The additions bring the total number of NACTO members to 95 cities and transit agencies that represent metro areas covering over 100 million people, and illustrate the growth of the movement to build safe, sustainable, and equitable transportation systems across North America.
The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) is proud to announce that the City of Milwaukee, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) have become NACTO members.
The three additions bring NACTO’s total membership to 95 cities and transit agencies serving over 100 million residents across North America. NACTO’s growing membership across the continent demonstrates the continued growth of the movement to create safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation networks. Other recent additions to the NACTO network include Richmond, VA and Spokane, WA.
“You can see the future of transportation in NACTO’s growing membership,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, NACTO board chair. “Instead of building massive roadway networks to adapt cities to cars, city leaders today are building networks that create streets for people to live, walk and play—and to accommodate the buses, scooters and bikes they ride on.”
“The transportation field is at its best when we have the opportunity to connect, learn from each other, share best practices and generate new ideas,” said Corinne Kisner, NACTO’s Executive Director. “We’re thrilled to welcome Milwaukee, SEPTA and the MBTA to the NACTO community, and to work with their leadership and staff to advance a bold agenda for 21st century urban mobility.”
“I am a major believer in collaboration and being part of NACTO provides access to new ideas we can look to implement here in Milwaukee,” Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said. “We are proud to join this network of North American cities as we work to bring greater health and vitality to our City by reimagining our transportation systems and public spaces.”
“The MBTA strongly supports NACTO’s mission, and we are pleased to join this worthwhile organization that aligns with the T’s values in providing safe, accessible, and equitable transit,” said MBTA Interim General Manager Jeffrey Gonneville. “The MBTA believes that best-in-class transit helps enable a thriving region, and consistent and reliable transportation service connects the communities we serve to educational, economic, and recreational opportunities. We’re pleased to join so many of our transit peers and municipal partners by becoming members of NACTO.”
“This is a critical moment for public transportation, and sharing information and ideas among our peers is important to deliver the best service possible for our customers,” said SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards. “Being part of NACTO gives SEPTA access to a wealth of resources and partners as we advance the SEPTA Forward strategic plan, which aims to grow ridership and build a more equitable future for our riders.”
“Cities that prioritize transit put people first on their streets,” said Mike Carroll, City of Philadelphia Deputy Managing Director, Office of Transportation, Infrastructure & Sustainability and NACTO President. “NACTO allows us to use the best practices from across the country to bring SEPTA’s buses, trains, and trolleys to the center of the transportation mix. We’re excited to further strengthen our partnership with SEPTA through their NACTO membership, and to continue working across NACTO’s 95 member cities and transit agencies to together take on the toughest challenges facing cities today.”
“Being part of the NACTO community means having access to an incredible wealth of knowledge and resources, and to a network of like-minded transportation officials working together to realize a vision for a better urban future,” said Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Chief of Streets for the City of Boston. “As the MBTA made critical repairs last year, our strong working relationships enabled us to jump into action to reshape streets to make the rider experience as smooth as possible. That type of collaboration will only deepen as we work together as NACTO members, and learn more from our peers.”
As NACTO’s membership has grown, so has its cities’ collective impact. Together, NACTO and its members played a key role in shaping the 2021 federal infrastructure law—making recommendations to reshape programs and direct billions of dollars in funding to build pedestrian, bike and transit infrastructure and to reconnect communities divided for decades by highway infrastructure—and raised a collective voice in support of safer vehicle design regulations and removing red tape for safer streets at the federal level.
Each of these new members have also taken ambitious action on their own. Milwaukee approved its Complete Streets policy in 2018, and constructed its first sidewalk-level protected bike lane in 2021. Now, the city is in the midst of installing over five miles of raised bike lanes through street reconstruction projects. Milwaukee has prioritized engaging community groups in street design projects, providing funding for “paint the pavement” installations and mini-grants to build awareness around reckless driving. Milwaukee’s Safe and Healthy Streets initiative also partnered with residents on ways to create streets that support active transportation, and the city recently won a $50,000 grant from City Thread to create a mobility audit and action plan.
In Philadelphia, SEPTA is following the vision set in their strategic plan to build a “lifestyle transit network” that is frequent, easy to use, and built on an integrated network. Through the Bus Revolution program, SEPTA is redesigning its bus network to better match how people travel, simplify routes to improve system legibility, and improve bus speed and reliability. Project Metro aims to unify the region’s metro and trolley lines into a single, easy-to-use rail transit network. With its Reimagining Regional Rail initiative, SEPTA is working to create a regional rail system that offers frequent, all-day, and all-week services connecting people to destinations across the region.
The MBTA recently celebrated the opening of the Medford Branch of the Green Line Extension, which offers riders a one-seat ride from Medford and Somerville to downtown Boston. In October, the agency also published the latest draft of its bus network redesign, an ambitious effort to create a more equitable network with more frequent service and better connections. The MBTA also made national news last year when it partnered with the City of Boston to pilot fare-free bus service on three major routes serving a large and diverse ridership.
NACTO provides its members valuable technical assistance, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and forums for sharing best practices. Through its peer networks, annual Designing Cities conference, federally-recognized design- and policy-focused publications, targeted street design workshops, and virtual design charrettes, NACTO offers members opportunities to showcase new projects, receive feedback from peers and industry experts, explore common challenges, and learn from shared experiences.
About the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
NACTO is an association of 95 major North American cities and transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. The organization’s mission is to build cities as places for people, with safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life. To learn more, visit NACTO.org or follow us on Twitter at @NACTO and Instagram at @NACTOcities.
Alex Engel | [email protected]
Billy Richling | [email protected]
For Immediate Release
January 30, 2023