During the Somerset County, NJ Circulation Plan Update process, the County recognized the need to reevaluate how it provides public transit services. A meeting of the County’s Senior Management Team held in the Spring of 2023 to discuss this issue identified the need for additional analysis and research to develop a vision statement and set of guiding principles to define a reimagined County Public Transit system. The vision statement and guiding principles will be incorporated into the updated Circulation Plan.
This Studio Class has worked with the Somerset County Office of Planning, Policy and Economic Development to explore strategies that would complement and leverage the new vision for public transportation in Somerset County. The Studio class reviewed the draft Somerset County Circulation Master Plan element as well as the draft vision statement and guiding principles developed by the consultant team. The Studio Team explored alternative transportation solutions and strategies such as but not limited to pedestrian-only streets, expanding existing bike and pedestrian networks, and emerging transit-related technologies. A key focus for all transportation strategies and solutions has surrounded how to leverage the public transit services provided by Somerset County to extend/expand the areas being served i.e., first and last mile connections.
The recommendations identify potential partners and funding sources the County can work with to provide transportation services as well as potential ordinances and infrastructure investments that can enhance the user experience. The recommendations presented can be used to inform a strategic plan of action for Somerset County.
The Studio Team leveraged U.S. Census Bureau data and additional information to better understand the challenges that currently and have previously plagued the county, to anticipate future issues and trends.
Instructors: Tom Dallessio, P.P., AICP