1. I dislike starting out with a wonky policy question but its on my mind. How will the future Reauthorization of the Federal Transportation Program treat coordinated planning requirements if and when the three boutique FTA programs (Section 5310 (Elderly and Persons with Disabilities), 5316 (JARC) and 5317 (New Freedom)) are rolled up into in the Sec 5307 (Urban Formula) and Sec 5311 (Rural Formula) programs? These three programs are very valuable and useful. Sec 5310 funds replacement paratransit buses for GADABOUT. JARC and New Freedom funds support mobility management and new service initiatives that would not be funded otherwise. Plus, Coordinated Plan process and competitive project selection creates transparancy and increases community participation that otherwise is missing. So, is the baby going to be thrown out with the bathwater under Reauthorization?
2. How do we organize regional services?
We are about to embark on a regional transportation study as soon as contracts are signed with the consultant. While the scope of the study is well defined, I wonder if we put enough priority on how a regional framework would operate between seven counties. We'll concentrate on lowering public costs, developing different services to satisfy a variety of consumer demands, and creating a vision to guide work into the future. We need the big picture to sell the idea of regional collaboration. But, will the big picture include how we will organize to succeed with this?
I expect at the end of the study, we will have a subset of the seven counties
ready to work together, with the remainder waiting to see what will happen. It would be good to have a regional strategy that entices all counties being able to and desiring to implement one element. We can build on one success.
3. Should we use social media to organize our group work or to engage citizen participation? Should we use LinkedIn groups?
BTW, my top two LinkedIn groups are:
- Sustainable Urban Transportation & Mobility Management
- Partnership for Mobility Management
4. How do we engage people to consider changing their mobility habits?
I'm walking the talk now after my 2001 car died and we are now a one car family. Actually, we are a one car, three bike, carshare user, bus rider, walking family. But, I have not used rideshare (Zimride/Tompkins) yet. That will come soon.
5. We need to map all mobility resources and identify hubs.
The concept to map mobility services and infrastructure to create a network of mobility hubs was presented by Susan Zielinski, managing director of Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Research and Transformation (SMART), at the Upstate Transportation Forum (Sept 22-23, 2011, Ithaca, NY). The concept can be applied to any geographical area, from rural hamlets to large urban areas. The purpose is to identify where services connect or are in close proximity as mobility hubs. Further, you can identify gaps in services which could be changed to connect to hubs. For example, in the context of Ithaca NY, we would overlay maps of TCAT bus routes & stops, location of carshare cars, taxi stands, bike parking, intercity bus stops, and various mobility service areas. Mapping the network should stimulate local conversations about improving the network, signage for hubs, marketing multi-modal services, and geo-coding hubs & services for use by mobility apps (software). We need to consider this approach.