The Regional Initiative began in August 2010 and will be completed in late summer 2011.
A scan of freight planning activities in the region will be conducted to establish a freight planning baseline of existing plans, studies, and programming activities for the region. An analysis will be conducted of similar efforts in peer states/metropolitan regions, along with a short scan of relevant national studies. This will ensure consistency with industry best practices and help the Twin Cities region benefit from demonstrated successes in peer areas. In addition, a strategic vision, goals, and performance targets will be established to guide the development of a freight implementation strategy.
A set of alternative scenarios will be developed for the regional freight system over the next 20 years that will serve as an action path to implementing the strategic vision, goals, and performance targets drafted in Stage 1. Each scenario will include complementary actions such as policies, investments, and/or operational changes to improve freight mobility and will emphasize a different mix of goals and outcomes for the freight system.
A preferred scenario for freight transportation in the region will be selected based on technical analysis and input from freight industry stakeholders. A Twin Cities Metro Area Regional Freight Strategy will be drafted for further consideration. The strategy will consist of a package of recommendations that may include changes in policies, planning processes, institutional arrangements, and/or operations, as well as proposed investments in physical infrastructure. Following the selection of a preferred freight future scenario, Mn/DOT and Met Council will collaborate with private sector and public agency stakeholders to develop an action plan to implement the package of freight improvements recommended in Stage 3.