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Economy | Tourism

Keeping freight moving is essential to the local economy.

Florida’s economy has diversified significantly in the past decade and the state’s growing population consumes a wide range of goods and services. The MPO considers the importance of freight transportation crucially important to the state’s economic and population growth. The region will continue to be supported and enhanced by a reliable transportation network, and the movement of goods continues to be an essential building block of the state’s economic competitiveness.

The emerging field of freight mobility planning puts goods and commodities in the spotlight. Globalization and new technologies continue to transform economies around the world, and it is redefining the way businesses operate, challenging supply chains and transportation networks, and creating new opportunities for business.

To account for the regionally anticipated growth, the State has developed a freight transportation plan. Traditionally, the plan was dedicated to improving congestion, safety, and reliability on heavily used truck corridors. By doing so, regional agencies and stakeholders collaborate to create a business environment that decreases transportation costs, resulting in overall economic growth.

The freight network is the backbone of the region's economy. An efficient freight network means keeping shelves stocked, packages delivered, and orders filled. 

The regional frieght network connects freight hubs and commercial distrcts to I-75, Port Manatee, Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, and neighboring regions. 

Freight truck volume is measured using average annual daily traffic (AADT) data. Annual traffic volumes are measured on a yearly basis, and that data is divided to get an average daily traffic count for a particular segment.

Interstate 75 and US 41 are the busiest freight lanes in the region, but there are many notable corridors with heavy freight traffic. 

Truck Travel Time Reliability (TTTR) measures the variability of travel time on the National Highway System. TTTR is a ratio of the 95th percentile travel times to 50th percentile travel times. In other words, it shows which segments of the freight network are the busiest and most traveled. 

Tourism is a major driver of the regional economy. The barrier islands are the number one tourist destination. Bridges are the islands' only connection to the mainland, so their maintenance and improvement are vitally important to the region's tourism economy.

Freight/Economy Documents