HSEO expands focus on clean transportation with addition of Vehicle Miles Traveled/Active Transportation Specialist

Posted on Dec 7, 2021 in News Releases

HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Energy Office announced today that Kiana Otsuka has joined HSEO as the Vehicle Miles Traveled/Active Transportation Specialist. Otsuka will focus on the development and implementation of strategies to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) through mode-shift, active transportation, and other associated means.

“A key way to change to clean energy and reduce emissions is to avoid using energy in the first place, like we do with buildings and turning off the lights. The same goes for clean transportation,” said Scott Glenn, chief energy officer. “Kiana will be working with communities to help save energy by doing more walking, biking, and using public transportation as well as helping the state shift to more EVs.”

The position is funded through a two-year grant from the U.S. Climate Alliance and was created in collaboration with the State Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission. The VMT specialist is also responsible for helping to initiate and guide the work in the multi-modal mobility hub proposal that is funded in part through a grant from the OahuMPO Overall Work Program to assess State parking facilities for additional clean mobility options that maximize public benefit.

“Kiana’s diverse experience in community engagement, analysis, and transportation planning here in Hawaii adds further depth and knowledge to our team to tackle clean transportation comprehensively,” added Chris Yunker, managing director, resiliency, clean transportation, and analytics.

Otsuka joins HSEO from the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) where she worked as a Transportation Planner and served as the MPO’s representative for the Department of Health’s Transportation Equity Steering Committee, State Climate Change Social Vulnerability Framework Hui, State Climate Change Commission’s VMT Project, Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Bicycling, Transportation Equity Hui, and other active transportation and VMT reduction activities. She also worked as a public policy and research analyst in London, England.

Otsuka holds a master’s degree in Regional and Urban Planning Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science in the U.K. and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. An Oahu native, she is active in several community organizations including Malama Maunalua and the Surfrider Foundation.

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About the Hawaii State Energy Office

The Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO) is an attached agency of the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. The HSEO’s mission is to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean transportation to help achieve a resilient, clean energy, decarbonized economy. Toward this end, the HSEO is developing policies and programs to achieve our energy and climate change goals while identifying strategies that create jobs, lower costs, and improve quality of life in Hawaii. For more information, visit energy.hawaii.gov

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Claudia Rapkoch
Public Affairs Officer
Hawaiʻi State Energy Office
(808) 460-5998
[email protected]