How Southwestern Pennsylvania Is Rethinking Transportation

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission is a federally-mandated body, called a metropolitan planning organization. It’s a forum that allows the city of Pittsburgh and the surrounding 10-county region to collaborate on things like transportation, economic development and even on issues such as green infrastructure.

Vincent Valdes is the commission’s executive director; he started this summer and previously worked as the associate administrator for research, innovation and demonstration at the Federal Transit Administration. He said as a society we have to rethink what transportation means.

“Broadband, or 5G, or whatever means is used …. connectivity is the new transportation mode,” he said.

Valdes said it’s uncharted territory, but it’s crucial to shift our thinking. People rely on the internet to get to school and work and medical appointments.