I had the honor of recently hosting the North Carolina Technology Association Government Vendor Council meeting, and the speakers were NC Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Tata, and David Ullmer, the CIO for the NCDOT.
The administration is looking more closely to streamline efficiencies, along with implementing more cloud services to reduce IT capital expenditure, and I was encouraged to how receptive they were to meeting with the vendor community, to get ideas, and bring innovation to the operations of Government.
In addition, Secretary Tata also reviewed the Strategic Mobility Formula, which will have an impact on our Transportation funding in Morrisville and the Triangle.
Here is a summary:
The Strategic Mobility Formula is a new way to fund and prioritize transportation projects to ensure they provide the maximum benefit to our state. It allows NCDOT to use its existing revenues more efficiently to fund more investments that improve North Carolina’s transportation infrastructure, create jobs and help boost the economy.
North Carolina is the fourth fastest-growing state in the country. However, at the same time that our state’s population is increasing, NCDOT’s revenue stream is decreasing. The state gas tax, the Highway Use Tax and DMV fees no longer provide enough funding to make all the transportation improvements North Carolina needs to attract new industry, connect people to greater opportunities and reduce congestion.
Over the next ten years our state expects to see a population of increase of 1.3 million and a $1.7 billion decrease in transportation revenue.
The Strategic Mobility Formula will allow us to use our existing resources more efficiently and effectively and help us move forward more quickly with important projects that will enhance mobility and revitalize communities. It will benefit metro areas that need projects focused on easing congestion and enhancing safety, while allowing small towns to invest in projects that help improve access to medical services, economic centers, education and recreation.
How does it work?
The Strategic Mobility Formula is driven by data and local input. All modes compete for funding. The proposed formula breaks down projects into three categories: statewide, regional and division level.
Statewide Level Funding
• Projects of statewide significance will receive 40% of the available revenue, totaling $6 billion over 10 years.
• The project selection process will be 100% data-driven, meaning the department will base its decisions on hard facts such as crash statistics and traffic volumes. Factors such as economic competitiveness and freight movement will be taken into consideration to help support and enhance logistics and economic development opportunities throughout the state.
Regional Level Funding
•Projects of regional significance will receive 30% of the available revenue, equaling $4.5 billion over a decade based on regional population. Projects on this level compete within specific and are paired together to form a single region.
• NCDOT will select applicable projects for funding using two weighted factors. Data will comprise 70% of the decision-making process and local rankings by area planning organizations and the NCDOT Transportation Divisions will round out the remaining 30% at this level.
Division Level Funding
• Projects that address local concerns such as safety, congestion and connectivity will receive 30% of the available revenue, or $4.5 billion, shared equally over NCDOT’s 14 Transportation
• The department will choose projects based 50% on data and 50% on local rankings.
There are many benefits to implementing the Strategic Mobility Formula. NCDOT’s current 10-year plan includes 175 projects and creates 174,000 jobs. The new formula will fund at least 260 projects and creates more than 240,000 jobs over the next 10 years.
Overall, the Strategic Mobility Formula will create more jobs and allow us to complete more projects to better connect North Carolinians to job centers, healthcare centers, education centers, and recreation no matter where they live.
When will it take effect?
The new formula is scheduled to be fully implemented by July 1, 2015. Projects funded for construction before then will proceed as scheduled; projects slated for after that time will be ranked and programmed according to the new formula.
Finally, David and the Secretary were interested in how DOT could use the Open Data initiative to help us make funding decisions and I have invited the Secretary to visit Morrisiville to experience firsthand our congestion and to also speak to our citizens so they can learn more and voice their concerns..