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Alternate Modes of Transportation. Harlingen-San Benito Metropolitan Planning Organization. Rebeca Castillo, MPO Director Border to Border Transportation Conference 2012. What is the MPO’s Role?. Metropolitan Planning Organization that is designated by the State Governor

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alternate modes of transportation

Alternate Modes of Transportation

Harlingen-San Benito

Metropolitan Planning Organization

Rebeca Castillo, MPO Director

Border to Border Transportation Conference 2012

what is the mpo s role
What is the MPO’s Role?
  • Metropolitan Planning Organization that is designated by the State Governor
  • 3 MPOs in the LRGV: Brownsville MPO, Harlingen-San Benito MPO, & Hidalgo County MPO
  • Local member cities serve on the MPO’s Transportation Policy Committee (elected officials)
  • Responsible for transportation planning
    • Metropolitan Transportation Plan (long range plan~20-25 year horizon)
    • Conduct Studies that identify congestion & provides recommendations as to how to alleviate it.
    • Develop Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan
what is the mpo s role1
What is the MPO’s Role?
  • Transportation Planning Includes all modes of transportation
      • Single user vehicle
      • Freight
      • Air
      • Ports
      • Alternate Modes of Transportation:

Walking, Bicycling & Public Transportation

public transportation
Public Transportation

4 Public Transportation Providers in the LRGV

bicycling walking
Bicycling & Walking

Bicyclists and pedestrians have the same origins and destinations as other transportation system users and it is important for them to have safe and convenient access to airports, ports, ferry services, transit terminals, and other intermodal facilities as well as to jobs, services, recreation facilities, and neighborhoods.

Federal surface transportation law places a strong emphasis on creating a seamless transportation system that all users can enjoy & use efficiently and safely.

bicycle pedestrian plan legislative guidance
Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan Legislative Guidance

Bicyclists and pedestrians shall be given due consideration in the comprehensive transportation plans developed by each metropolitan planning organization and State..." (23 U.S.C. 217(g)(1))

"Bicycle transportation facilities and pedestrian walkways shall be considered, where appropriate, in conjunction with all new construction and reconstruction and transportation facilities, except where bicycle and pedestrian use are not permitted." (23 U.S.C. 217(g)(1))

"Transportation plans and projects shall provide due consideration for safety and contiguous routes for bicyclists and pedestrians." (23 U.S.C. 217(g)(2))

health impact
Health Impact

Reduced Risk of :

  • Coronary Disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis (thinning bones)
  • Metal Health Problems such as depression
health impact1
Health Impact
  • Lower Health Costs
  • More Positive Mental Outlook
  • Independence
  • Weight Control
  • Improves overall quality of life
  • Age Expectancy increases
economic impact
Economic Impact
  • Less health related expenses
  • Public Transportation: $1 fare!!!
  • Walking: Free!!!
  • Bicycle: $120 yearly average cost
  • Car ownership is expensive
    • Gas Prices in LRGV Average $3.69 a gallon
    • Maintenance expenses
    • The Unexpected
    • Cost of Operating a Sedan for one year is approx. $7,834
economic impact1
Economic Impact
  • Ownership of a vehicle accounts to 18% of a typical household’s income (AAA survey, 2004)

Community Impact

  • Better conditions for walking have intangible benefits to the quality of life in cities & towns.
  • Alternate Modes of Transportation is an indicator of community livability
    • Impact in businesses
    • Job Creation
    • Tourism
    • Attractive due to its sense of safe & friendly communities
environmental impact
Environmental Impact

Helps protect the environment:

Automobile emissions contribute to smog, global warming and public health problems. By helping to reduce the number of cars on the road, public transportation offers many benefits to the environment.

environmental impact1
Environmental Impact

Public transit vehicles emit fewer pollutants than single-passenger automobiles. For example, buses emit 80 percent less carbon monoxide than a car. Rail emits almost none.

environmental impact2
Environmental Impact

Cars account for about 50 percent of air pollution nationwide. Each year, public transportation use avoids the emission of more than 126 million pounds of hydrocarbons, the primary cause of smog, and 156 million pounds of nitrogen oxides, which can cause respiratory disease.

environmental impact3
Environmental Impact

Public transportation helps reduce dependence on foreign oil, reducing auto fuel consumption by 1.5 billion gallons annually. Many U.S. transit systems are continuing to invest in compressed natural gas, low-sulfur burning buses or diesel-electric hybrid buses.

environmental impact4
Environmental Impact
  • Strengthens communities and improves livability. Public transportation creates corridors that become natural focal points for economic and social activities. These activities help create strong neighborhood centers that are more economically stable, safe and productive. At the same time, public transportation improves a community’s livability by enabling people to travel conveniently without using a car. 
environmental impact5
Environmental Impact
  • Reduces the concern of not meeting air quality standards.
  • A short, four-mile round trip by bicycle keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe.
environmental impact6
Environmental Impact

Motor vehicle emissions represent 31 percent of total carbon dioxide, 81 percent of carbon monoxide, and 49 percent of nitrogen oxides released in the U.S. (The Green Commuter, A Publication of the Clean Air Council).

environmental impact7
Environmental Impact

60 percent of the pollution created by automobile emissions happens in the first few minutes of operation, before pollution control devices can work effectively. Since "cold starts" create high levels of emissions, shorter car trips are more polluting on a per-mile basis than longer trips (League of American Bicyclists).

environmental impact8
Environmental Impact

Assist in meeting storm water efforts

Harlingen-San Benito MPO

Rebeca Castillo, MPO Director

[email protected]

Phone (956) 216-5242

Kara Alcocer, GIS Analyst/Transportation Planner

[email protected]

Phone (956) 216-5240

Joel Garza

GIS Specialist/Transportation Planner

[email protected]

Phone (956) 216-5241


502 E. Tyler Street

Harlingen, TX 78550

Phone: (956) 216-5240

Fax: (956) 430-6640

Email: [email protected]