Municipalities often highlight prominent transit-related issues they face but lack the expertise to execute the changes they would like to observe within their communities. The Transportation Improvement Seminar Series (TISS) provides municipal leaders and representatives with tools to facilitate the implementation of TOD through educational and applied learning exercises.
The Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT) and Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) created Transit Oriented Development (TOD) toolkits for ten (10) municipalities surrounding the city of Pittsburgh to provide best practices and recommendations that enhance mobility in each respective municipality.
Although the toolkits were tailored to the respective needs of the communities, municipalities confronted challenges within the implementation process that were unaccounted for in their toolkits. With Mobilify Southwestern Pennsylvania, the partnership will sponsor a series of seminars to educate municipalities and to offer applied learning exercises that will increase their understanding of the process while equipping them to apply their learnings to their respective communities.
With the support of CONNECT, Mobilify will oversee the execution of the project.
The purpose of TISS is to further educate municipal representatives about the intricacies of TOD and to offer an applied learning experience that enables them to put the information they learn to practice. The seminar is comprised of four main sections: education, applied learning, recommendations, and a listening session. Details of each section can be found below:
Education: The first portion of the seminar consists of a presentation detailing the benefits of incorporating transit-oriented development within their municipality and a “TOD further explained” session to be conducted by a guest speaker.
Applied Learning: The applied learning portion will enable attendants to apply tools from the educational portion into practice. Attendants will be divided into teams (number will be dependent on the number of attendants) and will be given a municipal profile to brainstorm ideas for TOD.
Recommendations: After having brainstormed solutions for TOD implementation in their given municipal profiles, teams will present their recommendations to an audience. Mobilify, CONNECT, PAAC, and the guest speaker may provide feedback and suggestions.
Listening Session: The listening sessions serves as a safe space for municipal members and representatives to share comments and concerns about the application process, and for the partnership to gauge their interest in the working group.
While the Seminar series is anticipated to expand to the greater Southwestern Pennsylvania region, preliminary efforts will focus on municipalities surrounding the city of Pittsburgh. Every TISS Seminar participant must meet the following requirement –
- Be an active Congress of Neighboring Communities member
- Have received a Transit Oriented Development toolkit
- Be flexible and willing to modify zoning codes
- Have reliant municipal leadership
- Bring a cross section of municipal leadership (ex: municipal manager, councilperson/supervisor, planning commission chair)