Many Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) have placed a greater emphasis on equity in their regional planning over the past few years, but that emphasis doesn’t always translate to direct changes at the project level. Transportation Research Record examined how well MPOs serving the 40 largest metro areas in the U.S. incorporate equity criteria in project prioritization decisions for their Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs) and recommend a broader shift in how MPOs approach equity in project prioritization to reframe transportation inequities in terms of injustices.
Recent work out of Virginia Tech compares approaches in large metropolitan regions in Europe and the U.S., seeking to identify best practices for improving regional transit service. The case studies in the report provide insight into where transit in U.S. metropolitan areas may learn from the European examples and improve practice. Although the U.S. circumstances may differ from the European case studies in the particulars, lessons from the experience of building successful systems in Europe can help U.S. metro regions improve the usefulness of regional transit.
A new study offers important insights into interregional travel. This category, defined as trips between 100 and 500 miles, makes up approximately three-quarters of long distance trips but suffers from insufficient data for making system investments.
Bustang, Colorado DOT’s new interregional express bus service is part of the agency’s continuing effort to manage congestion on the I-25 and I-70 corridors. It is also part of the agency’s response to the growing public demand for transportation options for these congested highways.
The April 24 SSTI webinar on intercity buses and the role of state DOTs yielded exciting ideas about how states can facilitate improved connections and service. We were joined in the webinar by MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle and MassDOT staff member Kyle Emge, who runs the MassDOT BusPlus program, to talk about this important transportation option for longer-distance travel.
Last month MassDOT announced the release of a comprehensive set of maps detailing privately operated bus, rail, and ferry routes throughout New England and connecting services to New York State. Recognizing that intercity travelers in New England often pass through multiple states in a single day, and that there was no single source for regional bus, train, and ferry information, MassDOT began its effort to develop one.
While the state of transportation funding remains uncertain both at the national and state levels, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning is taking an innovative approach to bring public awareness to the degrading transportation infrastructure within the seven-county Chicago metropolitan region. CMAP spent $82,000 to design a website that uses an immense amount of transportation data collected by the agency to create user-friendly visualizations of the challenges facing regional transportation systems.
Ten case studies from 11 states document how the fields of transportation and economic development can complement each other and create an environment for increased collaboration and aligning of resources.