The Heartland Regional Transportation Planning Organization received the Jan Johnson Public Participation Award for the Highlands Transit Plan at the annual meeting of the Heart of Florida Section of the American Planning Association Florida Chapter on February 9, 2018. This award is presented to a community or organization that utilized the planning process to address a need in their community. Emphasis is placed on how the stakeholders were involved in the planning process used to solve a problem, address a need, or promote the public interest.
The Highlands Transit Plan, led by the Heartland Regional Transportation Planning Organization, is the first adopted Transit Development Plan for Highlands County. Adopted in October 2017, the plan establishes a strategic vision to guide planning, development, and implementation of public transportation service over the next 10 years. Developed through a collaborative process and based on the community’s vision, the planning process engaged thousands of citizens throughout a 10-month study and collected over 900 surveys that informed the process and the recommendations of the plan.