Chapter 1 – Introduction What Is the Puget Sound Regional Council? The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) is an association of cities, towns, counties, ports, tribes, and state agencies that serves as a forum for developing policies and making decisions about regional growth management, economic and transportation issues in the four-county central Puget Sound region.
PSRC is designated under federal law as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (required for receiving federal transportation funds) and under state law as the Regional Transportation Planning Organization for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties. PSRC members include the four counties and 71 of the region’s 82 cities and towns. Other statutory members include the three port authorities of Everett, Seattle and Tacoma, the Washington State Department of Transportation, and the Washington Transportation Commission. In addition, a memorandum of understanding with the region’s six transit agencies outlines their participation in the Regional Council.
Associate members include the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and the Tulalip Tribes, the Port of Bremerton, Island County, Thurston Regional Planning Council, and the Evans School of Public Affairs – University of Washington.
Puget Sound Regional Council is a comprehensive planning agency that does not duplicate the activities of local and state operating agencies, but supports their needs with complementary planning and advocacy, and serves as a center for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information vital to citizens and governments in the region.
What Is Destination 2030? Destination 2030 is the Metropolitan Transportation Plan for the central Puget Sound region and the transportation element of VISION 2020, the region’s growth management, economic, and transportation strategy. PSRC has developed Destination 2030 to examine the region’s transportation needs through 2030 and to lay out a strategy to strengthen the current system by identifying future transportation improvements as well as how to finance them. It is a comprehensive and coordinated strategy for the region’s transit, roadway, port, ferry, rail, bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs.
VISION 2020 and Destination 2030 respond to the Washington Growth Management Act and conform to federal transportation planning requirements. The Growth Management Act requires long-range comprehensive plans that are prepared by cities and counties to be balanced with the transportation infrastructure that can support such development. They also must be compatible with VISION 2020 growth and transportation strategies. As the state-required Regional Transportation Plan, Destination 2030 also meets substantive and procedural requirements in the Revised Code of Washington.
I Required Elements of the Coordinated Plan:
Inventory of current services
Assessment of transportation needs for individuals with disabilities, older adults, and persons with limited incomes
Identification of coordination actions to eliminate or reduce duplication in services and strategies for more efficient utilization of resources
Strategies to address identified gaps in services
The prioritization of implementation strategies.
n mid-2005, Congress passed the long-awaited reauthorization of the federal surface transportation act. This legislation is referred to by the acronym “SAFETEA-LU.” Along with reauthorizing federal funding for projects, the act makes several changes to planning requirements and requires that all Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) become compliant with these changes by July 1, 2007. One of these changes is that a regional Coordinated Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan (Coordinated Plan) is now a required element of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan. This plan will serve as a strategy to map a course for improving coordination between transportation systems and providers, as well as strengthen transportation services for those with special needs throughout the central Puget Sound region.
To comply with these new requirements, the Puget Sound Regional Council has developed the Coordinated Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan (Coordinated Plan). In order to provide a comprehensive summary of the region’s special needs transportation system, PSRC has incorporated and expanded upon information from a variety of local and regional sources. “United We Ride in Puget Sound” is a plan developed by Sound Transit addressing special needs transportation issues related to long distance, inter-regional trips in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. In addition, PSRC incorporated countywide plans that addressed similar services and needs within their respective communities, as well as the “Area-Wide Jobs Access and Reverse Commute Plan.” By covering a diverse set of transportation topics pertinent to individual localities and the region as a whole, the Coordinated Plan provides an all-inclusive snapshot of the region’s available services, and a comprehensive vision of special needs transportation in the future. Later this year, the Coordinated Plan will also be incorporated into the Agency Council on Coordinated Transportation (ACCT) statewide special needs transportation plan.