Transportation Affordability Specialist

Parker Kushima

Transportation Affordability Specialist

Office: Hawaiʻi State Energy Office

Email: [email protected]

  • BIO

Parker Kushima serves as part of the inaugural Climate Ready Hawaiʻi AmeriCorps VISTA cohort that is helping Hawaiʻi adapt to climate change impacts. He is the Transportation Affordability Specialist at the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office. Parker’s scope of work includes data research, survey, and analysis towards improving affordable transportation options for Hawaii’s low income and vulnerable communities. Parker strives to further his research to improve transportation options, affordability and accessibility for those who suffer financial burdens caused by high transportation and living costs and other inequalities in Hawaiʻi. Parker states, “we are making an effort to increase access to clean transportation for Hawaii’s vulnerable communities…”

Parker attended Princeton University and graduated in the Spring of 2019 with a Bachelor of Science and Engineering in Electrical Engineering and a Certificate in Sustainable Energy. He has worked as a Kupu/Kamehameha Sustainability Fellow (summer 2017), where he worked with sustainability data, and on community efforts for the restoration of Punaluʻu Loʻi plots. As an Energy Engineering Intern (2018) with Hawaiʻi Energy, he helped create rebates for energy efficient technologies and joined Energy Advisors on energy audits. His work focuses on increasing sustainable energy in Hawaiʻi in a way that is equitable and respectful to native and vulnerable communities.

Parker is originally from ʻEwa Beach, Hawaiʻi, and graduated from Kamehameha Schools in 2015. In his free time Parker enjoys hiking, singing, flower arranging, and playing video games.

  • Transportation Equity Hui: Parker organizes the interdepartmental Transportation Equity Hui. The Hui works towards equity and transportation solutions in Hawaii, and supports the Commission’s priority to reduce emissions in a clean, equitable, resilient manner. He also develops materials to increase outreach and awareness around these issues, such as CJ Johnson’s presentation on Vision Zero.
  • Clean Energy Wayfinders: Parker supported HSEO's development of the Clean Energy Wayfinders program, which will train young local professionals in clean energy and community outreach and engagement to help their communities navigate Hawaiʻi's energy ecosystem. He helped to design the program structure, apply for grants, present the program to government and community partners, and strategize the program's launch. The Wayfinders program has received funding for its first year as part of the Kupu ʻĀina Corps program.

  • Multi-Modal Hubs: Parker is developing resources on multi-modal hubs to further HSEO's and the Commission's work on this issue. He has gathered examples of planned mobility hub projects across the state for his Hubs in Hawaiʻi presentation, which he shared on Think Tech Hawaiʻi (see his PPT presentation here). He also helped coordinate amobility hub presentation by Alta Planning + Designfor the TOD Council. 
  • Equity work on active transportation: Parker, with his focus on transportation, produced a comprehensive list of active transportation projects in need of funding, as identified by state and county plans. This is displayed in the Grants-to-Projects Bridge, and detailed in the accompanying provenance paper that he largely coordinated under the guidance of the Commission Coordinator. This work is an outcome of the findings of the Commission's Permitted Interaction Group on Equity.

Parker's work is further highlighted in the office's Spring Newsletter .