The University of California Institute of Transportation Studies (UC ITS) leadership, including ITS Berkeley Director Alexandre Bayen and UC ITS Innovative Mobility Initiative Director and UC Berkeley Transportation Sustainability Research Center Co-Director Susan Shaheen, met with the new California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Director Toks Omishakin on March 6, 2020.
Bayen and Shaheen, with ITS Davis Acting Director Susan Handy, ITS Irvine Director Steve Ritchie, UCLA ITS Director Brian Taylor, UCLA ITS Deputy Director Juan Matute, and UC ITS Assistant Director Laura Podolsky, met with Omishakin, Caltrans Chief Deputy Director Jim Davis, DRISI Division Chief Dara Wheeler and DRISI’s La Keda Huckabay in Sacramento.
At the meeting UC ITS and Caltrans were able to sit down around the same table and talk about Caltrans priorities and what they mean: safety (Caltrans number one priority — the need to align actions, policies, and resources to move the needle on safety), modality (giving choices and options for people and goods to move across the state), efficiency (finding ways that Caltrans can be more efficient in delivering projects and making the most of the state’s transportation investments), innovation (bringing in the tech culture and innovation into Caltrans), and stakeholder engagement (Improve relationships with labor, chamber of commerce, academia, etc.).
UC ITS directors were able to listen and engage with Caltrans leadership on how UC ITS can help Caltrans advance those priorities, in addition to environmental justice, resiliency and homelessness.