RPO Bill Introduced in House

Posted on: May 5th, 2011 by NADO Legislative Team

On April 14, 2011, Representative Tim Walz (D-MN) and Representative Richard Hanna (R-NY) introduced H.R. 1565 (http://thomas NULL.loc NULL.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H NULL.R NULL.1565:), a bill to incorporate Regional Transportation Planning Organizations (RTPOs) into the statewide transportation planning process.

Previously, on March 17, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced companion legislation (S 625) (http://thomas NULL.loc NULL.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S NULL.625:). The legislation would strengthen the role of rural local officials in the statewide transportation planning and investment process that would establish and give federal recognition to RTPOs for areas outside the boundaries of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs).  Specifically, the RTPO bills would:

  • Elevate the participation of rural local officials from “consultation” to “cooperation” in the statewide transportation planning process (these words have very specific meaning under the SAFETEA-LU law)
  • Establish a federal definition and basic work program for RTPOs
  • Require state DOTs to designate and fund RTPOs to help address the transportation needs of non-metropolitan areas outside the boundaries of MPOs
  • Allow U.S. DOT to review and comment on state DOT processes for consultation with rural local officials

The goal is to incorporate the language from the legislation into the multi-year SAFETEA-LU reauthorization for federal surface transportation programs being developed by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (highway title) and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs (transit title).

We are currently looking for cosponsors in both the House and the Senate.  Please let us know if you have a Member or Senator that would be interested cosponsoring these bills.

View the updated NADO Fact Sheet on the RPO Legislation.


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