Archive for February 2nd, 2011

Can the Regional Transit System Plan Move the “Region Forward”

February 2nd, 2011 3 comments

Will the regional transit system be up to the challenge of meeting the Transportation Planning Board (TPB) Vision’s objectives and the Greater Washington 2050 Coalition Region Forward’s targets, especially for a higher transit mode share in 2040?

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In early 2010, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments endorsed Region Forward.  It includes goals, objectives and targets for the metropolitan area in 2050, relating to accessibility, sustainability, prosperity and livability. Transportation is one of nine categories among its goals, and the transportation targets draw heavily from the TPB Vision that was adopted in 1998. The Regional Transit System Plan (RTSP) is intended to help develop strategies to achieve Region Forward’s goals, objectives and targets. Several of these targets are focused on transit, and are compatible with the goals of the RTSP. What follows is a listing of Region Forward’s transit-focused goals, and how a future including an implemented RTSP may help achieve them.

Priority for management, performance, maintenance, and safety

This target echoes an objective in the TPB Vision and is intended to insure that investment in existing transportation infrastructure continues as a top priority. For example, Virginia’s funding for roads follows this philosophy, by funding road maintenance and operations off the top of revenues. That philosophy would be advantageous for transit, too, so that investments in new infrastructure wouldn’t result in disinvestment in the existing bus and rail infrastructure that continues to be needed.

RTSP is evaluating an “Enhanced Surface Transit” strategy, in which the  network of 24 Metrobus Priority Corridors (PCN’s) are enhanced with bus priority treatments, intended to increase performance of surface transit service in the region while reducing overall operating costs. The RTSP will also look into new surface transit connections with an eye towards interoperability, which would help reduce costs of managing and maintaining different new light rail and streetcar systems. Read more…