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Federal Transportation Investment in MATS’ Area Significantly Increases.
MIDLAND, Mi., December 3rd, 2018- The Midland Area Transportation Study (MATS) has released its Annual Report, showing increased Federal funding obligated in the MATS area for Fiscal Year 2018, for roads and transit. State and Local funds are included in the report for reference.
The 2018 MATS Annual Report:
Shows that overall Federal investment in the MATS area is up sharply over FY 2017.
Federal funding increased from 8.3 to 31 million dollars, with roads and bridges being the largest beneficiary, particularly the new M-20 Bridge.
Some of this investment continues to be due to emergency funding related to the June 2017 flooding.
Transit obligations have returned to historical levels, at 1.6 million. This is partially due to 5 new buses purchased by local Transit agencies.
According to MATS Director Maja Bolanowska, these obligations "are small MPO area surface transportation, safety, rural roads, transit operating and transit capital funds. They allow many projects to be completed. All these categories of funding represent federal gas tax revenues coming back to the local community”.
“These obligations provide funds for many projects, including small MPO area surface transportation, transportation alternatives program, safety, rural roads, transit operating and transit capital funds.”
— Maja Bolanowska, Director
The transportation planning Unified Work Program (UWP) integrates work to be performed by the Midland Area Transportation Study (MATS) which is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Midland urbanized area, Transit Operators within the area, and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) into a single document.
The 2019 UWP describes the transportation planning tasks scheduled for the period from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019. These planning activities are supported by federal, state and local funds. The objective of the work program is to ensure that a continuing, cooperative and comprehensive approach to transportation issues and needs is maintained and coordinated between all affected agencies.
FAST Act planning regulations require the development of an annual Unified Work Program (UWP). The UWP identifies transportation issues and problems facing the MATS planning area. It then identifies specific work tasks to address these issues and a proposed budget associated with those issues. Also included in the UWP is information relevant to funding sources, budget summaries, completion schedules and indirect costs.
This Non-Motorized Transportation Plan is an endeavor by the Midland Area Transportation Study (MATS) to provide a structured way of enhancing non-motorized transportation within its boundaries and promoting development of an NMT system that’s comprehensive, connected, usable and safe.
In order to accomplish that, the NMT Plan is comprised of two elements in addition to establishing a clear objective. First, the Plan incorporates a Complete Streets Policy & Program, adopted by MATS in July 2014 (and included as part of this NMT Plan). It is a measure of balanced transportation system and a guide in encompassing the needs of ALL users in the planning, designing and implementing transportation projects. It contains a requirement to review all programmed transportation projects for potential incorporation of NMT facilities. As a result, a standardized form “MATS TIP Project Complete Streets Review” has been developed and is included in this NMT Plan together with related rules as to when such a form is to be submitted.
Secondly, the Plan pinpoints future NMT network opportunities, i.e. identifying viable non-motorized projects for construction (with purpose of expanding or connecting the existing infrastructure). As a result, a standardized form “MATS Non-Motorized Transportation Plan Project Proposal” has been developed and is included in this NMT Plan. MATS asked each local agency to submit NMT project proposals, the approved projects are part of this NMT Plan.
Better non-motorized transportation systems will improve the attractiveness and livability of a community. By providing this infrastructure, both recreational and transportation needs of the MATS area are addessed, while realizing social, environmental, economic and health benefits – all positive effects. Another benefit is that NMT Plan lends support and justification for funding requests by local units of government; NMT projects that are part of or connect with regional non-motorized network in an adopted plan are looked at more favorably by funding agencies from state and federal programs.
In 2015, amidst a perception that public transportation needs are not being met fully or adequately by existing systems, the Midland Area Transportation Study issued a Request for Proposals to conduct a study of transit and public transportation options in the area.
The purpose of the Midland County Public Transportation Study was to evaluate and build on the region’s current transportation services, assess and respond to current community needs by developing improvement strategies and implementation plan, augmenting the overall system and promoting connectivity collaboration while mindful of fiscal constraints and other barriers.
The intent of the study was to facilitate and promote public transportation across Midland County and it will examine opportunities for collaboration with other transportation authorities in the Great Lakes Bay Region. The study sought to enhance the existing transportation system, increase accessibility and mobility of citizens within the county, improve the quality of life and economic vitality of the area, enhance cooperation and connectivity between individual providers, and promote efficient transportation through viable public and private transportation options.
The final study is available now, just click the button below.