By: Stephen Osberg, Director of Transportation Development
It’s time to do something big in transportation.
We’re in a period of rapid change in the transportation sector. Emerging technologies like autonomous vehicles, ride-hailing platforms and the concept of mobility as a service are drastically changing how people want to get around. Shifting demographics and evolving lifestyle preferences are requiring cities to reprioritize their investments and repurpose their infrastructure. The ability of our region to adapt to these changes is increasingly important to the long-term economic strength of Greater Omaha.
Beyond shifts in transportation, our region is also facing several other related challenges. For instance, we are beginning to feel the squeeze of a tight labor market. As community leaders have recently noted, we are at a point where some businesses are struggling to find the talent they need to grow. And, according to the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency’s 2018 Equitable Growth Profile of the Omaha-council Bluffs Region, racial income gaps are costing Greater Omaha $4.8 billion annually in GDP.
In this context, the Greater Omaha Chamber is initiating the development of a new regional transportation strategy dubbed “ConnectGO.”
Born out of our Greater Omaha 2040 vision and a key component of Prosper 2.0, ConnectGO is a bold transportation strategy uniting the people and businesses of Greater Omaha around shared goals for our region. Its focus is equitable, accessible and modern transportation to improve our quality-of-life and bolster our economic strength. ConnectGO will connect people, opportunities and communities.
Our aims include providing equitable access to employment and education to unlock hidden potential, attracting and retaining talent through quality of life improvements and supporting continued economic growth throughout the region.
We’ve already engaged more than 60 people from over 40 organizations to help set the framework for this endeavor. Now, we’re ready to turn to the public to collect information on perceptions of transportation needs and foster a community dialogue.
The Union for Contemporary Art hosted us in early August, where we surveyed people taking part in Native Omaha Days. Next, keep an eye out for us at Maha Discovery on August 15 or canvassing the crowd at the Maha Music Festival, August 16-17. Or better yet, tell us your thoughts now by taking a quick, four minute or less, online survey. Your input will help us prioritize the projects and policies that we will work to implement.
We’d love to engage you, so let us know if you’d like us to come to your event or present to a group. Contact Stephen Osberg, Director of Transportation Development at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
SHARE YOUR INPUT
As our region’s valued businesses and residents, we are looking for guidance from you on what issues are most critical to address as part of the strategy. Your input will help us prioritize the projects and policies that we will work to implement.