Area of Concern

Future Readiness

Just as the pandemic revealed and exacerbated intersecting crises of climate change, racial reckonings, and economic and social inequalities in society, it also intensified the challenges that public transit systems across the U.S. were already facing—both in terms of ridership and financing. 

At IFTF, we understand the importance of using civic foresight and anticipatory governance frameworks as helpful tools for agencies like public transit. These tools can be used to develop future-oriented strategies and action plans that build and maintain resilient infrastructures and help agencies make informed decisions and policies today that will benefit everyone for decades to come.

In 2021, IFTF partnered with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) on a year-long project to develop a National Transit Adaptation Strategy under a grant from the Federal Transit Administration to support the public transportation industry’s adaptation through and beyond the pandemic. The work aimed to identify mobility needs and target market segments while developing messaging to rebuild confidence in public transportation and increase ridership. IFTF’s additional goal was to explore what it means to build a future-ready public transportation agency that embeds foresight in its plans for rapidly changing rider needs, climate-related shocks, or drastically altered commute patterns resulting from new ways of working.

This newly released study includes research on the major drivers of change and disruptions to public transportation in recent years, a set of future scenarios, and a toolkit for transportation agencies to engage the public in their strategic thinking to tackle current challenges and build a more robust and resilient transportation system for the future. 

To learn more about this project visit SFMTA’s National Adaptation Strategy website. If you are interested in making your organization future ready, contact us or learn how to build your own future scenarios, enroll in our Scenario Building training.

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Engage with IFTF foresight researchers and powerful portfolio of tools and techniques to embrace strategic foresight, navigate large-scale change, and lead your organization toward a vibrant future.

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