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.
  • How to Develop and Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Action Plan
    This report will assist agencies in developing and implementing a safety action plan to improve conditions for bicycling and walking. The plan lays out a vision for improving safety, examining existing conditions, and using a data-driven approach to match safety programs and improvements with demonstrated safety concerns. This guide will help agencies enhance their existing safety programs and activities, including identifying safety concerns and selecting optimal solutions. It will also serve as a reference for improving pedestrian and bicycle safety through a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to safety, including street designs and countermeasures, policies, and behavioral programs.
  • ITF Report: Income Inequality, Social Inclusion and Mobility
    The International Transport Forum has released a report that evaluates mobility policies that could address transportation-related challenges of lower-income groups. The basis for the report is evidence across countries that lower-income populations tend to suffer more from restricted transportation options that have often have lower-quality services, safety, security, reliability, and comfort.
  • Next Generation Scenario Planning: a Transportation Practitioner's Guide
    This report profiles the next generation of scenario planning for transportation practitioners. It provides a summary of the history, key benefits and driving issues that warrant a scenario-based approach. It includes a framework for scoping a scenario planning process tailored to specific issues and local agency capacity. It also illustrates the different considerations associated with conducting a scenario planning process based on variable future orientations: what is likely to happen (probable), what we want to happen (desirable) and what could happen (uncertain). Finally, it walks through the six-phase scenario planning process and highlights key considerations practitioners should consider when developing and implementing a scenario-based process. The report also includes profiles of recent scenario planning efforts from across the United States.
  • 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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