2019 Federal Regional Transportation Plan

Overview

SANDAG is developing a bold new vision for transportation in the San Diego region – one that will lead to a world-class transportation system and more sustainable future. New investments in the regional transportation network will provide people with more travel choices while protecting the environment, creating healthy communities, and stimulating economic growth. In February 2019, the SANDAG Board of Directors approved an action plan that extended development of a new vision for the 2021 Regional Plan to late 2021. 

While work progresses to develop this new vision, SANDAG prepared a 2019 Federal Regional Transportation Plan (2019 Federal RTP) that complies with federal requirements for the development of regional transportation plans, retains air quality conformity approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation, and preserves funding for the region's transportation investments. 

The 2019 Federal RTP builds on the previous plan, San Diego Forward: The 2015 Regional Plan (2015 Regional Plan), with updated project costs and revenues and a new regional growth forecast. The 2019 Federal RTP is consistent with the Final EIR for the 2015 Regional Plan approved by the SANDAG Board of Directors on October 9, 2015.

View the 2019 Federal RTP document.

Key Milestones

  • July 26, 2019: SANDAG Board Meeting, Item 18: Proposed draft transportation network
  • July 22-August 21, 2019: Public comment period for proposed draft transportation network
  • August 13, 2019: Open house for proposed draft transportation network
  • September 27, 2019: Update the SANDAG Board on the federal ruling and recommended next steps for the Draft 2019 Federal RTP preferred transportation network
  • October 4-22, 2019: Public comment period for Draft 2019 Federal RTP
  • October 15, 2019: Open house for Draft 2019 Federal RTP
  • October 18, 2019: SANDAG Transportation Committee, Item 9: Public hearing for Draft 2019 Federal RTP
  • October 25, 2019: SANDAG Board Meeting, Item 14: SANDAG Board adoption of the 2019 Federal RTP
  • November 15, 2019: U.S. Department of Transportation approval and air quality conformity finding of the 2019 Federal RTP

Completion of the 2019 Federal RTP was advanced from its original spring 2020 timeframe to avoid the risk of losing millions of dollars in funding due to a rule issued by the federal government, effective November 26, 2019. The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule Part One enables the federal government to provide nationwide fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for automobiles and light trucks. Prior to this rule, California could enforce stricter greenhouse standards and zero emission vehicle mandates. The SANDAG Board adopted the 2019 Federal RTP on October 25, 2019, so that federal agencies could complete their reviews and issue approval by November 26, 2019. On Friday, November 15, 2019, the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, provided their approval of the 2019 Federal RTP. They determined that all air quality conformity requirements were met and that the Plan conforms to applicable state implementation plans. SANDAG and its member agencies will continue to be eligible for state and federal transportation funding while the agency prepares San Diego Forward: The 2021 Regional Transportation Plan.

Community Involvement

Community input was critical to creating a federal RTP that reflects the varied needs, values, and interests of the San Diego region’s residents and businesses. Input provided during the development of the 2019 Regional Plan – through a series of subregional open houses and workshops, community-based outreach events, and via an online comment tool – provided a solid foundation to start developing this plan.

Outreach for the 2019 Federal RTP used key engagement techniques from the Public Involvement Plan for San Diego Forward: The 2021 Regional Plan, including open houses, use of social media, an online comment tool, and visualizations. SANDAG partners with a regionwide network of 12 Community Based Organizations to engage low-income, minority, senior, and disabled populations in the planning process and a tribal consultation process is implemented with the support of the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association to ensure the region’s 17 tribal nations are included. To learn more about our Community Based Organizations and our social equity efforts, please visit the Promoting Social Equity page. 

Fall 2019: Draft 2019 Federal RTP

The public comment period for the draft 2019 Federal RTP was October 4-22, 2019. Responses to comments are available in Appendix F. On October 15, 2019, SANDAG held an open house for the community to view maps, talk with planners, and provide comments on the draft 2019 Federal RTP. A public hearing was held  at the SANDAG Transportation Committee meeting on October 18, 2019.

Summer 2019: Proposed Draft Transportation Network

The public comment period for the proposed draft transportation network for the 2019 Federal RTP was July 22-August 21 and SANDAG held an open house on August 13, 2019. Information about the proposed draft transportation network was presented at several SANDAG meetings where members of the public were welcome to attend and provide comments: