In September, AARO’s membership approved a public statement in support of the regional vision for high capacity transit. The statement lends AARO’s support to the Transit Working Group Vision Map.
AARO believes the map is a critical starting framework for continued analysis and regional discussion about specific transit projects necessary to an efficient, balanced, and multimodal transportation system throughout our region over the 25 year CAMPO planning horizon and beyond.
AUSTIN AREA RESEARCH ORGANIZATION
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE REGIONAL VISION FOR HIGH CAPACITY TRANSIT
WHEREAS AARO’s Vision for Central Texas is a world-class regional community with unsurpassed human and physical capital; and
WHEREAS AARO’s Mission is to engage regional leaders in data-driven, deliberative action to advance the long-term economic and social well-being of Central Texas; and
WHEREAS AARO’s values include acting as stewards for the greater common good; leading with integrity; establishing and nurturing relationships of trust; and thinking and acting systemically, considering the interdependency of issues; and
WHEREAS essential to a world-class regional community is the development of a regional mobility system which, for decades to come, will support the rapidly growing Central Texas Region by serving the mobility needs of the residents and businesses located within the Region, while accommodating the vital national and international transportation corridor which is housed within it; and
WHEREAS Transportation has been one of the key long term, strategically important focuses of AARO since its formation by Frank McBee and other forward thinking business and civic leaders in 1980; and
WHEREAS members of AARO have served in a variety of leadership roles over many years in shaping transportation policy, planning, funding and implementation to advance the best possible investment of public dollars in our Region’s transportation systems; and
WHEREAS public roads, toll roads, express lanes, bus rapid transit, buses, and rail are all necessary components of a highly effective, integrated, and scalable transportation system capable of serving our rapidly growing Region’s transportation needs over the next decades; and
WHEREAS CAMPO has established a subcommittee known as the Transit Working Group which has been working together since 2011 and consists of many regional leaders such as Hays County Commissioner Will Conley, Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw, and two members of AARO’s Transportation Committee; and
WHEREAS the Transit Working Group was charged with laying out a long term vision for a multimodal high capacity transit system that could serve our entire region; such a vision has been developed, as reflected on the attached transit system map of the region; and within that regional vision map transportation corridors have been identified with the most congested corridors, North Corridor and Central Corridor, identified as the first priority corridors for further transit study and investment; and
WHEREAS Project Connect is the partnership between the City of Austin, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Lone Star Rail District and CAMPO which has provided and continues to provide professional staff support and community outreach for the development of this vision and for the subsequent study of specific projects including the planning, alternatives assessments, financial modeling, and implementation which must occur to transform the vision into specific phases and projects to be built out over time to complete a vibrant regional transit system; and
WHEREAS it is critically important for the regional community to support a regional transit vision as the guiding framework over time to build the high capacity transit components of our Region’s transportation plan;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Austin Area Research Organization supports the Transit Working Group Vision Map as a critical starting framework for continued analysis and regional discussion about specific transit projects necessary to an efficient, balanced, and multimodal transportation system throughout our region over the 25 year CAMPO planning horizon and beyond; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Austin Area Research Organization urges elected officials and all transportation agencies throughout the region to continue their cooperation and collaboration to expeditiously advance the planning, funding and implementation of road and transit projects which complement one another to provide the maximum mobility for our region; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the guiding principles for each phase of such system be that a) each phase connects with our existing transportation system in a manner that is accretive to the mobility of our region, starting with its most congested corridors; b) that each phase be designed, funded and built in consultation and collaboration with other transportation agencies and organizations in a manner that maximizes the amount of federal and state dollars that can support the projects and minimize the complexity and completion time to build the projects; c) that equitable funding sources are developed which encourage regional participation; and d) that each phase is supported by such alternative analysis, environmental analysis, ridership studies and other such data driven analysis as will provide a sound basis for future support of specific projects by the Austin Area Research Organization and the community at large.