To date in 2020, our region is confronting a confluence of crises largely unprecedented during the lifetimes of most residents: a public health emergency brought about by a global pandemic; a global economic crisis spurred by the response to the public health emergency; and a painful national dialogue on systemic racism in our society. Each of these challenges would be sufficiently disruptive on its own to roil both our region and our country. Happening as they are, nested within one another, they’ve significantly altered our lives and our perceptions.
Although it feels like thinking about the future is an unnecessary extravagance given the uncertainty of the here and now, these extraordinary challenges demand both a focus on the immediate and consideration of a longer view. As fundamental aspects of our daily lives are changed -- how and if we work, how we move about and when, how we sustain ourselves and our families, how and when we interact with one another -- our future increasingly depends both on how we respond in the weeks and months ahead, and how we envision the years ahead.
The development of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s (NYMTC’s) next Regional Transportation Plan – titled Moving Forward; Our Region, Connected – is one opportunity to look past the immediate uncertainties and consider both recovery and adaptation. For this next Plan, which will be completed in a little over a year, NYMTC’s members have proposed a new, shared strategic vision for regional mobility. That proposed vision is outlined in this issue. NYMTC is seeking the thoughts and ideas of those who live or work in the region on this future vision and its relevance to future recovery and vitality.