For years, self-driving vehicles have been touted as a potentially revolutionary transportation technology. For most of the general public, however, the concept of self-driving vehicles has either seemed impossible or possible in the far-distant future. Public and private sector agencies have already been investing resources into developing “‘Connected & Autonomous Vehicles” (CAV), and momentum around the emerging technology is building rapidly. As research continues and public embrace grows, communities must be prepared to adapt to the changing transportation ecosystem. Through the established Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Task Force, Centralina Regional Council is bringing together stakeholders from across the region in order to best prepare for this wave of change in transportation.
This year marks the 55th anniversary of the founding of Centralina Regional Council, formerly known as Centralina Council of Governments. Over the last five and a half decades, our organization has helped support the growth and prosperity of our region through various projects and initiatives. In honor of this historic year, we’re looking back at how our organization has evolved to where it is today.
October 2023 marks the two-year anniversary of the adoption of the CONNECT Beyond Regional Mobility Plan. During this time, focus has been on the implementation of the plan’s key near-term recommendations. One of the most important and impactful recommendations is the development of a Regional Transportation Demand Management Plan and Program. Centralina is leading the effort on this recommendation.
Centralina Regional Council is a regional organization focused on addressing the needs of member communities in our nine-county area and working collaboratively on issues that impact our region. We examine national, state and local trends impacting our member governments and identify their potential impacts to determine best practices for meeting needs and addressing challenges. This brief dives into current regional trends and how they are currently being addressed by Centralina, as well as how they will continue to be addressed in upcoming years.
2023 marks 30 years since the establishment of the Clean Cities Program through the Department of Energy (DOE). Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition (CCFC) is one of over 75 coalitions nationwide that work at the local level to advance clean, affordable transportation fuel technologies and systems along with energy-efficient mobility systems. This past month, our CCFC team was out and about in our region and beyond, championing issues surrounding clean energy and enhanced mobility.
As innovations in transportation and energy advance, it is important to ensure all communities can benefit from these new developments. Historically, discriminatory zoning and lending practices have forced residents of color and low-income residents to live closer to sources of toxic pollution, such as highways and industrial sites. The impacts of systematically excluding communities of color and low-income communities from planning and decision-making around transportation and energy are still seen and felt.
CONNECT Beyond is a bold regional mobility plan that sets the vision for how to better connect the rural, suburban, and urban communities in our 12-county region. This plan will guide and coordinate future mobility investments for the next two decades and serve as a blueprint for implementing a robust, integrated public transit network that will combine high-capacity transit lines, enhanced bus services, local mobility options and innovative transportation technologies.
As our region grows, our population is also aging, which adds increased demands on public, private and volunteer transportation options. In honor of May being National Older Americans Month, National Mobility Month and National Transportation Week, we’re highlighting timely resources that showcase our ongoing commitment to promote transportation considerations affecting older and disabled adults.
For decades, the United States has been working to move past its dependence on fossil fuels. This article highlights the efforts made on the state level to help promote cleaner transportation and how Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition is furthering these initiatives in our region.
As electric vehicle (EV) ownership becomes more prevalent, access to affordable EV charging will be increasingly important. Through a 2018 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) at UNC Charlotte partnered with the City of Charlotte, Duke Energy and Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition (CCFC), a DOE program housed at Centralina Regional Council, to investigate solutions to this issue. The grant provided funding to develop a prototype technology designed to tap into existing streetlight infrastructure for curbside EV charging, lowering installation costs for curbside EV chargers compared to chargers that require the installation of new electrical infrastructure. EPIC collaborated with Duke Energy to develop a prototype for a pole-mounted EV charger, called PoleVolt, and deployed two pilot chargers in the City of Charlotte.