Brightline West signs Memorandum of Understanding for Rancho Cucamonga project, providing millions more with access to the high-speed rail line between Southern California and Las Vegas
Brightline, the only private provider of modern, eco-friendly intercity passenger rail in America, today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The MOU sets the framework regarding the use of 48 miles within Interstate 15 to be used for Brightline West to connect its planned Victor Valley station and a newly planned station in Rancho Cucamonga. The new station will provide connectivity to Metrolink’s system in Rancho Cucamonga, offering a seamless and straightforward access point for people traveling to and from Los Angeles. The total trip time will be about half the time of driving: two hours between Las Vegas and the new Rancho Cucamonga station, and three hours between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
“This Memorandum of Understanding marks a critical milestone in our goal to connect the Los Angeles metropolitan area with the iconic entertainment destination of Las Vegas,” said Mike Reininger, CEO of Brightline Holdings. “This system will provide an optimal travel solution between Southern California and Las Vegas, and opens up the reality of emission-free, hospitality-focused high-speed rail service to millions of people traveling between these destinations every year.”
Brightline’s station in Rancho Cucamonga will be in the newly announced Cucamonga Station in the HART District, a full-service transit station building that will include the existing Metrolink platforms and a planned underground tunnel to Ontario International Airport. The station area will also provide connectivity to other local and regional transit partners as part of a multi-modal hub for the region through a partnership with several public and private stakeholders, including the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority and the City of Rancho Cucamonga. Through its connectivity with Metrolink, guests will have fast and convenient access in about an hour or less to many cities in the Greater Los Angeles area, including to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, and other destinations throughout Southern California.
“In entering into this MOU with Brightline West, CalSTA, Caltrans, and the California High-Speed Rail Authority are setting the course for high-speed trains to connect Southern California and Las Vegas,” said CalSTA Secretary David S. Kim. “This is an important step in bringing major benefits to the state, including reduced congestion and greenhouse gas emissions on the Interstate 15 corridor and increased connectivity with rail and transit throughout Southern California as well as future connections with the state’s high-speed rail system.”
The service will bring substantial environmental and economic benefits to the region. It will utilize zero-emission electric trainsets capable of reaching speeds up to 180 miles per hour, which Brightline projects will reduce CO2 emissions by 400,000 tons each year and reduce vehicle miles traveled by 935 million annually. Brightline estimates the project will create 40,000 jobs during construction and 1,000 permanent jobs, with an economic impact of more than $10 billion. Brightline West expects to support more than 11 million trips annually.
“Along with planned underground loop service to Ontario International Airport, the upcoming Redlands Passenger Rail Service and the West Valley Connector bus rapid transit system, high-speed rail to and from Las Vegas is shaping up to be a game changer for our region. These projects will provide convenient connections to destinations throughout Southern California and beyond, and provide sustainable transit options for one of the fastest-growing population and economic centers in the country,” said Curt Hagman, Chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and President of SBCTA.
The MOU follows a 15-day Notice of Intent process that took place earlier this year, which allowed for public comment on the project before signature. The project received overwhelming support from a variety of public and private entities for the positive impact it will have on the region.
CA Inland Empire District Export Council (CIEDEC) to Present Cal-Mex Aerospace Expo on Sept. 22
The California Inland Empire District Export Council (CIEDEC), a diverse group of volunteer trade professionals dedicated to helping develop export sales and thus contributing to the national export program, will hold its inaugural Cal-Mex Aerospace Expo on Sept. 22 at the San Bernardino International Airport (SBD).
The expo’s goal is to raise awareness and connect Inland Empire aerospace & defense (A&D) and space manufacturers with the supplier needs of more than 100 companies in the nearby Aerospace Cluster of Baja California, the largest in Mexico. Companies located in Mexicali and Tijuana, Baja California, are just 2.5 to 3.5 hours from companies in the Inland Empire. Due to geographic proximity and the demand for speed to market, Mexico’s nearby aerospace sectors can provide expanding sales opportunities for Inland Empire A&D manufacturers interested in exporting their products, components, machinery, and services.
“CIEDEC is most pleased to organize this strategic collaboration between the Southern California and Baja aerospace industries,” CIEDEC Chairman Bob Spence said. “This is a necessary linchpin in regional cooperation, which is necessitated by our new world order.”
Aerospace industry experts will share updates on trends and policy; export control/International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR); AS9100 certification and upcoming changes; cybersecurity essentials; drone pilot training; an overview of the aerospace sector in Mexico; aerospace export opportunities in Mexico; doing business in Mexico; and a B2B session.
“Aerospace is one of the largest and critically important sectors for our regional and national economies, and we are thrilled to support the District Export Council’s efforts to promote the growth of U.S. aerospace manufactures through cross-border sales opportunities in Mexico,” said Eduard Roytberg, director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service office in Ontario, California. The Commercial Service is part of the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration.
The speakers will include Tomás Sibaja, president of the Aerospace Cluster of Baja California, Mexico; Senior Commercial Specialist Silvia Cardenas (U.S. Embassy in Mexico City) and Senior International Trade Specialist Erica Ramirez (U.S. Commercial Service in the Inland Empire, California); David Graham, vice president of Aircraft & Component Maintenance at Unical 145/Unical MRO; and Kimberly Benson, president and CEO of Zenaida Global and an administrator for the UAS Center at SBD.
“The Inland Empire and Baja California share common interests and values in this sector,” Sibaja said. “The timing is now to engage our companies in business encounters and venture opportunities.”
SBD is the title sponsor for the expo, supported by the U.S. Commercial Service and the Aerospace Cluster of Baja California. Additional sponsors include IAPMO SCB, Alliance Buyers Group, EMG Global Business Solutions, Inc., Tablemation Solutions, ExIm20/20 Group, and ERS Consulting Services.
“SBD International Airport is pleased to support our aircraft maintenance and aerospace partners around the world,” SBD CEO Michael Burrows said. “This vital industry supports all business lines at SBD and airports across the globe.”
Early-bird tickets are $25 if purchased by Aug. 31, and $35 starting Sept. 1. For tickets, sponsorship, and exhibition opportunities, and more information about the event, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cal-mex aerospace-expo-2022-tickets-376792445347. To learn more about CIEDEC, visit ciedec.org.
SMART Airports Conference to bring airport leaders and innovators from around the world to Ontario, California
Ontario International Airport and Southern California’s dynamic Inland Empire will be on the global stage next week as aviation leaders from around the world gather for the 2022 SMART Airports & Regions Conference.
Ontario International Airport (ONT) and Southern California’s dynamic Inland Empire will be on the global stage next week as aviation leaders from around the world gather for the 2022 SMART Airports & Regions Conference – one of the aviation industry’s largest and most prestigious annual events.
The three-day conference opens Monday, July 18, at the Ontario Convention Center, and will focus on topics ranging from how aviation can inspire new economic opportunities in a post-pandemic world to the role of airports as incubators for innovation in urban development and regional connectivity.
“Ontario and the Inland Empire are an ideal location for this global gathering. We have one of the fastest-growing airports in the world, in the heart of one of the most robust population and economic centers in the U.S. And when it comes to innovative multimodal transportation solutions, no region can match what’s being done here to redefine mobility and access while creating new economic development opportunities,” said Alan D. Wapner, President of the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) and Mayor pro Tem of the City of Ontario.
The SMART Airport & Regions Conference is being co-hosted by ONT and the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau (GOCVB). Among the more than 50 speakers and presenters will be several leaders from the two organizations, including Wapner, OIAA Commissioners Ron Loveridge and Curt Hagman, the airport’s Chief Executive Officer Atif Elkadi, Chief Capital Development Officer Michelle Brantley and Chief Commercial Officer Dan Cappell, and GOCVB President and CEO Michael Krouse.
The event comes as ONT is in the midst of a historic run that has seen travel volumes exceed pre-pandemic levels for three months in a row, including, in May, the highest number of passengers since the airport’s return to local ownership in 2016. For the past four years, ONT has been recognized by Global Traveler as the fastest-growing airport in the United States, and its role as an economic driver and preferred aviation gateway for millions of Southern Californians is helping to drive significant transit investments across the region. Upcoming projects include zero-emission bus-rapid transit, hydrogen-powered passenger rail and an all-electric-vehicle tunnel from a planned state-of-the-art multimodal transit center.
In addition, ONT plays a critical role in the Inland Empire’s emergence as a global goods movement hub, and today ranks among the Top 10 cargo airports in North America.
“We have a great story to tell – here at ONT and across this great region we serve. The Inland Empire is now the 12th largest – and fifth fastest-growing – metropolitan area in the U.S., with a quality of life that is unmatched. We’ve prepared ourselves to meet those growth needs, while preserving the convenience and positive customer experience that have become our hallmark,” said Elkadi, ONT’s CEO.
“We are thrilled to host this event at Ontario Convention Center and to expose the world-wide attendees to the heart of Southern California’s Inland Experience! Our Convention & Visitors Bureau is here to welcome our visitors and provide information on the amenities and destinations in our region,” said Krouse, GOCVB’s President & CEO.
While the SMART Airports & Regions Conference officially opens on Monday, programs and presentations begin Tuesday. A complete agenda is available here.
Supply Chain Delays and Strains to Continue through 2022
By Hema Dey, IEBJ Content Contributor
Managing Price Increases
From the start of the pandemic in 2020, businesses have been absorbing ongoing shocks that impacted operations and the bottom line. The supply chain delays and strains everybody hoped would resolve in 2021 seem set to continue through 2022; while the backlog of ships waiting for berths at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach fell to a low of 43 mid-March, experts expect a new surge of goods shipped from Asia after the Lunar New Year to drive those numbers up again. After that, the situation is unclear—the latest lockdowns in Shenzhen threaten to cut off supplies of parts and products when U.S. businesses are already starved from ongoing shortages.
At the same time, the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russian oil are driving already-high fuel prices even higher around the world. While experts disagree on whether we can expect gas prices to keep climbing or that they’re near their peak, it’s clear significant relief is unlikely soon. That additional expense is unwelcome news for businesses of all kinds.
Knowing the current difficulties will be part of the landscape for the foreseeable future has brought many companies to the unavoidable conclusion that they have to raise their prices to stay in business. If you’ve delayed making changes in the hope that things would pass, you’re certainly not alone—but if you’re coming to the realization that you can’t wait to adjust your prices to reality anymore, then you’re not alone there either.
The Right Way to Handle Raising Prices
When raising your prices is a necessity, how you approach it can make a significant impact on minimizing any negative fallout. Your customers are naturally not going to be happy about seeing their costs go up. Anticipating such dissatisfaction is one reason why businesses put off making price adjustments much longer than they should. However, postponing the inevitable can harm your business and won’t change the factors that make an increase necessary. Here’s what you should be doing to manage price increases wisely.
The first thing to remember is that price increases don’t happen in a vacuum. Beyond simply considering the pressures on your business in terms of your growing costs, you need to know what your competitors are doing, and you need to find out fast. If your proposed price increases are wildly out of line with what the rest of your competition is doing, you could easily lose market share. We can assist in getting an up-to-date view on the moves your competitors are making to help you factor in this critical angle.
Next, you shouldn’t delay price increases, but you should also keep them realistic. Deferring the inevitable will weaken your business’s financial position and increase the pressure to put even higher prices in place when you finally do act. At the same time, you must keep in mind that your customers are almost certainly experiencing the effects of increased fuel costs and higher shipping rates just like you are. When clients feel like a business is taking advantage of a general atmosphere of inflation to boost their own profits at the expense of their customer base, they’re rarely quiet about it. Stick to doing what you have to do to keep your business healthy, and don’t be tempted to pad it.
Finally, this is absolutely the time to revisit your marketing strategy. When prices go up, buyer behavior changes. Review all your keyword searches to understand how these fluctuations may be affecting traffic to your website. Repositioning your business accordingly can help avoid unexpected hits to your sales and leads, and may even lead to new opportunities.
Trying to adjust to the current economic challenges can feel overwhelming for business owners. You don’t have to go it alone when you’re contemplating significant changes like raising your prices—calling in an expert consultant can give you confidence that you’re taking the right steps for the long-term good of your company and your customers. If you need benchmarking assistance, contact Iffel International here. We can help you take the right steps down a difficult road.
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