Thursday, May 25, 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

[TransportEvents] 8th Annual Mineta Transportation Summit at Commonwealth Club (16 June, FREE!)

Are We There Yet?  Bridging the Gap in California’s Transportation Funding
Underwritten by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI)
The need to invest in California’s transportation system is dire. Estimates suggest a nearly $140 billion backlog in deferred maintenance on highways, bridges, and local streets and roads. While the funding crisis is widely recognized, solutions are difficult to come by. Senate Bill 1, passed by the California State Legislature in early April, dedicates over $50 billion to transportation projects through increased fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees, yet that only partially fills the gap. This free, half-day summit looks at various strategies the state, local and regional governments as well as transportation agencies are taking to address California’s transportation needs. MTI will present the results from the eighth year of a national public opinion poll on various tax options for raising federal revenues for transportation.

Confirmed Speakers
Welcome: Karen Philbrick, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute
Opening remarks: Norman Mineta, U.S. Secretary of Transportation (Ret.)
Keynote: Jim Beall, Chairman, California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee

Asha Agrawal, Ph.D., Director, Mineta Transportation Institute’s National Transportation Finance Center; Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, SJSU
Nuria Fernandez, General Manager and CEO, Valley Transportation Authority 
Steve Heminger, Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission 
Bill Higgins, Executive Director, California Association of Council of Governments

Location: 555 Post St., San Francisco 
Time: 8:15 a.m. check-in and continental breakfast, 9–11:30 a.m. program
This is a free program. Please register by Thursday, June 15 at noon.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

TransportiCA's Statement on the Departure of Jeff Morales, CA-HSRA CEO

The following statement has been issued by TransportiCA, regarding the departure of Jeff Morales as CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, effective 02 June:

"While we are hoping this news is actually for a revamp of 'Punked,' we have to thank Mr. Morales for his five years with the Authority, and the incredible leadership and dedication in some of the Authority's most trying times.

Whether it has been the L.A. Times' dereliction of editorial standards, feeding unfounded fear to unstable and anti-infrastructure politicians; Central Valley residents doggedly opposing the project, yet wanting to obtain these very constructions jobs and contracts; or the desire of the Trump administration to take our transportation and energy systems back-in-time, Mr. Morales has served the Authority well, making sure California's future mobility choices include the cleanest form of mass transportation - high-speed rail.

Very few people will be able to fill the shoes of Mr. Morales, but we hope Governor Brown appoints a fierce leader; one who, not only will stand-up to Washington's antiquated ambitions, but will also not fear calling-out the California Legislature for cheering-on high-speed rail, yet systematically working to inhibit the Authority's minuscule budgetary and staffing needs.

Again, we thank Mr. Morales for his commitment and leadership - not just during his time at the Authority, but in his extensive public service capacities, and wish him and his family all the best."

Greg Justice is Founder and Editor of TransportiCA.

[TransportNews] CAHSRA: Ex Officio Member Appointed to the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Director

May 11, 2017

Annie Parker

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) Board of Directors Chair Dan Richard issued the following statement regarding the appointment of California Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula as an Ex Officio Board member to the Board by Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon.

“We thank the California Assembly for the appointment of Dr. Joaquin Arambula to the Authority Board of Directors as an Ex Officio member,” said Richard. “Dr. Arambula has been a long-time advocate of California’s high-speed rail program and has sought to ensure that the residents of the Central Valley see the benefits of the ongoing construction of high-speed rail. He will make a valuable and welcome addition to our Board, and we welcome his thoughts and his voice.”

Dr. Joaquin Arambula was elected in April 2016 in a special election to represent California’s 31st Assembly District. Since 2007, Dr. Arambula has served in a senior position with California Emergency Physicians (CEP) at Adventist Hospital in Selma, and was appointed Medical Director in early 2013. In the Assembly, his focus is on efforts to increase access to healthcare for low-income Californians, fight for increased water supplies for the Central Valley and improve air quality. He currently lives in Fresno with his family.

In 2016, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1813, which added two non-voting ex officio members to the Board. The Honorable Jim Beall was appointed to the Authority’s Board of Directors as an Ex Officio Board member in March by the Senate Committee on Rules. 


California High-Speed Rail Authority     770 L Street, Suite 1160, Sacramento, CA, 95814
(916) 324-1541  


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Opening Thoughts for the Smart Cities Week - Silicon Valley Conference (09-10 May)

Today’s Smart Cities Week sessions promise to be incredibly educational and thought-provoking, as the conference agenda is packed with robust plenarys and informational meetings.  TransportiCA's focus in reporting on the conference will be on sustainable transportation and resiliency.  While we are encouraged by so many deliberations and thought leaders being involved in these discussions, TransportiCA seeks to examine three aspects, in particular–social equity, environmental impact and privacy of transport in Smart Cities.

Autonomous vehicles, car-sharing, veicle-to-vehicle ("V2V") infrastructure, and the like, are all great for reducing traffic fatalities and easing congestion; that potential, and reality, we do not deny.  (Minus, of course, autonomous vehicles running red lights, putting pedestrians in danger.)  However, more fundamental is the approach of whether or not we will see an absolute reduction in associated GHG emissions, and overall vehicle-miles traveled ("VMT").  As well, whether or not this promising technology will be available to EVERYONE in the environments in which they are implemented.

Further, how will everyone be able to pay for these services and opportunities?  Will implementation efforts include the traditionally “unbanked” low-income transit riders and those marginalized from modern technology?  Will there be an effort to at least integrate payment and fare systems onto a regional smart card, or allow for some access a universal fare card?  How does transit play into the proliferation of these smart technologies in, mainly, urban environments?  Will we see a new level of competition for transport resources among public and private entities, or will this lead to a systemic detente, potentially stifling innovation in both sectors?

Lastly, of great concern is also the issue of privacy.  While attending last year's ITS America conference in San Jose, we were utterly amazed at the far-reaching acceptance that. with regards to privacy protection, or lack thereof, in the words of one tech exec, "that ship has sailed."  While we stand behind the promise of a safer transportation system through Smart Cities innovation, the idea that we check our privacy at the door if participating in these new technologies is...frankly, repulsive.  No one should be worried about whether or not their Personally Identifying Information ("PII") will be shared with other parties for commercial, or any other non-safety interests.

We look forward to you joining our reporting today, and below are the sessions TransportiCA will cover.  The full program is available here.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Win A Signed Paperback Copy of Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow's "Streetfight"

In celebration of the paperback release of Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution, TransportiCA's Book Club is giving-away a signed paperback copy to one VERY lucky winner.

As with our standard monthly Book Club contests, anyone who submits their answers to three questions correctly, and is then drawn at random - hence, the luck - wins the signed copy.  And, as always, submissions are not limited to the United States.

Questions for the paperback copy are as follows:

1) Janette Sadik-Khan recently completed a national search to hire what big city's new transportation director?

2) As Chair of this organization, Sadik-Khan also completed work on the unprecedented Global Streets Design Guide.

3) As a native New Yorker, co-author Seth Solomonow once served as a transportation reporter to this publication, his hometown newspaper.

No purchase is necessary, as questions are not taken from the publication, but about the author's professional experiences.  To send-in your responses, submit via TransportiCA's "Contact Form" on the front-page (bottom left), sending your name, email address and answers.  The deadline for submission is 23:59, Wednesday, 31 May 2017.

Thank you for your interest in the Book Club, and best of luck with the contest!


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Today's 2017 CTPC Sessions (12:00-17:30 PST)

Today's 2017 California Transportation Planning sessions should be good ones, especially with the recent passage of Senate Bill 1 - California's new ten-year transportation funding measure, signed Friday by Governor Brown.  Our first policy session covered by TransportiCA will be, "Investing in Transportation: Revenue increases from traditional funding sources, while exploring new opportunities," moderated by Andrew Dohrmann, with panelists Susan Bransen, Grace Crunican, Baruch Feigenbaum, and Nadine Lee (14:00-15:30).  After a short break, the concluding session will be, "Transportation and a Vibrant Economy: Economic Assessment's Role and Application in Transportation Investments and Economic Development," moderated by Barry Padilla, and featuring panelists Matthew J. Holian, Jim Miller, and Dr. Emily Wimberger (16:00-17:30).

We look forward to a productive, provocative, and insightful day, filled with a diversity of perspectives on securing new transportation funding; then, hearing about the overall economic impact resulting from such infrastructure investment.

However, before this all begins, let's face it, today's keynote is a transportation deity like no other.  She is none other than the amazing Janette Sadik-Khan.  Currently the Transportation Principal for Bloomberg Associates, Sadik-Khan is the visionary who transformed New York City's Department of Transportation into a world-renowned multi-modal planning organization, and done so in only six years.  Besides her role at Bloomberg, Sadik-Khan is also the Chair of "NACTO," the National Association of City Transportation Officials, and author of the bestseller, Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution, featured as TransportiCA's Book Club selection for October 2016.

We will keep you posted on all developments from the conference via our Twitter handle, @transportica.