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A Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) consists of a single committee overlooking the transportation needs, for example rail, bus, or airplane, of a designated region or city. The implementation of an RTA within a region establishes a streamlined approach to decision making, economic development, and meeting community needs in areas such as accessibility and sustainability. In this report we interviewed transportation authorities within Lewiston-Auburn and researched existing RTAs throughout the country. We show results from both our interviews and research into existing RTAs and offer recommendations towards implementing an RTA in the Lewiston-Auburn region.

In order to understand the specific needs, wants, and complications faced by Lewiston-Auburn and the broader Androscoggin region, we interviewed six different transportation entities in addition to representatives of the cities of Lewiston and Auburn. Each entity interviewed expressed frustrations with the existing system and responded to the possible creation of an RTA with enthusiasm. Entities were most excited about the improved decision-making process and increased ability to collaborate that would be facilitated by an RTA, as well as the general growth that public transportation systems experience within an RTA.

To help with the process of creating an RTA within the Lewiston-Auburn region we studied existing RTA models that varied in size and demographic. The goal was to establish a variety of RTA models based on existing RTAs and the different ways they were structured and funding. By examining RTAs that varied in size, funding sources, and governance structures, we hoped to discover the common trends and styles employed by the majority of existing RTAs. We prioritized research that would provide us with examples that were most relevant to Lewiston-Auburn’s needs. The perceived needs of Lewiston-Auburn were identified through the interview process conducted at the start of this project.

The purpose of this research was to provide examples pertaining to funding and structure that could be mimicked, explored, or altered by Lewiston-Auburn in order to best create their own RTA.

We have compiled a list of recommendations from broad to specific next steps. We hope these recommendations serve as a starting point into the discussion surrounding the implementation of an RTA in the Lewiston-Auburn region. Recommendations:

● Define the community, in terms of both areas the RTA will serve as well as which transportation entities will make up this RTA

● Create a mission statement which is tailored specifically to the needs of Lewiston-Auburn in terms of efficiency, environmental sustainability, and public accessibility

● Define a governance structure for the RTA

● Connect with other RTAs whose governance structure, funding sources and/or mission statement resonant most with Lewiston-Auburn

● Explore public perceptions and opinions regarding RTAs