TARC Long Range Plan
An updated Long Range Plan outlining ways to maintain and improve public transportation in the Louisville region was approved by the TARC Board of Directors.
The purpose of the Long Range Plan Update is to provide guidance on transit options and funding sources for future development of TARC; to provide a basis for coordinating future funding and policies with other decision makers; and to provide a consistent direction for connecting short-term plans with long-term aspirations.
“It pretty much paints the picture of where TARC is today and what needs to be done to respond to growing needs out there now and in the future,” said TARC Executive Director J. Barry Barker. “There are some promising policy changes and low-cost improvements we can make today, but it’s pretty clear that additional investment will be needed for a significant change in the service we provide.”
TARC prepared the 61-page plan in consultation with HDR, of Alexandria, Va., and with funding provided by the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA). The report indicates that TARC and the greater Louisville community have a tremendous opportunity to continue to build a more robust and comprehensive transportation system. With proper financing and political support, the system can provide a broader range of transportation options that respond to changing demographics, the changing climate, and changing consumer preferences.
This update is the first comprehensive review of the community’s transportation needs and options since 2006, when advanced transit options were removed from KIPDA’s long-range plan because of concerns about whether they could be funded. The projects — including the Light Rail Transportation Tomorrow project in the South Central corridor — were eliminated from active consideration in spite of some 500 letters and emails of protest from community residents.
To revive a Light Rail project or another advanced transit option, the report says, TARC would need to increase the local occupational license fee adding to the existing Mass Transit Trust Fund. TARC anticipates that an increase in the occupational tax — from .2% to .4% of every dollar earned — could generate approximately $40 million annually in local revenue dedicated to transit. This local investment in public transportation would provide TARC with stable, consistent funds for service expansion and provide the local matching funds that could leverage many sources of federal funds.
A copy of the full report is available here or by calling TARC at (502) 561-5122.