The LinkUS Framework Strategy was created to ensure a consistent and replicable approach for each corridor. This includes a guiding mission statement and organizational framework that ties all corridor plans together, along with a recommended project development process and steps for implementation. It establishes a set of goals to guide the identification of mobility investments and development opportunities.
LinkUS is the mobility corridor initiative for Central Ohio.
Improving mobility in Central Ohio is critical to achieving regional goals for smart and efficient future growth. The Framework Strategy is based on the following goals:
The introduction of mobility options allows for increased and equal access and opportunity for all members of the community. Mobility is critical to improving equity in the region.
Enhanced mobility encourages public and private investment in transportation and development. This promotes local and regional economic vibrancy.
Increased travel choice and connectivity better links jobs with workforce, promoting economic vibrancy and equity.
More transportation choices improves the affordability of our community by reducing transportation costs. This reduction of combined housing and transportation costs also creates a more equitable region.
Mobility fosters innovation between our people and places, creating shared prosperity. Technological innovations in transportation make a more efficient system, promoting the region's economy and sustainability.
Increased mobility options lower automobile dependence to reduce carbon emissions. Coupled with compact, walkable development patters, growth can occur in the region while also preserving farmland and the natural environment.
Ingredients for Success
Unify the effort
The initiative will link mobility planning efforts throughout the region under an umbrella program that includes shared branding, robust and equitable engagement, a consistent message and alignment of priorities.
Build a system
LinkUS seeks to marry transit-oriented land use changes with mobility enhancements that will improve mobility across the region. Improvements will be made for all modes of travel: transit, bicycles, pedestrians, automobiles and freight.
Identify dedicated funding
Significant capital investments will require new ways of thinking about how to fund them. Link US partners must work together to identify feasible funding sources for construction, operations and maintenance.
Develop effective partnerships
Sustained success requires clearly identified roles and responsibilities, as well as a shared agreement on priorities, timelines, and goals. Partnerships must be formed at multiple levels, including those needed for funding, coalition building and technical implementation.
Build regional support
A broad coalition of support will be crucial to ensure future plans are adopted, funded, and successfully implemented. LinkUS will engage a wide variety of partners early, often, and in substantive ways that add to the effort’s strength and regional appeal.
Engage the community
Public engagement will be an essential part of corridor implementation. It will include a range of tools and techniques—including in-person, virtual and other alternative formats. This will be especially important in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
Key Elements of Premium Transit
The focus of LinkUS is to quickly implement an interconnected system of high quality mobility corridors linking communities together and advancing regional goals. The specific transit mode (vehicle type, technologies and infrastructure) will be determined for each corridor through technical analysis. However, there are key elements of premium transit that will be critical for successful implementation. An important recommendation of the Insight2050 Corridor Concepts Study is that premium transit, to be truly effective as an alternative to automobile travel, must operate within its own dedicated runningway. This is a key feature of many Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems, which can essentially operate as “light rail on rubber tires” but with significantly lower cost. As specific modes and designs are determined, these types of features will be prioritized to provide a premium level of service and quality of experience to riders.
Right-of-way may be designated with pavement color, pavement markings and signage, or physical separation.
Frequency and Capacity
Vehicles are typically larger and arrive with frequent, predictable headways, moving more people faster. Lines could also accommodate smaller more agile vehicles where needed.
Level Boarding and Multi-Door Boarding
Elevated platforms and multi-door boarding simulate a train station experience and speeds the boarding process.
Signal Priority and Intersection Control
Connected signalization and priority movement through intersections enhances on-time performance.
Stations are amenitized, conveniently accessible, and more widely spaced from one another to minimize stops and decrease travel time.
Modern Vehicle Designs
Vehicles can be designed to simulate modern rail, through external appearance, interior comfort, and ease of ride.
Off-Board Fare Collection
Fare collection is conducted through off-board and/or digital payment eliminating the lag time associated with on-board fares.
Emerging technologies will allow for continued performance improvements, with continued commitment to the critical role the transit workforce.