Connecting Our Future
Our vision is that the Upstate will be a VIBRANT and CONNECTED region, where transportation policy and investments promote innovation, sustainable development, and economic prosperity for all residents and businesses.
The Connecting Our Future initiative has moved forward with the creation of the Upstate Mobility Alliance. Consider joining the Alliance and working collaboratively to create a more connected region. Learn more here.
History of Connecting Our Future
Connecting Our Future (COF) is an initiative to engage regional stakeholders in an effort to collectively identify opportunities to enhance the movement of people and goods across the ten-county Upstate region.
COF began in July of 2017 as the outcome of Ten at the Top’s Shaping Our Future effort to understand how growth projections would impact our region, both positively and negatively. The COF process has provided a tremendous platform for transportation organizations, private business and industry, community organizations, local governments and other stakeholders to begin holding regular and meaningful conversations about how to collectively leverage all the individual efforts and investments being made around transportation and mobility in the Upstate.
The 18-month trajectory of this initiative can be divided into two phases.
Phase I: July 2017-August 2018
The first phase included the development of a Mobility Vision for the Upstate as well as identification of potential regional strategies. The Mobility Vision was unveiled during a regional event in August 2018. This phase also included the hiring of a transportation consultant to conduct some initial research on the mobility environment in our region, the resulting Regional Fact Book report can be accessed HERE.
Phase II: August 2018-August 2019
The second phase was focused on reviewing and prioritizing issue areas identified in Phase I. Different strategies and tactics were identified and reviewed in order to implement projects that have the greatest opportunity for positive impacts in moving people and goods across the Upstate region.
With the conclusion of Phase II, it was decided that the collaboration of the COF process be formalized with the establishment of the Upstate Mobility Alliance. While the initial COF effort has focused on developing a vision and desired strategies from the vision, the Upstate Mobility Alliance will be the group to usher its implementation over the next several years.
The success of the Connecting Our Future initiative and the creation of the Upstate Mobility Alliance would not have been possible without the commitment of the Advisory Committee members and financial support of our funding partners.
Advisory Committee Co-Chairs:
Leesa Owens, Michelin North America
Keith Scott, Electric City Transit
What is the Upstate Mobility Alliance?
The Upstate Mobility Alliance is a coalition of public, private, and community partners who are committed to fulfilling the Upstate Mobility Vision.
The ultimate success for the Alliance will be an Upstate region with greater access to transportation choices for all residents and easy movement of people and goods across the region. Accomplishing this vision will take a commitment to build cross-sector and cross-jurisdictional partnerships and a collective voice that champions bold thinking and a willingness to challenge the status quo through support and investment in innovative initiatives that enhance mobility in the region.
Membership in the Upstate Mobility Alliance is open to any individual or organization in Upstate SC that shares the vision of creating a more vibrant and connected region. The initiatives of the Alliance are directed by a Leadership Committee, with the daily work of advancing the mobility vision handled by an Executive Director. To facilitate a more strategic approach to addressing the broad mobility spectrum, four task forces have been created to focus on the areas of public transportation, active and livable communities, technology and innovation, and mobility investments.
The roles and responsibilities of the Alliance at large include, but are not limited to:
- Bringing together groups and individuals with diverse missions to focus on mobility needs
- Raising awareness of mobility needs and opportunities
- Creating a collaborative forum to work together at a regional scale
- Advocating for specific mobility solutions
- Supporting major regional efforts
Check out their website for more information and ways to get involved: www.upstatemobilityalliance.org
Read the Regional Mobility Report Here
In Phase I of Connecting Our Future, we hired a transportation consultant to conduct initial research on the mobility environment in our region. This resulted in the publication of a Regional Factbook, which can be accessed below.
Now that Phase II is wrapping up, we are excited to share the Connecting Our Future Regional Mobility Strategy Report, which can be accessed below. We want to thank our consultant on both projects, Kimley-Horn, as well as each individual on our Advisory Committee and our Funding Partners for their contributions to this work.