The new year has brought new hope for brighter days ahead. While 2020 was no doubt a difficult year for all of us, and tragic for those who lost loved ones, we are eager to focus on the future. A key opportunity in that future is to grow our economy by maintaining and improving our nationally renowned transportation system. Our work at MAG to develop a new Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) continues at a rapid pace. Our level of ability to implement this Plan will depend on public support and, ultimately, whether new funding is secured. In 1985, Maricopa County voters approved a half-cent sales tax for transportation. The tax was then extended in 2004 and is set to expire in December 2025. It will be up to voters to determine whether to continue needed transportation investment in our region to further economic growth and prosperity. Our focus at MAG is to identify regional transportation priorities for the next 20 years and beyond. We anticipate completion of the new draft RTP in late summer or early fall of 2021. The plan under development is multimodal to meet today’s needs, but also will endeavor to be future-focused and flexible enough to support emerging technologies and innovations. From 2010 to 2019, Maricopa County grew faster than any other county in the nation, and is the fourth most populous county in the U.S. It is critical that we continue to maintain, improve and expand our transportation infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing region. We will rely heavily on the residents of the region to support us in these efforts. Public input is a key component in developing the plan. The RTP process has been aptly named “MOMENTUM.” Comprehensive surveys have been conducted and additional comments and engagement are being actively solicited through ourmomentumplan.com . We face many other important responsibilities in the year ahead. These include finding ways to address the Valley’s increasing homelessness challenges, protecting the environment, and securing the variety of data needed to inform MAG decisions, among others. I know that I am joined by my colleagues on the Regional Council, the Transportation Policy Committee, and the MAG Management Committee in looking forward to continuing this important work.