A modern transportation system is indispensable for our region's future prosperity. To sustain our economy and quality of life, residents must be able to travel quickly and easily around our region so they can choose from a wide variety of jobs and communities in which to live. Businesses must be able to count on the timely delivery of their goods.
Historically, our region's transportation system has been a foundation of our success. But the system's infrastructure was built decades ago, with inadequate ongoing investment to keep it up to date. While transportation is still a significant strength of this region, we must modernize our system to compete with other U.S. and global economic centers.
Reducing Congestion is Imperative
Congestion affects how livable our communities are, shaping decisions as personal as where we live and work. After decades of underinvesting in public transportation and developing land that doesn't support transit, too many residents lack options for getting around. The consequences include limited personal choices, more cars tying up our roads, more pollution, and continued dependence on foreign oil.
Our region's congestion is already among the nation's highest. Without new approaches, it will only increase due to the projected growth of our population, jobs, and traffic. Current revenues are not keeping up with maintenance and operation costs. Underinvestment and deferred maintenance have strained our transportation system, leaving us with aging infrastructure that is deteriorating in some places.
As a region, we need to make better use of existing funds and identify new sources of revenue that will encourage more efficient travel patterns.
A World-Class Transportation System
Our seven-county region needs to take better care of existing roads and transit while strategically investing in the transportation system to reduce congestion, strengthen our communities, and foster a robust economy.
Making our system "world class" is not simply a matter of raising taxes to generate more revenue, nor is it about massive expansion of the system. Instead, the primary goal is to prioritize spending on maintenance and modernization, which will account for more than 97 percent of the proposed transportation funding over the next three decades.
While the fundamentals for moving people and goods are in place, we must dramatically improve the transportation system's condition and provide 21st Century enhancements to make it operate more efficiently. To maximize benefits from our limited funds, GO TO 2040 recommends focusing resources on implementing the region's capital priorities. Carefully selecting projects through a transparent decision-making process will help us achieve clear regional objectives, with our ultimate goal being to create the world-class transportation system that the region needs and its residents deserve.