Ananth Prasad: What Does the Future of Transportation in Florida Look Like?

By: Katherine Bustamante

Did you know by 2030, 26 million people will call Florida home and our state is expected to welcome 4-5 million new drivers?

That’s millions of new opportunities for job creation, economic diversification, innovation and growth.

But is our state ready?

The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida 2030 research initiative has taken them to all 67 counties, where they have heard from more than 10,000 Floridians on what Florida needs to do to be successful in 2030 and beyond. One of the major topics of conversation that every county in Florida brought up was connectivity. As we think about the future of Florida’s transportation systems, we must also consider a future that includes new ways of thinking about connectivity and how we get around- from better and smarter planning of streets and roadways, to connectivity between air, sea, space, rail and roads.

In 2010, Florida’s public and private leaders identified a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the state’s economy by becoming a global hub for trade, logistics, and export-oriented manufacturing activities.

Since the publication of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Trade and Logistics Study in 2010, the state has invested in strategic transportation projects, created its first-ever statewide freight mobility and trade plan, and initiated innovative programs for employer-driven training and company-specific export development. Initial results suggest these actions, along with a stronger global economy, are increasing trade and creating new jobs.

Florida is on the right track and our transportation systems continue to earn national attention. But to maintain our leadership position, we must ensure that we consider the upcoming innovation, disruptions, challenges and opportunities that 2030 will bring. As the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Trade and Logistics 2.0 found in order to become a leader in global trade, logistics and connectivity, Florida needs a strategy for the future.

Florida’s business community is leading the way toward the future by welcoming innovations, creating jobs, and finding new opportunities to build smarter for the next six million residents than we did for the last six million.

As part of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s continued effort to reach this goal, and connect Florida businesses, I will be joining the Florida Chamber Foundation’s annual Transportation Summit on December 12th in Port Canaveral. You can find out more and even sign up on a transportation issue that matters to you by visiting www.FloridaChamber.com/TransportationSummit.

 

Ananth Prasad is the President-Designate of the Florida Transportation Builders’ Association, Inc.