State law created the Riverside County Transportation Commssion (RCTC) in 1976 to oversee funding and coordination of all public transportation services within Riverside County. (See generally, Division 12 of the Public Utilities Code entitled “County Transportation Commissions” beginning at Section 130000).
RCTC recommends projects that will be federally funded under the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Community Strategies (RTP/SCS). The RTP/SCS identifies strategies to meet mobility of all modes, legislative, financial, and air quality requirements in the six county area the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). RCTC identifies long range transportation improvement projects beyond those already programmed in the six-year federal funding plan. RCTC coordinates the input provided to SCAG with local agencies in order to ensure consistency with city and county transportation plans and projects.
RCTC also serves as the tax authority and implementation agency for Measure A, a voter-approved ½ cent sales tax, passed in 1988 and in 2002 renewed by voters through 2039.
RCTC’s transportation work is integrated with Riverside County’s innovative, first-of-its-kind multi-species habitat conservation plan. The Community Environmental Transportation Acceptability Process (CETAP) helps focus investments and leverage regulatory streamlining (with pledged streamlining support from the federal government) in critical transportation corridors.
Additionally, RCTC also serves its communities in the following ways:
RCTC programs projects for State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) funds, including special funds created by the state for programs like bicycle and pedestrian facilities and specialized transit for seniors and persons with disabilities.
Local project selection: In some cases local agencies and non-profits are eligible to apply for funds on a competitive basis. RCTC develops evaluation criteria are based on federal or state guidance and selects or recommends the most competitive projects based on this criteria.
Local Transportation Fund (Transportation Development Funds): RCTC distributes funds to public transit operators (including the Commission for its share of Metrolink operations costs) for planning, program administration, bicycle and pedestrian facilities projects, public bus transit, and rail transit.
Congestion Management Program: The CMP looks at the links between land use, transportation and air quality. Working with SCAG, RCTC prepares and updates the CMP to meet federal and state standards. RCTC relies on an enhanced traffic monitoring system of traffic counters at call boxes and Caltrans traffic monitoring sites to use immediate data to monitor the highway system.
RCTC also participates in Mobility 21, a regional Southern California transportation advocacy group.
Primary Funding Sources:
Local transportation tax, local mitigation fees, federal and state transportation funds
29: one county and 28 cities
RCTC Project Center–A quick reference map to see what is in the planning and project pipeline in Riverside County.
91 Project Fast Forward–RCTC is leading a project to ease congestion along SR-91, which ranks among the nation’s worst commutes. The project adds tolled express lanes, regular lanes,. and direct express lane connectors. When complete, the project will reduce congestion, create jobs, and provide access to transit and trails.
Coachella Valley-San Gorgonio Pass Rail Corridor Services–RCTC is studying the feasibility of providing intercity rail services between Los Angeles and the desert cities in the Coachella Valley. Approximately 141 miles long, this service would safe and efficient mode of travel for the approximate 130,000 daily trips made between the corridor. As employment and tourism booms in both regions, the mobility challenges grow and the demand for rail service increases. The Coachella Valley-San Gorgonio rail service provides a comfortable travel option that eases congestion, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves air quality.
The current RCTC Board has 34 members. The governance structure is defined in Sections 130053 to 130053.7 of the Public Utilities Code. The commission includes all five members of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and one mayor or council member from each incorporated city. Each board member has one vote. In addition, the Governor may appoint one nonvoting member for a maximum of two four year terms.
Each voting member may appoint an alternate with 24 hours notice. In addition, any voting board member may call for a weighted vote for an item, which requires the item to be approved simultaneously in three ways: (1) by a majority of the board members present who represent the county board of supervisors; (2) by a majority of the commission members present who represent cities in Riverside County who each shall have one vote; and (3) by a number of commission members present who represent a majority of the city-based population (population of city/total population of incorporated areas in Riverside County using Department of Finance data).
CALCOG Board Representative:
Lisa Middleton, Council Member, City of Palm Springs