Every few years, Southern California is mandated by the feds to develop a 20-year master transportation plan in order to plan for, and receive, funding for infrastructure. A Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) is also a newly required element of the plan, envisioned to combine transportation and land use elements in order to reduce emissions. The draft plan–the RTP/SCS–has been developed and is now up for approval. On March 21, Southern California Association of Governments’ (SCAG) Policy Committees overwhelmingly recommended moving the 2012-2035 RTP/SCS forward to the Regional Council for approval on April 4. OCBC’s Dr. Wallace Walrod led a team of economists analyzing the economic benefits.
The RTP/SCS not only addresses regional transportation, infrastructure, and sustainability needs, but is also an economic development strategy. With a gross regional product of $1 trillion, Southern California’s economy is the 15th largest in the world behind South Korea. Investing in the region’s transportation system is critical to Southern California’s economic prosperity. Research, led by OCBC’s Chief Economic Advisor, Dr. Wallace Walrod, shows that the Regional Transportation Plan will create jobs, generate wealth, and increase mobility; enhancing the region’s economic competitiveness.
Key findings include:
- Southern California’s top four industries are transportation dependent; trade, technology, tourism and entertainment;
- The 25-year plan generates an average of 174,500 jobs annually in construction alone; while also generating an additional 354,000 annual jobs through congestion relief, increased labor mobility and efficient movement of goods;
- The plan will provide a $2.90 investment return for every $1 spent;
- By integrating land use and transportation, 52 percent of future jobs will be located near high quality transit areas in 2035, compared to 31 percent without the plan; and will result in the conservation of land-use and the reduction of transportation fuel, electricity and natural gas, saving households $3,400 per year;
- The plan projects a 24 percent reduction in health incidences related to regional emissions.
CLICK HERE for the economic report. CLICK HERE for a summary of mobility, health, economic and sustainability benefits. For more information contact Kate Klimow, Vice President of Government and Community Affairs.