Welcome to PACTS
The Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System (PACTS) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Portland, Maine region. It was established to improve the coordination of transportation planning and investment decisions by state, municipal and public transportation organizations.
The address for PACTS is 970 Baxter Boulevard, 2nd Floor, Portland, ME 04103. The office is located on the Washington Avenue (Bates Street) end of Baxter Boulevard and is easily accessible from Exit 8 of 295 from the south, and Exit 9 of 295 from the north.
Transportation Policy Briefing for Legislators Held at PACTS
Forty-eight (48) people braved the first snow storm of the season to attend our annual legislators transportation policy briefing on December 17th. Click here to watch the one-hour video. MaineDOT’s Commissioner Bernhardt spoke about the Department’s successful Municipal Partnership Initiative, the importance of performance measures for transportation planning and projects, MaineDOT’s Strategic Plan and the MaineDOT’s new approach to streamlining the reporting of their project construction calendars. The audience asked about bonding and many other topics.
Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). The UPWP is the budget and scope of work that PACTS, GPCOG, SMRPC and consultants will do based on funding from the Federal Highway and Transit Administrations, and match funding provided by MaineDOT and our other member agencies and governments. The two year period is July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015.
Overview of the PACTS Unified Planning Work Program: Its Development in the Next Six Months, and Description of Key Policies and Procedures
PACTS has become a Transportation Management Area (TMA)
In March of 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau notified PACTS that the population of the Portland Urbanized Area had exceeded 200,000 people as of the 2010 census. This makes PACTS a “Transportation Management Area”, or TMA. An area designated as a TMA incurs additional requirements beyond those of smaller urbanized areas (23 USC 134 (i). At a minimum, the PACTS Policy Committee must include local elected officials or their designees, appropriate state officials, and officials of public agencies that administer or operate major modes of transportation in our region. We are currently learning about the TMA requirements from our federal agency partners and from other TMA's around the country, as appropriate (23 CFR 450.306). Click here to view a May 17, 2012 introductory PowerPoint presentation about the PACTS programming process and the TMA basics for PACTS. For even more information about the PACTS TMA transition click here.
Check out the 2011 PACTS video on our long-range regional transportation plan, Destination Tomorrow 2010-2035, highlighting maintaining and transforming transportation in our Greater Portland region (Freeport to Biddeford, Portland to Gorham/Windham).
PACTS is already working to improve our roads for all modes, expanding rail for passengers and freight, and innovating on the ongoing changing needs related to energy costs, health, and of the young and not so young. And of course the challenge of us all paying for it. One thing for sure is that the future will be different from today and the past.
We published our 2011-2012 Annual Report in June 2012. Click here to read about many recent and upcoming activities at PACTS, GPCOG and MaineDOT, and for a list of our current Committee members.
Read the PACTS blog for information on what PACTS is working on.
Click here to see PACTS 2010 video, Greater Portland’s Transportation System: A Vital Resource Needs Our Help
For too long, we’ve taken our transportation system for granted. In 2006, PACTS determined that Greater Portland - covering an area from Biddeford to Gorham to Freeport - would need more than $500 million over the next decade just to maintain the existing system. Under the current funding structure, which primarily comes from state and federal gas taxes, we have a $250 million shortfall. Current trends indicate that vehicles will become more fuel efficient and people will drive fewer miles in the years ahead, and as these changes take place, the $250 million funding gap will grow. This problem makes it not only difficult to maintain what we have, but also to expand and transition to more sustainable transportation modes.
PACTS developed the video above to illustrate the funding problem and to encourage residents and leaders to find solutions. PACTS staff and members thank Michael McDade, the director of the Falmouth public access television station, for his excellent work in creating this video. Please see our resources page, where there are supplemental links provided to educate you and others who make a difference.
The PACTS Annual Report for 2011-2012 has just been issued. Find out what PACTS has been involved with over the past year as well as upcoming studies and plans.
The PACTS Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a listing of transportation projects over a four-year period which will be paid for at least in part with money from the Federal Highway Administration or Federal Transit Administration. To ensure that the public will have an accurate understanding of how federal funds are actually being spent on transportation projects, Title 23, Code of Federal Regulations, part 450.332 requires metropolitan planning organizations to publish an annual listing of project obligations for the preceding program year.
Unified Planning Work Program - 2012-2013
The Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System (PACTS) shares the responsibility with the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) for the programming of all projects funded with Federal Highway and Federal Transit Administration (FHWA and FTA) funds in the PACTS Funding Area. The primary purpose of this document is to describe the development and administration of PACTS "MPO Allocation" projects.
The principle of environmental justice in transportation planning ensures that transportation projects do not have a disproportionately negative impact on minority and low-income populations. The goal is to achieve environmental justice protection for all communities. As a Metropolitan Planning Organization, PACTS examines how future transportation plans and investments address Title VI issues and attain equitable distribution of services, facilities and resources within the PACTS Planning area.
PACTS is staffed by:
Director, John Duncan
Senior Transportation Planner, Paul Niehoff
Transportation Planner, Carl Eppich
PACTS is also assisted by and shares office space with the Greater Portland Council of Governments.