Driving Change and Transformation in Allegheny County, Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Toledo

Driving Change and Transformation in Allegheny County, Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Toledo
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Driving Change and Transformation in Allegheny County, Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Toledo
By Brendan Morgan, Project Analyst

As the needs of both transit agencies and communities evolve, organizational and structural changes need to take place to satisfy the needs of the future. Many agencies are experiencing or driving change as they define the path towards growth and success. The Port Authority of Allegheny County and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) are both pursuing long-term planning initiatives, while the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority is preparing for a new era with shift in leadership.

The board of the Port Authority of Allegheny County is breaking new ground with their newly approved NEXTransit plan. With a heavy focus on community involvement during the planning phase of NEXTransit, five community priorities were identified and will be addressed with the new plan. This 25-year long-range transportation plan, will include 18 projects shaping the future of Port Authority’s transit system. Of the 18 projects, 10 priority projects have been grouped to begin planning immediately, in 0-5 years, or 5-15 years. Regular project updates have been recommended to maintain alignment with the Southwest Pennsylvania community priorities.

Similarly, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is working with its community and stakeholders to develop an innovative vision for Regional Rail. Using surveys and conversations with community members, this vision will be detailed to solve issues currently facing the community as well as planning for future desired initiatives. SEPTA is launching this development alongside many other efforts currently being carried out at the agency, including an overhaul of the bus network, improved wayfinding tools to make navigating the system easier, and much more.

Lastly, after driving significant agency transformation, current Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) CEO is prepared to pass the torch to the next leader. Together, both the current and future CEO have delivered financial stability for the organization and better accessibility for their community. On the horizon for the new CEO is continued work in new business development and partnerships to ensure added community accessibility.

As the Port Authority, SEPTA, and TARTA embark on their next steps towards growth, it is important for the agency to establish a strong internal culture that can drive change and deliver success.