Long-Term Needs

As Virginia’s statewide transportation plan, VTrans includes the development of Long-term Transportation Needs. Long-term planning allows Virginia to be better prepared to achieve the Commonwealth Transportation Board’s Vision for Transportation - to ensure that Virginians continue to benefit from a transportation system that advances Virginia businesses, attracts a 21st century workforce, and promotes healthy communities where Virginians of all ages and abilities can thrive.

Long-Term Needs

As Virginia’s statewide transportation plan, VTrans includes the development of Long-term Transportation Needs. Long-term planning allows Virginia to be better prepared to achieve the Commonwealth Transportation Board’s Vision for Transportation - to ensure that Virginians continue to benefit from a transportation system that advances Virginia businesses, attracts a 21st century workforce, and promotes healthy communities where Virginians of all ages and abilities can thrive.

Speculation Explorations Scenarios Projections Predictions Facts

Background

No one can predict the future. But there are actions that can be taken in a gradual and systematic manner to help prepare the Commonwealth for challenges and opportunities affecting how people and goods will move in the future.

The VTrans Long-term Needs have a time horizon of 20-plus years and will communicate recommended policy areas of focus based on an assessment of the key trends, drivers, and opportunities. The development process will identify evidence-based scenarios, rather than those that might be more speculative, to ensure firmer footing for the VTrans Long-term Needs. The Long-term Needs will not pinpoint specific locations for improvement, or transportation projects.

Because of the longer-term context, the Long-term Needs will not pinpoint specific locations, or projects. Rather, they will communicate the policy areas of focus based on an assessment of the key trends, drivers, and opportunities that can affect demand for travel and how people and goods will move in the future.

Importance of VTrans Long-term Needs

The VTrans Long-term Needs are intended to help inform the Commonwealth’s transportation policy decisions, identifying where and how the state should focus attention or resources. This is a critically important exercise with a potential to shape transportation policy in the years ahead.

Method for the Development of VTrans Long-term Needs

  • Demographic Trends​
  • Technology Trends​
  • Economic Trends​
  • Financial Trends​
  • Change in Vulnerability (flooding and sea-level rise)​
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based on Board Vision, Goals, and Objectives​
  • Identified 19 KPIs for Board’s review and feedback​
  • Identify range of expected impacts (Develop three scenarios)​
  • Long-term Needs to be better prepared

Step 1: Identify External Factors

The first step is to identify trends, drivers, and opportunities that are likely to be beyond the control of the Commonwealth but will influence travel demand, choices, and costs—and how these may change. These trends and drivers include:

  • Demographic and Land Use Trends
  • Economic Trends
  • Financial Trends
  • Technology Trends
  • Screening-level Vulnerability Assessment of the transportation network to sea level rise, storm surge, and inland/riverine flooding

Step 2: Board’s Vision and Goals

There are direct and indirect variables associated with these trends that affect how we travel. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are sets of data that will be analyzed in light VTrans Goals in order to explain the direction that the transportation system performance is moving. Explanatory variables, which are not directly tied to the transportation system but can affect it, will also be explored to help explain why trends may be moving in certain directions.

Step 3: Impact of External Factors on CTB’s Goals

The external factors, for example the advancement of automated and connected vehicles, are expected to influence CTB’s Visions and Goals in a number of ways. For example, an external factor may cause the number of vehicle-miles traveled to increase, which can in turn cause demographic changes, create opportunities, and pose new challenges. In short, there are uncertainties.

Three alternative future scenarios will be developed for the CTB to visualize the range of possibilities and issues and their impact on the Commonwealth's preparedness for societal, economic, technological, and environmental changes. Once this understanding is in place, the Commonwealth can identify associated policy and investment needs: the Long-term Needs.

Step 4: Our Actions to Address Long-term Needs

The final step leads to the development of VTrans Long-term Needs and associated actions.

How to get involved

The VTrans team will be working on the Long-term Needs beginning in Fall 2020 through Summer 2021. Stakeholder engagement is planned for Spring 2021.

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