The Piedmont Triad has approached transportation planning on the regional level beginning with the creation of the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation in 1998. Over the past 20 years here have been numerous studies on congestion, growth, transit services and passenger rail in the region. The conclusions have all been the same. As a region we will continue to grow and with that comes increased congestion on major highways, longer commutes and higher transportation costs. Read our History of Regional Planning Efforts (PDF).
The Number 1 Challenge
As part of the Piedmont Together project more than 290 people attended the 13 civic forums held across the region. Over 200 ideas were generated focusing on the strengths and challenges within the region. Of note, the Top Challenge identified in the region was the Lack of Transportation Options. There are two reports that summarize the civic forums, a county by county summary and an analysis of the results. They can be found on the project website at Piedmont Together website.
The lack of transportation choices is causing families and businesses economic hardship in the region. A significant portion of the region's population has difficulty accessing jobs, shopping, education, and medical services. Only 10% of the population has access to transportation options such as transit, bicycling and walking. 30% of workers in the region commute to a job outside of their county of residence. Half of all jobs in the region are located in Guilford and Forsyth counties. On average, local residents spend 38% or $1,144 of their monthly household income on transportation costs. There is a lack of stable local funding sources to address these challenges.