As one of the fastest growing regions in the country, there is recognition that long-term transit planning efforts should be accelerated if we are to remain a leading, competitive region nationally and globally.  Transportation choice emerged as a top growth priority of CONNECT Our Future; a three-year, 14-county, bi-state planning process.  A component of transportation choice, communities of all sizes – urban to rural, were eager to talk about regional transit in relation to transportation, economic access and mobility, economic development, and place making.

The Regional Transit Public Engagement Series is a continuation of the CONNECT Our Future dialogue.  It is an opportunity to have a focused conversation about regional transit, well before any planning takes place. This is a chance for communities to express their aspirations, concerns, values, and interests around long-term transit.  By thinking through regional transit topics now and soliciting feedback from residents, we’ll be able to harness the best the future has to offer, while still preserving all of the things that make our communities great.

Our intentions for the Regional Transit Public Engagement Series are to:

  • Begin a region-wide discussion on regional transit
  • Understand the perspective of transit from diverse communities and people
  • Understand the desire and support for a regional transit system in the 7-county area
  • Obtain information and data to guide the development of a regional transit work plan

Our Process

Beginning in the spring of 2017 and continuing into the summer we will hold a series of forums to gather input from local government staff and elected officials, and private sector and institutional leaders, on regional transit needs, values, concerns, and aspirations.  Engagement will take place in the Metropolitan Transit Commission region of Mecklenburg, Iredell, Gaston, Lincoln, Cabarrus, and Union County, NC and portions of York and Lancaster County, SC.  In addition, in late summer 2017 a public opinion survey will be conducted to test general attitudes towards future transit.  In the fall, we will highlight findings and consensus based next steps during a regional transit summit.

The Regional Transit Public Engagement Series will enhance the dialogue of community leaders and transit providers through increased understanding of the region’s desire for regional transit and key corridors and destinations.

Phase I Engagement Resources

The project team met with town & county managers, transit directors, transportation planners, and planning directors in the study area.  Workshops were held in March, April and May.  Below are resources from these workshops.

Regional Transit Engagement Series Agenda

Regional Transit Engagement FAQ

Regional Transit Engagement-Overview_Process_Map-March2017

Engagement Questions_Final

Phase I Engagement Report

Phase I occurred during March – May 2017 and consisted of nine (9) county‐level meetings in Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg (north and south) and Union counties, Rock Hill, South Carolina, and a make‐up meeting held at the Centralina COG for anyone unable to make their county’s meeting. Invitees included county and municipal managers, planning directors, planners, transportation planners, transportation directors, Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Rural Planning Organization (RPO) staff, Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) members from CRTPO, GCLMPO, CRMPO, and RRRPO, Catawba Regional COG staff, CATS staff and Centralina COG staff.

The purpose of the Phase I meetings was to provide a baseline of information on the region’s growth trends, the current state of transit planning, and to listen and gather input from local government staff and transit stakeholders from across the region. The meetings were designed to create dialogue and achieve clarity among regional stakeholders and to understand the transit related values, attitudes, concerns, and opportunities in each county.  Full Report and Appendix are available below.

RTES Phase 1 Summary Report

RTES Phase 1 Summary Report Appendix

 

For more information on the Regional Transit Public Engagement Series, please contact Jason Wager at (704) 348-2707 or jwager@centralina.org.