Transportation and a “retail” mindset

The business community is committed to an effective transportation system that ensures that commerce, and our region’s people, can be successful.

Identifying and proposing ideas and concepts for improving mobility – or more specifically, the user experience for transportation – are an important part of our advocacy and focus.

Those ideas and suggestions can come from anywhere, and anyone. They don’t all have to be “correct” to be worth considering. The viability of an idea often depends on both context and timing, such that even a “wrong” idea can lead to different thinking about a future solution.

One common source of ideas, at least for me, is retail – and many of the suggestions we offer are inspired or augmented by recent retail experiences.

Personally, I find retail fascinating, because it is the zero milestone of the user experience. It brings together disciplines of marketing, sales, communications, logistics, product, risk, supply chain, and many more. If you have ever waited in line to check out from a grocery store or warehouse club – or admired the efficiency of the Chick-fil-A drive through – you know exactly what I am talking about, in terms of a user experience that leaves us wanting vs. leaving us wanting more. I personally have been inspired by both positive and negative experiences such as these when thinking about ways to improve toll operations, transit accessibility, and the like.

RTA has had a “retail”, “user experience” mindset since the beginning of our organization two decades ago. That is of course natural, as our group represents the regional business community, and each of our members provides their own perspectives based on their work as well as their personal day-to-day life. This framework frequently gives rise to a different set of questions about priorities and inherent assumptions.

We certainly recognize that RTA will not always be “correct” in our ideas. To that point, my guess is that the proportion of our suggestions that are directly viable or immediately implementable is far less than 50% of the time, and that is to be expected from a business organization. However, one of the things that makes RTA so valuable is the perspective we offer, and the additional solution paths that our suggestions frequently engender.

We look forward to continuing to offer solutions, guidance, and support – in concert with our partners – in 2021.

Let’s get moving,


Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation


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