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Land Use and Transportation

How to Reduce Your Transportation Costs

Go Rideshare!

Visit www.gorideshare.org to find someone else who's going your direction.  Combining trips and carpooling saves!


Go Transit!

Click here to view public transit information for Southwest Michigan.


Click here to view route schedules and maps for the Twin Cities Area Transit Authority's scheduled bus routes.


Walk or Roll!

The Twin Cities Area Transportation Study is working on a long range plan for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. 


Choose to live in an Accessible location!

If it's an option for you, living near where you work and shop is one of the most direct ways to cut down on your transportation costs. In addition to taking account of infrastructure that encourages non-motorized transportation (i.e. walking and bicycling), check out a location's walkscore to see what types of amenities you can access without straying far from your front door.


The Costs of Housing and Transportation

Click to open page http://htaindex.cnt.org/mapping_tool.php#region=Benton%20Harbor%2C%20MI&theme_menu=0&layer1=23&layer2=24 in a new window

Click here for the CNT Toolbox from the Center for Neighborhood Technology, including resources on the topics of:

  • Climate
    • Airhead - How much air pollution do you create?
    • TravelMatters - What are your carbon emissions from transportation?
  • Energy - Building performance monitoring, energy pricing
  • Natural Resources
    • Green infrastructure map creator
    • Stormwater calculator
  • Transportation & Community Development
    • Housing + Transportation Affordability Index 
    • Transopoly board game


Click here to view the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, to see how much money residents of your neighborhood spend out of their household budget for housing and transportation.


Abogo, transportation costs made transparent

Click here to view the average cost of transportation for a household in your neighborhood.







What is INVEST?

INVEST is a free web-based sustainability self-assessment tool that helps transportation agencies assess and improve the level of sustainability of their transportation projects, plans, and programs.  It translates the broad sustainability principles of improving economic, social, and environmental outcomes into specific actions that transportation agencies can implement.



An INVEST user toolkit is newly available as a resource to transportation agencies.  The toolkit can be downloaded from www.sustainablehighways.org under the “Learn” tab.


The user toolkit contains:

  • A fact sheet – provides basic information about INVEST
  • User guide – includes a “quick start guide”, background info, overview of the modules, info on functions such as “collaborate”, tips on setting up a scoring workshop, and examples
  • Slide presentation – offers an overview of INVEST.   You can customize it in order to make a presentation to your own organization or stakeholders.



We did have a short training at the MTPA conference in Holland, but FHWA is also pleased to offer a full day, in-person training on INVEST as well as shorter, 1.5 hour webinar version.  Please let me know if you are interested in training opportunities, we’d be happy to organize this for you.


Case Studies – FHWA Seeking Additional Participants

FHWA has an ongoing research project to develop case studies based on the use of INVEST.  FHWA continues to seek additional participants, particularly state DOTs using the operations and maintenance module, as we do not currently have any projects of that type.  The solicitation for the project and associated funding is available under the announcement selection of www.sustainablehighways.org.  A 50% non-Federal match is required.

This page last updated on 4/8/2020.
Southwest Michigan Planning Commission  
376 West Main Street  Suite 130  Benton Harbor, MI 49022-3651
Phone: 269.925.1137  Fax: 269.925.0288  

Picture Library

Abogo transportation cost map [Click here to view full size picture]
Abogo transportation cost map
red route bus map [Click here to view full size picture]
red route bus map

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