FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Long Range Comprehensive Transportation Plan?
The Long Range Comprehensive Transportation Plan (LRCTP) is a 25-year plan that will establish a strategic, long-range vision to address future transportation challenges in the San Antonio Metropolitan Area. The plan will evaluate a range of potential alternatives including bus improvements and high capacity transit options. Recommended alternative(s) will be outlined as well as the steps for implementation, timelines, prioritization, and financing.

Who will benefit from the plan?
The Long Range Comprehensive Transportation Plan will provide benefits to both residents and visitors by improving transportation alternatives, including other modes of travel, enhancing the quality of life by improving air quality and creating economic development opportunities in the region.

What is a corridor?
A corridor is a broad geographical band with no predefined size or scale that follows a general directional flow connecting major activity centers. A central element of a corridor includes a transportation alignment like streets, highways transit routes or fixed guideways. The general purpose of identifying a corridor is to define a study area for future transportation planning improvements.

How are corridor improvements prioritized?
Corridor improvements are prioritized based on an array of factors including mobility and transportation performance, transit operating efficiencies, cost-effectiveness, environmental impacts, and land use compatibility.

What will happen to existing bus service and routes?
An integral part of the LRCTP is bus service improvements. The plan considers new routes, route extensions, express service and enhanced service to existing routes. All existing and new service improvements will complement better connections to new transit modes.

What is a travel demand model and how does it work?
A travel demand model is a computer model that simulates existing and forecast trip generation, trip distribution, traffic assignment and mode choice, based on existing and projected travel patterns in the region. The travel demand model utilizes demographic and land use projections from the MPO for the year 2035 along with existing and planned future transportation network. The model also uses demographic inputs and network characteristics to establish the number of trips between individual zones as well as the different routes and modes used to make those trips.

What transit modes were be evaluated in the plan?
A range of potential transportation technologies / transit modes were considered, including Commuter Rail, Light Rail Transit (LRT), Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Heavy Transit, Monorail, Transportation Systems Management (TSM), and other transportation alternatives such as High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and Managed Lanes.

What is Transportation System management (TSM)?
The Transportation Systems Management (TSM) approach to congestion mitigation seeks to identify improvements to enhance the capacity of existing system of an operational nature. Through better management and operation of existing transportation facilities, these techniques are designed to improve traffic flow, air quality, and movement of vehicles and goods, as well as enhance system accessibility and safety.

What are HOV/ Managed Lanes?
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) are a lane(s) or roadway dedicated to the exclusive use of specific high-occupancy vehicles, including buses, carpools, vanpools or a ombination thereof, for at least a portion of the day. A managed lane facility is one that increases freeway efficiency by packaging various operational and design actions. Lane management operations may be adjusted at any time to better match regional goals.

What are the benefits of each of the technologies / modes being explored for the plan?
Benefits of each technology / mode depend on several factors and therefore cannot be generalized. These factors include land use and economic development, ridership forecasts, and transit supportive policies and programs established by VIA, the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, and the MPO. Benefits are calculated in the Alternatives Analysis phase of project development.

What is an Alternatives Analysis?
An Alternatives Analysis (AA) is a process required by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to prioritize and decide on the most appropriate transit projects within a region. It is the next stage of project development following completion of the system plan.

What is Infill Development?
Infill is a type of development occurring in established, previously developed areas of the city. Infill can occur on long-time vacant lots or on pieces of land with dilapidated buildings, or can involve changing the existing land use of a property from a less to a more intensive one—ie from a parking lot to a mixed use office and multifamily residential building.

What is Transit Oriented Development?
Transit Oriented Development (TOD) refers to residential and commercial centers designed to maximize access by transit and nonmotorized transportation, and with other features to encourage transit ridership. A typical TOD has a rail or bus station at its center, surrounded by relatively high-density development, with progressively lower-density spreading outwards. TOD neighborhoods are designed for cycling and walking, with adequate accessible facilities and attractive street conditions. Streets have good connectivity and traffic calming features to control vehicle traffic speeds. Mixed-use development includes shops, schools and other public services, and a variety of housing types and prices, within each neighborhood.

What is the schedule for the plan to be complete?
The SmartWaySA Plan is currently scheduled to be completed by Spring 2011.

When will the plan be implemented? When will construction begin and be completed?
The implementation of the plan will depend on the alternative(s) selected. For example, alternatives like Transportation Systems Management can be implemented much faster than development of a Commuter Rail system or a Light Rail System. The final plan document will have an estimated timeline for the implementation of the selected alternative(s).

How will the improvements be funded?
Potential sources of funding for transportation improvements including federal, state, and local funds. The plan will review the available funding sources and financing methods and identify proposed financial implementation strategies.

How can I get involved?
Community involvement is a key part of the SmartWaySA process. Since the first workshops in 2009 many people have contributed to the development of the plan and continued input is welcomed in the following ways: Please visit the ‘Get Involved’ section of the website for more details.


 
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