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Mobility and Transportation

MT 1.1

Study Regional Transit Demand and Solutions

Contact the Flint Hills Regional Council (FHRC) to learn more about starting a regional transit study.

Contact FHRC »

Tool Information


Goals

  1. Multi-Modal Transportation
  2. Economic, Environmental, and Social Impacts

Description

Regional transit demand may continue to grow as the urban centers within the Flint Hills continue to grow, become denser, and economic connections between urban areas continue to strengthen.  Residents and employees may look for alternative ways to get between destinations and between home and work. Transit can be a viable option that saves users money and increases productivity during long commutes while providing a catalyst for community revitalization and improved air quality. It can also be a valuable amenity for people that are not able to drive. 

A regional transit study and plan would help the region identify common transportation needs and enable individual jurisdictions to make transit investments that align with the overall region.  Regional transit planning generally starts with defining a vision, assessing the current conditions, identifying opportunities, setting goals and objectives, and formulating an implementation and financing plan.

 

Background

There are currently very few transportation options for Flint Hills residents that are traveling throughout the region.  The highway system and motor vehicles are the dominant form of transportation.  Residents who choose to age in place, low-income residents who cannot afford the rising costs of car ownership, and for those who simply prefer a clean and productive commute time require more transportation options.  

Photo by Amy the Nurse, 2006  (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Implementation Strategy


Champions and Partners

  • Flint Hills Regional Plan
  • Flint Hills counties and cities

Timeframe

Short (1-3 years)

Cost

$

Cost Details

  • Funding for a plan is a relatively affordable compared to implementation of regional transit.  It is a feasible first step for understanding opportunities to increase mobility options in the region.

Funding Sources

Funding for a plan could come from many sources.  Municipal and county governments could collaborate to fund a plan.  The Flint Hills Regional Council could secure funding from local, state, and federal funds.

Small urban and rural areas are eligible for dedicated federal funding as well as grants and programs that are available to all transit systems regardless of size.  Urban areas with populations between 50,000 and 200,000 are considered small urban areas and receive a specified percentage of funds from 49 USC 5307 “Urbanized Area Formula Grants”, which may be used for capital and operation expenses.  Rural areas are eligible to receive funds from 49 USC 5311 “Formula Grants for Other than Urbanized Areas.”

Implementation Details

A brief outline of the first few steps necessary for implementation are provided. The steps outlined here are provided only as a suggested starting point and other approaches are certainly valid.

  • Identify funding for a regional transit plan 
  • Identify champions and partners for a regional transit plan

Case Study


Smart Moves

http://www.kcsmartmoves.org/

Smart Moves is the regional transit vision for the Kansas City metropolitan region.  By engaging the community and identifying common needs and opportunities, the regional transit vision outlines the consensus view of what the regional transit system should look like in the future. Smart Moves allows the hundreds of jurisdictions in this region to work collaboratively to implement transit projects that contribute to the overall regional vision.

Relevance

Similar to the Kansas City region, the Flint Hills consists of many diverse jurisdictions that, nevertheless, share common economic and cultural connections and transportation needs.  Working together as a region to outline a vision for regional transit would benefit the Flint Hills as a whole and enable individual jurisdictions to target their transit investments in a way to benefits the regional transit system.