Community and business leaders heard three strategic recommendations made by the Central Florida Leadership Forum’s Transportation Task Force during the 2017 Regional Transportation Summit. The recommendations aim to champion and advance private and public projects, address current and future transportation needs, and respond to concerns including safety, cybersecurity and counterterrorism.
“We want people to do more than live here, we want them to make a life here,” said Tracey Stockwell, the chair of the Central Florida Transportation Task Force. “A solid transportation strategy contributes to a greater sense of community, plays a role in solving some serious social issues by making it easier for Central Floridians to earn a living wage, get an education, access affordable housing and healthcare, and, for some, simply to get a healthy meal every day.”
The recommendations, formulated during a five-year process to collect data, engage experts and study issues and trends, will be delivered to the Orlando Economic Partnership’s Board of Directors before being implemented. The recommendations include:
- No. 1: Establishing an Alliance for Regional Transportation (ART) to convene business and civic leaders committed to championing and advancing an improved multi-modal regional transportation system.
- No. 2: Establishing a committee for change that invites representatives from business, chambers of commerce, economic development agencies, trade associations, business organizations and various civic groups to help leaders chart a path for financing the infrastructure necessary to advance prosperity and quality of life.
- No. 3: Promoting policies and initiatives that keep streets, neighborhoods and communities safe, knowing that the continuous protection of residents and visitors is essential to quality of life and economic prosperity.
The Orlando region, made up of seven counties and 86 cities, is home to more than 4.3 million people, with more than 1,000 new residents being added each week. By 2030, there will be at least 1.3 million more people living and working here.
“The Orlando region’s success rests in its ability to generate new jobs and meet the demands of its astonishing population growth,” said Tim Giuliani, president and CEO of the Partnership. “Our vision is to embrace the coming changes, plan for that growth and take steps toward finding smart solutions. Transportation is a critical factor in creating a foundation for broad-based prosperity.”
The summit included two panel discussions. MetroPlan Orlando Executive Director Harold Barley moderated the first panel which featured Lynx CEO Ed Johnson, Central Florida Expressway Authority Executive Director Laura Kelley, SunRail Executive Director Nicola Liquori and Florida Department of Transportation, District 5 Secretary Steve Martin. The second panel, moderated by Central Florida Foundation President and CEO Mark Brewer focused on upcoming transportation projects like the expansion at Orlando International Airport, developments on the Space Coast, and the progress of the SunTrax and Brightline projects. Panelists included Phil Brown, executive director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, Frank DiBello, president and CEO of Space Florida, Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, executive director of Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise and Dave Howard, CEO of Brightline. To view photos from the event click here.
The Partnership’s Board of Directors will vote on the recommendations at its next meeting in November.