The Lake Tahoe Region is a uniquely complex transportation planning landscape. Visitation from outside the Region is the main driver of the Lake Tahoe Region’s $5 billion annual economy, based largely on seasonal tourism and outdoor recreation. But it also puts metropolitan-level travel demands on the Region’s limited and largely rural transportation system. During peak times of visitation, Tahoe’s roads clog with traffic and parking demands exceed capacity at recreation sites. This seasonal influx of motorists has consequences for the environment, for local communities and their mobility, and for air and water quality.
As the Tahoe Region’s federally-designated metropolitan planning organization and the bi-state agency that California and Nevada created 50 years ago to manage growth, development, and land use in the Tahoe watershed, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) plays a leading role in identifying solutions for the Region’s transportation challenges.
This integration can be seen when mixed-use development is concentrated in town centers, affordable and achievable workforce housing for residents is incentivized, and town centers and recreation sites are connected with biking, walking, and transit options. As a result, the Region achieves economic vitality, community revitalization, and environmental restoration and conservation goals. These actions also serve to meet California and Nevada targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
While TRPA has these planning and regulatory authorities, the Region is most effective at achieving shared goals when work is completed by the Region’s many private, community, and local, state, and federal government partnerships, which support the quality of life for residents, employees, and visitors.
Strong and growing partnerships and collaborations in place are the foundation for the Tahoe Region to make transformative transportation improvements a reality and to deliver a world-class transportation system that complements and enhances Tahoe’s environment, communities, and outdoor recreation opportunities.
Opportunities for the public to engage with TRPA include ongoing workshops and events, surveys, and field audits. To stay up to date on all public engagement opportunities, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. Learn more about our public participation process by reading our 2019 Public Participation Plan and 2015 Community Outreach Report (Executive Summary).
Want TRPA transportation planning staff to come talk to you? Contact our staff and tell them what transportation topic you or your group are most interested in talking about.
Joining volunteer groups like the Social Services Transportation Advisory Council, South Shore Transportation Management Association, Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association, Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition, Community Mobility Workgroup, or City of South Lake Tahoe Bicycle Advisory Committee is another great way to get involved.
Explore the Transportation Program Below
TRPA works with the community and many agency partners to create planning documents that help shape the future of Lake Tahoe’s transportation infrastructure, public transit services, and land use patterns.
Regional Transportation Plan
At Lake Tahoe, recognizing and leveraging this interplay between land use and transportation is accomplished through the Regional Plan, the land use plan for the Lake Tahoe Region, as well as the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), which serves as the transportation element of the Regional Plan. The RTP guides project and program design and implementation through goals, policies, and projects linked to foreseeable revenues. It is the guide for improving Tahoe’s transportation system and complements the Regional Plan’s goals for environmental conservation and restoration and community revitalization through better, wiser, and more sustainable transportation choices. Learn more about the Regional Transportation Plan here.
Corridor planning is the bridge between the RTP’s goals and policies, the implementation and long-term operation of multi-benefit projects, and the Region’s approach to comprehensively addressing its largest challenges. The Corridor Planning Framework was developed to increase collaboration and accelerate transportation improvements that often cross jurisdictional boundaries. Learn more about corridor planning here.
The Tahoe Transportation District Short Range Transit Plan and Placer County TART Short Range Plan identify existing and proposed transit infrastructure, operations, and maintenance. The Linking Tahoe: Lake Tahoe Basin Transit Master Plan provides the long term vision for transit throughout the Tahoe Region, including the important connections to our neighbors. The Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan shows how human service agencies work with transportation providers to address the needs of seniors, the disabled, and low-income residents.
Improving transportation options for bicyclists and pedestrians is one of the most effective ways to conserve and restore Lake Tahoe’s environment, revitalize the economy, enhance recreation opportunities, and improve public health. This plan identifies challenges and solutions to existing mobility issues and priority projects. Read the full plan here or The Lake Tahoe Complete Street Resource Guide. Building a project or want to see routes up close? Check out our Transportation Web Map.
The Intelligent Transportation Systems Strategic Plan identifies opportunities for technology to increase transportation efficiency, safety, and balance. Changeable message signs and online apps are just two examples of how technology can improve our transportation system by giving people the real-time information they need.
The Tahoe Truckee Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan is the blueprint to accelerate transportation electrification in the region. TRPA partnered with the Truckee-Donner Public Utility District and a cross-regional Coordinating Council with the release of an action-oriented readiness plan, providing a road map to strategically deploy electric vehicle infrastructure and user-friendly toolkits. Learn more about the Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan here.
Public Participation Plan
TRPA’s public participation process gives residents, visitors, and commuters ample time for early, meaningful, and continued involvement in transportation planning and project review. Diverse public input helps TRPA determine what types of projects meet public needs and desires and also ensures that public funds are directed to the areas of highest need. Transparent and inclusive processes increase public participation and ensure well-prepared and publicly-supported plans and projects. Learn more about our public participation process by reading our 2019 Public Participation Plan and 2015 Community Outreach Report (Executive Summary).
In addition to planning documents, TRPA implements a variety of projects to advance the Regional Transportation Plan and support partners in implementing transportation projects and educating the public about travel options around the Basin.
TRPA’s Travel Management Program includes various initiatives which seek to increase travel option awareness for residents and visitors. The goal is to reduce driving alone, encourage driving during less-peak times, and encourage people to walk, bike, use transit, water taxis, and shared mobility transportation options.
As a first step in this work, TRPA, in partnership with the Tahoe Transportation District created www.linkingtahoe.com – a travel information hub that provides people information on how to get to, through, and around Lake Tahoe. To compliment this new website, a travel option brochure is distributed to hotels, visitor centers, real-estate companies, and recreation destinations.
TRPA is currently developing a new employee trip reduction program, called Commute Tahoe. This program will support employers in providing incentives and services to their employees to reduce the number of people driving alone to and from work.
Tahoe Bike Challenge
The program is rounded out with a more well-known initiative, the Safe Routes to School program and annually sponsored Tahoe Bike Challenge. Provided through a partnership with the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition and the Community Mobility group, these initiatives educate youth about safe walking and biking practices, build confidence, and incentivize residents and visitors to bike, walk, and use transit.
Title VI Program
As a recipient of federal grants, TRPA is required by the Federal Highway Administration to conform to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. TRPA and all of its funding recipients and contractors are required to prevent discrimination and ensure non-discrimination in all of their programs, activities, and services. This requirement is embedded in all aspects of TRPA’s programs and planning. Any person who believes they have been subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin, either individually or as a member of any specific class of persons, may file a Title VI complaint (en Espanol). Read our Title VI Policy here.
The Tahoe Region is making progress on longstanding transportation challenges. Accelerating that progress is needed to improve the health of the Region’s environment, the vitality of its communities, the quality of life of residents, the quality of the recreation experience for both residents and visitors, and to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals set by the states of California and Nevada. Click here to view TRPA’s transportation web map.
Many private partners, advocacy groups, and public agencies at all levels of government are working together to advance the Region toward Tahoe’s Regional Transportation Plan goals, thanks in part to the Bi-State Consultation on Transportation and the Corridor Planning Framework. Click here to view projects identified in the Regional Transportation Plan.
TRPA’s many partners are actively completing projects such as sidewalks, bicyclist and pedestrian paths, bike lanes, and water quality improvements. Click here to explore the Lake Tahoe Information Transportation Tracker.
Other Project Links:
Bi-State Transportation Consultation
The Lake Tahoe Bi-State Working Group on Transportation strengthened regional coordination to accelerate delivery of priority transportation investments and endorsed public-private pilot projects to evaluate new transportation technologies. The working group included the states of California and Nevada who convened with public and private partners to evaluate existing and innovative transportation funding options and foster unity across the two states and surrounding urban areas to acknowledge Lake Tahoe’s recreation and tourism value as the all year playground for Northern California and Nevada. The Bi-State Working Group on Transportation Final Report sets out the highest inter-regional transportation priorities and the final products of the working group committees, and summarizes the collaboration, coordination, and commitment from all sectors to accelerate transportation planning and project implementation in and around Lake Tahoe.
The Pathway Partnership is a collaborative group of agencies, non-profits, and advocacy groups working together to build partnerships, leverage funding opportunities, align messaging and policies, and share best practices to achieve regional transportation goals. The vision of the group is to create an interconnected and attractive non-motorized network at Lake Tahoe that contributes to the environment, economy and communities. Learn more about the Pathway Partnership here.
Transportation in the 21st Century at Lake Tahoe: Growing Public-Private Partnerships around Technology and Travel
TRPA hosted a travel management workshop for public and private stakeholders on December 4, 2019. Download presentations from the workshop below.
TRPA receives funding for transportation plans and projects through a variety of federal, regional, and state programs. Funding is used for capital projects, operations and maintenance, transit services, and local and regional transportation planning. TRPA works with communities and agency partners to invest in projects that improve bicyclist and pedestrian mobility, reduce vehicle emissions, revitalize local economies, improve recreation, and conserve and restore the environment.
TRPA measures the transportation system at Tahoe to know what is happening on roads, paths, and bus routes. Such information is critical for the agency to adapt planning initiatives, direct funding to projects and programs, respond to emerging issues, and refine projects and programs for better outcomes. It is also how TRPA continuously manages for success. To do so, TRPA collects data from a variety of sources, including surveys, U.S.Census data, “BigData,” and the TRPA Travel Demand Model. The agency uses these data, tools, and analysis to monitor specific transportation performance measures every one to four years.
Transportation Performance Management is a strategic approach that uses performance data to inform decision-making and outcomes. When implemented effectively, performance management can improve project and program delivery, inform investment decisions, and provide greater transparency and accountability. Performance-based planning defines current transportation performance levels, establishes target performance levels, and identifies strategies for achieving these targets.
As the federally-designated metropolitan planning organization for the Lake Tahoe Region, TRPA plans transportation system improvements and distributes state, regional, and federal transportation funding for programs and projects. Our bi-state partner, the Tahoe Transportation District, implements projects and operates transit services throughout the Tahoe Region. Learn more about this partnership at www.linkingtahoe.com/about-us/.
The Lake Tahoe Region includes three integrated regional transportation planning authorities:
- Specific to the Lake Tahoe Region, the Bi-State Compact (PL 96-551) states the Regional Plan shall include a transportation plan.
- In the State of California TRPA is the designated the Regional Transportation Planning Agency, which requires maintaining a Regional Transportation Plan.
- Designed by federal law, TRPA is the Metropolitan Planning Organization which provides the authority to direct federal transportation funding and requires maintaining a Long Range Transportation Plan.
TRPA’s 15-member Governing Board and a representative from the U.S. Forest Service serve as the board for the Tahoe Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Tahoe Transportation Commission
The Tahoe Transportation Commission provides the board with technical input and recommendations on transportation plans and programs. The commission also provides additional opportunity for public participation at its monthly meetings. It includes representatives from the Tahoe Transportation District, TRPA Advisory Planning Commission, Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, and U.S. Forest Service.
The Tahoe Transportation Commission provides the board with technical input and recommendations on transportation plans and programs. The commission also provides additional opportunity for public participation at its monthly meetings. It includes representatives from the Tahoe Transportation District, TRPA Advisory Planning Commission, Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada, and U.S. Forest Service.
Social Services Transportation Advisory Council
Senate Bill No. 498, approved by the Governor of California on September 16, 1987, required the establishment of a social services transportation advisory council to serve as an advisory body regarding the transit needs of transit dependent and transit disadvantaged persons, including the elderly, handicapped, and persons of limited means. TRPA established the Social Services Transportation Advisory Council (SSTAC) in accordance with Public Utilities Code (PUC) Section 99238 of the Transportation Development Act (TDA).
Members of the SSTAC are appointed by TRPA who must recruit candidates for appointment from a broad representation of social service and transit providers. As required by TDA, the SSTAC shall consist of the following members:
- One representative of potential transit users who is 60 years of age or older.
- One representative of potential transit users who are disabled.
- Two representatives of the local social service providers for seniors, including one representative of a social service transportation provider, if one exists.
- Two representatives of local social service providers for persons with disabilities, including one representative of a social service transportation provider, if one exists.
- One representative of a local social service provider for persons of limited means.
- Two representatives from the local consolidated transportation service agency, designated pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 15975 of the Government Code, if one exists, including one representative from an operator, if one exists.
- The transportation planning agency may appoint additional members in accordance with the procedure prescribed in subdivision (b).
As required by law, the SSTAC is also meant to be used as a platform to ensure citizen participation throughout the Region. An annual hearing is scheduled, in addition to unmet transit needs workshops, to ensure broad community participation and to solicit, as much as possible, input from transit dependent populations.
To accurately capture the needs of both North and South shore communities, the TRPA SSTAC is split into two separate councils. The South Shore biannual SSTAC meetings are held concurrently with the Tahoe Area Coordinating Council for the Disabled (TACCD). North Shore quarterly SSTAC meetings are held before CCTT meetings with a subset transportation focus group. The SSTAC is structured in this way to ensure as much community participation as possible and to create an easier meeting schedule for SSTAC members.
The next SSTAC meeting is TBD
South – Shore November 27, 2017
North – Shore March 6, 2018
South – Shore April 23, 2018
North – Shore June 5, 2018
North – Shore October 2, 2018
South – Shore October 22, 2018
South – Shore February 25, 2019
North – Shore April 2, 2019
North – Shore October 1, 2019
North – Shore January 7, 2020
The overall work program, also known as a unified planning work program, defines the continuing, comprehensive, and coordinated regional transportation planning process for the Lake Tahoe Region. It sets goals for transportation, air quality, and other regional planning objectives for each fiscal year.
Fiscal Year 2021/22
Fiscal Year 2020/21
As a recipient of federal grants, TRPA is required by the Federal Highway Administration to conform to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. TRPA and all of its funding recipients and contractors are required to prevent discrimination and ensure non-discrimination in all of their programs, activities, and services. This requirement is embedded in all aspects of TRPA’s programs and planning. Any person who believes they have been subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin, either individually or as a member of any specific class of persons, may file a Title VI complaint (en Espanol). Learn more here: What is Title VI? / Qué es el Título VI?