Rural Transportation Planning
The Rural Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) is a voluntary association of local governments and the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) that provides a forum for members to meet, plan, and work together on issues related to transportation in the middle Rio Grande region. It is made up of municipalities, counties, and pueblos in the non-metropolitan portion of the region and acts as the state-required Regional Planning Organization for the area. The Mid-Region Council of Governments provides planning, technical, and staff support to the RTPO.
The following communities are eligible to participate as voting members in RTPO Committee meetings:
Cities: City of Moriarty
Counties: Sandoval County, Santa Fe County, Torrance County
Native Governments: Jicarilla Apache Tribe, Pueblo of Jemez, Pueblo of Laguna, Pueblo of Zia
Towns: Town of Edgewood, Town of Estancia, Town of Mountainair
Villages: Village of Cuba, Village of Encino, Village of Jemez Springs, Village of San Ysidro, Village of Willard
The following organizations are eligible to participate as nonvoting members in RTPO Committee meetings
Associate Members: Chambers of Commerce, Land Grant Communities, TIDDs, Business and Trade Groups/Associations, Economic Development Groups and Neighborhood Associations. Nonvoting Associate Membership must be approved by the RTPO Committee.
Advisory Members: BIA Southwest Regional Office, BLM Rio Puerco Field Office, Federal Highway Administration Santa Fe Office, NMDOT District 5, NMDOT District 6, NMDOT Planning Division, NMDOT Transit Divition, NM State Land Office, NM State Transportation Commissioners for Districts 5 and 6, National Park Service Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, and USFS Cibola Forest , Sante Fe National Foret and Sandia Ranger District.
The Rural Transportation Planning Organization Committee (RTPO Committee) makes recommendations to the MRCOG Board of Directors and the New Mexico Department of Transportation. The committee meets bi-monthly on the second Thursday of the month. Its membership consists of elected officials and their designated alternates. Federal and state agencies with a responsibility for transportation planning and programs in the region are also represented on this committee in an advisory, non-voting capacity.
Committee members come from north west Sandoval, Torrance, and Southern Santa Fe counties. They represent counties, municipalities, and tribal governments.
The goals of the RTPO TAC are to provide a regional forum for cooperative decision making about transportation issues and to serve as liaison between the local governments and the New Mexico Department of Transportation. The committee provides policy guidance, project priorities, and technical assistance in the development of transportation plans and programs that affect the RTPO area.
Current Projects and Services
Call for Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) Projects
The call for Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) projects has been released! The TAP funding category was established under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP 21) and essentially replaces the Surface Transportation Program-Enhancement and Scenic Byway funding categories.
The TAP Program Guide includes information about project eligibility and the criteria that will be used to select TAP projects. In the Mid-Region RTPO, $260,830 in Federal funds is available for TAP projects in FFY14, with a similar amount available in FFY15.
Communities must complete two forms to apply for these funds:
Please note: Communities that have previously submitted applications for Enhancement projects must resubmit using the above forms.
Two TAP Training Sessions are scheduled at MRCOG on Thursday, May 23, at 9:30-11:30 a.m. and at 1:30-3:30 p.m. These sessions will provide detailed information about the TAP program as well as a hands-on discussion of the forms.
The Deadline for submitting the TAP application and PIF to RTPO staff is Friday, June 28. The RTPO Committee will meet to score the applications and program funds on Thursday, August 8 at their regularly scheduled Committee meeting.
The central portion of Valencia County was designated as a newly urbanized area by the US Census Bureau as a result of the 2010 Census. Subsequently, Valencia County and its municipalities voted to join the MRMPO. During the same time period, the pueblos in NMDOT District 3 indicated their desire to join the MPO. This expansion of the boundaries of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Planning Area was approved by Governor Martinez in early March 2013 and has resulted in changes to the RTPO boundaries. The newly designated MPO and RTPO boundaries are shown on the revised map.
Rural Transportation Improvement Program Recommendations
The annual call for transportation project proposals to be included in the Mid-Region Rural Transportation Improvement Program Recommendation has been completed. Six project proposals were received and scored by the RTPO Committee in February. The resulting scores were incorporated into the current Mid-Region Rural Transportation Improvement Program Recommendation (RTIPR) and a 2013 RTIPR was developed.
- Staff continues to meet with eligible local governments and tribes to provide a presentation regarding the RTPO process and products. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation to your council or commission, please contact us.
- RTPO staff currently provides support to the Step Into Cuba Health Alliance in Sandoval County; the Salt Missions Trail Scenic Byway Committee in Torrance, southern Santa Fe, and east Bernalillo Counties; and the Relive the Route (Retro) Committee along Old Route 66 in Torrance and southern Santa Fe Counties.
- We support local organizations as they identify and implement projects that will enhance the Scenic Byways in their communities. The Salt Missions Trail Scenic Byway, the Turquoise Trail, the Jemez Mountain Trail, and the Route 66 Scenic Byway are all in the rural planning area.
Resources for Local Communities
There are a number of resources that local communities can use as they identify their communities' needs and ways to address those needs, search for funding for projects, or navigate the grant and project development process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dues – There are no dues required to join the Mid-Region RTPO.
Matching Funds for Projects – A jurisdiction needs to provide matching funds for transportation projects (if required by the program) if that jurisdiction applies for and receives federal funds.
Land Use/Zoning – The Mid-Region RTPO does not have authority over land use, zoning, or comprehensive plans. The Mid-Region RTPO and MRCOG assist local jurisdictions in these activities upon request. A cost arrangement may be required depending on the extent of the assistance.
MRRTPO, MRMPO and MRCOG…what’s the difference? – The Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) is an organization with several different departments and is governed by the MRCOG Board of Directors. The NM Department of Transportation contracts with MRCOG to provide transportation planning services to the non-metropolitan portion of the MRCOG region. This is the Mid-Region Rural Transportation Planning Organization, or RTPO. MRCOG is the federally designated metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for the Albuquerque Metropolitan Planning Area, so the Mid-Region MPO is another department of MRCOG, as is the Rio Metro Regional Transit District (RMRTD), which has a separate board, the RMRTD Board of Directors.
Contact: Loretta Tollefson, Special Projects Manager - RTPO (