Connecting Our Future

An effort to create a regional vision for transportation, mobility, and connectivity in the Upstate’s ten counties, led by Ten at the Top

Connecting Our Future is an initiative to engage regional stakeholders in an effort to collectively identify opportunities to enhance the movement of people and goods across the ten-county Upstate region.

The first phase included the development of a Shared Mobility Vision for the Upstate as well as identification of potential regional strategies. The vision was unveiled during a regional event in August 2018. Phase 2 is currently underway and includes refining the strategies and development of a Regional Mobility Coalition.

Connecting Our Future Goals:

  • Reduce Congestion
  • Increase Connectivity & Mobility in the Upstate
  • Move People & Freight Across the Region Safely
  • Improve Quality of Life & Health of Upstate Residents by Reducing Emissions

Connecting Our Future Vision:

“The Upstate will be a vibrant and connected region, where transportation policy and investments promote innovation, sustainable development, and economic prosperity for all residents and businesses”



Phase 1 Recap:

July 2017 – October 2017 Discovery & Understanding: The initial component of this step was a Connecting Our Future Kick Off Event held on October 18, 2017. The program included discussions around the current transportation/mobility landscape in the Upstate as well as challenges, opportunities and future technology and innovation trends. The keynote speaker for the event was Carla Bailo, Assistant Vice President, Mobility Research and Business Development, The Ohio State University.

October 2017 – May 2018 Development of Regional Mobility & Connectivity Vision: This step included the hiring of a transportation consultant to help answer the questions of “What do we need? What do we want? How do we get it? and Who needs to be involved?” An Regional Fact Book was created as a result of this initial research phase. 


In March 2018, the Connecting Our Future Advisory Committee hosted an Idea Exchange at the Michelin Conference Center. This informative and highly interactive workshop featured a series of small group conversations organized around timely topics. Participants learned more about the current state of the region, heard a variety of perspectives on mobility in the Upstate, and joined dynamic discussions to share ideas and collaborate on solutions.

Connecting our Future: Idea Exchange March 19, 2018 – Download Presentation

May 2018 – August 2018 Rollout & Initial Implementation: Following the completion of the regional vision and the public rollout, the real work begins as stakeholders implement the strategies. This step will lead into the long-term effort that will include both local efforts focused around specific areas and modes of transportation and more regional efforts that focus on connectivity and growing the collective capacity.

In August 2018, the Connecting Our Future Advisory Committee hosted the COF Public Rollout Event with over 300 in attendance where the COF Regional Vision was unveiled:

Our Vision:

“The Upstate will be a vibrant and connected region, where transportation policy and investments promote innovation, sustainable development, and economic prosperity for all residents and businesses”

Connecting our Future Public Roll-out August 7, 2018 – Download Presentation

Phase II Timeline:

August 2018 – March 2019 Formulation of Phase II Advisory Committee & Implementation: Phase II is focused reviewing and prioritizing issue areas identified in Phase I. Different strategies and tactics will be identified and reviewed in order to implement projects that have the greatest opportunity for positive impacts in moving people and goods across the Upstate region.


The Connecting Our Future effort is led by a coalition of Upstate stakeholders representing education, transit systems, local governments, economic development organizations, healthcare, conservation groups, and Upstate businesses.


Connecting Our Future Advisory Committee:

Lisa Bollinger, Spartanburg Area Transportation Study (SPATS)

Keith Brockington, Greenville Pickens Area Transportation Study (GPATS)

Scott Craig, JTEKT

Jeff Brown, Greenville Drive

Suzanne Dickerson, SC Council of Competitiveness

Joe Dill, Greenville County Council

DJ Doherty, Mavin Construction

Dave Edwards, GSP International Airport

Lance Estep, Appalachian Council of Governments

Terrance Ford, AT&T

Michael Forman, GSP International Airport

Michael Forrester, Spartanburg Community College

Doug Frate, SCDOT

Michael Gay, Anderson Area Transportation Study (ANATS)

Lisa Hallo, Upstate Forever

Sandy Hanebrink, Touch the Future

Linda Hannon, Duke Energy

Emily Heflin, MAU

Mike Holden, South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT)

Eric Jarinko, Greenville Drive

James Keel, Greenlink

 Butch Kirven, Greenville County

Rob Krulac, CUICAR

John Lummus, Upstate SC Alliance

Frank Mansbach, Bike Walk Greenville

Joanie Martin, Michelin North America

Nicole McAden, Greenlink

Heather Meadors, Auro Hotels

Max Metcalf, BMW Manufacturing

Stacey Mills, USC Upstate Greenville Campus

Keith Moody, CATbus

Barry Nocks, Clemson University

Leesa Owens, Michelin North America

Fred Payne, Greenville County

Keith Scott, Electric City Transit

Sue Schneider, Spartanburg Water,

Gary Shepard, Greenlink

Carter Smith, Spartanburg Economics Futures Group

Katy Smith, Piedmont Health Foundation

Chris Sparrow, Able SC

Todd Steadman, City of Clemson

Todd Steen, Jackson MG

Rick Todd, South Carolina Trucking Association

Adrea Turner, Greenville Chamber of Commerce

Doug Webster, CBRE & Carolinas Alliance 4 Innovation

Gage Weekes, Hollingsworth Funds

Irv Welling, Welling Strategic

Cheryl Wiggins, Fluor

Financial supporters of Connecting Our Future understand the importance of addressing the Upstate’s transportation, mobility, and connectivity challenges.

Comprised of businesses, local governments, community organizations and individuals interested in making a positive and measurable impact on current and future mobility and connectivity in the Upstate, the Upstate Mobility Coalition (the “Coalition”) will support and provide a platform for successful implementation of the Connecting Our Future Mobility Vision & actionable strategies through a Leadership Team and Task Forces.

Learn More About Becoming an Upstate Mobility Coalition Financial Supporter

Connecting Our Future Sponsors

Steering Level Supporters

Luncheon/Kick-off Event Supporters

Clemson University          Mavin Construction               Proterra

Government/Non-Profit Level Supporters

ANATS/Electric City Transit         Anderson County Planning            Carolinas Alliance 4 Innovation

Catbus        Global Autonomous Vehicle Partnership           GPATS

GSP International Airport       Piedmont Health Foundation          ReWa         SC Technology & Aviation Center

SPATS        Transportation Association of South Carolina           Upstate Forever

Media Supporters

Greenville Journal     Upstate Business Journal      WSPA