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Forward Motion, September 2020

Mobility 21 Hosts 2020 Virtual Summit

Mobility 21 was honored to present the 19th annual Southern California Transportation Summit virtually this year! The Summit featured incredible discussions, expert panelists, face time networking, 3D exhibitor booths and engaging live chats during the General and Breakout Sessions.

2020 Virtual Summit by the Numbers:

• 2 days – Thursday, Sept. 17 – Friday, Sept. 18, 2020
• Nearly 1,000 registered attendees
• 3 General Sessions
• 8 Breakout Sessions
• More than 60 speakers
• More than 70 virtual exhibitors across 15 expo floors

Here’s what people are saying:

“Mobility 21 has set a precedent for conferences that all others will be measured! Congratulations! That was amazing! All of the speakers and panels were fantastic, but that closing session today was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Others have used the word “riveting” – and I can’t think of another word that describes it better.  How ya gonna top this???? Oh and don’t get me started on the bento box – loved it!!!”

“How spectacular! This is quite a memorable event, not only the virtual presentation but the sensitive and important topics had my undivided attention. Looking forward to receiving links to the different sessions so that I may enjoy those as well. Thanks for your dedication to our industry.”

“Amazing conference! Way to embrace the change! I swear, 3 hours flew by! Everything has been so well thought out. Everyone seems very engaged.”

“This is so cool. Mobility 21 is a pioneer in virtual conferences. It’s exciting.”


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 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. From 2015 to 2910 Mrs. Decas served as 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. She was also named 2019 General Manager of the Year by Ventura County Special Districts Association. 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.


The pathway of the California High-Speed Rail is coming into view as Flatiron creates its solid foundation.

Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:
Flatiron

Flatiron helps create California High-Speed Rail

Flatiron is more than a construction company. It’s an organization of some 3,500 people with diverse backgrounds and varied expertise who share a single focus on enhancing the well-being of people and communities.

The company brings together industry-leading engineers, on-site project managers, highly skilled craft workers and other professionals to deliver innovative solutions to infrastructure challenges across the U.S. and Canada. Teaming with partners, subcontractors, specialty contractors and material suppliers, Flatiron builds highways, bridges, airports, rail transit, dams, water facilities and underground projects that fuel local economies, improve safety and enhance efficiency.

A great example is the California High-Speed Rail project where Flatiron has teamed to build a 65-mile high-speed rail segment from Fresno to near Allensworth, a critical swath cutting through the state’s Central Valley region. The project includes more than 60-grade separations, including viaducts, underpasses and overpasses. Additionally, it requires relocating utilities and placement of more than 19 million cubic yards of embankment, culverts, trenches and tunnels.

Another important aspect of this project is a commitment to support employment of disadvantaged workers and disadvantaged business enterprises.

Flatiron regularly is recognized for excellence in infrastructure construction, partnering and safety. In the highly respected 2020 Engineering News-Record “Top 400” rankings, Flatiron is in the top ten in the Transportation and Top 50 Domestic Heavy Contractors categories.

We employ the best people to deliver the best solutions. We transform infrastructure.


Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight:
TRC

Innovator. Game changer. Pioneer. Since the 1960s TRC has 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 power, environmental and infrastructure markets all backed by our digital solutions practice. TRC’s 5,000 professionals and experts work with a broad range of commercial, industrial and government clients and the communities they serve. We deliver breakthrough solutions that address local needs – so our clients can better serve and 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.


Summit Gold Sponsor Spotlight:
Metrolink

Transportation in the Generation of COVID-19

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, plunging the world into fear and uncertainty. Set to beat ridership records for the sixth consecutive year, Metrolink’s ridership dropped by 90% following California’s stay-at-home orders. But while much of the country came to a standstill, Metrolink did not, and instead continued serving the essential workers who still rely on Metrolink. At the same time, Metrolink jumped into action to meet our customers’ needs in a completely new environment.

The first step: understand what’s on the minds of our most important stakeholders: our riders and our employees.  Metrolink surveyed employees and customers during the stay-at-home orders to understand the best ways to serve them. This feedback provided invaluable insight and revealed a priority for enhanced cleanliness and onboard hand sanitizer stations. Metrolink addressed these concerns through efforts such as dedicating more staff to cleaning and optimizing cleaning procedures, as well as adding hand sanitizer stations to every train car.

Survey results also showed that seven out of ten riders identify themselves as “Essential Workers,” with 32 percent reporting that they solely depend on public transportation for getting around. Metrolink service is essential to these essential workers, and essential to the environment in eliminating 9.3 million car trips on Southern California roads.

Metrolink and other transportation agencies began the work of solving these difficult issues, then sharing ideas with each other to answer agency problems. Through collaborative efforts, Metrolink’s business intelligence is at a new level. And staff is empowered to share their ideas and to collaborate for the good of the agency.

Southern California’s public transportation systems have a long way to go before ridership is back to normal and growing again. In the meantime, agencies can position themselves to prepare for that time by taking preemptive action, empowering staff and continuing to put customers first.


Bus passengers riding OC Bus can now access real-time bus occupancy data on a mobile device. Photo courtesy of OCTA.

Real-time Info Helps Riders with OC Bus Capacity

Passengers on OC Bus can now see in real-time from the convenience of their mobile device whether their bus has enough available seats for them to ride, another important safety measure during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) launched this innovative real-time occupancy data feature in partnership with the Transit app at the start of September. OCTA is one of 38 agencies worldwide offering bus capacity information via the Transit app.

OC Bus riders can download the free Transit app to help plan their bus trip, to see where their bus is currently running on the route, and – for the first time – receive information on how full the bus is.

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, OCTA is limiting the number of passengers on buses to allow for physical distancing of at least six feet, when possible. The guideline is for a regular 40-foot bus to carry no more than 15 passengers, and a 60-foot bus up to 20 passengers.

With the Transit app, those waiting for a bus can get information showing that a particular bus has “many seats (less than one-third full), “some seats” (less than two-thirds full), or “very limited seats” (more than two-thirds full), as the bus approaches their location.

“The health of our passengers and employees has always been our priority and the addition of information about bus capacity gives our OC Bus riders another important tool to help them travel intelligently and safely, especially during these difficult times,” said OCTA Chairman Steve Jones, also the Mayor of Garden Grove.

OCTA’s automated passenger counting (APC) system, for years the tool to track ridership numbers throughout the bus system, is being used to communicate current capacity information through the Transit app.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a devastating public health crisis that has been a catalyst for  OCTA to examine all of our operations closely from a health and safety perspective,” said OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson. “Exploring and implementing technology solutions is one more way to improve the travel experience for essential workers and others who depend upon transit.”

The addition of real-time capacity data is the latest safety measure OCTA is taking during the ongoing public health crisis. Other measures have included, enhanced bus cleanings, temporary rear-door boardings, onboard hand sanitizers, requiring passengers to wear face coverings, and a pilot program that has helped distribute more than 17,000 free face coverings to riders who need them.

The real-time information is only available via the Transit app for now. It can be downloaded for free at the App Store or on Google Play. Once downloaded, riders can tap on a specific route for a “route detail view,” then tap on the bus icon itself for current capacity information for a particular bus on the route. More information is available at www.transitapp.com.

For more information on OCTA’s bus system, visit www.OCBus.com


RCTC has installed Suicide Prevention Helpline signs at stations throughout Riverside County, including the Riverside-Hunter Park/UCR Station along the 91/Perris Valley Line.

RCTC Installs Suicide Prevention Helpline Signs at Metrolink Stations to Help Those in Need

Without a doubt, 2020 has been a year filled with challenges. Paying attention to our mental well-being can be daunting amid the coronavirus pandemic, racial and social unrest, economic uncertainties, changes in work and educational settings, and political strife. During these tough times, stress, anxiety, and depression can hit with dire consequences.  While we all cope with anxiety differently, some people decide to end their lives. We need to help each other get through these tough times by providing a link to resources.

During National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September, the Riverside County Transportation Commission installed Suicide Prevention Lifeline signs at Metrolink stations and will be soon be installing them along the railroad tracks in Riverside and Perris. The signs prominently display the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, 800-273-8255 (800-273-TALK).

Through this toll-free number, the lifeline is a national service designed to seamlessly connect people in each state to locally financed and operated crisis centers, so they can get the best care, nearest to them. The lifeline is for anyone considering ending his or her life or those who want to talk about problems they are facing. Available 24 hours each day/7 days each week, the lifeline provides help for English and Spanish callers and for those who are deaf and hard of hearing.

According to the latest California Department of Public Health report, in 2017 there were 4,323 suicides in California, with significantly higher than average rates of suicide in Riverside County. Whether you are near railroad tracks, at home, or anywhere else, trained staff members are available to help.  Learn more here about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline program and how you can help.


Metrolink Joins Over 100 Transit Agencies Nationwide in Health & Safety Pledge

Metrolink, Southern California’s passenger train service, joined more than 100 transportation agencies from across the nation in a pledge to take the necessary steps to keep riders and employees safe from the spread of COVID-19. A part of the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) national Health and Safety Commitments (HSC) Program, the pledge – and its participants – were announced at a virtual event.

For being part of this program and making this commitment to health and safety, Metrolink will proudly display APTA’s Seal of Commitment on signage, in trains, at stations, and on its website and social media. The seal means Metrolink has pledged to institute policies and practices in four major areas:

  • Followingofficial guidance
  • Protecting each other through smart practices and behaviors
  • Making informed choices based on timely information
  • Putting health first

The HSC will also help transit agencies nationwide share information and deliver the highest safety standards as more becomes known about the COVID-19.

“The Metrolink Board approved signing on to APTA’s Health and Safety Commitments Program pledge to give riders and employees the utmost confidence that we not only have the highest safety standards, but will continue to support, learn, and improve safety efforts through a national coalition that matches our already considerable commitment,” said Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “Transit is critical to support our businesses, our economy and the essential workers that are keeping our communities functioning.”

Metrolink has implemented an aggressive safety program to keep riders and team members safe. Some of the initiatives implemented include:

  • Following official guidance.
  • More frequent cleaning with added staff to clean throughout the day in addition to off-hours at night.
  • Use of an electrostatic sprayer to disinfect trains every day, including the tough to reach places.
  • Supplying team members with masks to wear and to provide to riders who forget their own so that they can comply with the requirement to use face coverings on board all Metrolink trains. Audits show more than 99% compliance with Metrolink’s facemask requirement.
  • More than doubled the number of hand sanitizing stations on trains so that each passenger car now has two on board.
  • Added signage at stations and on trains to remind people of social distancing and other safety messages.
  • In the process of upgrading air filters in our work places and on our equipment.

“Safety is a shared responsibility. We work every day to keep our riders and employees safe from COVID-19, but we can’t do it without our riders’ help,” said Metrolink Chief of Safety Don Filippi. “As Metrolink follows official public health guidelines; we ask riders to follow them, too. We’re protecting each other by cleaning and disinfecting vehicles and facilities; we ask riders to clean their hands and wear face coverings and to minimize talking on-board trains and buses. We’re giving riders the information they need about crowded vehicles and routes; we ask riders to respect other passengers’ space and, if possible, use transit at less busy times. We require our employees to stay home if they’re sick or have been exposed to COVID-19; we ask riders to do the same.”

For more information on Metrolink’s safety enhancements, please visit metrolinktrains.com/cleancommute.

For more information about APTA and the HSC, visit www.apta.com.


Samuel Johnson Named CEO of Transportation Corridor Agencies

The Transportation Corridor Agencies’ (TCA) two Boards of Directors, comprised entirely of elected officials, today affirmed that Interim CEO Samuel Johnson will retain the role of CEO effective immediately.

An accomplished tolling executive, Johnson is the first person of color to helm TCA and
Orange County’s first Black transportation leader. With nearly 30 years of public agency experience, he has led the Agencies to key successes since being named Interim CEO in April against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among his recent accomplishments, Johnson reformed TCA’s internal audit function for increased transparency; oversaw the creation of a more robust consumer privacy policy; and worked with Board leadership to reduce the Agencies’ annual budget by 51 percent while preserving jobs and prioritizing key projects.

“When we named Samuel Interim CEO in April, I knew his track record for strong leadership, coupled with his experience in the industry, would benefit TCA. What I came to realize was that he has a unique ability to inspire. His enthusiasm for tolling and transportation and his genuine desire to improve quality of life through mobility initiatives inspires everyone around him, from staff to executive leadership to Board members,” said Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA) Chairwoman and Irvine Mayor Christina Shea.

Johnson joined TCA in 2015 as Chief Toll Operations Officer. During his tenure, his strategic contract approaches improved the Agencies’ fiscal position by saving millions of dollars per year and he led key initiatives such as the statewide effort to adopt sticker transponders. He has had oversight of revenue management, violation processing, toll compliance, customer service, customer experience communications, information technology and more – experience that has prepared him to oversee the Agencies that operate the state’s largest network of toll roads.

“Samuel’s forward-thinking approach will put TCA at the forefront of tolling and transportation for years to come. Furthermore, his commitment to developing staff will ensure that the Agencies have the best and brightest on hand to solve the complex issues that face our industry. Not only is he capable, he is the type of compassionate and consensus building leader that we need during these challenging times,” said Trish Kelley, Mayor Pro Tem of Mission Viejo and Chairwoman of the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency (SJHTCA).


The SCAG Sustainable Communities Program is accepting applications for active transportation and safety projects through November 2020.

Now Open! SCAG’s Sustainable Communities Program – Active Transportation & Safety Call for Applications

SCAG is pleased to announce the 2020-2021 Sustainable Communities Program (SCP) – Active Transportation & Safety Call for Applications is now open to eligible applicants.

The SCP provides planning resources and technical assistance to local agencies to support the implementation of Connect SoCal, a long-range vision for transportation and land use planning for the region. The Call for Applications includes three specific project types, each with a unique application, to fund planning and quick build projects that result in increased rates of walking and biking, promote traffic safety, expand opportunities for multimodal transportation options, and better position local jurisdictions to be competitive for implementation funds.

Now through Friday, Nov. 13, applicants can apply for support for any of these Active Transportation & Safety project types:

COMMUNITY-WIDE & AREA PLANS

Support the implementation of the “Core Vision”: Complete Streets, Active Transportation and Transportation Safety strategies as outlined in Connect SoCal.

Examples of eligible plans include:

  • Community-wide Bicycle or Pedestrian Master Plans
  • Community-wide Active Transportation Plans
  • First-Last Mile Plans
  • Vision Zero Plans
  • Systemic Safety Analysis Reports
  • Safe Routes Plans

INFRASTRUCTURE DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS (QUICK BUILD)

Provide opportunities for jurisdictions to test interim capital improvement projects that further the goals of the Active Transportation Program and serve as design/build opportunities centered on community-supported feedback.

Examples of eligible projects include:

  • Active transportation infrastructure
  • Multi-modal infrastructure integration
  • Public pedestrian plazas

NETWORK VISIONING AND IMPLEMENTATION

Conduct visioning and position cities to plan and install entire active transportation networks within a short- to mid-term timeframe, alongside thoughtful community engagement. The framework will identify and implement a phased approach for Quick Build pilot projects, identified through technical analysis and robust public engagement, before network construction, to take on the most “stressful” segment-first and set up the network build-out in phases.

Learn more about the SCP Active Transportation & Safety Call for Applications at one of our Application Webinars on Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 1 – 3 p.m., or Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. – noon. The webinars will assist agencies in preparing applications, provide a forum to answer questions, and provide additional information and examples for each project type. Register here to attend.

Program guidelines, application materials and key dates can be found at scag.ca.gov/scp.

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