Michelle Boehm, Southern California Regional Director for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, will be the speaker for the Antelope Valley Board of Trade Business Briefing luncheon Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the Hellenic Center in Lancaster.
Boehm is expected to update attendees on the status and plans for the ambitious but controversial project intended to be first high-speed rail system in the nation.
As envisioned, California High-Speed Rail will connect the mega-regions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs and preserve agricultural and protected lands.
By 2029, the system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds in excess of 200 mph. The system is expected too eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. Additionally, the HSRA is working with regional partners to implement a statewide rail modernization plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the state’s current transportation needs.
According to the Authority, high speed rail is a logical next step in California’s history of investing in game-changing infrastructure. The Authority says experience of other countries – California’s competitors in the global economy – demonstrates that high-speed rail is integral to building a more efficient transportation system, boosting economic productivity and promoting a more sustainable society.
Statistically, California’s 170,000 miles of roads are the busiest in the nation. Auto congestion drains $18.7 billion in lost time and wasted fuel from the state’s economy, every year. Meanwhile, travel on California’s Interstate system is increasing at a rate five times faster than capacity is added.
Flights between Los Angeles and the Bay Area – the busiest short-haul market in the U.S. with 5 million passengers annually – are the most delayed in the country, with approximately one of every four flights late by an hour or more, the Authority points out.
The Authority contends that population growth projections over the next 30 to 40 years show California will add the current population of New York state to its current 38 million residents. Meeting the transportation demands associated with that growth will require major infrastructure investments. The question is not if those investments need to be made, but how those investments can provide the greatest benefits, the Authority says.
California’s High-Speed rail system will spur economic development, enhance environmental and energy goals, create near and long-term employment, improve mobility and save money over the coming decades. Californians will begin to see these benefits as early as 2013-14 when initial construction will provide a much needed economic boost to the Central Valley and produce 20,000 jobs annually for 15 years.
Business Briefing luncheon tickets are $20 with advance reservation, or $25 at the door. For reservations email Emily@avbot.org or call the office at 661-942-9581.
Southern California Regional Director, California High-Speed Rail Authority
As Southern California Regional Director for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Michelle Boehm oversees all aspects of project development in the region. In her role with the Authority, she is a member of the Board of Directors for the LOSSAN Joint Powers Authority, co-chairs a regional transportation CEO group focused on high-speed rail issues, and participates in both the Southern California and Statewide Regional Rail Partner’s Working Groups which focus on passenger rail planning in California.
Boehm brings nearly 20 years of experience in transportation planning and policy analysis. Before joining the Authority, she was a Vice President with one of the largest Architectural and Engineering firms in the Country. In that role, Boehm was the regional manager responsible for overseeing business development, strategic planning, and public agency and community outreach for projects throughout Southern California. Recent planning documents of note Boehm collaborated on are the I-15 Corridor System Master Plan and several Conceptual Study Reports for the San Pedro Waterfront, the I-710 Corridor, and Alameda Corridor East. She worked directly with agencies including the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Port of Los Angeles, California Department of Transportation, Nevada Department of Transportation, San Diego Association of Governments, Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority, and several local Cities to deliver these, and other notable regional projects.
Over the course of her career Boehm has proven her ability as a business manager and strategic planner, having developed strategy for transportation, water, geotechnical, structural, and environmental engineering and planning practice development and projects. She established a small business outreach program for a former employer in close coordination with the Los Angeles Minority Business Opportunity Council to support the contracting goals of clients including City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. She also collaborated on several large, successful architectural projects including the Oregon State University Football Stadium Renovation, and the San Francisco 49ers Stadium Replacement, to name a few.
Always demonstrating her passion for transportation, Boehm also held leadership positions in several well respected local industry organizations. As a founding member and former advisory board member for Mobility 21, a coalition of elected officials and transportation providers, she pursued solutions to transportation issues in Southern California. She also previously served as a board member of both the Los Angeles and Orange County Chapters of the Women’s Transportation Seminar.