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Many Sides of Planning

Panelists at a June 20 session discussed the ins and outs of the federal performance-based planning and programming (PBPP) process covered in MAP-21 and the FAST Act.

PBPP applies performance management within public transit agency processes to achieve desired outcomes. This process attempts to ensure that agencies make both short- and long-term decisions based on their ability to meet established goals.

Lucy Garliauskas, FTA associate administrator for planning and environment, walked session participants through the process, noting that ­MAP-21 increased emphasis on planning in non-metropolitan areas and made additions to the metropolitan planning process.

Metro planning agreements, she said, must include the views of MPOs, states and service providers, while the government may designate a regional transportation planning organization for non-metro areas.

According to Garliauskas, the development process should consider investment strategies, population, employment and baseline conditions for maintenance and improvement.

Albert Santana, assistant to the city manager of Phoenix, described how voters from across the ideological spectrum voted for “Transportation 2050,” the largest transportation investment in the city’s history.

The measure raised the previous 0.4 percent public transit sales tax to 0.7 percent and changed its designation to a transportation tax.

The tax will raise $16.7 billion over 35 years, matched by federal and regional funds during that period to total $31.5 billion. These funds will finance 47 additional miles of light rail, 75 new miles of BRT and bus service enhancements beginning later this year, Santana said.

He emphasized the intensive outreach of the city to its residents during the run-up to the 2015 vote, including more than 100 meetings, 600 in-person comments and 1,500 online comments.

Stephanie Shipp, a consultant with WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff in Tempe, AZ, reviewed tools that allow agencies to trace service demand. Different perspectives might give varied results, she explained, so statewide and regional ­perspectives can give a result different from the step-by-step process of FTA’s Simplified Trips-on-Project Software (STOPS) model.

Daryl R. Wendle, principal consultant with Parametrix Inc. in Seattle, reported on Sound Transit’s plan for its upcoming ballot measure. The agency is merging federal and regional planning requirements in an area undergoing major growth, he said, identifying projects to ease congestion. 

Panelists, from left: Stephanie Shipp, moderator Lee Gibson, Lucy Garliauskas, Albert Santana and Daryl Wendle.

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