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Capitol Insights: "Vehicle Miles Traveled in the Age of Amazon and Uber"

Elliot Martin with UC Berkeley, Jennifer Gress with Air Resources Board and Austin Heyworth with Uber
Oct 17, 2019 from 02:00 PM to 03:30 PM (America/Los_Angeles / UTC-700)
1130 K Street, Room LL3
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The rapidly changing nature of transportation in the United States poses important issues which California State, regional, and local government must address. This panel discussion will introduce key issues surrounding Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT) in California. Among the issues addressed are the rise in VMT and how this rise relates to: 1) historic trends such as suburbanization and lack of adequate public transit, and 2) newer trends such as ride sharing, the rise of online shopping, and the death of local retail. Panel members will also provide insights from their perspectives into how Uber considers the company’s carbon footprint, what the California Air Resources Board is doing in pursuit of a zero-emission future, and potential policy solutions focused on the relationship between household locations and commute patterns as well as use of ride-hailing to connect commuters to transit.

Elliot Martin is a Research and Development Engineer at the University of California, Berkeley Martin PhotoTransportation Sustainability Research Center.  His work covers shared mobility, freight transportation, public transit, and parking.  He conducts impact evaluation of transportation systems, and advances the development of methods and data structures designed to best measure how related changes in travel behavior translate to broader system impacts.  He earned his PhD from UC Berkeley, his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins, and previously worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Austin Heyworth is a Senior Manager of Public Policy in California for Uber Technologies, the Heyworth Photoglobal technology company enabling mobility services in more than 65 countries. At Uber, he has represented the company on state policy and regulatory issues, and worked on autonomous vehicles, electric vehicle programs, and the transition to a multi-modal platform including the launch of JUMP bikes and scooters. Before Uber, he worked in the State Assembly for six years, as a Special Assistant to Assembly Speaker John A. Perez, and most recently for Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin. He graduated from the University of California, Davis with degrees in Economics and Political Science and played quarterback on the football team.

Jennifer Gress is the Chief of the Sustainable Transportation and Communities Division at the Gress PhotoCalifornia Air Resources Board, and is focused on promoting policies that provide a range of affordable housing and transportation options that reduce vehicle miles traveled and accelerate the transition to a zero-emission future.  Prior to this position, Jennifer was a Senior Policy Advisor to Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, where she was responsible for policy development related to housing and community development, transportation, and sustainability.  From 2011 until 2017, Jennifer served as the Legislative Director for the California Air Resources Board. In that role, she served as the Board’s representative to the California Legislature, advised Board Chair Mary Nichols and the Executive Office on legislative matters, and made policy recommendations to the Chair, the Secretary for Environmental Protection, and the Governor’s Office on pending legislation. From 2005 until 2011, Jennifer was a consultant to the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, where she focused on air quality, ports and goods movement, active transportation, and public-private partnerships, among many other transportation-related issues. Jennifer has a Ph.D. in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine, where she studied housing and community development.  


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