Focus Areas

Rural and Small Community Planning


The Rural and Small Community Planning focus area page is a one-stop shop for resources about transportation planning in rural and small communities on the TPCB website. It includes links to publications, legislation and guidance, recent peer events, upcoming calendar events, and related websites.

Resources and Publications


  • NEW  Regional Transportation Planning Organization Fact Sheets. A Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) is an organization that identifies local transportation needs, conducts planning, assists local governments, and supports the statewide transportation planning process in non-metropolitan regions of a State. States are provided the opportunity to designate RTPOs as a method for formalizing the engagement of local officials as they incorporate rural transportation needs in the statewide transportation planning process. View each of the noteworthy practices fact sheets below to learn more about RTPOs.
  • Fact Sheet: RTPO Work Program Development & Content
    Regional Transportation Planning Organizations (RTPOs) that are designated by States as permitted by 23 U nited States Code (USC) 135(m) must meet specific requirements. To coordinate transportation planning activities, a Work Program provides a framework for organizing the annual workload of staff and partner agencies and for documenting how available planning funds will be spent. Many existing regional planning organizations (RPOs) are supported by their State Department of Transportation (DOT) with FHWA State Planning and Research (SP&R) and FTA’s Section 5304 funds. In those instances, the projects will be included on the SP&R program. This fact sheet provides examples of where rural regional planning organizations demonstrate the work they are accomplishing.
  • Fact Sheet: RTPO Transportation Improvement Program Development
    A Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) is required to develop a regional TIP (RTIP) for consideration by the State. The State must cooperate with RTPOs. For affected nonmetropolitan local officials, the State must consult to determine projects that may be of regional significance. This Fact Sheet illustrates examples of existing regional planning agencies that develop RTIPs and how projects from these plans have been incorporated into their STIPS.
  • Fact Sheet: RTPO: A Statewide Approach to Transportation Planning that Works
    Many States already have regional planning partnerships established in their non-metropolitan areas. These organizations vary in how they address organizational structure and planning responsibilities. This Fact Sheet illustrates successful practices observed in existing non-metropolitan planning organizations based on five areas of approach.
  • View the Briefing Book Non-Metropolitan Local Officials Consultation - The webpage describes the role of non-metropolitan local officials in the statewide transportation planning process.
  • The Transportation Planning Process: Key Issues (the "Briefing Book") - The "Briefing Book" is a primer to help you better understand Federal transportation planning regulations and requirements at the statewide and metropolitan planning levels.

Click here to access a full list of Legislation, Regulations, and Guidance related to rural and small community planning on the TPCB website.

Calendar of Events

Check the calendar

Peer Event Reports

The TPCB peer program is a free resource for agencies in need of transportation planning assistance. Visit the peer program page to learn more or apply for a peer event.

Related Websites and Organizations


For more information about the TPCB program, please email TPCB@dot.gov.

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