21st Century Transportation for America

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Get up to speed on the future of transportation from long time leaders in the industry. Learn how America can ramp up the building of high speed rail as a way to revive our economy, create millions of good jobs, and build the clean, green transportation system we need for a prosperous, sustainable future.

Learn about moving America into high speed rail on the national scale, and the rollout of a new federal high speed rail authority to expedite projects.


Norman Y. Mineta is an icon in American public service. He has served both Democratic and Republican presidents, and served in Congress for 20 years representing Silicon Valley and his hometown of San Jose, California, where he had been mayor. He was the first cabinet secretary since the Civil War to serve two presidents of opposing parties in consecutive terms. As the first Asian American cabinet secretary, he was President Clinton's Secretary of Commerce and President George W. Bush's Secretary of Transportation.
While in Congress, he served as chair of the House Transportation Committee. Among his accomplishments was the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) which was the first major revision of the nation's transportation public policy since President Eisenhower. It included reorganizing the Urban Mass Transit Administration (UMTA)  into the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and providing a renewed emphasis on our nation's rail and transit infrastructure.

He was the Secretary of Transportation on September 11, 2001 and led the recovery of our national transportation and infrastructure systems. For these accomplishments and others, Norman Y. Mineta was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006.


Secretary Ray LaHood
led America into high speed rail during his term heading up the Department of Transportation, launching the new program and helping get the nation's first visionary high speed rail system going in California.

He served as United States Secretary of Transportation from 2009 until 2013. A Republican from Illinois, LaHood served previously as a Congressman represented Illinois's 18th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2009. He s
erved on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 1995 until 2000.

Following his time serving in Congress, he was appointed by President Obama to serve as the US Transportation Secretary, immediately launching the nation's first high speed rail national program and tirelessly advocating for high speed rail across America during his entire time in this role


Brian Kelly w
as selected to head the California High Speed Rail Authority on January, 16, 2018. He comes to the Authority with a wealth of experience in transportation. Kelly served as the first secretary of the new California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), an agency created in 2013, which focused solely on transportation. At CalSTA, Kelly oversaw eight departments, boards and commissions 38,000 employees and a budget of $18.1 billion - one of the largest portfolios in the State of California.

At CalSTA, he was responsible for a variety of complex transportation issues which directly impacted almost every Californian, the state's economy, public safety, highway construction and maintenance, and public transit. During his tenure, his many accomplishments included passing Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the single largest investment in California's transportation infrastructure, moving forward the nation's first state rulemaking to allow the test and deployment of autonomous vehicles, and breaking ground on the first high-speed rail system in the nation in California's Central Valley.


Rod Diridon, Sr., was the 1993 founding Executive Director of congress's Mineta Transportation Institute retiring to emeritus status in 2016. He is considered the "father" of modern transit service in Silicon Valley.

After his BS and MSBA in statistics from San Jose State University, Rod completed two Vietnam combat tours as a navel officer before his public service career. He was elected in 1971 as a Saratoga City Councilmember, and went on to serve 20 years (six times as chair), on the Silicon Valley's Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and Transit Board.

He chaired nine successful rail construction projects. Upon his 1995 retirement from pubic office the region's main train station was rededicated the "San Jose Diridon Station". He served over ten years, appointed by both Democrat and Republican governors, and is chair emeritus of the California High Speed Rail Authority and chair emeritus of the US High Speed Rail Association. Rod chaired over 100 local to international transit committees and projects. He provides legislative testimony and conference keynotes on sustainability around the world.


Get the latest from transportation leaders about the design, development, and progress of California's high speed rail stations. Learn the best practices for designing great rail stations and integrating them into walkable cities and towns. See how new high speed rail stations are at the center of revitalizing the state's economy, creating jobs, and building our 21st century sustainable transportation systems.

Hear from Margaret Cederoth, Director of Planning and Sustainability at California High Speed Rail Authority. Margaret is an urban planner with over two decades of experience working in the areas of transportation and sustainability planning, land use, and international planning. She was appointed by Governor Newsom in 2019 to her position at the state rail authority where she oversees station planning.

The state's full high speed rail system buildout has designated 25 high speed rail stations, most of which will be newly built from the ground up, with others being retrofitted and expanded to accommodate high speed trains.

Hear from Jacqui Kitchen, Assistant City Manager at the City of Bakersfield. Bakersfield is one of the first cities to get high speed rail in America, with a new station underway. Hear about the city's role and activities to maximize and leverage the great value of a new high speed rail station coming to town, and planning for transit oriented development.

Hear from Randy Volenec, lead architect of the Transbay Salesforce Transit Center in downtown San Francisco. Randy is Associate Principal at Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, and will discuss Transbay station design, and the process of building a massive new station in the middle of a major downtown.

Get the latest plans, designs, and schedules for station development and expansion. Hear about the unique challenges of high speed rail stations, and how the Authority is coordinating with local planning officials to leverage station value creation to encourage the development of walkable, affordable communities around the stations.

Learn about station design, station location rationale, and implementing changes to zoning, parking, and travel patterns around the stations. Learn about leveraging stations as community revitalization tools, economic development, and for the creation of affordable, equitable communities.



Learn important principles and best practices of regional planning and transforming existing suburban areas into great walkable, mixed-use places. A practical webinar for urban designers, planners, architects, developers, environmentalists, and community leaders showing how to initiate the needed transformations of outdated suburban projects and car-dominated places into desirable, urban & sustainable places.

Hear from Ellen Dunham-Jones, Director of the Urban Design Program at Georgia Tech School of Architecture. Ellen wrote the book on retrofitting suburbia in 2009 with June Williamson. The book "Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs" documents successful retrofits of aging big box stores, malls, and office parks into healthier and more sustainable places. The book received a PROSE award as the best architecture and urban planning book of 2009 and has been featured in The New York Times, Time Magazine, Harvard Business Review, NPR, PBS, TED and other prominent venues.

Ellen will discuss successful methods of redesigning American suburbs and show how
they can absorb new growth in compact forms avoiding more sprawl and the loss of farm land, forests and wilderness areas - working with changing demographics, new lifestyles, and a more diverse economic situation.

Hear from Brent Reynolds, CEO and Managing Partner of Nolan Reynolds, a real estate developer specializing in TOD projects. Brent will discuss his firm's 2 major TOD projects both currently under construction in Miami at metro rail stations. Totalling more than half a billion dollars in project value, the 2 TOD projects are excellent examples of 'retrofitting suburbia' with exemplary mixed-use projects.


jobs | economic recovery | mobility | safety | energy security | climate solution







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