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Transportation planning in our region

Who Handles Transportation Planning in Our Region?

For Urban transportation planning, the mechanisms and governance of the process are managed by the RRTPO, the region’s designated Metropolitan Planning Organization.

For Rural transportation planning, the mechanism is a partnership between PlanRVA and the RRTPO.

Both are aligned with Federal guidelines and requirements.

What is a Metropolitan Planning Organization?

MPOs lead the transportation planning process for each designated region in the country. They are responsible for:

  • Prioritizing transportation initiatives
  • Policy-making for financial programming
  • Carrying out the planning process in partnership with VDOT, VDRPT and other partners.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is a federally mandated and federally funded transportation policy-making organization. It’s made up of member governments and a representative group of local stakeholders.

MPOs were created to ensure regional cooperation in transportation planning. They also safeguard that expenditures of governmental funds for transportation projects and programs are made based on "Comprehensive, Cooperative and Continuing (3-C) planning process." Federal funds for transportation projects and programs are channeled through this process. Area highway and transit projects must be approved by the MPO to be eligible for federal funds.

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What is our Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization?

Our Region’s MPO, known as the Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RRTPO), helps facilitate collaboration and cooperation among all interested parties, including residents, in regard to funding and planning the future of the region’s transportation network. It’s important to make transportation decisions on a regional level because people and goods cross jurisdictional boundaries every day. Our "Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA)" is defined by the boundaries shown in the map below.

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RRTPO Core Functions

  • Establish and manage a regional forum for effective decision-making
  • Use data and planning methods to generate and evaluate transportation alternatives
  • Develop and update a long-range transportation plan (LRTP) that fosters mobility and access for people and goods; efficient system performance and preservation; and improved quality of life
  • Develop a short-range transportation improvement program (TIP) to implement the long-range plan
  • Involve the public in regional planning efforts.