come together every year for the nonprofit organizations’ ‘beyond the limits’-themed conference and expo, the state’s largest one-day transportation event.

“Representing one of the premier regions of the country, Mobility 21 continues to grow in both voice and action when it comes to advocating for a better tomorrow,” Dr. Ray Wolfe, Chair of Mobility 21, said. “It is imperative to Southern California that we identify both the problems and solutions in our pursuit of providing transportation and other quality of life enhancements to the millions of residents we serve.”

Topics at the Summit included data driven e-commerce and goods movement, forecasts for mobility on demand services, public and private sector plans for zero emissions, workforce development, navigating impacts of state and federal funding gaps, user fees for drivers and the future of transit ridership.

Mobility 21 presented awards to several transportation leaders for their efforts to keep the region moving:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award:
    • Hon. Michael D. Antonovich, Former Supervisor, County of Los Angeles
    • Arthur T. Leahy, Former Board Member, Mobility 21
    • Hon. Gregory Pettis, Past Chairman, Riverside County Transportation Commission and Past President, Southern California Association of Governments (in memoriam)
  • Public Sector Leader of the Year:
    • Hon. Grace F. Napolitano, Congresswoman, U.S. House of Representatives and Member, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Private Sector Leader of the Year:
    • Ford Mobility

For more information about the conference, visit the event website:

Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:Kristin Decas
CEO/Port Director
The 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 reached significant new milestones with cargo growing from 1.3 million tons in FY 2012 to over 1.6 million tons in FY 2018, marking the Port’s strongest sustained trade years since its inception in 1937. With cargo up 23% since Kristin took the helm in 2012, revenues have grown an impressive 42%. Known for its niche in automobiles, bananas imports, fresh fruit, fertilizer, high and heavy, and project cargo, Port of Hueneme trade related activities generate $1.7 billion in annual economic impacts, a more than double jump since 2013. Trade related activity spurs 15,834 direct, indirect, induced and influenced jobs and $119 million in tax revenues, increases of 55% and 123% respectively over 2013 performance.

Most recent successes include securing a $3.3 million California Air Resources Board grant for zero emission equipment and infrastructure, a $12.3 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER), and a $1.5 million federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant. Over $45 million in infrastructure improvements are advancing on Kristin’s watch, including at berth shoreside power plug-ins for refrigerated cargo ships and a harbor deepening project that will also re-nourish local beaches. Kristin championed the first annual Port Banana Festival, drawing over 12,000 visitors to the Port.

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 leveraging economic development through international trade promotion, and for her service on several federal shipping and port committees. Mrs. Decas currently serves as the 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. 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). 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 82-year history. She was the 4th woman to chair the Association of American Port Authorities in its 106 years. In her most recent recognition she was named a Woman of the Year Award Recipient by State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and Assembly Member Monique Limón for Senate District 19. Kristin has been recognized as one the Top 50 Women in Business by the Pacific Coast Business Times in 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016, receiving the editor’s choice award in 2015. 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 the Pacific Coast Business Times 2017 “Who’s Who” in Business Leadership. In 2016, Kristin was recognized by World Wide Branding as a Top Female Executive. Kristin received 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 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, 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.

Like Arcadis’ Rotterdam Central Station, pictured above, San Jose’s Diridon Station will be a state-of-the art transit venue improving mobility throughout Silicon Valley by providing a world-class experience for its multi-modal users.

Mobility 21 Summit Titanium Sponsor Spotlight: Arcadis

For many decades, Arcadis has been creating and transforming intermodal regional transportation projects around the world, including Rotterdam Central Station and Amsterdam Central Station, where we’ve improved the traveler experience by putting people first. 

In 2018, Arcadis was selected to team with local agencies to transform San Jose’s historic Diridon Station into a bold and innovative transportation destination in the heart of the city. Arcadis is collaborating with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, the City of San Jose, Caltrain, and the California High-Speed Rail Authority to create an iconic multimodal venue that offers a gateway to Silicon Valley.

Diridon Station currently serves riders through long distance, light rail, and bus service and will transform the area into a destination neighborhood. The completion and expansion of transportation projects over the next several years will make Diridon Station one of the busiest in North America. Upgrades to Diridon Station will include fully integrated modes of transportation, enhancements in technology, retail and recreational space, and other amenities. The Diridon Station project is consistent with Arcadis’ performance driven approach for urban planning and Mobility-Oriented Development, or MODe, which outlines ways to create a balanced transit hub.

For more information on the Diridon project or Arcadis’ MODe, please contact Steve Truman, Senior Vice President of Arcadis.


Mobility 21 Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:
Automobile Club of Southern California

A distracted driving survey from the Automobile Club of Southern California shows 10 percent of adult drivers always or frequently use their smartphone while driving, even though it is against the law. The study also finds drivers who are significantly more likely to drive ‘intexticated’ are between 25 to 39 years old and/or those who send and receive more than 50 text messages per day on their smartphones.

The Auto Club survey also revealed:

  • Ten percent say they have been involved in a crash in the last five years in which they believe distraction played a role.
  • Drivers said they were most likely to drive while ‘intexticated’ when they were alone in the car.
  • 46 percent admit to driving ‘intexticated’ at least once.

“The bad news is that too many drivers are still putting safety at risk by using smartphones behind the wheel,” said Auto Club CEO John Boyle. “However, we are committed to reducing needless deaths and injuries by increasing the social stigma of texting while driving.”

As part of its “Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated.” Initiative, the Auto Club is hosting the Walk to End Distracted Driving, open to the public, Oct. 5 in Long Beach.

Mobility 21 Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight: TRC

Groundbreaker. Game changer. Pioneer. Since the 1960s TRC’s 5,000 professionals have set the bar for clients who require more than just engineering, combining science with the latest technology to devise innovative solutions that stand the test of time. Today we are a global consulting firm for the oil and gas, power, environmental and infrastructure markets. We deliver breakthrough solutions that address local needs – so our clients can better succeed in an ever-changing world.

Rethinking and rebuilding our transportation infrastructure is one of the nation’s most pressing and costly issues. TRC provides the vision to move California forward.

Our presence is deeply rooted and expanding quickly to serve the state’s ever-changing transportation needs. With nearly 650 employees statewide, we provide integrated programmatic consulting,  project planning, environmental  analysis, remediation, community outreach, engineering design, construction and construction management for the California High Speed Rail Authority, Caltrans, BART, Metro, OCTA  and several local agencies, helping them to continually transform and improve to meet stakeholders’ needs.

Ranked # 6 by Engineering News-Record in its most recent ranking of California design firms, TRC looks forward to providing the solutions that the Golden State needs to progress through the 21st century.

Metrolink has an average of 40,000 boardings on a typical business day with 84 percent indicating that they use Metrolink to get to work.

Mobility 21 Summit Gold Sponsor Spotlight: Metrolink

Metrolink was pleased to offer free round-trip service to attendees of the 2019 Mobility 21 Southern California Transportation Summit “Beyond the Limits” as a benefit of event registration.

Metrolink is a vital part of Southern California’s transportation ecosystem with about 40,000 boardings on an average weekday. Metrolink service covers six counties and is the link to educational and employment opportunities.

By riding Metrolink to the conference, you join with others who choose to give up their cars and use safe, clean, efficient and economical regional rail. Metrolink riders reduce traffic by an estimated 8.7 million car trips not taken and help the environment by saving 13.7 million gallons of gasoline every year.

Metrolink has embarked on a 10-year program to improve regional rail infrastructure in time for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic and Paralympic Games. The projects will enable more service, more often and improve safety. The goal is to build the safest, most reliable, innovative and customer-focused rail agency anywhere.

Thank you for using Metrolink to attend Mobility 21. Enjoy the service and an easy trip to Anaheim.

Via driver meeting at a pick-up location.

Metro’s Partnership with Via Hits 20,000 Rides

Metro has just completed half a year of service in its partnership with Via (an on-demand, shared ride service). Metro has made exciting strides in the numbers, reaching 1,600 rides per week, a tenfold increase since the first week of service. El Monte has now surpassed North Hollywood as the most popular zone.

Metro’s partnership with Via is funded in part by a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration Grant. The goals of this pilot are to test the viability of using on-demand technology to connect people to Metro’s transit system (current and new customers) and to open the benefits of transportation network companies (TNCs) to more people by making the service more accessible.

Did you know that you can get FREE RIDES to or from select Metro and Metrolink stations this summer?

Service runs between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays. The rides are shared with other Metro patrons to reduce congestion and pollution.

If you’re traveling to or from the area shown in blue below, just download the app or call 1 (833) 917-0697 to book a ride. You don’t need a credit card or bank account, and wheelchair accessible vehicles are available.

One of the pilot program goals is to test whether an on-demand service can make it easier for customers to get to and from transit and create a more seamless travel experience.

Giant Girders are on the Go from Perris to Norco for 15 Express Lanes Project

What’s as long as five school buses placed end-to-end and as heavy as 65 sport utility vehicles? (Hint: It’s really big and is made in the City of Perris). Did you guess a concrete girder? Maybe not, but crews for the Interstate 15 Express Lanes Project are using these monster girders to widen the Santa Ana River Bridge in Norco.

Weighing in at more than 132 tons (whoa!) and measuring 175 feet long, 4 feet wide and 7.5 feet tall, these super-sized girders are the heaviest ever to be made in California.

“Although a longer girder – 177 feet – has been manufactured in the past in California, we are using the heaviest girders ever made statewide for this bridge,” said Justin Wheaton of Skanska-Ames Joint Venture, the project’s design builder.

The Santa Ana River Bridge is 1,800 feet long and will be supported by 55 girders, all of which are making a three-hour trek from Oldcastle Infrastructure in Perris, where workers are fabricating the girders to exact specifications.

Using precast girders – those that are manufactured off-site – has several benefits, I-15 Express Lanes Project Manager David Thomas said, including a higher quality project from a controlled environment and safer working conditions. The off-site fabrication also reduces the effect on I-15 drivers, since crews don’t have to build and later remove bridge support structures, processes that usually require full closures of all lanes.

Thomas also noted, “This process reduces the time we are working in the Santa Ana Riverbed, which is a sensitive habitat that supports hundreds of plant and animal species. Once the girders are completed off-site, we transport them and use a specialized crane to place them directly onto the Santa Ana River Bridge from above.”

The girders have been making the journey from Perris using southbound Interstate 215, westbound Murrieta Hot Springs Road, and northbound Interstate 15 to Norco, a distance of about 61 miles. Because of the size of the trucks that carry the girders, the transport takes place during off-peak hours, typically starting at 1 a.m. Four CHP units accompany the trucks and conduct short traffic breaks to enter I-215 and I-15. Once the girders arrive in Norco, crews use massive cranes to move them into place. Trucks then follow the reverse route back to Perris. This process is being repeated until all 55 girders are delivered, likely in October.

The 14-foot wheel base of the transport trucks requires the use of two lanes, so early morning drivers should allow extra time, especially on northbound I-15, to accommodate these girders on the go.

Cars travel over the Slater Avenue bridge in Fountain Valley on Friday, Aug. 30, the morning after the bridge opened. It’s the first bridge that was demolished and rebuilt to accommodate more traffic on the I-405. The Orange County Transportation Authority is leading a $1.9 billion improvement of 16 miles of the freeway between SR-55 and the Los Angeles County Line.

First Bridge Opens on OCTA’s I-405 Improvement Project

The first bridge to be rebuilt and widened as part of the I-405 Improvement Project opened to traffic in late August, a major milestone for the $1.9 billion project.

The Slater Avenue bridge in Fountain Valley was fully demolished in September 2019 and reconstructed in less than a year.

It is the first of 18 bridges to be built, widened or replaced as part of the project, which will speed up travel times on I-405 between Costa Mesa and the Los Angeles County line, an area traveled by more than 370,000 vehicles a day.

The I-405 Improvement Project, the largest highway project under construction in California, will add one regular lane in each direction, as promised to voters through Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. The project also adds a second lane in the center of the freeway, which combined with the existing carpool lanes, will create the 405 Express Lanes.

With the 405 Express Lanes, modeled after OCTA’s successful 91 Express Lanes, solo drivers will have the choice to pay a toll to speed up their commute. The initial toll policy allows all three-person carpools to use the 405 Express lanes for free at all times and two-person carpools pay a toll only during rush hour.

This 16-mile segment of I-405 is one of the most heavily traveled stretches of highway in the nation, and drivers routinely face severe congestion in both the regular lanes and carpool lanes. The project is critical to accommodate expected employment, population and housing growth throughout Southern California.

The I-405 Improvement Project, set to be completed in 2023, is being funded with a combination of local, state and federal funds, including a $629 million federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan. The federal loan will save taxpayers approximately $300 million compared to traditional financing methods.

OC 405 Partners, a team of firms led by OHL USA, Inc. and Astaldi Construction Corporation, is designing and constructing the project, the largest in OCTA’s history.

Construction updates are available at or on the project’s mobile app. To download the free app, search 405 Improvement in the App Store or Google Play.

Mobility 21 wants to hear from you


If you have ideas for future Mobility 21 Forward Motion articles, send them to Kristin Slocum at