What We Do

Data and GIS Services

TRPC’s information services program meets a variety of data and information needs of the region. Collection and publication of local population, housing, economic, environmental, and land use information has been an important activity since TRPC was established in 1967. Some of the products and programs available through TRPC include:

TRPC staff commonly receive data requests from businesses, the development community, non-profit partners, students, and staff and policy makers from member jurisdictions. If we don’t know the answer, we’re happy to point people in the right direction.
  • Data Requests: TRPC staff are delighted to answer member and public questions relating to data and trends in the Thurston region.
  • GIS services: TRPC’s GIS team frequently makes maps or crunches data for our members.
  • The Profile: This on-line annual compilation of data and statistics covers topics relating to population, housing, economics, environment, transportation, and local government.
  • Population and Employment Forecasting: TRPC develops updated population and employment forecasts every three to five years. These forecasts are used for transportation, sewer, water, land use, school, and other local governmental planning purposes, and are used by the private sector for business planning. TRPC has been preparing these forecasts periodically since the late 1960s. The forecasts were last updated in 2015.
  • Sustainable Thurston Report Card: This on-line monitoring report covers topics such as community, economy, opportunities and choices, investments, environment, and transportation.
  • Cost of Living Survey: TRPC participates in a cost of living survey every quarter. This survey compares the cost of living of our region to other areas of the country.

Transportation Core Program

Image of traffic on I-5 southbound at the City Center exit with the Capitol Dome in the distance.

Federal and State Responsibilities: TRPC has both federal and state responsibilities in transportation planning and grant funding allocation. These responsibilities and how they function within TRPC are outlined in the section titled Transportation Responsibilities.

Transportation Work Program Priorities: In addition to complying with federal and state transportation planning requirements, TRPC has a long history of funding additional activities that support implementation of the long-range Regional Transportation Plan objectives. Policy makers identify these work program priorities every two years as part of the development of the Unified Planning Work Program. Some key work programs priorities in the coming years include:

  • State of the System Transportation Infrastructure Report: This report is envisioned to be an annual document reporting on the state of transportation infrastructure in the region.
  • Transportation and Health: Continue to work with efforts such as Thurston Thrives.
  • Vision Reality II: Update the Vision Reality report. Analyze the capacity of the current transportation network to accommodate growth as projected, identifying issues and solutions, including funding. Explore how to meet our vehicle miles traveled targets.
  • Transportation and Economics: Monitor and participate in economic policies and activities that have transportation implications.

Contractual Planning Services

Historically, TRPC has also provided contractual planning services to its members. Early records reveal the Council founders envisioned a cooperative effort that would provide members access to a staff with broad, regional expertise. They understood such expertise would be a valuable asset and the means to deliver a variety of planning services to their jurisdictions and organizations. This concerted effort resulted in a staff who has provided a range of both current and advance planning services to member jurisdictions for nearly 50 years.

Competitive Grant-Funded Work

TRPC periodically undertakes grant-funded work relating to Council goals and priorities.  Competitive grant-funded programs currently underway at TRPC include:

  • ruralTRANSIT (RT): rT offers public transportation services for the Nisqually Indian Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, and the communities of Rochester, Tenino, Bucoda, and Rainier.
  • Commute Trip Reduction: TRPC supports approximately 190 worksites in Thurston County affected under the state commute trip reduction law to develop and implement programs that are compliant with local and state law and regional commute trip reduction plans.
  • Climate Adaptation Plan: TRPC is facilitating the creation of a Climate Adaptation Plan that identifies strategies to address climate change vulnerabilities and risks to the natural and built environments.

In addition, when state funding is available, TRPC undertakes the following program under direction of local jurisdictions:

  • Buildable Lands: The legislature added a monitoring and evaluation provision to the Growth Management Act in 1997. This provision is often referred to as the Buildable Lands Program. It affects 6 western Washington counties (Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston) and the cities and towns within them. TRPC was asked to develop the Buildable Lands Report for Thurston County based on its long history of monitoring land supply. Reports were issued in 2002, 2007, and 2014.