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Thanks to all who attended our first Iowa Ideas transportation symposium, hosted this week in Des Moines, which was dedicated to all things regional.
Wednesday’s symposium included a four-member panel discussion with:
-- Sarah Constable, central Iowa rural mobility coordinator with Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Agency (HIRTA)
-- Carl Lingen, executive director with Iowa Public Transit Authority
-- Dylan Mullenix, assistant director with Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
-- Amanda Wanke, Chief Engagement and Communications Officer with Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART)
Some of the topics touched on in the panel included challenges to providing regional transportation services, such as funding, existing or necessary infrastructure and even shifting populations.
For example, planners and service providers alike said it’s most productive to consider what services should be provided before development occurs, to best create the network customers and providers will need.
We also looked forward at how transit services and community planners predict how community growth, customer demands like bike paths and walkability and even how emerging autonomous vehicle technology impacts regional transportation.
After the panel discussion, participants broke up into small groups to look more in depth into challenges – and more importantly, possible solutions – to existing regional transit services in Iowa.
One thing discussed was the benefits of more private and public partnerships regarding regional transit services. For example, should businesses and local governments be talking more about these offerings before development occurs? If so, what sort of incentives, if any, could be provided to businesses?
We hope to continue this discussion – and add new areas of focus - in our upcoming transportation symposiums in Council Bluffs and Davenport. Please join us!