The U.S. Department of Transportation recently issued a “Request for Comments” or RFC for public feedback on reshaping its strategic plan “goals and priorities” in terms of “transforming the nation’s transportation system” to make it safer, more accessible, more reliable, and multi-modal. Comments are due by December 17, USDOT noted.
[Above photo by the USDOT]
Meanwhile, the Federal Transit Administration is engaged in a similar effort via a “Request for Information” or RFI from transit agencies, transit planners plus those who ride and use transit systems to improve “equitable access” to public transportation systems nationwide. Comments on its RFI are due by January 3, 2022.
USDOT aims to update its “strategic framework” in part with responses to its RFC, including its implementation of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act over its five-year timeline.
The USDOT emphasized in a statement that six goals are at the heart of that strategic framework:
- Safety:Eliminating transportation-related serious injuries and fatalities in the near future.
- Economic Strength & Global Competitiveness:Investing in the nation’s transportation system to provide American workers and businesses reliable and efficient access to good-paying jobs, resources, and markets.
- Equity:Supporting and engaging people and communities to promote safe, affordable, accessible, and multimodal access to opportunities and services while reducing transportation-related disparities, adverse community impacts, and health effects.
- Climate & Sustainability:Substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transportation-related pollution and build more resilient and sustainable transportation systems to benefit and protect communities.
- Transformation:Investing in purpose-driven research and innovation to meet the challenge of the present and modernize a transportation system of the future that serves everyone today and in the decades to come.
- Organizational Excellence:Advance USDOT’s mission by establishing policies, processes, and an inclusive and innovative culture to effectively serve communities and responsibly steward the public’s resources.
Concurrently, FTA hopes to use public comments gained via its RFI to update its Title VI guidance, the primary policy document addressing civil rights rules for transit.
In addition to transit agencies and transit industry organizations, FTA said in a statement that it wants to hear from riders, advocacy groups, and stakeholders – particularly from underserved communities – on how to update its Title VI Circular, last updated in 2012.
Specifically, FTA is looking for input on ways to help transit agencies strengthen the role of public participation in planning decisions; better evaluate the impact of service and fare changes on riders and affected communities; and ensure equitable implementation of rider conduct policies.