Rob Henry, executive director of the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVF), attended the Chester County Planning Commission’s board meeting on July 10th and discussed the role of his agency and its partnership with the county.
The 29-year-old GVF is one of two TMAs that serve portions of Chester County; it’s one of nine TMAs in Pennsylvania. The other local TMA is the Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC), which Henry described as a “sister agency.”
GVF, a nonprofit organization, was “created to advocate and promote a viable transportation network for the region’s economic vitality” with the help of private and public partners, according to its website.
GVF has been promoting the importance of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) initiatives that provide people with transportation alternatives such as using public transit, ridesharing, walking, biking, and telecommuting. The organization aims “to reduce congestion and secure economic growth for the region by reducing the number of cars on the road using TDM strategies,” states its website. Learn more about TDM.
The award-winning organization has six employees who run robust public outreach and marketing campaigns to get their messages out. In addition to the TDM webpage, the organization manages a Philly Traffic website, which has live traffic cameras that provide information about all major roadways in the region. GVF also contracts with PennDOT to manage websites about improvements to the Route 422 Corridor and Route 202.
GVF also manages shuttle systems such as the Upper Merion Rambler that is provided by Upper Merion Township to its residents. In the past year, GVF’s shuttle management has prevented over 600,000 vehicle miles. “With over two decades of shuttle management experience, GVF has managed over 1 million trips for Fortune 500 companies, universities, national parks and local government,” states the organization’s website.
Henry said his agency has worked with the county on several projects such as Landscapes3, the county’s new comprehensive plan, and VISTA 2025, the county’s 10-year economic development strategy. GVF also worked with the county on the Phoenixville Region Multimodal Transportation Plan that has provided multimodal solutions for that region.
Henry noted that GVF presented the county with the Planning Leadership Award at its May annual meeting, based on the newly adopted Landscapes3 and the county’s support of smart transportation options. GVF also nominated the county for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s Air Quality Partnership Excellence award, which Commissioners’ Chair Michelle Kichline accepted on behalf of the Board of Commissioners during GVF’s Bike to Work Day event in May. Kichline is an ex-officio member of GVF’s board of directors.
GVF is currently involved with several projects in Chester and Montgomery counties, including a proposal to extend SEPTA’s existing Norristown High Speed Line to King of Prussia and a TDM campaign that focuses on educating employers along the 422 Corridor about ways to reduce traffic congestion. GVF is partnering with Valley Forge Middle School, which is part of the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District, “to promote walking and biking to school and instructing the next generation of commuters on the value of walking and biking as an alternate mode of travel,” Henry said.
“GVF is an important partner,” said Planning Commission Executive Director Brian O’Leary. “TDM is overlooked in some ways, and we’re all trying to provide more options to help people move around.”