Momentum: Issue #40

March 2, 2020


One of the ITS America staff is affectionately known for regularly saying ‘it’s a busy week’ at the start of …every week! Usually that is true – but particularly so as January and February drew to a close and March madness roars in. In the last few weeks, ITS America has taken advantage of multiple opportunities to make strides toward a better future transformed by intelligent mobility – one that is safer, greener and smarter.   

Last week, ITS America and Reed Exhibitions announced a partnership for North American global and annual ITS events. “This new relationship will greatly expand our reach, and we look forward to connecting with even more stakeholders at the ITS World Congress in Los Angeles in 2020 and beyond,” said ITS America President & CEO Shailen Bhatt. The first joint event will be ITS World Congress 2020 in Los Angeles October 4-8 – The New Age of Mobility. And a reminder that registration is open!

Later in the week, ITS America and the Washington, DC chapter of Women in Transportation (WTS) hosted “Closing the Equity Gap in Transportation,” a conversation with Delaware DOT Secretary and ITS America Board Chair Jennifer Cohan. Secretary Cohen, who wrote about this as part of her 2020 Outlook, spoke passionately about the opportunities and challenges of “mobility on demand” transportation models and how to work toward uniting communities and improving quality of life via “mobility as a right.”

WTS is an international organization dedicated to building the future of transportation through the global advancement of women. ITS America is partnering with WTS-DC in 2020 to spotlight mobility as a right; stay tuned for information about future events.

The earlier reference to March madness wasn’t about the NCAA tournament – although Team ITSA always looks forward to its ‘friendly’ bracket competition. The deadline for filing comments to the FCC’s proposal to give away the majority of the 5.9GHz spectrum are due on Monday, March 9. The spectrum battle has been a key focus of ITS America for a long time, but it reached another level when the FCC voted for the proposal 5-0 in December. Since that time, the policy team has been working diligently with the V2X Task Force on finalizing the association’s submission as well as with a broad coalition of stakeholder groups as they finalize their comments as well. In addition, the communications team launched #THISisV2X2020 social media campaign that has been ongoing since early January.

The ITS America board of directors will meet in Washington on March 10, and March 11 features a full day of advocacy meetings on Capitol Hill. ITS America members are scheduled to discuss the association’s FAST Act reauthorization platform and recommendations, Moving People, Data and Freight: Safer, Greener, Smarter, with House and Senate transportation and infrastructure leaders, including the following (members and staff):

  • House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure – Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and minority staff;
  • House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit – Chairman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and minority staff;
  • House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology – Chairman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX);
  • Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation – Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and majority staff;
  • Senate Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety – Chairman Deb Fischer (R-NE) and minority staff;
  • Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – majority and minority staff;
  • Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works – Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE) and majority staff.

On March 12, the topic once again is V2X in the 5.9GHz band at a roundtable discussion on the safety implications of spectrum policy. It will bring together speakers who can advocate for the preservation of the entire 5.9 GHz spectrum for transportation purposes.

The roundtable will be held in 2167 Rayburn on Thursday, March 12. The program will begin at 12 noon; the room will be open for registration and lunch at 11:30. If you are interested in attending, please register here.

Busy weeks indeed! As always, thank you for all the good work you do to create a safer, greener, smarter future.


Name: Laura Chace
Title: COO, ITS America

Short Job description/Role Responsibility:  I oversee all activities of the association, execution of strategic initiatives and ensures all departments within ITS America work collectively and in partnership to achieve the goals of the organization.

Favorite Part of working at ITSA: The people!

What’s the future of #ITS look like to you?  A transportation system that offers more choice, more access, where I don’t worry about my kids getting home safely, and cities/communities can be redesigned in a way that makes them more livable.

Hobbies: Traveling, bowling (part of all-female winning ITSA team!), reading, baking

Family: Husband Jon, 13 yr old twins Kevin and Christopher, 10 yr old daughter Kristen 

Favorite place to travel: Italy

Most Unusual Job you have ever had before current position: lifeguard 

First car you drove?: Volvo sedan

Karaoke Song: Piano Man

Hidden Talent: I can find anything anywhere.  Apparently.

If you weren’t working in Transportation industry you would: Get involved in local politics or open a specialty shop for wine, cheese and homemade desserts.