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In 2000, the State of North Carolina recognized the need for more coordinated transportation planning in rural sections of North Carolina that were not within a Metropolitan Planning Organization. To address this, the General Assembly enacted Session Law 2000-123, which was later codified as Chapter 136, Article 17 (Sections 136-210 through 136-213) of the North Carolina General Statutes. This provided for the development of Rural Transportation Planning Organizations or RPOs. There are currently 19 RPOs in North Carolina. The Triangle Area RPO serves Lee and Moore Counties and the rural portions of Chatham and Orange Counties, including the municipalities of Aberdeen, Broadway, Carthage, Foxfire, Goldston, Pinehurst, Pittsboro, Sanford, Siler City, Southern Pines, and Vass.

According to General Statute 136-212, "The duties of a Rural Transportation Planning Organization shall include, but not be limited to:

1. Developing, in cooperation with the Department [of Transportation], long-range local and regional multimodal transportation plans.

2. Providing a forum for public participation in the transportation planning process.

3. Developing and prioritizing suggestions for transportation projects the organization believes should be included in the State's Transportation Improvement Program.

4. Providing transportation-related information to local governments and other interested organizations and persons."

A Lead Planning Agency (LPA) is designated for each RPO to provide staff support for RPO functions. For TARPO, the LPA is the Triangle J Council of Governments. The LPA develops draft documents, prepares meeting materials, schedules meetings, administers transportation planning funds, and carries out the directives of the Rural Technical Coordinating Committee (RTAC) and Rural Transportation Advisory Committee (RTAC).

The Rural Transportation Advisory Committee (RTAC) is the governing policy board for the RPO. The RTAC membership includes elected officials from the local governments in the TARPO area and a representative of the North Carolina Board of Transportation. The RTAC provides policy direction for the planning process, facilitates communication and coordination among the member jurisdictions, and guides the development of a comprehensive multimodal transportation program for the rural area. A list of the current RTAC membership can be found here.

The Rural Technical Coordinating Committee (RTCC) is in the role of supporting and advising the RTAC. The RTCC is comprised of staff representatives from the various member local governments, NCDOT, and the Triangle J Council of Governments. The RTCC has the responsibility of making technical recommendations to the RTAC on decisions pertaining to RPO planning and project selection process. The RTCC, in conjunction with the NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch, is responsible for providing guidance and oversight on the RPO's annual Planning Work Program, Comprehensive Transportation Plans, citizen participation, and the review of transportation documents. A list of the current RTCC membership can be found here.

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Triangle Area Rural Planning Organization :: 4307 Emperor Boulevard, Suite 110 :: Durham, NC 27703 :: Tel: 919.558.9397 :: Fax: 919.549.9390
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