Click the image to view a presentation of SRTC's roles and responsibilities.
Legislation Authorizing SRTC
SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization
(MPO) and the state designated Regional Transportation Planning
Organization (RTPO) for Spokane County. Federal law requires any
urbanized area with a population greater than 50,000 to have an
MPO to ensure that transportation expenditures are based on a
continuing, cooperative and comprehensive planning process. Federal funds for transportation projects and programs are channeled through this planning process and awarded to local agencies and jurisdictions dealing with transportation.
RTPOs serve the same basic transportation planning functions as MPOs, but were created by state legislation. An RTPO covers both urban and
rural areas and receives state funding in support of its planning efforts.
State and Federal legislation dealing with MPOs and RPTOs include:
MPOs and RTPOs are directed by a board of elected officials, and maintain a staff of transportation professionals who plan for their region’s accessibility and mobility. Staff members work to collect transportation data, project the need for infrastructure, and prioritize projects based on available funding.
MPOs and RTPOs do not have the authority to directly tax or implement user fees. We depend on budget appropriations from the federal and state government and collect membership dues from our partner jurisdictions.
SRTC Partners/Service Area
As a local intergovernmental agency, SRTC encourages coordination and collaboration between planning and transportation departments at our partner agencies, including the City of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Spokane County, the Washington State Department of Transportation, Spokane Transit, and small cities and towns in order to assure connectivity throughout Spokane County. An Interlocal Agreement between these agencies shows our commitment to working together to provide each other, and the public, with quality transportation services.
SRTC’s service area is all of Spokane County. Services SRTC offers include census information and analysis, air quality conformity and analysis, historical traffic count data analysis, transportation concurrency review or analysis, geographic information services such as mapmaking and demographic analysis, transportation analysis zone data, and travel demand forecasting.
In addition, SRTC performs planning functions for other modes of transportation beyond the formal planning process for road improvements. Some of these duties are required in order to receive federal funding. In addition to these prescribed duties, SRTC undertakes special studies to remedy specific transportation issues, promote changes in the community, plan for transit services for the disabled and transportation disadvantaged or other tasks as directed by the SRTC board.
Travel Demand Modeling- One of SRTC’s most crucial services is travel demand modeling. Modeling is a method of forecasting how the public will use the transportation system now and in the future. Modeling involves the use of computer software to represent how travel choices are made. The Travel Demand Model contains inventories of the existing roadway facilities and of all housing, shopping and employment in the area. Using the model, transportation planners can estimate future traffic volumes in order to be proactive in managing traffic congestion and building transportation facilities to accommodate demand. Those facilities can include roads, public transit park and ride lots, bike lanes and more.
Geographic Information Systems- GIS also constitutes a large part of what we do at SRTC. GIS staff perform many duties, including storing and maintaining datasets such as road features, Transportation Analysis Zones (TAZs), building permits, accident locations, bikeways/trails, and a large amount of other information. GIS staff also develop maps for transportation plans and documents, creating an inventory of existing and proposed non-motorized facilities, mapping data from the Travel Demand Model and maintaining and tracking Federal Roadway Functional Classifications.
Additional Services- In addition to the duties described above, SRTC also provides Legislative (Congressional and State) bill review and analysis to our partners, consultant management, transit planning assistance, Information Technology services, project development assistance, advocacy for projects of regional significance and regional representation on statewide competitive funding.