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Regional Transportation Plans

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What is a Regional Transportation Plan?

A regional transportation plan (RTP) outlines transportation investments for a region. It is drafted by a metropolitan planning organization (MPO) or regional transportation planning agency (RTPA) every four years (five years in regions that have attained federal air quality standards) and includes a 20-year outlook for likely growth in the region. The RTP is the basis for state funding of transportation projects. Projects that are not in the RTP cannot be “programmed” for state or federal funding.

Why are RTP’s important under SB 375?

With the passage of SB 375, the RTP must incorporate a sustainable communities strategy (SCS), a regional growth strategy the provides the basis for transportation investments in the region.

The goal of the SCS is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation in the region sufficiently to meet a regional target set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). To do this, the SCS identifies the general location of land uses, residential densities, and building intensities within the region, including areas sufficient to house all economic segments of the projected regional population, as determined by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

The SCS also plays a central role in the allocation of regional housing needs to individual cities and counties within the region. As described above, the SCS must identify areas sufficient to house the projected regional population. SB 375 also requires that the subsequent allocation of housing needs to communities within the region be consistent with the SCS. As cities and counties update the housing element of their general plans every eight years, they must demonstrate how they will plan for and accommodate their housing allocation.

Status of Regional Transportation Plans (RTPs)

Each of the 18 MPOs updates its RTP on a rolling basis. For information about a specific RTP, please view individual MPO profiles, listed on ILG’s SB 375 Resource Center: Metropolitan Planning Organizations webpage.  You can also access each MPO’s website from its profile.

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