Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) is a federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). As such, TRPC has a host of transportation planning responsibilities and requirements. Among these duties is allocating federal transportation funds specifically set aside for the MPO to distribute to priority projects in the region. Funds are associated with 3 specific federal programs described below.
Regional Surface Transportation Program (STP)
The Surface Transportation Program (STP) provides federal funding for a wide array of transportation needs. Since 1998 TRPC has directed these funds to priority multi-modal projects that improve the safety, efficiency, and/or preservation of the existing transportation system.
Transportation Alternate Program (TAP)
The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is a set-aside within the federal Surface Transportation Program. Previously referred to as Transportation Enhancements, these projects are intended to strengthen the cultural, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of the intermodal transportation system. Eligible project types include Safe Routes to Schools projects, bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs, landscaping, environmental mitigation, historic preservation, scenic highway programs, and control and removal of outdoor advertising. Historically, TRPC has found bicycle and pedestrian projects, including those that support Safe Routes to School programs, to be its highest funding priorities.
Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ)
This program invests in projects that reduce regulated criteria air pollutants from transportation sources. Funds are available for areas designated under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards as non-attainment or maintenance areas. The urbanized area of the Thurston Region is currently classified as a limited maintenance area for PM10 (particulate matter 10 microns or less in diameter). TRPC is required to direct these funds towards cost-effective emission reduction and congestion mitigation activities that provide air quality benefits. To date TRPC has directed these funds towards ‘Smart Corridors’ projects that improve system operations on the Martin Way / Pacific Avenue / 4th / State / Capitol Way / Capitol Boulevard corridor including transit.