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Genre: proposal

Student id: s23

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      <?xml-model href="../schema_3302.rng" type="application/xml" schematypens="http://relaxng.org/ns/structure/1.0"?><!--the second line in the document associates the schema, so be sure not to change it-->
<DOC>
  <docHead>
    <!--required header includes metadata about the assignment (title, author, version)-->
    <title>Public Initiative Proposal</title>
    <version n="1" date="2016-08-16"/>
  </docHead>
  <pub_init_proposal>
    <cover_page>
      <title>WRTA Redesign</title>
      <author>
        <!--deidentified element-->
      </author>
      <submit_date>August 30th 2016</submit_date>
      <audience> To: The
                City of Worcester’s Executive Office of Economic Development </audience>
    </cover_page>
    <tbl_cont>
      <section n="1">Introduction</section>
      <section n="2">Background</section>
      <section n="3">Purpose</section>
      <section n="4">Approach</section>
      <section n="5">Feasibility</section>
      <section n="6">Conclusion</section>
      <section n="7">References</section>
    </tbl_cont>
    <intro type="exec_sum">
      <!--attribute options: ltr_int, exec_sum, abstract-->
      <p>Over the past several years, the city of Worcester, MA has invested several millions
                of dollars into improving the city. Federal and state money has been dedicated to
                cleaning up parks and neighborhoods, reconstructing the entire down town area
                including Union Station, establishing community centers and helping create jobs for
                the citizens of Worcester. Despite all the work going into these projects, public
                transportation has been completely overlooked. How does the city expect to increase
                employment if half of it’s population doesn’t have a reliable way to get to work?
                Worcester has long been a city dependent on cars since so much of it’s work force
                resides in suburbs and neighboring towns. Most people know that the WRTA (Worcester
                Regional Transit Authority) exists, but they don’t know how to use it. This is
                because of the small number of bus stops, inconvenient routes, and completely lack
                of outreach by the WRTA. Implementing something like Boston’s MBTA is not realistic
                in a city like Worcester, however major reorganization and improvements to the WRTA
                could provide huge benefits in driving forward economic growth in Worcester, as well
                as making it much more pleasant place to live. Rerouting existing routes to reach
                major residential areas (especially low income neighborhoods) and heavy
                commercialized areas, adding busses and bus stops, making public transportation more
                affordable and accessible to students and young adults, and providing more rigorous
                training for bus drivers would dramatically turn around the state of Worcester’s
                public transportation. All this could be achieved with predetermined yearly
                milestones being funded by the city’s federal grant under the Community Development
                Block Grant Program over the course of 5-7 years.</p>
    </intro>
    <background>
      <p>
        <crnt_cond> As of right now, only 55% of all jobs in Worcester have access to public
                    transportation routes; and only 6% of people who reside in suburbs (where rent
                    and mortgages are more affordable) have public transportation available to their
                    work within 90 minutes (5). On top of this, Worcester Public Schools have
                    consistently cut school bus services for students to get to school every day. </crnt_cond>
        <subj_hist> In past years, Worcester Public Schools has charged students hundreds of
                    dollars to be able to take a school bus to school, and have even suspended bus
                    transportation for students in high school or who live within 2 miles of their
                    schools. Considering the level of financial diversity in Worcester and how harsh
                    winters can be in the Northeast, these scenarios pose a clear need for more
                    accessible public transportation in Worcester. </subj_hist>
        <crnt_cond>Most bus routes currently just connect downtown Worcester to major
                    shopping centers in the Greater Worcester Area, but none go to residential,
                    commercialized, or school areas. The WRTA is, at best, inconvenient to use. This
                    is a major barrier in the economic growth of the city because of how difficult
                    it is for anyone to get around to be able to get to work or school (2). Aside
                    from this, the existing transportation facilities are difficult to find, dingy
                    and unsafe looking, unadvertised, and generally inaccessible (1).</crnt_cond>
      </p>
    </background>
    <purpose>
      <p><objective> Even with all the money that Worcester is putting into developing the
                    city and giving it this much needed ‘face lift’, all the progress
                    will reach a glass ceiling without improvements made to the public
                    transportation system. Economic growth will only be stimulated from an improved
                    bus system, despite the capital costs of investing in
                    transportation.</objective><scope type="what">Better bus routes could increase accessibility for</scope><scope type="who">students to get to school every day, and lower and middle class
                    persons</scope> to get to work. <scope type="when">If money could be spared in
                    the next 5-7 years to make the initial capital investments in a better bus
                    system for the WRTA, then this would be a massive stimulus for the city of
                    Worcester.</scope><!-- who, what, when are mandatory --><!--attribute options: what, who, when, where--></p>
    </purpose>
    <approach>
      <p> Worcester is a recipient of a $3.8 million annual grant funding from the HUD called
                the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG). Each year it submits a request
                for proposals to investigate ideas for how this money could be spend to benefit low
                and moderate income persons, eliminate slums or blight, or meet urgent needs of the
                city (3). The transportation system addresses all three of these types of needs that
                the grant funding is intended for. With a team of financial representatives of the
                city, officials from the Worcester WRTA, and contractors invested in building
                infrastructure in the city, a 5-7 year plan could be made to invest a percentage of
                this grant funding annually into the reworking of the WRTA. Milestones could be
                predetermined based on priority areas in the city and necessary development of
                Worcester Transit Authority. Milestones each year will include buying new energy
                efficient busses to serve the city, construct safe, well lit, strategically placed
                bus stops, advertise bus travel within Worcester and it’s surrounding towns,
                subsidize transportation services for students, reorganize routes that reach into
                more suburban areas, and hire more well qualified drivers and officials for the
                WRTA. </p>
    </approach>
    <feasibility>
      <p>
        <!-- possible subelements are: economic, environmental, social,
                    legal, or other -->
        <economic> Now that Worcester has achieved so much federal funding for city
                    development and has gained momentum in the community’s investment in the city,
                    it is a perfect time to make major changes within the city. The funding exists
                    and the need is evident. Planning would require input from financial
                    professionals and zoning committees in order to figure out the best way to
                    invest in the WRTA and where there is most need for public transportation. This
                    initial set up would be the biggest capital investment, however most of the
                    costs could be covered by the CDBG grant and could be spread out over several
                    years. The only lasting costs would be salaries for the increase in WRTA drivers
                    and employees and maintenance to buses and new infrastructure. The hope would be
                    that these long term costs will be insignificant compared to the financial
                    benefits the city would gain by becoming more accessible and making work more
                    possible for residents. </economic>
        <social>If needed, there are many big businesses and organizations that could
                    benefit from public transportation in the city. Big business owners and
                    surrounding towns could be willing to invest in a public transportation system
                    that could bring people to their business and make their own communities more
                    accessible. Also, as it is the few buses that do exist in Worcester reach out to
                    surrounding towns like Leicester, Millbury, and Charlton. Theoretically, all of
                    central Worcester County would benefit from developments to the WRTA, which is
                    about twenty towns that could also contribute to WRTA developments and would be
                    more invested in the greater Worcester community. </social>
      </p>
    </feasibility>
    <conclu>
      <p> Investing in public transportation within Worcester would be investing in the future
                growth of Worcester. It would make holding a job more possible for low and middle
                income populations and increase accessibilities to commercial and residential areas
                of the city. It would also make it possible for kids to miss less school. It would
                also benefit surrounding towns that are considered “bedroom towns” to Worcester and
                allow residents of lower income neighborhoods to seek work all over the city. </p>
    </conclu>
    <references>
      <citation n="1" style="MLA"> "Groundbreaking Ceremony for WRTA Transportation Hub | City
                of Worcester, MA." Groundbreaking Ceremony for WRTA Transportation Hub | City of
                Worcester, MA. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Aug. 2016.</citation>
      <citation n="2" style="MLA">"GoLocalWorcester | News | Worcester’s Public Transportation
                Critical to Economic Growth." GoLocalWorcester Main. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Aug.
                2016.</citation>
      <citation n="3" style="MLA">United States. Worcester City Hall. The City of Worcester’s
                Executive Office of Economic Development. City Fiscal Year 2017 Community
                Development Block Grant Program. Worcester: n.p., n.d. Web.</citation>
      <citation n="4" style="MLA">"GoLocalWorcester | Politics | Grace Ross: How to Solve
                Worcester’s Public Transportation Problems." GoLocalWorcester Main. N.p., n.d. Web.
                15 Aug. 2016.</citation>
      <citation n="5" style="MLA"> "GoLocalWorcester | News | Worcester’s Public
                Transportation 2nd Worst in NE." GoLocalWorcester Main. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Aug.
                2016.</citation>
    </references>
  </pub_init_proposal>
</DOC>

  

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