Latest News

Vincent Valdes Recipient of the 2021 W.N. Carey, Jr. Distinguished Service Award

In recognition of his outstanding service to TRB and advancement of innovations in public transportation partnerships, Vincent Valdes is the 2021 recipient of the W.N. Carey, Jr., Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Valdes is the is the Executive Director of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC), the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for a ten-county region including the City of Pittsburgh, where he leads a team of planners, program managers, transportation specialists and engineers working to create a common regional vision and transportation implementation program for the communities of southwestern Pennsylvania.  The Carey Award—named in honor of W.N. Carey, Jr., TRB’s Executive Director from 1967 to 1980—recognizes individuals who have given leadership and distinguished service to TRB.

The award will be presented on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, during the Chair’s Plenary Session portion of the TRB Annual Meeting, January 9-13, 2022, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

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SPC Launches Loan Application Portal

SPC’s Business Finance Assistance program works with entrepreneurs to assist them in starting, developing and expanding their businesses. SPC can make loans and provide assistance to high tech, oil and gas, agricultural, tourism, recycling, manufactures, many additional types of for profit companies.

If you are interested in financing your business’s expansion project through SPC, we would encourage you to visit https://spcregion.portfol.com/Workflow/, register your business for a free account, and complete our pre-application questionnaire. Once complete, SPC staff will review your questionnaire, and reach out to you to discuss your project in further detail.

Visit SPC’s Business Assistance page to learn more!

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SPC CMAQ Program Application Period Opens

The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program provides funds for transportation projects and programs that will contribute to attainment or maintenance of the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone, carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM).

The CMAQ program supports two important goals of the federal Department of Transportation: improving air quality and relieving congestion. These goals were strengthened in provisions added to the CMAQ Program by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP‑21; Pub. L. 112-141) and continued in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act; Pub. L. 114-94). These provisions emphasize cost-effective emission reduction and congestion mitigation activities when using CMAQ funding.

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Bringing the World to PA 2021

Every September, SPC’s export assistance program collaborates with the PA Office of International Business Development (OIBD) to bring its team of authorized trade representatives from around the world to Pennsylvania for meeting 1-on-1 with local companies to discuss international business strategies and export opportunities.

However, due to the pandemic, we remain committed to connecting Pennsylvania exporters with people and resources that can help them increase their international sales. This September, we will provide another virtual edition of Bringing the World to PA to continue creating and building global business connections. Bringing the World to PA 2021 will run from September 13-24 and will include a series of online presentations and panels on a range of international business and trade topics.

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SPC Launches ‘Southwestern Pennsylvania Connected’

SPC has developed a series of online mapping tools to assess the regional broadband-related coverage, speeds, resources, gaps and needs in relation to the region’s demographic and socioeconomic conditions. It also examines connectivity and resources in relation to the region’s businesses, and educational and medical facilities.

These tools will be used as a baseline to further build upon SPC’s Strategic Plan of developing a Connectivity Roadmap (SWPA Connected) for the 10-county SWPA region. This future strategic plan will examine the current and true state of the region’s broadband connectivity in relation to the region’s demographic and socioeconomic composition. It will deploy connectivity programs and projects to enable the region’s communities that lack adequate high-speed internet access to be better connected to jobs, education, and health care.

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SPC To Host Local Transportation Project Delivery Workshop

SPC and PennDOT staff are hosting a virtual workshop to assist local sponsors in the SPC region in understanding their roles, responsibilities, and requirements in delivering a transportation project.

If you are considering applying to any programs in the future, this workshop will introduce you to funding programs and the regulatory requirements sponsors must meet to use federal or state transportation funds. This workshop will provide details regarding the SPC Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside (TA) Program and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ), both of which have open/upcoming application periods.

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SmartMoves Connections: A Regional Vision for Public Transit

With SmartMoves Connections, SPC presents a new approach to regional transit planning—one based on locating the Transit Supportive Land Uses already present in our region. Using a Machine Learning analysis of aerial photography and travel data, SmartMoves Connections maps the clusters of land with multimodal potential. These are put into six categories where Multimodal Hubs and Multimodal Corridors could be good mobility options.

A Multimodal Hub is a facility where mobility services can connect together—such as Park-and-Ride, bike lockers, scooter-share or paratransit—along with public transit service. These Hubs allow seamless connections between the parts of a person’s trip and enable new kinds of trips, even across county borders or on multiple transit services.

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SPC Releases 2020 Annual Report Video

2020 was a challenging year for everyone, and SPC was no exception. But still, In the midst of collective uncertainly, bright spots surfaced. This short video showcases the both the obstacles we faced and the successes that SPC delivered in transportation planning, economic development and small business assistance, GIS, communications and finance. From assisting several small businesses with crucial grants and loans, to developing the TIP virtually, and helping our partners move forward, we delivered.

the countermove – spc 2020 annual report

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SPC Announces Virtual Public Meeting

Please share your views with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Pennsylvania Division and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Region III at a public presentation to discuss the transportation planning process in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The public meeting will be held in conjunction with the regularly scheduled Joint Transportation Technical Committee/Transit Operators Meeting.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) is the official Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the ten-county region which includes the City of Pittsburgh and the counties of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland. For more information, please visit: https://www.spcregion.org/get-involved/.

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2021 SPC Transportation Alternatives Funding Program Opens

As of Monday June 28th, the 2021 SPC Transportation Alternatives Funding Program is open to qualified applicants. The Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside (TA) Program provides funding for programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives, including on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities; infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility; environmental mitigation; recreational trail program projects; and, safe routes to school projects. The SPC region receives a yearly sub-allocation of approximately $1.8 million to award to eligible projects.

Prospective project sponsors should submit a short pre-application by August 16, 2021. The full application will be due on October 15, 2021. The SPC TA program pre-application, application, and program guidance (which includes submission instructions) is available on the SPC website at https://www.spcregion.org/funding-programs/ . The site also includes a link to the concurrent but separate PennDOT administered statewide TA program. Any questions can be directed to Lillian Gabreski at lgabreski@spcregion.org.