Chatting ‘Transit’ at the 2015 Tri-State Transit Conference


Figure 1. Panelists from left to right: Natallia Leuchanka, Shelley Winters, David Walker, Nicolas Garcia, Raymond Blethen.

Earlier this month, stakeholders and key decision-makers from New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine got together to discuss issues, share ideas, participate in training, and collaborate on all issues revolving transit at the 2015 Tri-State Transit Conference.  The conference took place on the beautiful shores of Lake Winnipesauke in Meredith, NH. Conference attendees included representatives from urban and rural transit systems, demand-response providers, planning organizations, state DOTs, and business vendors.

Regional Planner, Natallia (Natasha) Leuchanka, partnered up with RLS & Associates, Inc. to coordinate the conference’s first ever panel on transportation performance based planning (PBP). Performance based planning involves the use of data and performance trends for monitoring progress toward desired outcomes and goals. The panel’s goal was to ‘tell the New Hampshire story’ toward meeting the upcoming Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) federal mandates, as well as its collaborative approach with key partners in the state.

Prior to the conference, participants were asked to fill out a survey, stating which elements of PBP they would like to know more about. The requested themes were: legal updates, strategies for implementing PBP, uses and applications of PBP, and common barriers and challenges. These themes were covered by the following panel speakers:

  • David Walker – Rockingham Planning Commission (RPC)/Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Nicolas Garcia – Region 1 of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
  • Shelley Winters – NH Department of Transportation, Bureau of Rail and Transit (NHDOT)
  • Raymond Blethen – Nashua System Transit & First Transit
  • Natasha Leuchanka – Strafford Regional Planning Commission (SRPC)/Metropolitan Planning Organization

Panelists were happy to share their experiences of implementing performance measures and PBP into their organizational management strategies. All of the panel participants are also part of a broader effort to improve transportation planning and decision-making in New Hampshire, as they are all key partners and stakeholders in the following interagency project: The Collaborative MPO Approach to Transportation Performance Based Planning in New Hampshire.

For SRPC’s presentation, please go to

Copies of PowerPoint and Prezi presentations from other panelists will be made available within the next few weeks.

For questions on SRPC’s performance based planning initiatives, please contact Natasha Leuchanka at