Transportation Responsibilities

TRPC plays an important role in meeting federal and state planning requirements to implement and coordinate the region’s transportation planning activities. This includes working with local, state, and federal government agencies, a variety of stakeholders such as transit companies, business representatives, environmental groups, and utilities, as well as the general public.

TRPC has specific responsibilities under federal and state laws, including the federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) legislation, the state Growth Management Act, and the Washington Clean Air Act. Maintaining compliance with these regulatory requirements ensures continued funding for the regional transportation work programs and local improvement projects.

Beyond compliance with laws, the Council recognizes that transportation does not stop at jurisdictional boundaries. Our residents need a seamless, efficient, well-maintained system that serves their needs –transporting people and goods.

Governance Structure

The Council is the executive board for regional transportation decision making within Thurston County, setting regional transportation policies and establishing regional funding priorities through its dual governance role as the:

On June 2, 2017, the Council adopted Resolution No. 2017-04 to amended its Metropolitan Planning Area boundary to comprise all of Thurston County. On June 16, 2017, Governor Jay Inslee signed a letter approving the revised MPA boundary (effective June 2, 2017).

Map of Effective Thurston Regional Planning Council
Metropolitan Planning Area Boundary

Advisory Bodies

The Transportation Policy Board (TPB)
is the principal advisory body to the Council on all matters of regional transportation planning. The TPB meets on a monthly basis. Its members evaluate a wide range of economic, environmental, and social issues and studies as they relate to transportation and provide informed recommendations to TRPC.

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is an advisory body to the TPB and TRPC staff. It evaluates the technical, operational, and implementation aspects of studies, grant proposals, and certain construction projects and offers recommendations to the region’s policy makers. The TAC is composed of professional transportation planning and engineering staff from local governments and Washington State Department of Transportation.

Documents & Programs Council and TPB are Likely to See...

Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP)
The UPWP describes how TRPC will meet its federal and state transportation planning requirements, and includes discussion of other federally-funded planning efforts that support this region’s near- and long-term goals. The UPWP is a two-year document based on the state fiscal year (July 1st to June 30th), and is updated in even years.

Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP)
The RTIP is a 4-year investment plan of regionally significant capital projects derived from local government’s 6-year Transportation Improvement Programs. This document must be updated annually and adopted by TRPC in October. The Council may also amend the RTIP on an as needed basis.

Regional Transportation Plan (RTP)
The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) serves as a strategic blueprint for the region’s transportation system. It provides an overall analysis of how transportation will work in the region over a 20-25 year time frame and supports coordination among jurisdictions. It also acts as an important tool in meeting state and federal transportation requirements, ensuring continued funding from these sources. The RTP identifies those projects and issues that change the way traffic flows throughout the region, complementing the local planning that makes the roadway network function within each jurisdiction.

Federal Funding Call for Projects
In its role as a federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization and a state designated Regional Transportation Planning Organization, TRPC aims to make its Regional Transportation Plan as inclusive and forward thinking as possible. To assist the region in fulfilling its long-range transportation planning goals in both the urban and rural areas of Thurston County, TRPC has authority to program discretionary federal funds to transportation projects, programs and services that serve local communities.