Vermont Gov. James Douglas has signed an executive order forming a transportation council designed to coordinate highway, rail, air and other transportation initiatives, the Rutland Herald and Times Argus reported. The administration hopes the move will lead to a seamless transportation network.
The governor will appoint the Vermont Transportation Operations Council, which will consist of 15 members (seven appointed for one year, eight for two years). It will likely include representatives of existing appointed groups like the Aviation Advisory Council, Public Transit Council and Rail Advisory Council. Those in private transportation industries, economic development groups and the travel and tourism industries also may fill spots.
"With Vermont's rural landscape, we need to find and maintain effective and more efficient ways to move people and goods without damaging our environment or encouraging sprawl," said Douglas.
Transportation Secretary Patricia McDonald will be a member of the council, and said it will set up an efficient method for connecting all the different forms of transportation, as well as getting input from citizen panels like regional planning commissions.
The Vermont Transportation Operations Council will take a big picture view of transportation and advise McDonald's agency on statewide issues; identify areas where improvements in the transportation system could be hurting or may help economic development; recommend changes in planning and funding projects; and work to have different transportation modes cooperate more closely.