Member Briefing: March 24

Transportation funding modernization moves forward

For the past two years I have had the honor of serving on the NC TEN Commission, founded by NC Senator Vicki Sawyer, which has brought together transportation leaders to explore potential solutions to transportation funding in our state. The commission has served as a very effective opportunity to engage and network with legislators and advocates on ideas for a more sustainable mobility future for North Carolina.

A very promising new bill filed this week — Senate bill 354 — contains several provisions from the commission’s recent work that will help secure our transportation funding future. This week’s blog speaks to the provisions of the bill. We applaud Senators Sawyer, McInnis, and Woodard for the leadership on this bill and on transportation funding in general, and look forward to supporting these and other members of the senate and house as they advance the needed cause of funding modernization in North Carolina.

The future of regional transit

Last week I traveled with a few elected and appointed leaders from our region to discuss the future of transit funding with representatives from USDOT and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The conversation was spurred on by a desire to thank our federal partners for our region’s recent funding successes on BRT in Wake County, as well as a goal for clarity, understanding, and guidance on additional opportunities for federal funding partnerships for regional/commuter rail, expanded BRT, and so on.

As with almost all transportation funding and policy challenges, the key is keeping an open mind on options and success pathways, looking for partnerships, and identifying scalable solutions that do not compromise our future. To advance regional BRT, rail transit, and other multimodal options for our market, we are likely looking at both funding and financing partnerships being potential components. Our regional conversations will need to highlight immediate and longer term mobility and land use benefits, as well as opportunity costs and equity. Our decisions as a regional community must consider the risk of making – as well as not making – potential investments in our transit future. We will continue to engage and advocate on behalf of the regional business community to accelerate multimodal solutions that will work for our growing and expanding market.

Thank you for your ongoing dedication to regional business leadership on mobility.

Let’s get moving,

RTA Executive Director

Click here for prior RTA Member Briefings and RTA Blogs.

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