Products, Services, and Data

Transportation System Components

Transportation is the “act or means of carrying people or goods from one place to another.1

The role of a transportation system is to provide an effective and efficient way of doing this. Like any “system,” a transportation system is comprised of multiple, interconnected components, each of which serves a unique role, while also supporting the other components.

In Communities in Motion 2040 2.0, COMPASS focuses on four transportation components and how they work in tandem to comprise a complete transportation system:


Appropriate bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is an integral part of a comprehensive transportation system. Providing for bicyclists and pedestrians contributes to a healthy community and supports other transportation components by reducing the number of cars on the road – thus reducing both congestion and maintenance needs – and providing for the “first and last mile” – that portion of a trip before and after a person uses public transportation or parks their private vehicle.

Learn more about bicycle and pedestrian planning and COMPASS’ bicycle/pedestrian counters.

Freight (movement of goods)

The movement of freight is integral to the regional economy and is changing rapidly with ever-increasing home deliveries, new technologies that affect manufacturing processes, and more. COMPASS is planning for a transportation system that considers freight needs, allows for the safe and efficient movement of freight vehicles, and provides for safe interactions between freight vehicles and other users of the transportation system.  

Learn more about freight planning.

Public Transportation

Public transportation – locally comprised of buses and commuter vans – serves an integral role in the overall transportation system. Public transportation supports other transportation components by taking single-occupancy vehicles off the road and providing transportation services for those who cannot, or choose not to, drive personal vehicles.

Learn more about public transportation planning.


Roadways are the backbone of the transportation system in Ada and Canyon Counties. Cars, buses, commuter vans, and freight vehicles rely on our roadways. In addition, bike lanes and sidewalks along roadways provide a significant portion of our local bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. How to best accommodate all transportation needs is considered when planning and designing roadways.

All transportation needs should be considered when designing roadways and means of meeting those needs must be intentionally built into the transportation system design. One example of discussing how all these transportation system components merge is the concept of “complete streets.” The idea of complete streets is to plan and design roadways with an appropriate balance for all users – bicyclists and pedestrians, public transportation users, freight, and auto users. A key premise of complete streets is to plan roadways within the framework of the entire transportation system. That is, each individual roadway does not need to serve all needs for all users – one road can be designed to maximize the efficiency for freight traffic, while a parallel route can be designed to maximize efficiency for bicyclists.

View COMPASS’ complete streets policy here.

View COMPASS’ report on pedestrian, bicycle, and transit complete streets level of service here.

Learn more about roadway planning.

To learn more about the Communities in Motion 2040 2.0 components, contact Liisa Itkonen or call 208/475-2241.