Public Engagement and Support: Business Community and Metro Employees
Momentum’s outreach was unprecedented. Metro staff heard from almost 12,000 stakeholders during the process, which helped inform our understanding of the public’s short- and long-term needs. Below is a high-level summary of the most commonly-held viewpoints across region:
- Make no small plans for Metro;
- Recognize Metro is critical to the region’s future;
- Continue rebuilding;
- Reduce crowding;
- Provide better customer information; and
- Ensure predictable funding.
“Metro is key to the region’s competitiveness”
Within the business community, there was general agreement that the future of the region’s economy is tied to Metro’s success. Business leaders felt that Metro is critical to their business in terms of transporting employees and attracting future workers and clients. In fact, numerous business leaders felt that the region’s reliance on Metro will continue to grow. When surveyed, 97 percent of businesses said Metro will be either as important or more important to the future of the business economy than it is today. One factor working against the economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is an estimated nationwide decline in the availability of talent from 2010-2020. The business community is well aware of this and is also aware of Metro’s role in capitalizing on the talent that exists. In March, 2013, 96 percent of business leaders stated that Metro will play an important role in attracting talent to the region. Finally, the business community suggested creating a marketing program to demonstrate the benefits of Metro and specifically defining “the ask.”
“Prepare people and assets for the future”
Metro employees were supportive of Momentum and were excited that the Authority is strategically planning for the future, but voiced concerns about preparing the system to handle future demand, ensuring adequate staffing and succession planning, and ensuring that funds will be available for Momentum. Employees indicated that financial stability is crucial to ensuring the viability of the organization as well as preparing for climate change and increased incidences of extreme weather events. Additionally, for disabled customers, Metro should strive to be the region’s provider of specialized mobility services, but work with jurisdictions to shift human services and healthcare-related trips to locally-provided or agency-provided service options. Topics that were unique to Metro employees included the importance of incorporating a wrap-around health and wellness program to address symptoms such as fatigue.
For more information:
Download both the full Momentum plan and the Executive Summary.
Regional support is important to making Momentum a reality! A number of regional stakeholders have already endorsed Momentum. Please sign on and add your name to endorse Momentum and send the message that public transit is vital to the National Capital Region.