Strategic Intermodal System

Florida Department of Transportation


To strengthen the competitiveness of Florida’s economy by focusing resources on the transportation facilities and services that support critical interregional, interstate, and international trips. Development of the Strategic Intermodal System (SIS), which includes highways, railroads and terminals, airports, seaports, and Florida’s spaceport, is a major objective of the 2020 Florida Transportation Plan.

Project Overview

In Phase 1, Cambridge Systematics worked with a 41-member Steering Committee — comprising representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT), other state agencies and associations, local jurisdictions, private-sector companies, and growth management and environmental interests — to designate the SIS and develop a policy framework for future planning and management of the SIS.

In Phase 2, we worked with these partners to identify initial needs and priorities for future investment on the SIS, as well as a financing plan to help the Florida DOT and its partners address these needs. The first Strategic Intermodal System Plan was submitted to Florida’s Legislature in January 2005. The Plan allocates 75 percent of state transportation funding for new capacity to the SIS by 2015.

In Phase 3, we are supporting the Florida DOT and its partners in implementing the SIS, including ongoing partner coordination.

Our Approach

Cambridge Systematics has worked closely with the Florida DOT and its partners to plan and develop the SIS. Among our contributions, we:

  • Built consensus on objectives, approach, and policies among the diverse Steering Committee;
  • Established designation criteria and thresholds for determining the facilities and services that would comprise the system, including transportation hubs, interregional corridors, and intermodal connectors;
  • Defined implementation policies related to prioritization goals and objectives, performance measures, finance strategies, and coordination of SIS investments with land use and economic development planning;
  • Designed, developed, and maintained an integrated geographic information system (GIS) database from more than 70 disparate sources, including an intuitive, on-line mapping application for use by SIS policy makers, stakeholders, and the public;
  • Facilitated ongoing coordination with nearly 40 statewide transportation partners;
  • Developed and led a series of more than 30 interactive public workshops in all regions of the State to develop awareness and elicit feedback from key partners and the public; and
  • Developed communication tools, including videos, brochures, and Internet materials to increase public and partner awareness of and support for the SIS.

Project Results

The designated SIS includes:

  • 3,500 miles of highway;
  • 1,700 miles of rail lines;
  • 25 passenger rail terminals;
  • 5 freight rail terminals;
  • 7 deepwater ports;
  • 1,100 miles of waterways;
  • 7 commercial service airports;
  • Florida’s Spaceport at Cape Canaveral; and
  • 76 intermodal connectors

In addition, an Emerging SIS was identified to focus resources on facilities that do not meet the SIS criteria today, but are experiencing growing levels of activity.

The Florida DOT submitted the first SIS Plan to the legislature in January 2005.