What Are the Integration Projects?
The Consortium has been working with the state, urban areas and the private sector owner/operators to identify a number of existing funded projects that could promote joint integrated planning efforts.
These projects cover a wide variety of topics within four major areas:
· Catastrophic Planning;
· Critical Infrastructure & Resiliency;
· Information Sharing & Interoperability;
· and Business Continuity.
Why are projects important?
Projects are tangible steps towards building capabilities, focusing discussions and keeping mostly volunteer stakeholders engaged.
As grant dollars continue to dwindle, the states believe it is important to identify those projects that can be sustained long term in partnership with the business community but only if those projects achieve real, tangible, operational value to the private sector and their operations.
This is a new model for integrated planning, but has already produced interest to the private sector as well as coordinated investments.
As an example, in 2011 the Consortium was approached by a private sector rail organization who was interested in a project that addressed rail security needs between Washington D.C. and New York City.
An initial meeting was held in June 2011 between government and private sector rail operators.
The outcomes of this meeting included the identification of common problems and challenges, a shared perspective and intent on possible ways forward, the agreement to work and combine resources to address some of these issues, and the identification and funding of the first project to provide a regional scan of existing plans across public and private sectors in the corridor.
Current, several public and private participants have committed additional funds ($600,000) to the initiative comprised on several separate projects that will integrate together in the future.
This project will not create any new structures that compete with existing associations and other groups within the rail sector, but will only focus on specific projects within the corridor that need to coordinate with states.