This is always a crazy-busy time for us. And it’s the most motivating time of year. It’s the beginning of a new year and we’re preparing to head to the conferences that we’ve been talking about for months now.
And this year we have other things that add to the mix. MAP-21 is set to expire at the end of the year and there is some optimism in how people look at transit and funding transportation.
- Last year more than 70 percent of the transportation ballot measures across the U.S. passed
- The report “Millennials & Mobility” recently released by the American Public Transportation Association shows nearly 70 percent of millennials use multiple travel options several or more times per week
- The number of high school seniors with a driver’s license continues to decline
And Cincinnati was no different from the trend. When I went to tour Metro, they had also set up a meeting with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber so I could hear from them about the study, “A Peer City Public Transportation Review,” a benchmarking study of Metro compared to transit in 11 peer cities, as identified by Agenda 360 and Vision 2015. The study evaluated Metro’s operational efficiency, service capacity and fiscal impacts. You can view the report at www. MassTransitmag.com/11315769.
Meeting with Mary Stagaman, executive director, Agenda 360, vice president of regional initiatives, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, I also had the opportunity to learn more about the area. In 2009 community leaders designed Agenda 360 as the action plan to transform the Cincinnati region. In community engagement meetings, participants were asked to choose how they would invest $10 million in their community. Education came out on top and second, transportation and infrastructure. The eternal pessimist in me translated that into “roads and bridges.” Stagaman pointed out that’s not entirely the case.
Three primary strategies were identified to meet the region’s transportation needs and those were:
- Planning and funding for road projects
- Creating a regional transit strategy
- Expanding multi-modal freight capacity
The Agenda 360 survey showed broad support for more transportation options; view the action plan at www.MassTransitmag.com/11315768.