The Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System, a federally mandated metropolitan planning organization, is seeking additional public comment to update its long-range regional transportation plan.

“Destination Tomorrow” is a comprehensive plan developed in 2010 that outlines policies and strategies to maintain and improve transportation services, safety and efficiency in Greater Portland through 2035. It incorporates various modes of transportation, including motorized vehicles, bicycles, passenger rail and bus services.

In late 2013, the system’s 35-member policy committee determined that the long-range plan should be updated in 2015 to include new ideas, emphasize public transportation and increase public engagement, among other recommendations. PACTS held six public forums between November 2013 and January 2014, each attracting 12 to 30 people.

Common concerns raised at the forums included the growing transportation demands of an aging population and the related need to improve public transportation, pedestrian systems and regional land use management.

Forum participants also noted that advances in technology may help to improve public transportation and safety and reduce traffic congestion. However, a lack of funding undermines congestion management and results in crumbling transportation infrastructure, forum participants said.

The forums found that young people living in cities are less apt to own cars and want better public transportation. However, residents of rural Greater Portland remain largely dependent on their automobiles because continuous investment in a larger public transportation network is considered financially unfeasible, according to a written summary of the forums.

Additional public forums to update the long-range regional transportation plan will be held in the fall of 2015, according to PACTS website.

PACTS also conducted a telephone survey of 700 people in July that found 43 percent of respondents have changed their transportation behavior significantly in the last decade and 28 percent own an alternative fuel car or plan to buy one when they replace a current car. A 250-page survey report is posted on PACTS website.

To learn more about the “Destination Tomorrow” update, visit www.pactsplan.org or call 774-9891. Submit additional comments to PACTS, 970 Baxter Boulevard, Suite 201, Portland, ME 04103 or via email at [email protected]