The San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) Board of Directors on Aug. 25 approved the 2022 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) and associated documents that will be used to guide the agency’s planning, policy and programming work for years to come
The RTP/SCS is a long-range vision and investment plan that provides a comprehensive look at future transportation needs in San Joaquin County. Future population growth, housing needs, and economic, environmental, and public health goals are all considered in developing the plan that state and federal agencies will now review for approval.
“The Regional Transportation Plan takes a very comprehensive look at a broad range of regional transportation challenges over the next two decades,” SJCOG Board Chair and San Joaquin County Supervisor Robert Rickman said. “The Sustainable Communities Strategy portion describes an investment strategy integrating land use and transportation to reduce greenhouse gases. SJCOG Board’s approval of the RTP/SCS provides regional policymakers with a road map to an array of transportation needs and options which better serve San Joaquin residents and commerce. This directly translates into improved mobility for everyone who lives, works and does business in San Joaquin County.”
In all, the RTP/SCS identifies expected future funding and a package of transportation investments that meet regional mobility and transportation priorities in San Joaquin County through 2046.
“In this timeframe, SJCOG regional planning vision projects $12.7 billion of investments for transportation,” said SJCOG Executive Director Diane Nguyen. “The multimodal investment strategy outlines about 37 percent for roadway operations, maintenance and safety; about 38 percent for bus and rail transit; about 22 percent for roadway improvements; and about 3 percent in active transportation and community enhancements.”
Federal and state regulations require every region in California adopt such a plan for transportation projects to qualify for funding.
SJCOG Board members on Aug. 25 adopted the RTP/SCS, the RTP/SCS Programmatic Environmental Impact Report, the 2023 Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP), and 2023 FTIP Air Quality Conformity Analysis, among other related documents. The previous RTP/SCS was adopted by the SJCOG Board in 2018 and the plan is updated every four years. Some of the policies and supporting strategies laid out in the RTP/SCS include encouraging preservation of natural resources, enhancing the connection between land use and transportation choices, supporting transportation improvements that benefit the regional economy, and preparing the region’s transportation network for technology advancements. Such innovations include increasing broadband to support both work from home and connected or autonomous vehicles, and planning for charging infrastructure to increase the use of electric vehicles.
With the passage of Senate Bill 375 in 2008, metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) such as SJCOG are required to develop an SCS, which must demonstrate an ambitious, yet achievable, approach to how land use development and transportation can work together to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for cars and light trucks set by the California Air Resources Board. As the MPO and the regional transportation planning agency for San Joaquin County, SJCOG has developed a RTP that incorporates the SCS.