Webinar Transcript

TPIE Planning Emphasis Areas

April 14, 2015

These notes provide a summary of the webinar's presentations and the question-and-answer session that followed the presentations.

A complete audio recording of the webinar is available at: https://connectdot.connectsolutions.com/p1hx33kpusj/

Please stand by for real-time captions. Thank you for standing by. The conference will begin momentarily.

Thank you for standing by. Welcome to the planning emphasis area conference call. At this time, the operator has us in a listen only mode. We will have a question answer session and discussion later on. If you should require any assistance during today's call, please press “star” and “zero”. 

This conference is being recorded.

I would like to turn the conference over to your host, Rae Keasler. 

Good morning or good afternoon everyone. Take you for joining us for this webinar. Just want to go over a few logistics before we start the webinar. In case you have not been with our webinars before, we’d appreciate it if you have questions or comments about the presentation today, go ahead and enter them in the chat box. That is a middle box on the left-hand column. We will address any comments and questions as we can right away. Or if you like to hold your questions to the end, we have a question answer session about 15 minutes before the webinar is scheduled into. 

I'll also mention that if you have a particular question or like to know more information about a topic, you can call in with that as well.

I believe that is all for logistics.  Without further ado, I’ll turn this over to James Garland.  He is team leader for the Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program.

Welcome everyone. I am James Garland; I'm with the Federal Highway Administration office in the Office of Planning, Environment and Realty. We appreciate your participation in today's webinar. 

Today's purpose of the webinar is to notify you all of the release of the planning emphasis area letter – and hear from state DOT's and MPOs and transit operators on how these are being implemented nationally. 

For those interested in future webinars under the Transportation Planning Information Exchange, the next webinar is scheduled for May 7. That topic will deal with public involvement tools and techniques. You are welcome to visit the Transportation Planning Capacity Building website which you can visit by accessing www.planning.dot.gov. 

We want to encourage State DOT's and MPOs.  This is highlighted in the March 18, 2015 planning emphasis letter. We also encourage you to continue using the following resources to help develop your approach which is the performance-based planning and programming guidebook.

Without further ado I will turn it over to Dwayne Weeks from the Federal Transit Administration.

My name is Dwayne Weeks; I am the Director of the Office of Planning within the Federal Transit Administration. The planning emphasis area has sparked the priorities of the Secretary of Transportation in terms of implementing moving America ahead for progress in the 21st century. Advancing performance-based planning and programming, encouraging regional planning and regional cooperation, and looking at ladders of opportunity on how we close gaps in transportation systems between where disadvantaged populations live and place of employment, work, medical facilities, and social services that kind of thing.  Our speakers today are a great lineup.  They will discuss how they have addressed each one of these areas in their work and their ongoing planning processes and products. I also want to give a quick shout out to the Federal Transit Administration’s publishing of the proposed policy guidance on the capital investment grant program. It is available in the Federal Register for a 30-day public comment period.  Please take a look at that and review it. We are having a public webinar on April 16 at 2 o'clock to go over the proposed interim policy guidance. I recommend looking at the website. We have notices there and look forward to you participating. 

I will turn this over to Harlan Miller with the Federal Highway Administration. 

This is James Garland again. I'm standing in for Harlan, who could not make it. I want to give a brief overview of the MAP-21 implementation. 

One thing mentioned in the planning emphasis area is emphasis on performance-based planning and programming which includes using transportation performance measures, setting targets, reporting performance, and programming transportation investments directed on achieving transportation performance outcomes. 

There are a number of outcomes that are considering to explore the option to develop these metropolitan transportation plans. As we mentioned, they have a variety of resources including the performance-based planning and programming guidebook as well as other materials that can be used to facilitate this. 

Our first speaker is Elisa Arias. She is going to highlight some information and initiatives underway at the MPO level and how they have been partnering with Caltrans to move it forward.  We have a couple of poll question set up and we would like people to go ahead and fill these out and walk through these really quick.  If you can let us know what organization you represent, as well as how you learned about this webinar, if you can tell us whether or not you are listening to the webinar over conference line or on the computer, and how many people are joining you with your connection.

We will pause for about 30 seconds and let folks fill out those polls.  We will keep the polls open for just one more moment and let everyone register in. 

If we could go ahead and broadcast those results for folks before we turn it over to Elisa.  Without further ado I would like to turn it over to Elisa Arias and she will give us an overview of the MAP-21 presentation. 

Thank you for the invitation to participate in this webinar. My presentation is going to cover an overview of California activities regarding the transition to performance-based planning and catch up on the experiences and examples of other large MPOs in California in cooperation with Caltrans, we well as discuss the monitoring and challenges.  When the map comes up I will be showing you the State of California and how the Department of Transportation is organized into 12 districts.

We have 58 counties in the State, 18 metropolitan planning organizations, 26 regional planning agencies. The population is almost 39,000,000 people.  The drivers for performance-based activities at the regional level really starts with the development of regional transportation plans. State legislation was passed that also required metropolitan legislation to develop and deal with climate change, legislation, and greenhouse gas emission reduction.  This needs to be contained in this new element of the regional transportation plan and sustainable community strategies. 

At the state level, Legislation Bill 391 also has requirements. The California Transportation Plan and also the sustainable community strategies in the metropolitan areas and also to develop scenarios to see how the long-term climate goal of the state would be met.  Caltrans just released the California Transportation Plan 2040 in March. Most of the California Transportation Commission uses the guidelines that they issue periodically to take into account updates for legislation. Those guidelines also include a performance-based planning.

Of course at the federal level, we have MAP-21. I'm going to touch upon some examples of large metropolitan areas in the state. Basically they represent 80% of the state population, more than 30 million people.

Recently there is a regional transportation plan which included 10 performance measures and a performance analysis. Also released was a new website of the science initiative that includes many indicators including economic, governmental indicators. 

They also updated the regional transportation plan. They will release a draft at the end of the month and we will profile how it streamlined the performance measures from the 2011 plan.

The southern California Association Development also adopted the first transportation plan in 2012. The performance measures and alternative evaluation and other metrics also analyzing scenarios, governmental justice and continuing monitoring. They also issue by national monitoring reports. These large MPOs use planning to conduct their analysis before selecting a scenario.  To highlight, if you look at the efforts that we have conducted over the years on performance-based planning in addition to model performance measures used in the process. We issued five performance monitoring and reports based on our regional conference of plan that was adopted.  This indicates server performance transportation, housing, natural habitats, water and air quality, and also economic metrics. The also reflects some unique factors in the region and is one of the two California regions that share an international border with Mexico.  We prepared indicators of sustainability which can hurt -- competitiveness which compared 19 other metropolitan regions in the US.

This region in the US is on a scale with a lower score being better. We compare to the peer regions and whether it can improve over time. We are tracking such information as distribution, air quality, investment, and perseveration. 

Finally we reproduced an annual report that looks at three weights -- how the regional transportation system is operating.

In fiscal year 2016, we discussed the emphasis area including MAP-21 implementation with a focus on the implementation of the original transportation plan and also implementation program. MAP-21 implementation really is interspersed in all of our emphasis areas which include sustainable develop strategies, mobility programs, and also external support. Information is not only on the regional transportation planning side, but also on the prioritization of future improvement through the regional transportation improvement program. We have put extensive resources in development that helps us with performance monitoring.  Moving onto an example of a Metropolitan Transportation Commission in the San Francisco area, they have performance metrics for the plan and have a numeric target for each of them. There is also a California greenhouse gas emissions reduction target but there are a few MPOs that have other targets for their performance metrics.

Next I want to highlight the statewide effort that was conducted in 2013. This is after we received grant funding from the strategic growth Council about sustainable community growth ever. We identified the common set of up to 10 transportation monitoring indicators that could be used in a consistent way by MPOs in California. Also the California Transportation Commission, house and Trinity development, and also the Department of Public health. We work through a MPO working group that as convened by California.

There also indicators that could be tracked which must have models to forecast performance measures.  

Here we started with a set of more than 200 performance measures and indicators from throughout California and identify the most commonly used indicators within the MAP-21 category. Then narrowed down the list of those that could be monitored and used with statewide and regional data sources. The indicators they are showing in this slide account for smaller regions, more rural and urban regions, they are consistent with the MAP-21 area and the California climate change legislation. >> In the discussions to narrowing down the data, there was interest in some indicators that unfortunately we do not have data available. Looking at transit and rail time reliability. Also look at the densities for the environmental community and also looking at a housing transportation affordability index. Again, for California agents.  Moving on to the State effort, California Transportation Plan 2040 that was recently released. This tries to show how they align with the MAP-21 national goals. CTP 2040 has six goals; in here you can see the alignment with the national goals for MAP-21. 

There has been a lot more collaboration among state agencies and MPOs at the original target setting process. We had a kickoff workshop with regional agencies in 2013 and repeated another workshop in 2014. This is to initiate the collaboration efforts. 

The challenge for California is it is a diverse state, like many other states in the nation, highly urbanized but also with smaller rural areas. There is limited data availability for various modes of transportation.

There are challenges that we are anticipating, single targets or multiple targets, and how to develop additional transportation data.  As mentioned for resources for data collection.  We would like to advocate our measures may be with the transportation bill to make it better aligned with the State mandates of California.

We first seize challenges ahead and we will have to find ways to minimize any potential conflicts between efforts in the California regional performance planning processes, and continued collaboration and communication among agencies will be critical. 

In terms of next steps on transportation system data analytics and also to assess any data leading to the summer of 2015, there will be additional policy discussions on MAP-21 implementation.  I thank you for your attention.  I think I went over a couple of minutes. I will answer questions when the time comes.

Thank you so much, MPOs. We appreciate your presentation. 

As a reminder for participants, if at any point in the webinar you have questions, feel free to use the chat pod. We’ll also have ample time at the end of all the presentations for a full Q&A session over the phone. 

I would like to turn it to the next speaker which is Jody McCullough from the FHWA Office of Planning.

I would like to discuss ladders of opportunity. I will also introduce our next speaker. The ladders of opportunity initiative helps  all Americans identifying transportation options that are more affordable and reliable by improving the quality of life to greater access to education, job  opportunities, and including jobs in the transportation industry and revealing multimodal commitment gaps to other services. Transportation and economic opportunity mobility are connected because transportation is second to housing as the largest for American households. Costing more than food, clothing, and healthcare. 

Households with annual incomes of less than 25,000 per year are seven times less likely to have a car compared to higher income households. Unreliable, infrequent bus service and streets with unsafe sidewalks and crosswalks oftentimes interfere with these households reaching jobs and other destinations. 

Our speakers today will highlight a variety of duties and support ladders of opportunity. As US DOT Secretary Fox stated, our roads should be safe and easy places to travel.

We have a few speakers today. Our speakers will provide insight on how they are implementing opportunity. Please welcome Elizabeth Thompson who is the principal planner with the North New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.

Elizabeth Thompson is a principal planner with the North Jersey Principal Planning Committee. 

Thomas Mazur is director of Lima County Regional Planning Commission.  

Erica Petri is the mobility manager at Ohio Area Agency of Planning. 

And Brian Gardner is with the Federal Highway Administration Office of Planning.  Streetsmart NJ is an example of a Ladders of Opportunity initiative that kicked off in 2012. It is an education safety enforcement campaign that promotes pedestrian mobility and safety awareness. We developed this campaign because New Jersey is a pedestrian- focused area. Our pedestrian fatality rate is more than nearly doubled that of the national average back in 2013.

The goals of this campaign is to promote culture change so we want to change pedestrian and motor speed resulting in a reduction in pedestrian crashes injuries and fatalities, to educate motorists and pedestrians about the roles and responsibilities for sharing the road, and increase enforcement of pedestrian safety laws and roadway user awareness.

The campaign was and is continually supported by FHWA in the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

The Streetsmart New Jersey guidebook is available on the Streetsmart NJ website. It provides information on how to implement pedestrian safety campaign in the local community and was valid as a result of statewide interest in the program after its initial pilot implementation in the fall of 2013 and summer of 2014. 

As shown on the guidebook, the Streetsmart NJ messaging reminds people to stop for pedestrians and for pedestrians using the crosswalks. 

Initially Streetsmart NJ was developed in and piloted among five pilot locations with a history of production crashes and local safety champions. In the summer 2014, you will see the presentation of these communities in the slide in the following slides. 

A key collateral material that we used was the Streetsmart NJ tip card which was distributed throughout grass roots outreach committee groups and private companies. The tip cards provide pedestrian safety tips and information about the State’s pedestrian and crosswalk law.

We also correlated with the communities to display the Streetsmart NJ message on signs, posters, and business windows.  In addition to English, we provided copies in Portuguese and Spanish. We developed banners in the downtown district as shown in the middle photo of this slide.  We also had a media component. We had Streetsmart NJ messaging displayed on buses, transit stations, highway billboards, online news websites, Pandora radio in the City of New York's Prudential arena.

We also had a social media component. We had a website and we did email blasts, we had a Twitter account, and we also had Facebook as well.

We use very different types of outreach in our approach for messages.  Lastly I just want to talk about our performance measure component of the campaign. The campaign had a pre-and post-evaluation that showed positive favorable results. The pilot campaign had two approaches to evaluation.  We had an observational analysis which utilized video cameras to watch pedestrian and motorist behaviors over a six-hour period both before and after the campaign. At four pilot location intersections that had had a history of pedestrian crashes, we looked to see if there were changes among motorist and pedestrian behaviors such as jaywalking, or motorist not yielding or stopping for pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Report on the findings from this analysis can be found in the about tab off of the Streetsmart NJ website. This was done by Rutgers University.  The second approach we also did was a pre-and post-online survey. We had about 740 participants. We asked people on the street to respond to questions on pedestrian and motorist gauging awareness of the campaign and their compliance with pedestrian motorist behaviors. The survey looked at all of the input the feedback showed overall 80% increase in awareness. Keep in mind this is only for a four-week campaign. We also saw huge jumps in awareness in Newark and Woodbridge. With this we are hoping to do a second phase of the campaign to engage education and enforcement campaign as well as look at the long-term effect.  I cannot forward the slides.  Sorry about that. We are loading the presentation right now.

Hello everyone. I am Sutapa Bhattacharjee. I will be presenting the feasibility study. The study was recently conducted under the local government capacity grant program. The primary objective of this study was to build on and improve the technical details and analysis of the previous study that was conducted by divisional counting and Hudson Transportation Management Association or Hudson County. 

For the study, we collected from various sources and analyzed them in different ways. Information was collected from all the general public and the stakeholders. General public provided information to an online survey and interactive map in the project website and a public meeting. The stakeholders provided information by being a member of the technical advisory committee.

The task members were particularly helpful.

These data sets were analyzed to identify the geographic boundaries of the service area in the different phases of the service area.

It should be noted that the data was determined on the basis of feedback. These are some cities that have an active action program and comparable conditions to Hudson County were collected.  

Information was collected from the proposal issued by New Jersey City Hoboken during the course of the study.  >> In this study we formulated goals objectives, and performance measures in Hudson County.  In the slide you can see a snapshot of the goals, objectives, and performance measures. We tried to include some of the major factors like social, geographic, health, and safety. 

This slide shows the geographic boundary of the recommended service area. The entire service area is divided into four phases. Phase 1 is the most appropriate for implantation of bike share. The study suggested station sites.  For Phase 2 and Phase 3, this station is 5-10 stations per square mile. The map shows you the suggested station sites. While suggesting the site, we not only consider the feedback of the public, but some major landmarks of the county like the rail stations. 

This study did not suggest density and sites for Phase 1 because that will be done by the BNR project planners. 

With the help of the comparable cities, the study forecast ridership numbers - as you can see in the slide - the number of annual members will increase by five fold in 10 years and the system will be able to attract about 1.6 million riders. In ten years there will 1.8 million riders.

Finally in this study, we are identifying social equity barriers for implementation of bike share in Hudson County. Some of these areas have digital devices, cultural perspective, one-time annual payment, access to credit card and also location of most of the bike share stations in the downtown and high revenue-generating locations. 

The study also recommended several strategies that can be used to address these barriers. And some of those strategies and recommendations were discounted membership, station location, easy access to credit card to people of disadvantaged communities, and also aggressive marketing and outreach, help from local champions, and community organizations. It also suggested some funding should be kept aside for marketing and outreach in disadvantaged communities.  I will take any questions when appropriate.  >> Thank you. Since we are running behind time, we will go ahead and proceed to the next presenter.  Tom, feel free to begin when you're ready. 

Thank you. To provide some insight we will talk a little bit about coordination plan an impact on the locals. We are a small RTP, housed within a region planning commission. A lot of the small agencies wear multiple hats. Here we serve West Central Ohio. We are located near Dayton, near Interstate 75 and a lot of corn. 77% of our service area is agriculture. It is a community of roughly 110,000 people, one transit system, and one taxi service. If you look at our roads, we are there to support both transit and paratransit planning activities. We underwrite those functions with money. 

We may be somewhat unique in our MPO is on all the committees and we typically help fund a rolling stock with our money. That is probably the difference as far as we are concerned.

As far as our role in plan development, our previous attempt to coordinate transit and paratransit failed. We need to confess they failed miserably back in 98 and 99. This plan was undertaken with some reluctance on behalf of not only the staff of the MPO but also the paratransit operators themselves. We use the MPOs with all the government officials and bureaucrats, and nonprofit social agencies including health services and faith-based organizations as well as transit and paratransit service. We leaned especially hard on the requirement that the coronation plan was to be locally developed and locally adopted. From a technical perspective, the MPO worked with ODOT in the paratransit operators. We came up with approximately 20 different metrics for the transit authority and 15 for the paratransit operators.  That data helped out quite a bit, it allowed us to establish where we were as a community with respect to available services, and it helped to point out some regularities in place agencies on notice. Essentially the data let us set up some baseline performance measures and expectations for ourselves and for locals. 

When we look at the priorities, we have a 17-member committee representing public sector, nonprofits, and two for-profits helped develop the plan. 

Political leadership was absent in our first coronation attempt. We saw that as a real problem.  We integrated all three County commissioners from the onset. The politicians were there to ensure that the paratransit authorities would play nice and we were going to give this plan a fair shake from the gate.

The plan really targeted agencies that concerned the entire geography of the plan. Funding, that was a critical misstep the first time around. While everyone understood the planning process was the MPOs charge, we insisted the plan approval rested with the county commissioners. I think that possible threat of losing access to Federal funds and political support kept the naysayers in check.

The plan priorities were those that were established by the social  service agencies namely to maximize person independence, advance  economic opportunities, increase mobility, and quality of life and to accomplish that the plan could take 15 long-,mid-term, and near-term strategies with individual tasks to accomplish each. 

Of some significance, we prepared as the MPO written annual assessment of what was accomplished, by whom, and the task that still remain to be  completed because that was important.

As far as the results, we had some success. There were cooperative agreements between interested parties. We developed and expanded, we had global agencies located together. They shared software, the funding itself increased, and paratransit operators sought increased access.

Transit hours were expended from five days a week to six days a week. From 10 hours to 16 hours a day. The miles increased from less than 200 to 500,000. And commentary paratransit trips jumped. We were fairly successful, but that did not happen right away.  Tt wasn't easy and it isn't guaranteed. I think that is the big learning curve.  Looking to assess long-term impacts, I think the process worked. The process helped us expand or reinforce the mission of certain social service agencies.  It let us wean others out of the pool, and so the pool that was left was more determined, more committed, and they drink the Kool-Aid.  The process worked to financially support those paratransit operators that looked at the larger role that transportation could play in improving the quality of life for disadvantaged. The most important impact was a process brought together by a wide array of nontraditional partners. Individuals from the United Way, hospitals, health centers, YMCA, we then had employers at the table. Collectively they created a buzz outside the traditional transit friendly circle. Those people had some real political clout.

Locally, we now have a push for developing more active transportation options to support the mobility of the entire community, not just to the disadvantaged. That helped out a number of different levels.

I think Erica is going to walk you through the mobility manager perspective.  Erica, if you are on the line, you might be muted.  Erica? Can you hear me?  Now we can. 

I apologize. My name is Erica Petrie. I am the mobility manager for Allen County as well as six surrounding counties. I want to talk about the developing use and transportation coordination plan from a MPO perspective. I will speak with you briefly about the coordination plan from the perspective of the mobility manager.

To give you a little background, I was hired as a mobility manager in 2010. This was a result of the initial plan that Tom talked about. As part of that plan, they identified mobility management as a key component that was necessary to move for the goals and objectives that they had outlined in the document. 

I want to start by making sure you are familiar with the concept of mobility management. I have the definition that I think said it best. This is from the National Center of Senior Transportation. I like this definition of mobility management because it highlights the tool role of the mobility manager.

As I see it, it is my responsibility to work one on one with folks who need transportation. I listen to the stories, I meet them at their level of need to solve the individual dilemmas and break down barriers they are facing. However it is equally important for me to work at a community level to address transportation needs by expanding transportation options available and furthering transportation coordination initiatives. 

Allen County’s initial plan, which was completed in 2009, laid out a framework for action with the transportation coronation objective. As mobility manager, this document serves as basically a job description or a to-do list for me. It is my role to take these objectives from concept to reality. If I am not able to, I'm not able to forward my slide.

The utmost support about the transportation coronation plan accurately reflects the needs of our community. And a plan can to do that without direction from community members. I do want to say that Tom and his staff didn't excellent job of reaching out to transportation providers, stakeholders, and users of the service in order to develop the core needed plan. They really ensured that it would not sit on the shelf that to be used as a guide for real transportation coordination work.

The main objective for the coordination plan or the highest imports on my to-do list is listed here. We focus initially on bringing transportation stakeholders together.  I believe this was kept. It was a great first step that allowed me to work with others who have not taken transportation accessibility to accomplish the other items on the list.  >> Because bringing stakeholders together is such an important component of meeting the objectives that are in the plan, I want to spend a minute on that specifically. In early 2010, our area was fortunate to be selected by Easter Seals Project action and their accessible transportation coalition initiative grant, which is a mouthful. The recipients of this grant are a core group of transportation stakeholders in Allen County, worked for two days to develop a coalition that was dedicated coordination. 

The name of it is FACTS. Since its development, we have more than doubled transportation stakeholders involved in the coalition and its work.  Because we've been able to bring stakeholders to a shared table through the coalition, we have been able to meet the primary objectives that were outlined in the plan. I listed some of our successes here and there are many more I could list, because of the roadmap laid out in the transportation coordination plan. There are now mobility management services that are available in Allen County. There is a transportation coalition that is actively engaged in working on transportation coordination activities. There are more transportation options that are available to those in need of transportation. And there is a group of transportation providers, stakeholders, and users that have been able to give idle community input to the regional planning commission as a plan over the past year to develop a plan for 2014 through 2019. 

This new plan comes with a brand-new to-do list for the mobility manager. It has some familiar objectives and some new objectives as a coalition and as a community to look for. 

I have been really fortunate to work with Tom in Allen County Regional Planning Commission. I believe that our community demonstrates the benefits that can be received with a MPO in a mobility manager work well together.  We have Tom's contact information and my contact information in case anyone has any questions.  Thank you, Erica. 

We will turn over to Brian Gardner who is with FHWA Office of Planning.  We are going to step through a lot of examples primarily of some staff work that we did around the area of Baltimore. The last half I will share some examples. 

There will be a lot of work, critically from the Federal Highway Administration staff side, who is using examples to show some of the concepts and variables. Getting into that, our connectivity has two pieces to it. There is a location piece on each in where you start from here, or you need to go. Typically the origin is from the residence, destination might be parks, schools, and grocery stores.  Then there is a transportation component. Like walking to transit, it could be highway. When we talk about connectivity or accessibility you have got the location, and you have the definition of how you will move to the locations. 

The data resources that we used, a lot are from the Census American community survey. Again if you use that, be aware of the sampling issues for the longitudinal employer household dynamics were, again that is local data. Some of that data is really good and some areas there are aggregation of errors. Again, just be aware of those issues when working with the data.  And then we also got some work from the USDA, they have a lot of work from people or populations. They do some work as far as locating full-service grocery stores.

And finally we will work a bit with this. That is reported by transit agencies in many parts of the country, but not every part of the country. The transit agencies that make the effort to report that data, they schedule information. General transit feed specification they really provide a service to the public and we really appreciate that. The agencies that do not report, that we really miss. Thank you to those agencies that are making the effort.  I’m making up some time here so I will not spend a lot of time on this. This is low income households and a density map. Based from the American Community Survey.

It is overlaid with transit access. Around the agencies that were reporting the data. I also included the Metro DC area.  But we show more than DC, we included that just to show continuity.  It really was not part of our key study area just for the examples here. 

We also looked at jobs under DOT density plot. This is based on the senses LEHD data concentrations of jobs. This is also work that the EPA put together. It is a really nice product, again this is based on the LEHD challenges. 

Coming back to the USDA, the things I would like to point out here is the good advantage of contextual applications of the definitions. They have a definition for low income within MSA or outside of it or the statewide median family outside of MSA and also with access where they use measure within MSA. Good use of contextual definitions here. 

Using the standard definition for food deserts, this would be low income population more than a mile from a store. Make that more non-motorized and half-mile distance from a full-service grocery store it paints a different picture. Again the USDA example gives you some different ways to frame this issue. If you want to use your own measures, you are free to do that. Again the ARC examples coming up we will give you another one theirs. 

On the GTFS service, you will see the green. It is a one-mile buffer of the transit stops reported in the area. But if we took a look at the transportation plan, the version we looked at was 2010.  Some of the comments on that noted there were issues between some of the transit service providers. We looked at our transit and rail transit authority and Route 77, and Metro transit 310. There is a space in here of 2.5 miles. That is a physical gap, there is service shown there, but because it is peak hour inbound in the morning briefly, and outbound in the afternoon. If you're not able to take advantage of the direction of that movement, your travel time is about twice of what it would be otherwise. >> Again I think this would be an example of a physical gap.

Relying on the GTFS report by the transit agencies, planning tools available online were used.  We get to the ARC examples.  We have another example where they did some research back a few years ago to look at target areas. There is the context definition theirs. 

They also looked at transit access, and walk and transit access, to resources and services. Again part schools, libraries, grocery stores, and higher education. 

For the equitable target area, you can visit their website. I will put that up in the chat pod in a minute. You can look up the definitions and see some of the background. BNR when noted using race and poverty definitions alone resulted in the fluid areas being targeted. They developed neighborhood descriptors that would evaluate areas and equitable target area index was the result of these based on age, education, median housing value, property price.  You can overlay that with the transit accessibility. In this particular example, this is a half-mile buffer around transit stops. There is a translucent effect so you can see how that overlays with the equitable target areas.  Here is the access to parks.  This is in proximity half-mile buffer that is overlaid with the ETA American Census Tract.

Then for the later examples it is just boundaries themselves. I think that helps to highlight the access to the measure of interest. In this case, access to schools. This is a travel sure definition.  So the access is not built from the household and it is built at the destination end. Travel time with a quarter-mile walk from transit. And then similar travel sheds for grocery store access. This is defined by using sales volume. And different access attracted to grocery stores with respect to walking distance. 

Similar travel sheds for higher education, hospitals, and libraries.  For more information, Supin and Ken helped a lot employing this information together. 

There is the link to their 2040 plan documentation. 

Thank you for your attention. 

Thank you, Brian. We appreciate your presentation as well as all the other presenters.  We are going to jump right into poll questions five and six. If you can turn your attention to those. The first question is what types of projects related to PEAs are in your work plan, or are there other innovative ways your organization has implemented the planning emphasis areas? You can share your answers below. 

One of the things that we are trying to gauge is what would be a best or a better quarter to release the planning emphasis areas for future years so they can better influence work programs. We divided this question up into quarters. January -March, April-June, July-September, and October-December.

If you could take a moment to please fill out those poll questions. 

What we will do is capture the answers that are being shared and post those in a chat pod so other people can see them and have a record of them. 

We will keep the poll open for another 30 seconds.

As a reminder, continuously throughout the webinar, the chat pod to the left of the screen is available for you to interact.  Not only with us at Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration, but with all the presenters who are online. Please utilize the chat pod. Again we will still have time at the end of the presentation for Q and A.  >> We will close those polls and jump right into the next presenter. 

We will have an overview of the regional models of operation from Spencer Stevens who is with FHWA Office of Planning.  Regional Models of Cooperation really asked state DOT's and transit operators to think and plan beyond the traditional borders. At Federal Highways and Federal  Transit, we really think this can bring together entities to support,  goals or things like congestion management, safety, freight, commerce, and livability. Using such an approach can improve decision-making and save time and money and help the agencies work together to achieve more than they could on their own. 

As a quick example, often there are multiple MPOs in an area. The traveling public does not know what those boundaries are, what the individual agencies do. All they see is our transportation networks and the needs associated with them that they want us to address.  For the sake of transparency and efficiency and better decision-making, we are encouraging all agencies  to work closely together in coordinating  techniques, conduct things like expanding partnerships, sharing data and tools, multijurisdictional planning. We see that leading to improved collaboration and policy implementation, technology use, and performance management. 

Our speakers today who will talk to Regional Models of Cooperation are Chris Lukasina from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization from Raleigh, North Carolina, and Cain Williamson the manager from the Atlanta Regional Commission for Atlanta, Georgia.  I will turn it over to Chris.

My name is Chris Lukasina in Raleigh. As most of us are aware, planning requirements have only increased over the years and will probably continue to do so.  In particular, since the early 1990s, the new federal funding legislation has come out over time has put new responsibilities on each of the MPO and especially the TMA's. On top of that, our area is a fast growing region by virtue of that our MPO has grown into our neighboring MPO. All of those things were happening at the same time to lead us down a path and very quickly we had to start working better together.

Also in North Carolina, in addition to the Federal requirements, we had a comprehensive, transportation plan which is an unconstrained plan that generally goes out to a longer timeframe than the Metropolitan transportation plan. In doing that, we sought even more growth happening in our region and crossing the imaginary MPO boundaries. 

Our region, this quick map will give you orientation, the capital area MPO is a green area on the map, then the MPO is the peach color area on the western edge of the research triangle region, and then the black bounded area is really our air quality region. You can see our MPO goes outside the air quality region and has another -- we have another piece coming in the Western edge. And in North Carolina, like many other states, we have regional transportation organizations or RPO's here.

With that led us to the two MPOs in the middle for these RPO's surrounding us and in North Carolina there is one county out of 100 who is not a MPO or a RPO.  That means they are in your MPO or in the neighboring RPO and they are part of local jurisdictions that are in bold, especially the counties.  Having all of these things coalescing  at the same time and in particular air quality requirements become more stringent in our area in the late 90s and early 2000's, we really needed to start looking at ways that we could do things smarter and better and more collaboratively.

We began to develop tools, technical tools like our regional model and are air quality conformity process and ultimately looking at ways to bring our LRTS long-range transportation plans into alignment. The first plans to work that way were adopted. While they were a joint plan they were pretty close.

In 2009, the 2035 long-range transportation plan was approved for air quality conformity and that was the first truly joint plan that was done in our region. There was a joint regional model that has been a joint model for a lot longer than that, it was fully implemented in 2009. Ultimately earned some national attention for the work that we do. This is repeated a few years ago in our current plan, the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan. We have already begun our 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan update that is following the same sort of process and protocol.  We really looked and continue to look for ways to improve and maintain a collaborative structure. That happens on a formal and informal level. Formally there is a memorandum agreement between the two MPOs detailing that we will work on together and having a process in place when there are disagreements.

For our technical work at the top, the most formal thing we have is for the regional development model. And approved protocol that dictates who is responsible for what, how it will be coordinated and all those different things that can be approved. Somethings can be approved at a joint staff level, others have to go to the executive directors of the two MPOs as well as the representatives of the Regional Transit Authority and State DOT, and other items in a technical process have to go to the MPOs boards. 

At this point in time we have a very high level of staff and leadership collaboration.  A lot of that is coordinated through our regional Council government which is in the middle of the two MPOs. They also help us with the air quality conformity process and ensuring that we continue to go down the path of joint this and collaboration. 

In terms of the activities, as I said we have a regional model. We have social economic data that is developed jointly, data carrying across the board; it is as simple as the email or phone call can I get the traffic counts from you. Or I'm having trouble getting a local plan and do you have a copy of that. Again, the air quality conformity process. 

Within the plan, since it is a joint plan, the two regions are quite different in some respects in particular when it comes to the culture of the two MPOs, the politics within those two MPOs, demographics even which college sports team is a preferred team, although our friends to the West have been fighting between the two universities and really have one to worry about.  >> Where we do all agree is the overall goals and objectives of the plan. But they still allow for customization and each MPO.  Where we have some overall goals that are collaborative, objectives and even targets and performance measures in the past have been customized to each.  We do public involvement activities. We periodically have joined board meetings that can happen as many as two times a year. We tend to do that more often the closer we get to a MTP adoption. 

We have in the past had a joint legislative agenda between the two MPOs that has been fairly successful in the past. More recently, we have just kicked off a region wide freight plan that is jointly funded between the two MPOs in the State Department Transportation. It is actually not the first contracted project that has been done jointly. This is a regular occurrence at this point.

It is simply a discussion on who has the fastest capacity to manage that particular contract.  The other MPO specifically for that project providing funding and then serving on the project management team.  >> Those are really the main things that have or make up the collaborative structure that we use here. I think one of the key things to point out that makes a successful project is the very high level of coordination between the two MPOs, both at the elected official levels through the periodic joint meetings as well as informal meetings, but also the staff leadership and general staff level. Where, as I mentioned, we are in the middle of starting a part 2045 update. Generally we meet every other week. The two staffs working on the beginnings of that plan and it is not uncommon at all for staff members from the capital area MPO to do work that applies to both sides of the research triangle area. Meanwhile, a staff member from the MPOs might be developing socioeconomic data points for both MPOs at the same time. 

As we have done this more, we have begun to realize that it is more about the most effective use of resources, mainly staff resources in order to be able to accomplish development of the plan and coordinate a planning process.  With that I think I will take questions, if we have time.  Chris, it looks like folks are having phone issues at headquarters. They said for us to proceed.  Are one of the hosts still on the line? 

This is Spencer Stevens. I am still here. Can we move on to Cain Williamson’s presentation?

Spencer, do I control the slide?  Good point. We need them to bring up your slide presentation. I will ask them to do that. 

I will stall a little bit while Spencer is doing that. I managed the mobility services division the Atlanta Regional Commission.  I was pleased to see that the ETA analysis was talked about. That was a nice since surprise.  We basically have four components that we oversee which is human service, transportation planning, and some coronation of service. Transportation demand management service delivery and coronation, transportation technology kinds of things and also regional transit service coordination. It is the last one that I want to talk to about today when the slide comes up.  It looks like it is coming up slowly.

Little history on how we go backward in transit services in the metro Atlanta area. About 10 or 11 years ago, we adopted a long range regional transportation plan because it was said that the ERC was the MPO for the area as well. That plan expanded multiple jurisdictions in multiple transit service areas. It became pretty clear really quickly that there was not a single entity other than the state that was able to build on, operate, and maintain a decent transit infrastructure. It was clear it was not going to get built. It was not all that well engaged in the transit world. 

ARC undertook a study called regional transit institutional study. 

The intent of the study was to look at how we were organized institutionally in the region to maintain, operate, deliver transit services and begin to think about how we might reorganize the structure to enable us to provide services across multiple transit services and multiple jurisdictions. 

That went on for about 18 months. We got to the end of that and realized we were not going to be able to come to a conclusion. Instead what we said is we need to continue the conversation. We created the transit planning board. This ran from 2006-2008. That organization was an independent board that was comprised mostly of locally elected officials. We also had representatives from the transit agencies on that committee. 

It was how the majority regional Transportation Authority from and administrative perspective. The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority known as RTIA is an authority of the State. They offered to host the TBB. They were charged with developing a long-range regional transit plan. And financing the mechanism to intimate that plan and organizational institutional government structure that would enable the construction. 

We got about one third of the way there, we adopted a long-range regional transportation plan that had the highest degree of consensus among stakeholders that I have seen in a very long time.

We did a little bit of work with the financing on that but the overall transportation funding and financing picture in the state was beginning to change. The governance was still a difficult conversation. We evolved again into the transit implication board which is really more of a name change than a change in functionality.

The hosting of the organization left RTIA. From a policy perspective, the administration of that rested at ARC at that time. 

We went through that process for about a year or so. Eventually all of the stuff consolidated over at ARC policy function as well as the administration.

Now the RTC is a committee of the FHA one Board of Directors. It is the primary mechanism through which we coordinate transit services across the region. 

You can see some the things that we have done. I will talk more about those things in future slides.  To give you an idea of what the structure looks like, you can see the ARC board. The two committees of the board or primary consumer transportation, the transportation and air quality committee and that regional transit committee. Their transportation and air quality committee deals with planning and transportation policy and it is the policy board of the MPO. The regional transit committee is almost exclusively focusing on transit service coordination. Both of those are fed by the same technical committee the transportation correlated committee.

They we have an array of subcommittees, three of which are transit focus the transit operator subcommittee, the breeze policy group which is the group that manages the system for the transit agency in the human service transportation advisory committee. A budget had to come from Federal dollars and local dollars.  What the policy officials agree to is in order to have invoked on the RTC you have to continue to the local match essentially dues to the RTC to match the transportation dollars. We were essentially using 5307 money and then local money from the transit operators. You can to the dissolution of that. Right now we are standing at about $5000 a year for local government.  The Georgia Department of Transportation and another agency is determining that $150,000 year which is the single largest local contribution. All of that flows into the regional commission. We wrote a grant and we used those funds on behalf of the region to conduct a series of studies and projects and other kinds of work. 

You can see our work program. Here it is. A three-year work program, with a budget of about $1 million a year. We do some regional transit planning, general regional transit planning, a lot of coordination work. The stuff would be impossible without formal and informal can indication channels -- communication channels. 

We are also coordinated with policy discussion which has it challenges. 
Then regional transit marketing analysis strategy is on the list as well. 

Specifically, what we are doing is the 2015 marketing strategy. We are just recently under contract with a firm to help us develop a regional transit marketing strategy. We have five fixed route or rail operators in the Atlanta region.  All of them have their own brand, all of whom communicate in their own way, of their own particular interest, but they have understood or have begun to understand there is a need for a larger communication mechanism. One of our general managers here said it is like the “got milk” campaign. The dairy farmers of America got together and pull the money to sell milk but not to sell any particular milk. That is the philosophy behind this marketing strategy. 

We are about to enter a contract for a fair study. The regional system that I told you about earlier is about fare collection. It was the first smartcard system implemented in North America. It has been in place for about six or seven years, MARTA operates a clearinghouse whereby all revenue flow into MARTA and are distributed to the respective appropriate operators on the back end of the system.

We are about to undertake a financial review, a problematic review of the system and decide how we will divvy up the cost associated with the operation of the system. The clearinghouse system so we can level the playing field and then move forward with the development of the single  regional fare in order for people to be able to travel on whichever system they would like without having to maintain multiple accounts on the same card. 

About a year and a half ago we developed a unified bus stop sign design. So places in downtown Edmonton on Atlanta, where multiple operators stop on a daily basis, there will be a single sign with a single design that knows it as a transit stop we are in the process now of figuring how to implement that signage design. 

Since that time we have seen MARTA has decided they are going to install the same design system wide for all of their signage and one of the suburban operators agreed to also. We have a second suburban operator who is considering that as well. It really does tie into the marketing strategy that we talked about and having some sort of single brand with all operators might be able to coordinate messaging. 

The last one you see here is the MPO coordination around performance measures. We are really beginning to think now about what the performance measure should be for the regional transit system. And coordinating the operators around with the metric should be fine, not just the individual operators but for the system as a whole. 

I think that wraps up our presentation.  You can see my contact information and I would be glad if you have questions to talk to off-line as well. 

Thank you for your presentations. We appreciate it. We want to thank all the presenters that gave so much of your time and really insightful information about how the planning emphasis area can be implemented on a national basis. 

We do have a poll question?  It is the final one today. It is after participating in this webinar, how would you rate your familiarity with your PEAs? 

We've also been entertaining questions in the chat pod throughout the webinar.

We would like to open up the phone lines now in case anyone has additional questions for FTA, FHWA. 

If you like to ask a question, please signal by pressing “star” “zero.” If you're using a speakerphone, please make sure your mute function is off to allow the signal to relay to the equipment. 

Once again it is “star” “zero” if you would like to ask a question. We will allow one moment to allow everyone an opportunity.  While you are thinking about whether or not to pose a question, we will keep the poll open for just a while longer.  Please press “star” “zero” if you have a question you'd like to ask.  You will be asked introduce yourself by your name and organization that would be helpful. We will broadcast the results of the poll. I will turn it back to the operator to see if we have additional questions on the line. 

As of right now there are no additional questions.  Now we are waiting just a couple of shameless plugs from our end. We have a list of webinars under this series which is the Transportation Planning Information Exchange that can be found on our website on the Transportation Planning Capacity Building which is www.planning.dot.gov the next webinar is scheduled for May 7. 

Right now we are delivering in concert with FTA a webinar per month. As these webinars continue to roll out, we will post information and continue to share this with you all.

Operator, do we have any additional questions on the line? 

As of right now we have no questions.  >> At this point, we really appreciate everyone's participation and time. We had a really good webinar. We want to thank all of our speakers for sharing information. Again all of the presentations are available via download. If you have any questions about the emphasis areas from the transit side you can contact Dwayne Weeks and his staff. From the federal highway side you can contact Harlan Miller, myself, James Garland, or Spencer Stevens. With that, we appreciate your time and attention today. We hope you have a great day.

Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes our conference for today. Thank you for your participation and using AT&T teleconferencing service. You may now disconnect.

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