Since 2011, the CONNECT Coalition has made significant progress towards its vision by defining a common agenda among a diverse group of advocates and stakeholders, and creating and advancing a corresponding policy platform working on the statewide, regional and local scales.
The CONNECT initiative has developed successful collaborative efforts among advocates from across the Baton Rouge and New Orleans regions, resulting in near-term wins while maintaining focus on accomplishing large-scale, long-term change.
Among the many accomplishments of CONNECT to date, several milestones stand out:
- Engaged leadership of 40 non-profit organizations to serve on CONNECT Coalition; plus 500+ membership base
- Adoption of state legislation creating a Rail Authority to advance and oversee passenger rail project
- Formed the new Louisiana Super Region Rail Authority to empower regional leaders to pursue passenger rail
- Adoption and implementation of state, regional and local Complete Streets policies
- Ensure multi-modal connectivity by monitoring and advocating for quality implementation of Complete Streets policies
- Hosted annual Policy Forums, bringing together federal, state, regional and local policymakers and shaping the conversation about transportation priorities.
- Successful referendum for dedicated revenue to improve and expand the Baton Rouge transit system in April 2012
- Served on DOTD Statewide Transportation Plan advisory committee providing feedback reflecting the interests of coalition members
- Facilitated collaborations between Baton Rouge and New Orleans MPOs to fund passenger rail feasibility study
- Created policy briefs outlining the benefits of a strong multi-modal transportation network and greater collaboration across the Baton Rouge and New Orleans Super Region
- Promoting improved accountability, transparency and collaboration among transportation agencies
- Education of elected officials, agency heads, and civic leaders about the benefits of a regional multi-modal transportation network.
- Conducted public opinion poll resulting in 75% respondents expressing support of Super Regional passenger rail