TRPC’s Role in Funding Regional Transportation Projects
The transportation network is a complex system of roads, highways, transit systems, trails, and bicycle facilities that connect people to homes, jobs, schools, shopping, recreation and more. These types of facilities and programs are expensive to build, maintain and operate, and are typically funded by a complex variety of local, state and federal money – often with “strings” attached to its use. Some federal funds come directly to the Thurston Region for use on local priorities and projects, while others get coordinated by the state or other regional partners.
Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) is a federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which means that TRPC has a host of transportation planning responsibilities and requirements. Among these duties is allocating federal transportation funds specifically set aside for the MPO to distribute in the Region. The funds are divided into four general categories listed below.
Regional Surface Transportation Program (STP)
The Surface Transportation Program (STP) provides federal funding for a wide array of transportation needs. TRPC, in its role as Metropolitan Planning Organization, is responsible for programming those funds onto priority transportation projects.
In 2013, TRPC will program $3.8 million onto priority projects that support the multi-modal safety, preservation, and efficiency needs of the region’s transportation system.
2013 STP Project Review And Selection Process
Transportation Alternate Program (TAP)
The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is a set-aside within the federal Surface Transportation Program. Enhancements projects are intended to strengthen the cultural, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of the intermodal transportation system. Eligible project types include Safe Routes to Schools projects, bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs, landscaping, environmental mitigation, historic preservation, scenic highway programs, and control and removal of outdoor advertising.
In 2013, TRPC will program $400,000 onto priority regional TAP projects.
2013 TAP Project Review and Selection Process
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ)
This program invests in projects that reduce regulated criteria air pollutants from transportation sources. Funds are available for areas designated under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards as non-attainment or maintenance areas. States and MPOs who receive these funds are required to prioritize cost-effective emission reduction and congestion mitigation activities that provide air quality benefits. The urbanized area of the Thurston Region is currently classified as a maintenance area for PM10 (particulate matter 10 microns or less in diameter).
All projects selected for funding by TRPC will be monitored to insure steady progress is being realized. This status of existing projects will be updated periodically.