Thursday's panel discussion offered a enlivened discussion into the current state of public transportation in Los Angeles and how the challenges of providing sustainable and equitable transportation are met with innovate solutions from both the public and private sectors.
We often view transportation as a singular topic that is occupies areas where the pavement and wheels, tracks and rails, concrete and shoes meet. To transition out of that mentality, we were lucky to have such wonderfully passionate individuals at our panel discussion to lead the dialogue on how to improve - or even completely replace - our traditional understanding of transportation.
highlighted topics of discussion
- The necessity to develop the last mile of public transportation and specifically how a small distance between where transportation stops and the destination can derail fifty miles of highly efficient public transportation. Solutions varied from additional branches of sub-transportation, transit-oriented development that shortens the last mile, and design solutions that really invigorate that last mile with a purpose.
- The need to teach or socially engineer the next generation of riders to democratize and own public transportation, whether that is the single-driver commuter or a child riding the school bus. Often times we marginalize less obvious user-groups, such as children, even though the long-term success of adopting public transportation begins there.
- How Uber and Google are racing to develop self-driving cars in order to free up time for us to browse the web and for them profit from it. Perhaps the transportation revolution is not completely fixated to large-scale people movers built with public funds as the paradigm of 150 years of public transportation has suggested, but with smaller units of autonomous vehicles, returning billions of valuable hours wasted commuting, back to our lives..
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the panelists AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Moderator from LA Más, Helen Leung
Dylan Jones is a licensed architect with 20 years of experience in planning and design for both private and public sector clients. As a leader of Gensler’s Urban Design & Planning Group, he works at the intersection of private development and public infrastructure, believing mobility is a core building block of the 21st-century, sustainable city. Dylan played a leadership role in the development of LA Metro’s First Last Mile Strategic Plan.
Anita Wong is managing director of OACLA. She has worked with AECOM, Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) in New York and is currently an design-MBA candidate with Cal-Arts.
Nolan Borgman is a transportation planner and one of two Metro fellows selected to staff the recently formed Office of Extraordinary Innovation, the purpose of which is to improve mobility in Los Angeles County.
Danny Gamboa is the executive Director of Healthy Active Streets, is a passionate advocate for environmental justice, youth engagement, and community building. His dedication to alternative modes of transportation led him to establish Healthy Active Streets, a non-profit that empowers communities of color as active transportation advocates and organizers for mobility equity.
Rani Narula-Woods is Shared Use Mobility Center’s California Program Manager. She is responsible for advancing shared-use mobility integration with transit, piloting innovation in select low-income communities throughout the state, and building consensus around a five-year Shared Mobility Action Plan for Los Angeles County. Rani also provides support on the City of Los Angeles’ groundbreaking Electric Carsharing Pilot Program.