Regional Transportation Plan (RTP)

The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) is the region's blueprint for future transportation improvements and investments based on specific transportation goals and objectives defined by StanCOG, the public and elected officials. The RTP is a 25 year planning tool prepared by the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to encourage and promote the safe and efficient management, operation and development of a regional intermodal transportation system that will serve the mobility needs of goods and people. The RTP covers all modes of a complete transportation system, including roadways, transit, bicycle/pedestrian improvements and aviation.

Transportation helps shape an area's economic health and quality of life; it influences the pattern of growth and economic activity through accessibility to land. Transportation also affects other public policy issues, like air quality, affordable housing, jobs/housing balance, and safety among many others. Transportation planning recognizes the critical links between transportation and other societal goals. The RTP process is more than merely listing highway and transit projects; it requires developing strategies for operating, managing, maintaining and financing the region's transportation system in such a way as to advance the region's long-term goals.

As the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA) for the Stanislaus region, StanCOG updates the RTP every four years. On August 17, 2022, the StanCOG Policy Board adopted the 2022 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS).

View Regional Transportation Plan Documents

Environmental Mitigation/Benefits of Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL)1

Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) has been identified as a strategy for shortening project delivery time. The PEL encourages the use of information developed in planning to inform the NEPA process. This can lead to less duplication of effort and more informed project-level decisions.

StanCOG’s member agencies are encouraged to consider the use of PEL to achieve significant benefits by incorporating environmental and community values into transportation decisions early in planning and carrying these considerations through project development and delivery. Benefits include but are not limited to:

Relationship-building benefits: The PEL approach enables agencies to be more effective players in the transportation decision-making process through its focus on building interagency relationships. By encouraging resource and regulatory agencies to get involved in the early stages of planning, agencies have an opportunity to help shape transportation projects.

Improved project delivery timeframes: The PEL approach improves process efficiencies by minimizing potential duplication of planning and NEPA processes, creating one cohesive flow of information. In addition, improvements to inter-agency relationships may help to resolve differences on key issues as transportation programs and projects move from planning to design and implementation.

On-the-ground outcome benefits: When transportation agencies conduct planning activities equipped with information about resource considerations and in coordination with resource agencies and the public, they are better able to design transportation programs and projects that serve the community's transportation needs more effectively. The PEL approach provides agencies with tools to design better projects while avoiding and minimizing impacts on natural resources.

1Source:Federal Highway Administration

Additional information about Planning and Environment Linkages can be accessed via the following FHWA website.

StanCOG Contact

Elisabeth Hahn


FHWA Contacts

Jody McCullough

FHWA Office of Planning

Marisel Lopez-Cruz

FHWA Office of Project Development and Environmental Review