Transportation News
In Our Region
Welcome to GPCOG's new transportation newsletter. Every month, we'll share transportation news and updates with you. Our goal is to keep you informed on opportunities for transportation funding, collaboration and public participation.

Thank you for reading!

Chris Chop, GPCOG Transportation Director
Transit Tomorrow plan builds shared vision
GPCOG unveils an ambitious plan to
improve public transportation Greater Portland.
Friday is the deadline for providing feedback on Transit Tomorrow, a long-range plan for the region. Supporting and enhancing bus, train and ferry transportation will result in better mobility options, improved economic opportunity and a cleaner environment.

Throughout a year of planning, Transit Tomorrow was shaped by people in the region. The draft plan includes data-driven action steps for how we can make transit more frequent, convenient and competitive with the private car.

To learn more about the plan, please listen to this short interview with Rick Harbison, GPCOG Senior Planner, and Zoe Miller, GPCOG Director of Community Engagement.
We encourage you to read the plan. Let us know what you think by completing a short survey. We’re accepting public comments through this Friday, Feb. 5th, after which we’ll incorporate feedback into the final document.
Apply for project funding
Every year, the PACTS Municipal Partnership Initiative invests in improving our roads, allocating $400,000 to each of PACTS' four subregions. If a subregion doesn’t submit projects or doesn’t use all of its allocated funding, then the remaining funding is available to the entire region. 

The deadline for project submissions is March 1. Municipalities should schedule subregional meetings soon to decide on which road projects to fund. Please submit your projects and a policy checklist to GPCOG Planner Harold Spetla. 
We're also calling for roadway and multimodal projects (i.e. "complex projects") using the PACTS allocation of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funds.

Examples of projects that previously received FHWA funding include Brighton Avenue improvements in Portland and the Beth Condon Shared Use Path Extension in Yarmouth.  

Organizations eligible to propose projects for these funds include the seven transit agencies in the region, PACTS member municipalities, Cumberland and York Counties, Greater Portland Council of Governments, Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission, Maine Department of Transportation, Maine Turnpike Authority, and Maine Department of Environmental Protection. All others who wish to propose projects through the PACTS process must have the endorsement or sponsorship of at least one of these organizations. 

If you plan to apply for complex project funding, please notify GPCOG Planner Harold Spetla by Tuesday, Feb. 16. Applications are due by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2. The application form is available on SurveyMonkey. If your project is not tied to a geographic location, you may need to use the alternative application form. Please contact GPCOG staff if you have questions about the alternative application form.
Community Transportation Leaders
begin shaping the region's decisions
The Community Transportation Leaders program, which began as a pilot project in Fall 2019, has been so successful that we've decided to continue it.

As the 2019 class of 23 Community Transportation Leaders gets involved in our region’s transportation planning processes, GPCOG is planning training sessions for the next cohort this fall.

This program is a unique effort by GPCOG to advance the inclusion of people of color, immigrants and refugees, older adults, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented communities in transportation planning.

Through this program, community members gain knowledge and tools for meaningful participation in transportation planning and decision-making. The program includes a six-part training and a peer-to-peer community that supports the Community Transportation Leaders in working both individually and in groups to champion solutions to their top transportation needs and concerns.

Since the program's launch in 2019, three Community Transportation Leaders have been appointed to committees at the municipal and state levels, and several have provided input on regional plans. One group of Leaders has initiated the Bus Ambassadors Program and is currently working to implement this in partnership with local transit agencies.

We'll profile Community Transportation Leaders in upcoming newsletters.
Transit Disrupted offers innovative ideas
Watch our webinar, Transit Disrupted — The Pandemic as a Catalyst for Innovation, for a conversation on how transit agencies can meet riders' needs now and in the future.

Panelists included Carrie Butler (Executive Director of the Transit Authority of River City), Price Armstrong (Senior Planner at AECOM), and David Bragdon (Executive Director at the TransitCenter).
Hope Cahan (Town Councilor of Falmouth; Vice Chair of the Board for METRO) moderated the panel.

The TransitCenter's research on what agencies can do during the pandemic to make transit service safe, effective and appealing is available here.
PACTS committees restructured
to be more efficient and inclusive
PACTS has restructured its committees to reduce the number of meetings, bring new voices to the table, and holistically plan and fund all modes of transportation.
The Transit Committee, Planning Committee and Technical Committee are consolidating, and the new Regional Transportation Advisory Committee will take up the work of these committees. Additionally, the Policy Committee and the Executive Committee will have new names, becoming the Policy Board and Executive Board, respectively.
The Policy Committee approved the bylaw changes on Jan. 28. The new committees will begin meeting in March and April.
We need your input on Biddeford-Saco plan
If you live, work or play in the Biddeford-Saco
area, we want to hear from you!
This Friday, Feb. 5, is the deadline for sharing how you think we can make Saco Island and the mill area by the Saco River safer and easier places to walk, bike and take public transit. We're working with the Cities of Biddeford and Saco to create a transit-oriented development plan for the mill district. Take our survey.