The second session of the 18 Hour City Series occurred on March 8 with Greater Cincinnati’s Bold Transportation Vision as the topic. Pete Metz, Transportation Policy & Coalition Manager with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, led the discussion, and like the first session, ULI Cincinnati used pigeonhole technology to create a fully interactive forum between the speaker and audience.
Metz stressed that although the Chamber is focused on three main categories as part of its strategic plan – leading with a bold business voice, expanding the talent base, and harnessing the power of our unique offerings – at the core of each of these is the importance of transportation across our eight-county region. The opening poll showed our audience relies heavily on personal transportation, but the sum of ULI Cincinnati public transit users + walkers is well above average.
So why are people relying on personal transportation significantly more than public transit? The answer is simple, but the problem is not easy to solve. The inefficiencies of our public transit system need to be fixed first, then redesigned to meet current demands and demographics. We have a large percentage of talent in the region that are unable get to available jobs because we have broken and out of date transportation routes and systems. We have people who could work and stimulate new parts of the economy in areas outside the range of public transportation. Only 22% of our region’s jobs are accessible via our current transit system in 90 minutes or less. This is a real challenge for business growth.
It’s clear, having better public transit will increase our regional competitiveness. The Chamber’s regional vision includes five principles for guiding the long-term transportation plan:
- Investing in the future of public transit
- Improving and maintaining our infrastructure
- Driving innovation and future oriented investment and projects
- Providing people with transportation choices that fit their needs
- Aligning regional transportation decision makers toward the bold vision
The Chamber’s overarching, bold goal is to guide the region’s transportation investments and shape the decision-making process to connect people to jobs, education, healthcare, and all that Cincinnati has to offer. As a first step, the Chamber formed the Transportation Business Coalition to ensure public and private needs are understood and agreed and resulting actions deliver a “Connected Region”.
By the end of 2018, the Chamber wants the Connected Region to have:
- A preliminary plan on how much money the region needs to put into public transit and how routes need to change to make Cincinnati competitive with other cities and accelerate its growth.
- Consensus on which infrastructure projects, including the Brent Spence Bridge and the Western Hills Viaduct, are the most critical.
- An idea of which new technologies to go after to make getting around faster and easier.
- Ideas on other public policy changes that need to be made, with the goal of producing outcomes, not just a list of projects.
Find out more about the Chamber’s Connected Regional plan at www.theconnectedregion.com.
What is ULI Cincinnati’s 18 Hour City Series?
18 Hour City Series is a creative problem-solving forum. The structure allows industry talent to engage with panelists to innovate around unique challenges and ideas. Our ULI Members are a diverse group of thought leaders. We are doers who design and solve for effective use of land and the built environment. Expert panelists will present contemporary thinking on a subject and together we will help form, create and sustain our 18 Hour City. Join us on May 10, 2018 to explore the Region’s Readiness. Visit Cincinnati.uli.org for more information and to sign up.