Learning about Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPS)

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership recently submitted comments on SCAG’s 2013 Federal Transportation Improvement Plan (FTIP). Key points made in the letters, included the “primary concern is the lack of transparency in the current format of the document that makes it extremely difficult to analyze the extent to which active transportation projects have been included in the project lists. In addition, the document clearly defined the effects that transit and motorized vehicles have on our transportation system and environment but does not clearly illustrate the benefits of active transportation.”

Click here to view our comment letter

SCAG’s FTIP matters to Southern California because this is the project list behind the recently adopted 2012 RTP. When we develop our long-range transportation plans, TIPS are the funding documents that help those projects get fully funded and built. While the long-range plans can go out for 25 years or more, the FTIP is a six-year project list and contains real projects. This is a critical list in understanding what our region is spending its transportation dollars on. Our partners at Climate Plan have developed it an informative TIP sheet for those looking to learn more.

As SCAG works in the six counties in Southern California to implement the 2012 RTP, it is doing so under 2013 FTIP policy guidelines that states, “County Transportation Commission’s (CTC’s) are required to help the region meet these targets. Given the long lead time involved in the construction of transportation projects, it is necessary to prioritize funds now for projects that will help to reduce demand for single occupant vehicle miles traveled and promote less polluting alternatives. CTC’s are strongly encouraged to carefully review County TIP projects and to earmark funding in the 2013 FTIP for projects which help to contribute to transportation choices and promote the development of mixed-use, transit-oriented and other innovative growth. SCAG is committed to take into account the broader goals of the 2012 RTP and its requirements as set forth by SB 375 when creating the 2013 FTIP.”

All over the state, MPO’s are approving their FTIPs. San Diego County will in early September. These are great opportunities to further set up tools and analyses to better understand our transportation funding and spending allocations. For more information, see the Climate Plan Tip Sheet and recent blog post on TIPs or contact us. We welcome your feedback and/or questions.

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