How are projects selected for the MTIP?

Projects are selected for inclusion in the MTIP from a variety of sources. Projects that are funded from state or federal funding sources are included in the MTIP after these projects are approved for funding by SACOG, Caltrans, or the California Transportation Commission. If state or local agencies are required to contribute a portion of the cost of each project from state or local funds, these funds must be committed by the appropriate agencies before the projects are included in the MTIP. When local agencies -including cities, counties, and transit agencies- adopt capital improvement programs, the transportation projects in these programs are eligible for inclusion in the MTIP if the local agencies have committed the necessary funds to implement them.

Who is involved in developing the MTIP?

In developing, updating, and amending the MTIP, SACOG works with a number of federal, state and local agencies, including Caltrans, the Federal Highway Administration, county-wide transportation agencies, transit operators, air-quality districts, city and county agencies, and special districts that are involved in transportation project development and implementation.

What are “lump sums” and how do they expedite project implementation for local agencies?

A “lump sum” is a compilation of a lot of minor capital purchases that if listed individually would take up a lot of space in the MTIP (for example, acquisition of heating/air conditioning units for transit buildings, maintenance equipment for buses and light rail computer equipment and software upgrades, etc.). Instead of listing each item separately, federal planning guidelines alow metropolitan planning organizations such as SACOG to “lump sum” these minor capital purchases to streamline the MTIP. These “lump sums” provide a kind of budget for local agencies from which to draw funds and allows local agencies to proceed with high-priority projects and programs with no further action required by SACOG.

SACOG uses lump sum categories that are consistent with federal air-quality conformity regulations (Federal Register: 40 CFR Parts 51 and 93).

How are project priorities set with the MTIP?

When the MTIP is adopted, priorities are set for the projects as follows:

  • All projects (as a group) shown in the first year of the MTIP Action Element shall have first priority.
  • All projects (as a group) shown in the second year of the MTIP Action Element shall have second priority.
  • All projects (as a group) shown in the third year of the MTIP Action Element shall have third priority.

Once projects are included in the MTIP and prioritized by year, no further action is required of SACOG. Project sponsors are responsible for implementing projects within the costs and schedules shown in the MTIP.

How is the MTIP amended?

Occasionally, project sponsors need to make changes in the description, cost, or schedule of a project in the MTIP. Subsequently, they will request in writing that SACOG amend the MTIP. SACOG staff processes these requests on a quarterly basis pursuant to a process for amending and adjusting projects. If project sponsors request amendments to the MTIP that are considered minor, SACOG staff has been given authority to amend the MTIP administratively (or without the need for formal review by the SACOG Board of Directors). Significant changes in the project description, cost or schedule require the formal review and approval by the SACOG Board of Directors.

The “Project Selection and MTIP Amendment Procedures” found in the MTIP describes the process that SACOG uses to process both formal and administrative amendments.

What is “Financial Constraint?”

When the MTIP is “financially constrained,” that means that funding is available and has been committed by the appropriate agencies to implement projects in the MTIP. If implementation of a project depends on the development of a new funding source, such as a new sales or fuel tax measure, the project will not be included in the MTIP until the new funding source has been developed and the funds have been committed to the project.

Metropolitan planning organizations such as SACOG can include projects in the MTIP based on funds that we and local agencies estimate will be made available from existing funding sources, such as federal highway and transit funds, local sales tax measures, and developer fees.

What is “Air Quality conformity” and what does it mean to have a “Conforming MTIP?”

“Air Quality conformity” refers to a set of federal regulations that require metropolitan planning organizations such as SACOG to assess the impact of the MTIP on the region’s air quality. The MTIP must satisfy a number of tests to indicate that implementation of the MTIP will achieve specific reductions in pollutants and that transportation control measures adopted by local agencies will continue to be implemented.

The EPA website provides an excellent resource on this topic.

How do I submit a project for the MTIP?

All agencies use SACTrak, SACOG’s online MTIP database to view, amend, and nominate projects for inclusion in the MTIP. Access is open to anyone. SACTrak is also useful for running reports and seeing the latest status of programmed projects.