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26 Apr


First Time Multimodal Transportation Vision and Strategy Released for the binational Great Lakes Region

April 26, 2017 | By |

A connected transportation system that is adaptive and resilient to change and uncertainty is crucial in a borderless global economy.

At the Great Lakes Economic Forum today the Council of the Great Lakes Region (the “Council”), in partnership with CPCS Transcom, released a report that presents the first-ever multimodal transportation vision and strategy for the cross-border Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Region, which spans eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.

The region’s transportation connections are central to the economic competitiveness and prosperity of the region and the quality of life of 107 million people that call the region home. They will be just as critical to region’s future in a borderless global economy.

But parts of the region’s transportation have frayed. Aging infrastructure and capacity constraints stress the region’s transportation systems. Intensifying infrastructure problems is the legacy of silo-based planning. The region also face new and emerging technologies that will profoundly change how people and freight use transportation infrastructure and move through the region.

Similarly, transportation strategies and plans of the past have largely been based on linear trends and projections. It is unlikely the future will be similarly linear. Therefore, it is paramount that regional government and business leaders, across all levels and sectors, commit themselves to organizing a connected transportation system that is adaptive and resilient to change and uncertainty, providing options to industry and empowering users to choose how they use the system.

The three broad strategies that could help position to move towards this vision include:

  • Getting more productivity from existing infrastructure;
  • Enabling more options; and,
  • Embracing and incentivizing technology and innovation.
  • Quotes

    “The importance of the transportation sector to the Region’s economic vitality and sustainably cannot be understated but it is facing an uncertain future,” said Mark Fisher, CGLR’s President and CEO. “The multimodal transportation vision and strategy proposed in the report underscores the critical importance of collaboration between transportation modes and aligning federal, state/provincial and local transportation planning and investment.”

    “A clear roadmap for transportation is essential to keep our regional economies growing. It will help us get more out of the infrastructure we already have, while preparing to move goods more efficiently and sustainably in the future.” – Ian Hamilton, President & CEO, Hamilton Port Authority

    “The report is a first of its kind”, says CPCS’s Marc-André Roy, the reports’ lead author. “It provides a bi-national, multijurisdictional picture of the issues and opportunities facing the Region’s passenger and freight transportation systems. The report acknowledges that the Region’s faces many unknowns, and puts forward a strategy that will help position to Region’s transportation system to adapt to an evolving future”.

    Quick Facts

  • New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ontario and Quebec form one of the largest economic regions in the world.
  • Home to 107 million Americans and Canadians, if the region was a country, it would be the 12th largest nation by population in the world.
  • With economic output estimated at USD$5.8 trillion in 2015, the region accounts for roughly a third of combined Canadian and U.S. economic activity and employment.
  • The transportation sector is extensive:

    -20,000 miles of highways
    -12 of the top 50 North American airports
    -15 large international marine ports and 50 regional ports
    -70 intermodal terminals and 50,000 miles of rail lines

  • A previous study by CPCS Transcom Inc. estimated that freight transportation generates 4 million direct, indirect and induced jobs in the Great Lakes region, over $300 billion in annual GDP and $87 million in taxes.
  • Ports of entry in the Great Lakes are responsible for 74% of the total value of goods transported across the U.S. – Canada border by truck, rail or pipeline.
  • Read the report