Changing The Way We Get Around
- Increase the number of residents who commute to work by means other than single-occupancy vehicles from 3.3% to 25% by 2030, with an increasing percentage by 2050.
- Increase the number of on-road bike lanes from 0.5 miles in 2017 to 10 miles in 2020 with an ever-increasing number through 2050.
- Increase the number of regular bus riders.
- Increase the number of electric vehicles (EVs) and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and necessary charging stations in the city.
Thirty-one and a half percent of Springfield’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from transportation, and 99% of these emissions are from personal vehicles. We need to get people out of cars as well as transition our City’s fleet to electric and hybrid vehicles that can be powered by our increasingly green grid. Actions and strategies to “change the way we get around” are designed to:
- Shift modes: make it easier for people to use transit, car pool, walk, and bike rather than driving alone in a single vehicle;
- Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT: make it easier for people to work from home, ride share, walk, bike, use transit; and
- Transition to increasingly energy efficient vehicles (as defined by federal Corporate Automobile Fuel Efficiency [CAFÉ] standards) and clean fuel technologies as they become available.
The City supports and relies upon the PVTA for public transit and is committed to supporting efforts to expand funding for public transportation. Springfield is excited about the expanded north/south train service in the region and very supportive of planned east/west train service. The City is also committed to working with the western Massachusetts delegation to ensure the federal government’s ongoing commitment to increasingly efficient CAFE standards. It should be noted that Strong, Healthy, and Just is a summary plan and the strategies included within are NOT comprehensive. These strategies represent the priorities articulated at the Community Resilience Building workshop. It is understood that to achieve the ambitious goal of 80% reductions in GHG emissions by 2050, Springfield, and the United States as a whole, will need to dramatically improve transit access and transition to zero emission vehicles (ZEV). Springfield is working with PVPC on the region’s ZEV charging station plan.
- Implement the City’s existing Complete Streets Plan which details needed and desired pedestrian and bicyclist improvements, including crosswalks, sidewalks, bike lanes, bike paths, and other bike/pedestrian amenities, over time as roads are reconstructed and as funds are available.
- Implement Bikeshare with a focus on ensuring accessibility and use by the city’s low-income residents.
- Work with the Business Improvement District (BID) and the Chamber to create a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Coordinator staff position of to assist businesses with getting their workers out of their cars.
- Encourage employers to provide employees with emergency ride home programs, vanpool match programs, telecommute options, and flextime options to reduce commutes by single occupancy vehicle.
- Encourage colleges to participate in a PVTA pass program to incentive students to commute to school via bus for a reduced fare.
- Revisit the City’s parking requirements (last updated in 2012) to identify techniques to realize the City’s ‘park once and walk’ approach in the downtown.
- Encourage MGM to bring back electric trolley service in downtown from Union Station to Springfield Technical Community College, the MGM casino, the Basketball Hall of Fame, and Riverfront Park. PVTA should address rider concerns of uncomfortable seats, late arrivals, lack of shelters, snow clearing at shelters, the restrictive grocery bag limit, and limited night service.