More Than 1,000 Convene for Mobility 21 Summit to Define Transportation’s Role in a More Competitive California

Regional Leaders from Southern California Highlight Collaboration to
Improve Transportation

ANAHEIM, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Infrastructure experts joined forces today to seek strategies for a more
competitive California by reducing congestion, improving safety and
planning for our future. More than 1,000 transportation, business and
elected leaders convened at the Disneyland Hotel for the 14th
annual Mobility 21 Southern California Transportation Summit, which is
the largest one-day transportation event in the state.

“Investing in better public transit, roads, and other travel options is
the safest and most efficient way to relieve traffic in our growing
region, which has the most congested roadways in the nation,” said Art
Leahy, CEO of Metrolink and Chair of Mobility 21. “The economic
advantages to increased mobility are clear. What Southern Californians
need are stable long-term funding sources to enhance our transportation
systems and provide superior infrastructure and services to an eager
public that is ready to embrace 21st century mobility options.”

With a looming infrastructure deficit of $200 billion through 2035 in
our region alone (as projected by the Southern California Association of
Governments), funding and innovative delivery is a critical discussion
topic at this year’s Summit. According to SCAG, nearly 74 percent of the
funding for Southern California’s transportation projects is raised
locally, predominantly through sales tax measures. State and federal
support is imperative to maintain and upgrade California’s

“California has often been a leader in innovative and effective ways to
fight congestion, climate change and lack of mobility through
investments in sustainable transportation,” said Therese McMillan,
Acting Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration. “To address
serious funding shortfalls and manage population growth, it is critical
to implement comprehensive, long-term funding solutions at the national,
state and local level.”

During the Summit’s closing session, a conversation with Southern
California’s port CEOs, Congressman Alan Lowenthal and leading public
and private sector leaders emphasized the critical importance of our
region as a gateway of international goods to our nation and the need to
balance economic, community and environmental goals.

“International trade is a key driver of the region’s economy with more
than a third of the state’s exports coming from Southern California,”
said Lucy Dunn, President and CEO, Orange County Business Council;
Vice-Chair, Mobility 21. “Future growth depends on the continued
expansion of international trade, which cross-cuts every other industry.
A well-connected port system ensures businesses opportunities for
strategic global partnership that fuel the state and nation’s economic

Attendees learned about concepts being proposed to keep California
competitive, including: harnessing the power of vehicle technology;
alternative project delivery; mileage-based user fees; and new last mile
options. Conference goers also heard from experts on how demographic
trends are impacting transportation planning. The historic population
growth that occurred in 1945–1965 (baby boomers) and again in 1981–1995
(millennials) is now raising questions about how people will travel in
the years to come.

“No one could have predicted the impact transportation technology has
had on increasing access to a variety of mobility options,” said Hasan
Ikhrata, Executive Director of the Southern California Association of
Governments and Mobility 21 Board Member. “California has been ahead of
the curve in combating smog and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and
we will continue to be the nation’s foremost proving ground for new
modes of transportation because we have innovative companies, visionary
elected officials and a common desire to improve our quality of life.”

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

  • Public Sector Leader of the Year: Hon. Kevin de León, Senate President
    Pro Tem, California State Senate (invited)
  • Private Sector Leader of the Year: Noel Massie, President, UPS, South
    California District
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Thomas V. McKernan, Chairman of the Board,
    Automobile Club of Southern California
  • Tribute Award: Larry Sharp, Former CEO, Arrowhead Credit Union (in

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


Mobility 21
Kristin Slocum, 949.375.4523