Secretary Omishakin Appoints 25 Members to Transit Transformation Task Force


SACRAMENTO – The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) today announced Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin has appointed 25 members to the state’s Transit Transformation Task Force.

Established in the transit recovery package signed by Governor Gavin Newsom as part of the 2023-24 state budget, the task force will develop policy recommendations to grow transit ridership, improve the transit experience and address long-term operational needs.

After receiving more than 70 applications from a wide range of prospective candidates representing state government, local agencies, academic institutions, advocacy organizations and other stakeholders, Secretary Omishakin made the following selections:

Kome Ajise     
Executive Director, 
Southern California Association of Governments      
Rashidi Barnes
Chief Executive Officer, 
Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority 
Alix Bockelman
Chief Deputy Executive Director, 
Metropolitan Transportation Commission    
Sharon Cooney
Chief Executive Officer,
San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS)
Ian Griffiths
Policy Director,
Seamless Bay Area
Amy Hance     
Deputy Director General Services, 
City of Clovis
James Lindsay
International Vice President, 
Amalgamated Transit Union
Eli Lipmen      
Executive Director, 
Move LA
Juan Matute   
Deputy Director, 
UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies
Kate Miller     
Executive Director, 
Napa Valley Transportation Authority/Vine Transit
Lorelle Moe-Luna
Multimodal Services Director, 
Riverside County Transportation Commission
Seamus Murphy         
Executive Director, 
San Francisco Bay Water Emergency Transportation Authority
Laurel Paget-Seekins  
Senior Policy Advocate for Transportation Justice, Public Advocates
Michael Pimentel
Executive Director, 
California Transit Association
Robert Powers
General Manager, 
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) 
Carl Sedoryk  
Monterey-Salinas Transit District
David Sforza   
Principal Consultant, 
Assembly Transportation Committee
Tony Tavares  
Laura Tolkoff 
Transportation Policy Director & Interim Chief Policy Officer, 
Mark Tollefson
Michael Turner
Executive Officer - Government Relations, 
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Kari Watkins  
Associate Professor,
UC Davis
Mark Watts    
Legislative Advocate, 
Transportation California
Melissa White 
Principal Consultant, 
Senate Transportation Committee
Jim Wunderman
President and CEO,
Bay Area Council 


“Public transportation is essential to achieving our state’s world-leading climate and equity goals but is facing an existential crossroads – not just in California but throughout the country,” said Secretary Omishakin. “I look forward to partnering with task force members on ways to put our state’s public transit agencies on a path toward long-term financial stability and delivering a world-class transit system for all people in California.”

The task force will kick off with a virtual meeting on December 19 and aims to meet in person every two months beginning in February 2024. Agendas, meeting materials and other task force information will be available on the CalSTA website.

CalSTA, in consultation with the task force, will prepare a report of findings and policy recommendations based on the task force’s efforts and submit it to the Legislature by October 2025. The report will include a detailed analysis of specified issues and recommendations on specified topics, including, among others, reforming the Transportation Development Act.

The task force was established as part of Senate Bill 125, which also gives transit agencies increased flexibility to use state investments to fund transit operations or capital improvements, along with accountability measures. Just this year, California has invested nearly $3.5 billion in state funding to expand transit and passenger rail service throughout the state.

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