By Jessica Hector-Hsu, Director Planning and Market Development
The RTA kicked off the planning process to prepare the 2018-2023 Regional Transit Strategic Plan with a workshop with RTA Board members during the March RTA Board meeting. The Strategic Plan, required by legislation to be updated every five years, will provide a visionary roadmap for near-term transit investment in the RTA six-county area. Metra, CTA and Pace are partnering with the RTA to develop the plan, which will focus on the capital investments that are needed to deliver great public transportation in light of changing demographics, transportation, and technology. The Strategic Plan will serve as a guide to each of the transit agencies in planning and funding future projects as well as carrying out the unique day-to-day activities needed to meet passenger needs that vary widely across the large and diverse region.
During the workshop, RTA staff presented information about the current state of the transit system and the region, and gave the RTA Board members an opportunity to weigh in on approaches for addressing the current realities. The discussion covered a variety of policy issues including capital funding, transit investment, service improvements, partnerships with private-sector employers, and adaptations to the changing mobility environment. The input (visualized in the graphic shown based on the level of Board consensus about each topic) will be used to inform the goals of the Strategic Plan and the subject of future upcoming stakeholder workshops.
RTA staff will be engaging other stakeholders this spring and summer, with a draft plan complete for public review by this fall. The final plan will be presented to the RTA Board for adoption in early 2018. Visit the newly launched Regional Transit Strategic Plan Website for additional information on the process