Monday, January 23, 2006

Mayor Helps Create the Southeast Florida Transportation Council

On January 11, 2006, the Southeast Florida Transportation Council (SEFTC) had its first meeting on the Broward County Library. Created by the Broward County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the Palm Beach County MPO, and the Miami-Dade MPO, its purpose is to help create and coordinate regional transportation plans within the 3 counties.

Mayor Richard J. Kaplan of Lauderhill was elected as Chair Pro Tem, Palm Beach County Commissioner Jeff Koons was elected Vice Chair Pro Tem. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Martinez is the third member of the council.

Already, the council voted to extend its membership to St. Lucie and Martin Counties at such time that they wish, and presented draft plans of regional transportation systems.

SEFTC has the authority to apply for State and Federal grants to help plan and fund regional transportation projects. It will also be working with other transportation partners, such as the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Department of Transportation (DOT) District 4 & 6, the Florida Transportation Commission, the 2 Regional Planning Councils within the region, among others.

It is recognized that SEFTC is a planning organization, and an extension of the Metropolitan Planning Organizations of southeast Florida. It is not an operator of transportation systems, like a bus company or tri-rail, or even a transportation authority. However, the need for planning before operations was established many years prior by federal legislation. Only through a coordinated effort will the region create the type of transportation services, particularly as to Mass Transit, and help bring to the region the dollars needed to implement such systems.

Meetings are planned to be quarterly, and it is hoped that at the next meeting in April, SEFTC will have a Regional Transportation Plan ready to vote upon.

No comments: