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The York County Planning Commission and the York Area Metropolitan Planning Organization are soliciting public input until April 30 from anyone who would like to participate in an online survey about the future of transportation in York County. Jana Benscoter

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Public input is wanted to help decide how to utilize emerging technology, address the future of transportation and enhance public-private partnerships, York County Planning Commission senior planner Mike Pritchard said when talking about Go York 2045, a 25-year outlook on the county's transportation objectives. 

The York County Planning Commission and the York Area Metropolitan Planning Organization are soliciting public input until April 30 from anyone who would like to participate in a 10- to 15-minute survey, Pritchard said.

The online survey of 20 questions focuses primarily on five areas: safety and security, asset management, environment, movement of people and movement of goods, Pritchard said. 

To take the survey, go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/goyork_go_1.

Priorities: The county is "admittedly" creating a "wish list," Pritchard added. Projects will be prioritized and matched with funding based on public feedback, he said.  

If the public ranks reliable public transportation as more important than improving the quality of trails, planners will place a high priority on public transportation, he explained.

Other opportunities will be scheduled to create an open dialogue with the community throughout the yearlong planning process, he said.

Projects won't begin until funding is secured, he continued. During that time, the county sees an opportunity to investigate "bigger topics, like automated cars" and "figuring out how to use technology," he said.

For instance, Rabbit Transit has a partnership with Uber, a rideshare application, which will respond if an Uber driver is available to transport a person to their destination when the bus isn’t on time, Pritchard explained.

Economic system: “How do we best deploy technology to our benefit?” asked York County Economic Alliance CEO Kevin Schreiber, who is participating in the process.

The idea is also to try to pre-empt unforeseen circumstances that can force infrastructure projects into someone's backyard, Schreiber said. 

“We’re looking at transportation as an economic system,” he continued. “There are different components: mass transit, Rabbit Transit, light rail, engaging with Uber and Lyft. We’re taking a holistic approach to best move people, goods and services.”

That includes asking the most technological generation to date, Pritchard said.

"We reached out to school guidance counselors to get input from high schoolers, juniors and seniors, mostly," Pritchard said. "Because a student graduating from high school this year will be in their mid-40s by the end of this plan, we're hoping to get input from drivers who are 16, 17 and 18."

The plan analyzes airports, bike corridors, bridges, transit, roads, trucks, park and rides, and railroads, according to the Go York 2045 website.

Recreation isn’t a top priority, Pritchard clarified, but “it always comes up."

“Should some of this money be going to trails that are existing in parks, or should we focus on trails that get people to businesses?” he said.

The focus generally falls on the latter, he explained, adding that the overall goal is to offer commuters and residents a way to travel to and from work, as well as have accessibility to food.

Community voices: Kurt Anderson, who bikes the rail trail often, said, "It's just a matter of what you want for what you pay."

The 47-year-old Dover resident said the "rail trail is in great shape" and "it's kept up very well," but added, "of course, nobody wants their taxes to go up."

He said he'd support trail funding, however, he said he understands his transportation request would fall under the umbrella of recreational. 

Terrell Jackson, a 21-year-old York City resident, said he relies on Rabbit Transit every day.

“Honestly, the transportation here at Rabbit Transit is actually pretty decent,” Jackson said. “It helps me get back and forth to work. I’ve only seen Uber to be more convenient than the bus itself.”

A long-range transportation plan, like Go York 2045, has been a federal requirement for decades, Pritchard said. It has to be tweaked every four to five years.

The final plan should be ready to roll out in 2020, he said. 

By the numbers

About 280,000 York County residents travel to work daily.

The majority of these, about 143,000, stay in York County. More than 24,000 travel north to Cumberland and Dauphin counties. Almost 7,000 travel east to Lancaster, and nearly 6,000 travel west to Adams County. Most other commuters, more than 35,000 per day, travel south to Maryland.

About 175,000 people work in York County.

About 80 percent of York County workers also live in York County. Another 11,000 workers come from Adams County and 6,000 come from Lancaster. More than 8,000 come from areas north of York County: Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon and Perry counties. From Maryland, about 2,300 people travel north to York County to work every day.

Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/goyork_go_1

Source: Go York 2045 

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