- 2045 RMAP Frequently Asked Questions
- 2045 RMAP Task Force
- 2045 Public Input
- Other RMAP Considerations
Pima Association of Governments updates its long-range Regional Mobility and Accessibility Plan, or RMAP, every four years. The RMAP serves as a federally mandated planning tool for the region, which encompasses eastern Pima County. The current 2045 RMAP was adopted by PAG’s Regional Council on May 26, 2016.
The performance-based plan provides a policy framework for the investment of anticipated federal, state and local funds, based on anticipated needs and regional goals and objectives. The RMAP is a living document and is intended to be updated and revisited as the region grows and changes, funding sources evolve, new data and analytical methods become available, and different transportation needs and priorities are identified. The plan serves as a blueprint for the prioritization and funding of capital transportation investments
2045 RMAP Update
An update to the 2045 RMAP is underway. This update is designed to continue with the same vision, goals, performance measures and strategies of the current plan. Extensive public involvement was conducted for the 2016-adopted plan. This update will include new population and employment data, as well as updated revenue forecasts.
Established funding allocations from the current plan are being used for this update. As part of this update cycle, each jurisdiction has been asked to review its projects, update cost estimates where appropriate, identify completed projects and restate the priorities for projects identified in the 2016-adopted RMAP.
Current Plan Documents
The RMAP considers major elements of the regional transportation network, including, but not limited to:
- Land use and growth forecasts
- Public transportation
- Congestion Management
- High-capacity transit
- Transportation finance
- Transportation safety
- Bikeways and sidewalks
- Aviation improvements
- Highways and arterials
- Road maintenance
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2045 RMAP Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need a Regional Mobility and Accessibility Plan?
Pima Association of Governments (PAG), as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the greater Tucson region, is federally required to conduct a continuing, cooperative and comprehensive planning process in developing a Regional Mobility and Accessibility Plan (RMAP). This is because transportation is a regional issue with regional implications; the traveling public regularly crosses jurisdictional boundaries to get to important destinations in the greater Tucson region, motor vehicle emissions are not limited to single cities or towns, and the economy of the entire region benefits from the efficient movement of goods into and out of the area.
The RMAP allows the cities, towns and residents of the region to coordinate in prioritizing investments to provide a seamless and inter-connected regional transportation system. Transportation projects receiving federal or state funds are required to be consistent with the Regional Mobility and Accessibility Plan.
What is included in a regional mobility and accessibility plan?
The RMAP is a financially constrained plan that identifies funding priorities and goals for the Tucson region’s transportation system over the next 30 years. To do so, the RMAP contains the following elements:
- Financial plan – The RMAP identifies reasonable expected revenues over the 30-year plan horizon.
- List of projects – The RMAP includes a list of projects which are constrained to those that can be completed within the financial constraints identified in the financial plan.
- Future distribution of jobs and population – The RMAP forecasts the number of people and jobs in the Tucson Region in 2045. The plan also shows where future residents and jobs are likely to be located.
- Goals, performance measures and targets – The RMAP contains a list of regional transportation goals, measures for evaluating our performance in achieving those goals, and quantifiable targets.
- Performance system report – The performance system report will show how the current transportation system is performing with regard to the region’s goals.
It seems that we just completed a Regional Mobility and Accessibility Plan, why does it need to be updated so soon?
Regional mobility and accessibility planning is expected to be a continuing process in order to respond to changing conditions, incorporate new opportunities or project priorities, and to stay current with the region’s transportation needs. Because of this, federal legislation requires that MPOs update their regional mobility and accessibility plans every four years.
The previous RMAP, referred to in the past as RTP, was updated in March 2012, meaning that the PAG region must complete this current update no later than March 2016. Also, since the previous RMAP was updated, a new federal transportation bill, known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) was enacted with new requirements for the plan. The plan should now be updated to be compliant with MAP-21.
We began the process in January 2014 in order to allow adequate time to incorporate all necessary elements of the plan and assess the effectiveness of our transportation investments in meeting regional goals.
How are projects in the RMAP funded?
Transportation funding comes from a mix of federal, state, regional and local sources each paid for through various taxes and fees with its own requirements and restrictions.
- Federal Funds – Federal funds are administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). These funds are distributed to the region largely on a formula basis, though competitive discretionary funds are sometimes available (such as the TIGER grant that helped pay for the Tucson Modern Streetcar). Federal revenue comes primarily from the national 18.4 cents/gallon gas tax.
- State Funds – State revenues collected through the 18 cents/gallon Arizona fuel tax, the Vehicle License Tax, the Diesel Tax and other sources go into the state Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF). HURF dollars are then distributed directly to cities, towns and other jurisdictions with a portion set aside for the PAG region for regional projects. More information about the HURF, including distribution formulas can be found here: http://www.azdot.gov/about/FinancialManagementServices/transportation-funding
- Regional Funds – Regional funds are collected through a ½-cent voter approved regional sales tax in Pima County. These funds are used to pay for projects identified in the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) plan. Since 2007, the RTA has been critical in funding a considerable number of roadway, safety, transit, bike and pedestrian projects in the region. The latest RTA progress is available here: http://www.rtamobility.com/documents/RegionalMobilityApril2013.pdf
- Local Funds – Each jurisdiction within the PAG region also collects sales taxes, property taxes and various fees which are used to provide government services. Some of these funds may be spent on local transportation projects or used as matching funds for projects of regional significance.
What is the relationship between the RMAP and the RTA plan?
The RMAP and the RTA plan are quite different from each other. The Regional Transportation Authority is the fiscal manager of the voter-approved $2.1 billion, 20-year RTA plan. The RTA plan is funded through a ½-cent regional sales tax, with those funds committed to the specific projects and project categories contained in the original RTA ballot. The RTA will sunset in 2026. The RMAP on the other hand, is updated every four years and includes all projects that can be paid for over the next 30 years from all funding sources.
All RTA projects are included in the RMAP.
How does the 2045 RMAP work with other plans? (Plan Tucson, Pima Prospers, the Marana General Plan, etc.)
Jurisdictional general and comprehensive plans are incorporated into the Regional Mobility and Accessibility Plan through the assumed future distribution of population and jobs. In order to plan for future transportation needs, it is necessary to estimate future demand on the transportation system. This is done by using the Arizona Department of Administration, Office of Employment & Population Statistics official county-level projections for Pima County as a control number for the planning year (2045). Growth for each city and town in the region is then projected based on that control. Employment projections are provided by the Eller College of Management Economic and Business Research Center.
Once population and job numbers are established for the region, they are distributed based on the growth areas identified in the general, comprehensive and other plans. The distribution of future jobs and people allows PAG to estimate future transportation needs.
How are projects selected for the RMAP?
Prior to starting the RMAP planning process, PAG puts out a call for projects to all PAG member jurisdictions. Those jurisdictions then add, remove or update projects from the previous RMAP based on the jurisdictional needs. These projects are then considered in the 30-year plan.
How can I follow the progress of the RMAP update and be more involved?
You can follow the progress of the RMAP by periodically checking the 2045 RMAP webpage. The webpage will be updated as new information becomes available.
Also, you will have three opportunities to provide input into the planning process. From January to March 2014, PAG will conduct a transportation survey and host workshops for the RMAP. Beginning September 2014, Phase 2 of the plan will begin with a regional discussion of different transportation investment strategies. Finally, in the summer of 2015, a draft plan will be available for public comment.
How does the RMAP affect me?
Although it doesn’t commit funds to specific projects, the RMAP does set the framework for how transportation tax dollars will be spent in the Tucson region over the coming years and decades. Since everyone who pays taxes in this community contributes to funding our transportation system, this affects all of us. Additionally, our community will evolve and thrive into the future with the transportation investments we make.
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2045 RMAP Task Force
A broad-based Task Force guidec the development of the 2045 RMAP. The Task Force represented a coalition of public and private sector individuals who met regularly throughout plan development. The Task Force reviewed other relevant transportation plans and regional needs and obtained public input. The Task Force served in an advisory capacity to Pima Association of Governments’ Transportation Planning Committee.
For more information visit the 2045 RMAP Task Force webpage.
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2045 RMAP Public Input
Between January and April 2014, PAG conducted an initial survey to obtain public feedback.
View the survey results of the 2045 Regional Mobility and Accessibility Plan Survey completed in April 2014.
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Other RMAP Considerations
PAG's RMAP identifies transportation projects that can be developed with federal, state and local funding and establishes long-range regional strategies to enhance the movement of people and goods across Pima County.
When implemented, the transportation improvements included in the plan are intended to reduce congestion, support economic growth, expand transportation choices, and enhance our environment and quality of life, making this a more efficient, livable, safe and thriving community.
The plan is required to be financially constrained, meaning the projects that can be included in the Plan are limited to those which we can reasonably expect to pay for over the next 30 years.The plan does not commit funding to specific projects, but transportation projects that ultimately do receive funding in our region must be consistent with the plan.
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If you would like more information about the plan, about how to participate in the planning effort, or to schedule a presentation, please contact Jeanette DeRenne at JDerenne@PAGregion.com