The BRTB does not exercise direct control over funding and does not implement projects, but it does perform a range of activities that promote an integrated approach to transportation development. The requirements of federal law compel the key transportation players in the region to work through the BRTB process.
The BRTB ensures compliance with federal laws and requirements
Federal requirements inject consistency and coordination into regional transportation decision-making. The federally mandated metropolitan planning process requires all MPOs across the country to produce two basic documents—a long-range plan (20 years) and a short range program (4 years) known as the TIP, which lists projects and programs. In order to receive federal funding, transportation projects must be included in the CLRP and the TIP.
Federal law also requires that the region will have adequate funds to build the projects listed in these two main planning documents. The funding for the Plan and TIP must be “reasonably expected to be available,” according to federal transportation law. This financial constraint is intended to make sure the different partners in the region’s transportation system are realistically planning for the future.
In addition, the projects in the Plan and the TIP, taken collectively, contribute to air quality improvement goals for the region. This is a requirement of the federal Clean Air Act. The BRTB must also comply with federal laws, regulations and policies stipulating that regional transportation plans must not disproportionately affect low-income or minority communities in an adverse way.