Project Purpose

Over the past two decades, our region has experienced unprecedented growth and has remained resilient through turbulent national economic cycles. Access to safe, reliable, affordable and well-connected public transportation is one of the most important factors in ensuring that everyone can participate in and benefit from economic prosperity.

The purpose of CONNECT Beyond is to provide mobility solutions to continue to promote economic competitiveness, while helping our neighbors and visitors easily get where they want and need to go. With the increasing pressures of growth, we need a bold mobility vision that inspires creativity and collaboration.

Project Vision & Mission

CONNECT Beyond will culminate in a regional transit plan that includes innovative transportation solutions to enhance mobility and access for people living and visiting our region.

  • Set the foundation for a unified public transportation network that allows residents and visitors to seamlessly cross municipal, county, and state lines using public transportation options.
  • Elevate public transportation as a preferred mobility choice and community asset.
  • Grow our national and global competitiveness as a region, including attracting industry, growing businesses and retaining jobs.
  • Promote upward social mobility by providing better access to jobs, workforce housing services, medical facilities, educational resources and other destinations to those that may not have access to other means of transportation.

Project Goals

Previous Goal

Define a Regional Transit Vision

The CONNECT Beyond Project will define a single, coordinated transit vision for the region that will focus on enhancing our transportation infrastructure and improving our multi-modal transit system to increase transportation choices for all area residents and visitors. This regional transit vision will guide long-term transportation planning for the region and enable collaboration between regional partners, including local municipality governments, transits agencies, and regional planning organizations. With this shared regional transit vision, the regional partners in the area will be able to plan, coordinate, and implement innovative transportation projects that will boost regional mobility, promote equitable accessibility, encourage sustainable regional growth patterns, inspire community placemaking, and energize regional economic competitiveness.

Strategize Regional Coordination Methods

The CONNECT Beyond Project will strategize best practice approaches for coordinating multi-modal transit services across county jurisdictional lines to better serve our region's residents and visitors. Our project team will analyze the current transit services being offered in the region and develop strategies to better coordinate those services to increase transit performance and improve the connectivity of public transportation services throughout the region.

Our project team will focus on how to improve the linkage between public transportation services that mainly serve our rural communities and our suburban and urban transit services. Improving connectivity between rural public transportation services and our enhanced regional transit system is an important focus of this project. Our CONNECT Beyond Project team will also focus on standardizing service and performance measures for all transit service providers in the region. This will help ensure that consistent, high quality, and efficient public transit services are being provided to all residents and visitors throughout our region.

Identify Candidate High Capacity Transit Corridors

The CONNECT Beyond Project team will analyze existing and future traffic conditions and travel patterns in the region to identify strategic, high capacity corridors along which new rapid transit lines could be implemented. These high capacity corridors will complement the CATS 2030 System Plan and other regional and local transportation planning initiatives. The CONNECT Beyond Project team will include the Recommended Rapid Transit Alternatives to be implemented along with coordinated land-use policies in the Regional Transit Vision. The recommended rapid transit Alternatives will help increase transportation choices, help reduce traffic congestion, and improve mobility for residents and visitors in the region.

Develop Implementation Tools

The CONNECT Beyond Project team will develop action-oriented implementation strategies that our regional partners can utilize to carry out our Regional Transit Vision. The outcome of the CONNECT Beyond Project will be a bold mobility vision that meets the future needs of the region and guides future transportation project delivery for our communities.

The final plan for the CONNECT Beyond Project will include not only our bold Regional Transit Vision but also action-oriented strategies that will guide our regional partners in how to put into effect this long-term mobility vision to support successful, collaborative transportation project implementation and achieve efficient regional transit system operations far into the future.

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