Planner Speak: So what is multimodal transportation?

Multimodal transportation may sound like something that only happens in a galaxy far far away, but it is probably something that you do on a daily basis. If you’ve ridden your bike to the bus stop, taken a taxi to the airport, or walked from the parking lot to your office, you are familiar with multimodal transportation.

Multimodal transportation (n.) is the many ways that people and things get from place to place using several different modes of transportation. Walking, biking, wheelchairs, buses, trains, cars, trucks, taxis, airplanes, and boats are all modes, or forms, of transportation.

Planners are interested in making it easy and convenient for people and things to get to the places they want or need to go. To make it easy to get around, planners must consider how to make connections between different modes of transportation.  If the different modes are connected, goods that have traveled from one state to another on a barge can get to their final destination in a truck or people can take a short walk from their offices to get to a shuttle that will take them to their favorite place for lunch.

walking  LJ Bike on Bus  barge

To improve connections between transportation modes, the RPA is working with CARTA, Chattanooga’s Transportation Department, and the Benwood Foundation on a Multimodal Transportation Center Study. The study is evaluating possible locations where car and bike parking, car sharing, bike share,  taxis, buses, and possible future rail service could all come together in one or more transportation centers.

While RPA makes plans to increase transportation options, we also have a Green Trips program that encourages people to take advantage of the wide range of options that are already available in our community. You can learn about different ways of getting around and the benefits of doing so  as well as winning rewards for logging your green trips.

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