News & Media
Vol. 9, No. 5May 25, 2011
In This Issue …
- Want to Win Your Transit Campaign? Register for TIC
- 2011 Measure Considered in Triangle Region NC
- New Report Looks at Measuring Transportation Investments
- Cincinnati Streetcar Project Moving Forward
- Innovative Congestion Management Program in San Francisco
Want to Win Your Transit Campaign? Register for TIC
EARLY RATES EXTENDED UNTIL FRIDAY!
The early registration rate for the 2011 Transit Initiatives and Communities Conference has been extended until this Friday, May 29. The next conference will not be until mid-2013, so if your community is considering starting a campaign any time prior, this is the conference to attend! A two-hour, interactive campaign planning workshop will kick things off before two days of great sessions designed to help you increase the strength of your coalition and achieve success at the ballot!
Confirmed speakers include Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory; Hillsborough County (FL) Executive Mark Sharpe; President of Metro Transit-St. Louis John Nations; campaign consultant Alan Wulkan, Infraconsult LLC, and great speakers from Seattle to Grand Rapids to Salt Lake City.
Register now. The discounted hotel rate also ends this Friday, May 29. Hotel reservations can be made here.
2011 Measure Considered in Triangle Region, NC
DURHAM & ORANGE LOOK TO NOVEMBER, WAKE TO 2012
Local officials in the North Carolina counties of Durham and Orange are considering a sales tax measure for the November ballot. A half-cent sales tax increase would be used to partially fund a plan to increase bus service between Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro, light rail between UNC and East Durham and a portion of a rush-hour commuter train in Durham County. These projects are all part of a recently proposed $1.4 billion transit plan.
Durham County officials must decide by June 27 if they will put the measure before voters in November. They will also be deciding whether to put a quarter-cent sales tax increase for education on the same ballot. If approved, the half-cent transit sales tax would go into effect in April 2012 and would be expected to generate about $18 million for transit within the county in its first year.
Wake County is also considering a transportation ballot measure, but will not put one before voters until at least May 2012.
New Report on Measuring Transportation Investments
MANY STATES LACK DATA TO ANALYZE EFFICIENCY
With funding for transportation investments in short supply, the Pew Center on the States and the Rockefeller Foundation have released a report that looks at how states are using performance measures to determine what they are getting from the investments they are making. Measuring Transportation Investments: The Road to Results finds noticeable differences among the states in how data measurements are used to determine whether investments are cost-effective. Only 13 states are found to be doing a good job, with the remaining states lacking the necessary data and tools to make clear determinations of achievable results.
The report identifies six policy areas as the key to measuring transportation investment--safety, jobs and commerce, mobility, access, environmental stewardship and infrastructure preservation. Within these areas, states are expected to have goals, performance measures and data to effectively evaluate transportation projects.
Robert Zahradnik, a member of the project team at Pew, will be presenting results from this report and other studies at the 2011 Transit Initiatives and Communities Conference.
Cincinnati Streetcar Project Moving Forward
MAYOR ANNOUNCES NEW SCALED DOWN PLANS
Despite obstacles, the streetcar project in Cincinnati will ultimately be completed as planned. The project suffered the loss of $52 million in state funding when it was not placed on a list of approved projects by the Ohio Transportation Review Advisory Council. Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory--a keynote speaker at the upcoming Transit Initiatives and Communities Conference--announced that the initial scope of the project has been be revised but it will not be derailed. The starter route has been scaled down and will include only five streetcars instead of seven at a cost of $95 million to construct.
Cincinnati still has close to $100 million available without the state funding, including a $25 million federal Urban Circulator Grant, $4 million from the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments in the form of a Congestion Mitigation/ Air Quality (CMAQ) grant, $64 million in city bond financing and $6.5 million in private funding from Duke Energy.
City leaders see this project as a way to create jobs and increase density and development, expanding the city's tax base. Over 300 jobs are expected to be created during the construction and another 25-30 jobs will be needed for on-going operations. Operating costs are expected to be covered by fares and revenue from the city's casino and parking meters. Naming rights and sponsorship of stops will also be used for revenue. The streetcars will be operated by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority and will run 18 hours per day, 7 days a week.
San Francisco's Congestion Management Program
PILOT PROGRAM TO INCREASE TRANSIT EFFICIENCY
Last month, San Francisco launched an innovative pilot parking program--SFpark--for over 5,000 of the city's metered spaces and in 14 out of 20 city-owned parking garages. In an effort to reduce congestion and improve air-quality, SFpark uses smart technologies to manage the availability and pricing of spots. Customers can use the SFpark website or app to determine if there are spots available where they are going or if biking, walking or taking transit is a better option.
The federally funded program is run by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and will continue through summer 2012. As the system monitors parking demand, rates will be adjusted in $0.50 increments no more than once per month until optimal pricing is achieved. Optimal meaning that there is always one spot available on every block. With the congestion caused by circling and double-parking eliminated, transit options would become faster and more reliable. More information on the innovative project can be found here: http://sfpark.org/about-the-project/