Review the Draft Regional Mobility Plan
Mobility Your Way
Mobility is the driving force that shapes our community. As our region continues to grow, mobility will be one of the most critical factors that ensure everyone has access to reliable, efficient, and well-connected transportation. Our 12-county community is nearing three million residents and is expected to add over one million more by 2045. This growth will continue to bring new opportunities as jobs and businesses set up shop in our cities and towns. But with this growth we expect to see additional strain and usage of our existing private and public transit and mobility services.
To plan for this future, Centralina Regional Council and the Metropolitan Transit Commission (which is the policy board of the Charlotte Area Transit System) set out to build a long-term mobility plan that will enable new transit connectivity. This plan is based on community and stakeholder input and involvement. But it is important to keep in mind that mobility means different things to different people. To some, it means having access to basic human needs; to others, it means having options to improve their quality of life through education, employment, and entertainment. However, one thing is simple. Mobility means connection. It connects our communities and counties.
The CONNECT Beyond mobility initiative defines a bold regional transit vision that provides real mobility solutions and opportunities for residents and visitors that will serve as the foundation for our region’s continued economic competitiveness and quality of life. Currently, many transit options are focused on localized areas that leave gaps in transit on a regional level. CONNECT Beyond recommends solutions and connections that will close these gaps and improve access for everyone by creating a total mobility network.
A total mobility network is a way of looking at transit in a layered approach, taking into consideration all users of transit systems and the different modes of transportation they require daily. This includes bus rapid transit, vanpools, mobility hubs, ridesharing and bike-sharing options, and more. While this is a complex and involved process, the result is an integrated transit network that works for both residents and visitors alike.
To develop this vision, the CONNECT Beyond team listened and heard from the community through a combination of public listening sessions, stakeholder input, review of previous transit plans (both locally and from other regions), and available data. Through this engagement, the team heard about the significant pain points in transportation across the region. The input helped craft a transit vision that addresses these issues and helps make sure transportation is accessible and equitable to everyone, whether you drive your own vehicle or rely on public transit options.
At the core of CONNECT Beyond is the user and creating a user-focused total mobility network that includes options and mobility-supportive strategies designed to meet commuters’ particular and constantly changing needs. Creating a total mobility network includes providing various mobility options in our communities that allow residents and visitors to make trips in several ways, increase travel efficiency, and enhance user experience. A total mobility network relies on both current and future modes of transportation, such as rail services, bus rapid transit, commuter bus options, carpooling, ridesharing, micro-transit services, and is supported by mobility-friendly places and connection points that get riders where they need to go.
The CONNECT Beyond recommendations focus on three core components: the individual user, the local and regional perspectives. From the individual user perspective, CONNECT Beyond focuses on equity and access by providing everyone more mobility access and opportunity. The local perspective means that creating more access to transit and mobility options results in a better quality of life. The regional perspective means promoting equitable transportation and removing obstacles to commuting, resulting in building better economic opportunities for everyone.
The work done through CONNECT Beyond helped develop over 100 recommendations. These recommendations fit into five Mobility Moves. Mobility Moves are the categories used as a blueprint for building a total mobility network. The moves are:
- Creating mobility-friendly spaces. This move includes strategies to support vibrant, pedestrian-friendly communities that have convenient access to public transit and prepares community for future transit investment.
- Expanding mobility choices. This move addresses how to support the how, when, and where residents and visitors can travel, now and into the future.
- Strengthening Rural to Urban Connections. Focused on the area’s geographically diverse community, the plan crafted strategies to improve mobility and transportation choices for those who choose to live and work in rural communities, allowing better integration between our towns and shortening the time to travel between them.
- Building a better bus network. This move means implementing strategies to integrate our existing bus systems and enhance coordination between transit service providers across our region, making it easier for riders to plan, pay for, and complete their trips.
- Investing in strategic mobility corridors. This move allows our communities to identify and invest in corridors throughout the region where high-capacity transit lines, commuter rail, and emerging mobility services could be extended or newly constructed.
Supportive of the Mobility Moves are key components such as mobility hubs and livable centers. Mobility hubs are places of connectivity where different travel options come together. These hubs can be thought of as all-in-one centers for bus boarding, rideshare designated pick-up locations, charging and docking stations for bikes, scooters, and other private transport options, and locations to comfortably wait in-between trips. While there is no “one-size-fits-all” design for a mobility hub, they are scaled to reflect the unique context and needs of a particular community. Livable centers are areas in our region that can begin working towards transit-oriented development and working to implement high-capacity transit.
CONNECT Beyond is a vision. CONNECT Beyond is a collective blueprint that connects our people to our region in new and exciting ways. The plan means improving transportation choice, providing a variety of alternative mobility options to better connect our region and alleviate traffic on the roads. It means enhancing transit equity, improving accessibility, and focusing on providing affordable options to everyone. It means increasing economic competitiveness and promoting sustainable regional growth, allowing the region to compete in a global economy through better transportation infrastructure that will attract businesses and jobs while designing transit-supportive development patterns.
The CONNECT Beyond initiative welcomes you to review the regional mobility plan to learn and understand how it will benefit you and your community. While much work will be needed to ensure this plan becomes a reality, the plan is a necessary next step in the journey to create an integrated and seamless multimodal transportation system.
View the Draft Regional Mobility Plan at www.connect-beyond.com/plan