Richmond Regional TPO Study Area Boundary
Study Area Boundary extension approved by the
RRTPO April 13, 2006.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an MPO?
What is the RRTPO?
What is a
study area or
What about transportation planning for
What are the
RRTPO's planning processes?
Federal, State and
Regional Agencies are involved in the RRTPO process?
Legislation guides the RRTPO?
are available to the RRTPO?
A metropolitan planning organization (MPO) is
a regional organization that serves as the
cooperative transportation decision-making and funds-allocating in a
metropolitan area. MPOs are made up of representatives from local governments
and transportation authorities of a metropolitan region.
The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962 required the formation of an MPO for any
urbanized area (UZA) with a population greater than 50,000. Federal funding for
transportation projects and programs are channeled through a planning process
performed by the MPO.
MPOs empower locally-elected officials to ensure that expenditures of
governmental funds for transportation projects and programs are based on a
continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive (3‑C) planning process. Statewide
and metropolitan transportation planning processes are governed by federal law
(23 U.S.C. §§ 134135).
Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RRTPO) is the public
name under which the RRTPO for the Richmond Region operates since October 2,
2014. The official name of the organization is the Richmond Regional
Transportation Planning Organization. The RRPDC serves as the contracting agent
for the Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization, and provides the
administrative and technical staff.
The RRTPO is organized under a
Memorandum of Understanding and
RRTPO annually establishes a Unified Work
Program (UWP) which defines work tasks for the upcoming fiscal year (July 1 to June 30)
and shows staff assigned and funds allocated to the UWPs work tasks. The RRPDC
provides lead staffing and primary administrative and technical support for
Based on these adopted plans, area local governments and transportation agencies prepare
detailed and specific transportation projects.
The primary products of the
RRTPO are a
regional long-range 20-year transportation plan, a 3-year transportation improvement
program, and related plans and studies. Within this regional framework, local governments
and state and local transportation agencies refine these project proposals which are
submitted to the RRTPO for review and approval as part of its Transportation Improvement
Program (TIP). For fiscal year 2000-02, the RRTPO coordinated the development of a $302
million transportation improvement program.
RRTPO is charged under Section 134
of the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1973, as amended, for maintaining and conducting a
continuing, cooperative and comprehensive (i.e., 3C)
transportation planning process that results in plans and programs consistent with the
comprehensively planned development of the Richmond urbanized area. The RRTPO and the
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) annually certify the RRTPOs compliance
with federal requirements for the 3C process, and other federal rules and
regulations, as a condition for the Richmond area receiving federal capital and operating
Various federally funded highway and transit projects that are located within
the RRTPO study area must be approved by the RRTPO
prior to their becoming eligible for federal funds.
Voting membership on RRTPO includes
nine local governments, four transportation/planning agencies, and VDOT. Consultants,
local government, VDOT, and other staffs are also utilized as detailed in the UWP.
Standing and special RRTPO committees review, comment, and advise the RRTPO on various work
tasks and other matters and issues related to the regions transportation needs,
plans, programs, and projects.
A study area (or metropolitan
planning area) is the portion of a region for which an MPO does transportation
planning. A study area encompasses the existing census-defined urbanized area of
a metropolitan region, as well as the contiguous areas expected to become urban
over the next 20-year period. Federal guidelines do not include expliclt
requirements for setting or adjusting study areas. The MPO and the Governor
approve the Study Area Boundary.
The RRTPO's study area includes all of the City of Richmond, the Town of
Ashland, and the counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico, as well as
approximately one-half of each of the counties of Charles City, Goochland, New
Kent, and Powhatan.
The RRPDC also assists rural areas in
their transportation planning through cooperative agreements with member counties and the
Virginia Department of Transportation.
Urban Transportation Process
Projects of Integrated Transportation Planning &
CRACCapital Region Airport
DRPTVirginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation
Transit System (formerly Greater Richmond Transit
MRAQCMetropolitan Richmond Air
public nonprofit corporation that provides carpool/vanpool matching and
other commuter and transportation services.
RRPDCRichmond Regional Planning District Commission
USDOTUnited States Department of Transportation
VDAVirginia Department of Aviation
VDEQVirginia Department of
VDOTVirginia Department of Transportation
ADA of 1990Americans With Disabilities
CAAA of 1990Clean Air Act Amendments
Surface Transportation Efficiency Act; passed in 1991; reauthorized federal
surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety and transit for a
six-year period, 1992 to 1997. ISTEA provided for significant expansion of RRTPO
planning and programming authority and responsibilities.
TEA-21Transportation Equity Act for
the 21st Century; signed into law on June 9, 1998. Authorizes
federal funds for highways, highway safety, transit, and other surface
transportation programs for the next 6 years. Builds on and continues
many of the initiatives established in the Intermodal Surface
Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991.
Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users;
Signed into law on August 10, 2005. SAFETEA-LU guarantees
funding for highways, highway safety, and public transportation totaling $244.1
billion and represents the largest surface transportation investment in U.S.
history. SAFETEA-LU builds on the two landmark
bills that brought surface transportation into the 21st century by shaping the
highway program to meet the nation's changing transportation needsthe
Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and the
Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). The metropolitan
planning provisions of SAFETEA-LU retain most of the previous planning
provisions from TEA-21; however, there are significant changes in several
areas. These new provisions are identified and discussed under various work
tasks in the UWP.
MAP-21Moving ahead for progress in the 21st century; signed into law on
July 6, 2012 (replaced SAFETEA-LU). Funding surface transportation programs at over $105 billion for
fiscal years 2013 and 2014, MAP-21 is the first long-term highway authorization
enacted since 2005. MAP-21 creates a streamlined and performance-based surface
transportation program and builds on many of the highway, transit, bike, and
pedestrian programs and policies established in 1991.
SPRState Planning and Research;
funds allocated to VDOT in support of RRTPO program activities.
Local MatchFunds required by recipients
of PL and Section 5303 funds for matching federal and state grant funds. Section 5303 and PL funds require a 10% match, with VDOT/VDRPT providing
10% and the remaining 80% provided by the federal source.
from the RRPDC (state appropriations and local dues) provided in addition to
required local match funds (sometimes noted as RRPDC overmatch).
funds available from FHWA for RRTPO program activities.
Quality funds also available for eligible planning activities leading to
Section 5303Planning funds available from
the FTA for RRTPO program activities.
Multimodal PlanningMultimodal Planning
Grant; VDOT discretionary grant program (state funds matched by local funds)
providing assistance and support for innovative multimodal transportation
Improvement Fund; purpose of program is to reduce traffic congestion by
supporting transportation demand management programs designed to reduce
use of single occupant vehicles and increase use of high occupancy vehicle
modes; operated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.