Two Steps to 2045
The AMATS Policy Committee unanimously approved the 2020 Transit Plan and the 2020 Freight Plan during a Sept. 24 virtual meeting.
The 2020 Transit Plan charts a new route for area transit service while the 2020 Freight Plan identifies segments of the region’s transportation system that are critical to the movement of bulk goods. The plans will be key elements of the agency’s upcoming long-range regional transportation plan, which will examine the current and future needs of the Greater Akron area’s transportation system of highways, public transit and bike and pedestrian networks to the year 2045.
AMATS Director Curtis Baker says that both plans are significant accomplishments by the planning agency. In crafting the 2020 Transit Plan, the agency applied new state and federal performance measures to gauge the current effectiveness of the area’s transit authorities, PARTA in Portage County and METRO in Summit County. Working with the authorities, AMATS analyzed aspects of the region’s transit systems, in regards to route and community access and coverage, and services for disabled, elderly, minority and low-income residents.
Similarly, the agency’s 2020 Freight Plan recommends potential improvements to promote freight-related commerce and delivery throughout the region. Examples of transportation projects that are freight-related or critical to goods movement include bridge replacements, road operational improvements, rail-access improvements, grade separations for highway and rail, and connections for new commercial infrastructure.
Baker notes that the agency’s freight plan is taking on added significance given its economic ramifications. “The movement of freight is vital to our region’s economy, specifically to its agriculture, retail and manufacturing sectors,” he continues, “Whether goods arrive on time or late, their delivery can have ripple effects on commerce.”