Frequently Asked Questions
With transportation and planning officials using numerous acronyms and frequently referring to technical terms, transportation planning can be confusing. To help answer questions that often arise, we have compiled the following list of FAQs to help you understand more about the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) process. Should you have additional questions, please send us an email!
H-GAC is an association of local governments and elected officials in the 13-county Gulf Coast Planning Region. H-GAC serves the public with transportation planning, community and environmental planning, workforce development, and public services. H-GAC also serves as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller Counties.
The 2045 RTP is the region's long-range transportation plan prioritizing transportation projects in the eight-county Houston-Galveston region. Over the next few months, H-GAC will initiate conversations about our region's mobility needs and will actively engage the public for feedback about what our community envisions for the future.
How you get your children to school, shop for groceries, commute to work or pick up your prescription is an every-day decision that affects your daily life. H-GAC projects that nearly 11 million people will be living in our eight-county region by 2045. How will we manage congestion and improve traffic safety? The RTP highlights efforts to safely and efficiently improve your transportation system while conserving our environment.
The primary goals for the 2045 RTP are to improve safety, move people and goods across our region efficiently, achieve a state of good repair, strengthen regional economic competitiveness and protect our natural and cultural resources.
The RTP is developed by H-GAC, our area’s federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization, along with the region’s transportation agencies and local governments. Transportation projects seeking federal funding must be included in the RTP, along with projects that might impact air quality. H-GAC conducts ongoing activities related to RTP development, and continuous public and regional stakeholder outreach is also a crucial component.
If you live or work in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery or Waller Counties, the 2045 RTP impacts you. H-GAC provides a forum for coordinated transportation planning within the eight-county Texas gulf coast region that experiences nearly 180 million vehicle miles of travel daily.
The 2045 RTP will address all surface transportation modes including roadways, bicycle and pedestrian, public transit, intercity bus and freight.
You can get involved with the 2045 RTP process in many ways. Attend a public meeting, submit a public comment, watch the video, follow us on social media, join our newsletter list, and share our information. With an area of nearly seven million people, we need your help to share the word about the regional transportation plan and how to get involved.
The 2018 Call for Projects commits federal and state funds allocated to the Houston-Galveston region to implement highway, freight, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects.Approximately $920 million of flexible funding including the local match is available for programming in the next 10 years (FY 2019 – FY 2028).The Call for Projects application process concluded on Oct. 31, 2018. After the projects are selected, we will host public meetings for public comment and review. Visit here for more information about the Call for Projects.
Transportation conformity is the process that links the State Implementation Plan (SIP) with the regional roadway planning, which occurs in the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).It is demonstrated when projected regional emissions from the transportation plan do not exceed the region's motor vehicle emissions budgets stated in the SIP. While the MPO is ultimately responsible for making sure a conformity determination is made, the conformity process depends on federal, state, and local transportation and air quality agencies working together to meet the transportation conformity requirements. A new conformity determination must be performed any time a transportation plan is amended in a significant manner, when a region's or state’s air quality goals change, and/or every four years.
The Federal Highway Administration defines transportation performance management as a strategic approach that uses system information to make investment and policy decisions to achieve national performance goals. The performance areas include safety; pavement and bridge measures; transit asset management; system performance of the national highway system, congestion mitigation and air quality, and freight. The metropolitan planning organization uses the performance measures to guide performance-based planning in the development of the regional transportation plan.
Transportation is funded in Texas through gas taxes, sales taxes, toll roads, and vehicles registration. For example, if you…
- Drive a gas-powered car, taxes (18.4¢ federal and 20¢ state) are collected at the pump for each gallon of gas you purchase.
- Live in the METRO service area, a 1¢ sales tax is collected to pay for transit services and select local street improvements.
- Use toll roads, your fees pay for operating, maintaining, and improving the tollway system, such as the Westpark Tollway. If you don’t use toll roads, you don’t pay for them.
- Register your vehicle, a percentage of your inspection and registration fees go to the county and state to fund transportation projects.