About Transportation Futures
The Task Force has conducted a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of how best to ensure transportation and transit systems meet the challenges of a growing population and a dynamic economy for the next 30 years and beyond.
Transportation Futures Task Force members are civic, business and government leaders in the central Puget Sound region.
They have spent the past year examining:
- where the region is headed demographically and financially;
- transportation trends and new technology systems and how they might change travel;
- financial, equity and environmental issues that need to be considered; and
- funding alternatives available.
The Task Force has issued a final report recommending a strategy to provide an equitable, financially sustainable and environmentally responsible regional transportation system that works for people and business. The Task Force work has been supported by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration.
The central Puget Sound region’s transportation future is nearing a crossroads. Even as major capital projects are underway, the region’s fundamental transportation systems require additional broad-based, long-term strategic investments. Investments in roadways, bridges and high capacity transit are not keeping up with demand.
Traditional pathways and funding sources are no longer capable of maintaining or improving mobility for a growing region. The Transportation Futures Task Force work will result in a recommended path to ensure a regional transportation system that is smart, sustainable, safe and environmentally responsible.
In order to address the challenges mentioned above, the Transportation Future Task Force recommends the following strategies, and early action steps:
Maximize the use of existing revenue authority by local and regional entities to sustain and improve local and regional road and transit systems.
Establish a regional transportation authority to plan, raise revenues, set priorities, and allocate funds for regional transportation investments and services that improve the performance of the system.
- Early action steps include convening regional leadership to develop a proposal for the structure, powers and responsibilities of a regional transportation authority.
Achieve efficiency in the use of transportation funds by reviewing and adjusting the region’s transportation plans to ensure they meet evolving needs. Savings can also be achieved through innovation in materials, technology, and methods, as well as through improved management and contracting practices.
Create new regional funding sources that incorporate a pay for use system and allow for flexibility in expenditures.
- Early action steps include working with the state of Washington to develop a voluntary pay-per-mile pilot in the central Puget Sound region consistent with the recommendations put forth in the final report.
No. The Task Force examined the current transportation system and funding mechanisms and considered what the future demands will be for our region. Technological changes, traffic and freight mobility needs, generational mobility trends and expectations, and potential funding options were all discussed by the Task Force. Tolling, gas tax, vehicle miles traveled, sales tax, other user fees and well as new options were considered.
Yes. The Task Force used the existing Transportation 2040 Plan as part of the data to assess the future funding needs of the region. In addition, an independent group of transportation and financing experts produced white papers on various trends and topics to serve as the basis for deliberations of the Task Force. The work of the Task Force will help future regional plans evolve.
In Washington state, the legislature plays a critical role in funding transportation. Funding for transportation currently comes from many sources – local, state, federal, special purpose government, user fees, and grants. This Task Force explored current and potential options to fund and share the responsibility for our transportation and transit infrastructure.
The Task Force has provided their report to regional and state leaders. This work will help shape future transportation policies, and long–term investment decisions by the federal, state, regional and local leaders.