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1120 N Street, MS-52
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 654-4245
Fax: (916) 653-2134

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Transportation Planning

Along with its role to program and allocate transportation funds and advise the Secretary of the California State Transportation Agency and the Legislature to formulate and evaluate state transportation policies; the Commission is actively involved in the following transportation planning-related activities:


Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) Guidelines

Regional Transportation Plans (RTPs) are prepared by regional agencies to identify a 20-year vision for transportation priorities and investments. Federal and state requirements for the development of RTPs have been in law since the 1970’s, with additional requirements added over the years.

California Government Code Section 14522 requires the Commission to adopt guidelines for the development of RTPs. The RTP Guidelines were first adopted by the Commission in 1978. Since then, the guidelines have been updated as needed.

Most recently, in 2016 the Commission began the process of updating the RTP Guidelines through a stakeholder-driven and transparent public process. Hundreds of stakeholders representing federal, state, regional, local agencies, and tribal organizations, as well as private sector representatives and advocacy organizations, were engaged to provide perspectives and develop guidance. As required by Government Code Section 14522.1(a) (2), the Commission stakeholder workgroup specifically included representatives of the metropolitan planning organizations, Caltrans, organizations knowledgeable in the creation and use of travel demand models, local governments, and organizations concerned with the impacts of transportation investments on communities and the environment.

Interagency and workgroup meetings throughout California were held to facilitate broad stakeholder input. A wide-range of issues were discussed through the workgroup process including a comprehensive update of the regional travel demand modeling chapter to reflect current state of practice; development of guidance regarding new federal metropolitan planning requirements stemming from the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015, including new performance measures and performance-based planning; and pursuant to AB 441 (Monning, 2012), new resources and state of practice information for the consideration of health and health equity in the RTP process.

On January 18, 2017, the Commission adopted the 2017 Regional Transportation Plan Guidelines for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs), links to the documents are available below:

(Please note, the RTP Guidelines contain links in the Table of Contents and wherever a chapter, section, or appendix is referenced.  Also, the Adobe Reader "Bookmarks" tool can assist in navigating the document. These features are intended to facilitate navigation and make the document more user friendly)

2017 RTP Guidelines for MPOs

2017 RTP Guidelines for RTPAs

Additional background information regarding the RTP Guidelines development process is available on Caltrans Regional Transportation Plan Liaison Branch web page.



California Transportation Plan (CTP) Guidelines

SB 486 (DeSaulnier, 2014) authorized and encouraged the Commission, in cooperation with Caltrans, to prepare guidelines for the development of the CTP. The Commission, in collaboration with Caltrans, established a format, strategy, and time line for the development of CTP Guidelines to clearly outline the federal and state requirements for the plan and to inform preparation of the next CTP which is due by December 2020. The CTP Guidelines are currently being developed through a transparent public process with input from, and in direct consultation with, staff from Caltrans, the Air Resources Board, and other state and federal agencies as well as a broad coalition of stakeholders including: regional and local governments, the private sector and business community, and social equity and environmental advocates.

The primary purpose of the CTP Guidelines is to provide high-level direction to Caltrans on the development of the next CTP. The CTP Guidelines are being developed to identify the federal and state requirements necessary for the preparation of a statewide long-range transportation plan, including Governor’s Executive Orders and other state policies impacting transportation.

For questions or comments on the 2017 CTP Guidelines development process, please contact Laura Pennebaker, Associate Deputy Director at (916) 653-7121 or


2017 Final Adopted CTP Guidelines

2017 CTP Guidelines Development Timeline

  • June 30 – RTP/CTP Guidelines Kickoff Meeting in Sacramento
  • July 6 – Release the 1st draft of the CTP Guidelines for public review until August 5
  • July – November – Workgroup Meetings Click here for Workgroup Schedule
  • July 13 -14 – Workgroup Meeting
  • August 5 - 1st Draft Comments Due
  • August 11 – Workgroup Meeting
  • September 21 – Release the 2nd draft of the CTP Guidelines for public review until October 14
  • October/November – Workgroup Meetings
  • October 14 – 2nd Draft Comments due
  • April 5 – Release Final Draft of the CTP Guidelines for public review until April 14
  • May 17, 2017 – Commission considers final CTP Guidelines for adoption
    • Click here for Staff Report and Final Draft CTP Guidelines