What do RTPOs do?

RTPO planning must involve cities, counties, WSDOT, transit agencies, ports, and private employers. Among other duties individual RTPOs may perform to serve their membership, RTPOs are required to: Prepare a Regional Transportation Plan Certify that countywide planning policies and the transportation element of local comprehensive            plans are consistent with the Regional Transportation Plan Develop and maintain a six-year Regional Transportation Improvement Program

Additional Information can be found on following links:

RTPO Planning Guidebook RTPO 101 Training WSDOT/ MPO/ RTPO Reference Materials MPO/RTPO/WSDOT Directory for the state

How are RTPOs different than Metropolitan Planning

Organizations (MPO)?

State legislation (GMA) created RTPOs. An RTPO covers both urban and rural areas and receives state funding in support of its planning efforts. Federal legislation created Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). An MPO covers an urbanized area and receives federal funding in support of its planning efforts. MPOs and RTPOs serve the same basic transportation planning functions – develop a long-range plan, coordinate within a region, and prepare a transportation improvement program. The federal MPO and state RTPO requirements of these organizations are complementary. The lead agency for a RTPO is also the lead agency for the MPO within the region (except Lewis-Clark Valley MPO because it is a bi-state organization)

MPOs Relationship to Regional Transportation Planning

Organizations (RTPOs)

In 1990, the Washington State Legislature passed the Growth Management Act (GMA) authorizing the Regional Transportation Planning Program. This program, contained in Part 3 of the Act (RCW 47,80), created a formal mechanism for local governments and the state to coordinate transportation planning for regional transportation facilities. The Act authorized the creation of Regional Transportation Planning Organizations  (RTPOs). This transportation planning mechanism is available to all counties and cities statewide and is formed through voluntary association of local governments within a county or within geographically contiguous counties. As RTPOs are the same organization as the designated MPOs, this integrates the RTPO Program with the MPO Program in UZAs. The RTPO Program extends transportation planning by MPOs to rural areas currently not covered by the federal program. The WSDOT administers these two programs jointly, without duplication. The GMA requires the RTPOs to create a transportation policy board. The board’s primary function is to provide policy direction to the MPO/RTPO and to have representation of major transportation employers within the region. Once the RTPO is designated, it designates a lead-planning agency to staff the RTPO. The lead agency may be a regional council; a county, a city, or town agency; or a WSDOT office. The minimum state requirement mandates RTPOs have representation by all counties within the region and 60 percent of the cities and towns.

Which Counties participate in RTPOs?

There are 14 RTPOs covering 37 of the 39 counties in Washington. Okanogan and San Juan Counties are not part of any RTPO.

What is the WSDOT’s role with RTPOs?

WSDOT provides administrative and technical assistance, supports RTPO coordination activities, and actively participates in the regional transportation planning process.

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