S 625

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 625

To amend title 23, United States Code, to incorporate regional transportation planning organizations into statewide transportation planning, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 17, 2011

Ms. KLOBUCHAR (for herself and Mr. ALEXANDER) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works


A BILL

To amend title 23, United States Code, to incorporate regional transportation planning organizations into statewide transportation planning, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLANNING ORGANIZATIONS.

    (a) Definitions- Section 134(b) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by redesignating paragraphs (5) and (6) as paragraphs (6) and (7), respectively; and

      (2) by inserting after paragraph (4) the following:

      `(5) REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLANNING ORGANIZATION- The term `regional transportation planning organization' means the policy board of an organization established or designated under section 135(k).'.

    (b) Additional Requirements- Section 135(e) of such title is amended--

      (1) in the matter preceding paragraph (1) by striking `consider';

      (2) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:

      `(1) with respect to nonmetropolitan areas, cooperate with affected nonmetropolitan local officials with responsibility for transportation through regional transportation planning organizations;';

      (3) in paragraph (2) by striking `the concerns' and inserting `consider the concerns'; and

      (4) in paragraph (3)--

        (A) by striking `coordination of' and inserting `coordinate'; and

        (B) by striking `the transportation improvement program' and inserting `transportation improvement programs'.

    (c) Long-Range Statewide Transportation Plan- Section 135(f)(2) of such title is amended--

      (1) by striking subparagraph (B) and inserting the following:

        `(B) NONMETROPOLITAN AREAS- With respect to nonmetropolitan areas, the statewide transportation plan shall be developed in cooperation with affected nonmetropolitan local officials with responsibility for transportation through regional transportation planning organizations.'; and

      (2) in subparagraph (D)(i), by striking `and local agencies responsible for' and inserting `regional, and local agencies responsible for economic development, emergency management, transportation planning,'.

    (d) Statewide Transportation Improvement Program- Section 135(g) of such title is amended--

      (1) in paragraph (2), by striking subparagraph (B) and inserting the following:

        `(B) NONMETROPOLITAN AREAS- With respect to each nonmetropolitan area in the State, the program shall be developed in cooperation with affected nonmetropolitan local officials with responsibility for transportation through regional transportation planning organizations.'; and

      (2) in the first sentence of paragraph (5), by inserting `through regional transportation planning organizations' before the period at the end.

    (e) Funding- Section 135(h) of such title is amended by striking `section 104(f)' and inserting `sections 104(f) and 505'.

    (f) Designation of Regional Transportation Planning Organizations- Section 135 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(k) Designation of Regional Transportation Planning Organizations-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- To carry out the transportation planning process required under this section, States shall establish, designate, and use amounts made available to the State to carry out this section to fund regional transportation planning organizations to enhance the planning, coordination, and implementation of statewide transportation plans and programs, with an emphasis on addressing the needs of nonmetropolitan areas of the State.

      `(2) STRUCTURE- Each regional transportation planning organization shall be established as a multi-jurisdictional organization of nonmetropolitan local officials or their designees who volunteer for such organization and representatives of local transportation systems who volunteer for such organization.

      `(3) MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING- Each regional transportation planning organization shall be formed by a memorandum of understanding between the State and nonmetropolitan local officials or as otherwise provided under State law.

      `(4) FUNCTION- Each regional transportation planning organization shall work cooperatively to plan, coordinate, and implement transportation systems in nonmetropolitan areas.

      `(5) REQUIREMENTS- Each regional transportation planning organization shall establish, at a minimum--

        `(A) a policy committee, the majority of which shall be comprised of nonmetropolitan local officials, or their designees, and which shall include, as appropriate, additional representatives from the State, private business, transportation service providers, economic development practitioners, and the public in the region; and

        `(B) a fiscal and administrative agent, such as an existing regional planning and development organization, to provide professional planning, management, and administrative support.

      `(6) DUTIES- The regional transportation planning organization shall--

        `(A) ensure that nonmetropolitan local officials are meaningfully involved in the statewide transportation planning process;

        `(B) develop and maintain, in cooperation with the State, regional long-range multimodal transportation plans;

        `(C) develop a regional transportation improvement program for consideration by the State;

        `(D) foster the coordination of local planning, land use, and economic development plans with State, regional, and local transportation plans and programs;

        `(E) provide technical assistance to local officials;

        `(F) participate in national, multi-State, and State policy and planning development processes to ensure the regional and local input of nonmetropolitan areas;

        `(G) provide a forum for public participation in the statewide and regional transportation planning processes;

        `(H) consider and share plans and programs with neighboring regional transportation planning organizations, metropolitan planning organizations, and, as appropriate, tribal organizations; and

        `(I) conduct other duties, as necessary, to support and enhance the statewide planning process described in subsection (d).'.

END