Metropolitan transportation agencies should be in our toolkit

A GROWING number of cities rely on metropolitan transportation agencies (MTAs) to oversee and manage transportation infrastructure and services. Examples are Transport for London in the United Kingdom and the Land Transportation Authority in Singapore. It makes sense to have an apex authority with powers to hire and retain the required talent and expertise; develop policies, projects and plans that address the mobility needs of residents and visitors; and manage finances so that services are sustainable.

We are in the midst of a mobility crisis, in part because of missing integrated, multimodal transportation planning and management. As a result, commuters face unfriendly infrastructure, inadequate services and problematic connections between transportation modes and across local government boundaries. While there are many separate ongoing transportation projects, these are not linked to a long-term comprehensive transportation strategy and plan for the metropolis under one responsible agency.