INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -

Transportation and poverty will be among the topics when about 400 government leaders, consultants and others gather for the Southern California Association of Governments' regional conference in Indian Wells Thursday and Friday.

   SCAG's Regional Conference & General Assembly at the Renaissance Esmeralda hotel will examine ``how rapidly emerging technologies may revolutionize the way we presently think about moving people and goods,'' according to the association.

   Gregory Winfree, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration, will be the keynote speaker.

   Other speakers include Cathedral City Councilman Greg Pettis, president of SCAG; Fourth District Supervisor John Benoit; Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez, D-Coachella; and California Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly.

   Topics will be:

   -- ``Paying it Forward: The Highway Trust Fund and the Federal Transportation Bill'';

   -- ``Technology in Transportation: The Future is Now'';

   -- ``Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: Business, Education and Technology Initiatives and Collaboration''; and

   -- ``From the Waterfront to the Storefront in 30 Minutes or Less! How New Supply Chain Technologies Are Changing Goods Movement.''

   SCAG represents six counties and 191 cities, and works on planning and policy initiatives.

   General admission is $250 and $75 for students.  Elected officials get in free.

   Online registration is closed; on-site registration will open at 8 a.m.  For information on the conference, go to www.scag.ca.gov.