TAG Meeting #8: Regional Transit System Plan Phase I Review
Metro is developing the Regional Transit System Plan (RTSP), a vision of a sustainable, integrated, multimodal, regional transit network for 2040. Metro staff have recently completed the first phase, and presented a summary to the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) in January. Phase II is underway, and the proposed approach and initial scenarios to evaluate were also presented to the TAG.
During the initial phase, Metro staff assessed future growth trends and travel-demand patterns throughout the region for the forecast year 2040. Regional growth, reported by MWCOG Cooperative Forecasts Round 7.2a, shows significant population, household, and employment growth over the next several decades. This growth has a direct impact on travel patterns around the region. As a part of Phase I work, Metro staff identified the implications this has for transit.
Forecasts show that with the implementation of the projects included in the 2009 financially constrained long-range plan (CLRP) regional transit trips will grow by 30% by 2040. Although the regional program of projects in the CLRP results in a transit mode share remaining at only 4% of total person trips, the region will see more than 350,000 new weekday transit trips. Given the anticipated growth and dispersion of travel, the RTSP focuses on the following long-range issues:
- Increasing the capacity of the system to serve the region’s employment core;
- Improving multimodal access to high quality transit;
- Improving the efficiency and interoperability of the region’s surface transit;
- Improving connections to Regional Activity Centers;
Working collaboratively with the TAG, Metro staff identified potential transit improvements that could address these issues. Twenty strategies were developed and evaluated to determine the impacts each could have on future travel throughout the region.
Potential operator-neutral improvements include the following strategies:
- New rail lines through the core;
- In-fill stations and pedestrian connections;
- New park-and-ride lots with shuttle service to rail stations;
- Enhanced commuter-rail service and line extensions;
- Surface-transit (bus, streetcar and light-rail transit) enhancements and line extensions;
- Metrorail extensions to Regional Activity Centers.
The strategies were evaluated in terms of their ability to serve the region’s employment core, improve access to transit, improve the efficiency and interoperability of surface transit, and provide connections to and between Regional Activity Centers. Strategies tended to address some key long-range issues, but no single strategy could address them all.
In Phase II, strategies will be combined into scenarios so that multiple objectives may be met, and each of the long-range issues identified in Phase I can be addressed, leading to the development of a recommended regional transit system plan.
What strategies would you put together to address the region’s long range issues?