Regional Planning

Overview

The Office of Regional Planning (ORP) guides, maintains, and advocates for California's regional transportation planning process and ensures federal and state legislation, policies, and priorities are met. ORP's goal is to identify and exceed customer expectations, maximize the use of resources, and provide additional training and support as needed.

ORP consists of five branches that work continuously and cooperatively with the twelve Caltrans district, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Regional Transportation Planning Agencies, and other transportation partners. Please see below for more information on the ORP branches and deliverables.

Grant and Resource Management Branch

The Grant and Resource Management Branch is responsible for developing, managing, and maintaining the Caltrans Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant Program, including grants for Sustainable Communities and Strategic Partnerships.  Sustainable Communities grants are critical to support the Caltrans Mission, State Planning Priorities, Regional Transportation Plans/Sustainable Communities Strategies, and to ultimately achieve the State’s greenhouse gas reduction targets of 40 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 2050, respectively.  Senate Bill 1, The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, the primary fund source for Sustainable Communities grants, requires this Branch to conduct a Grant Application Guide update process, including public workshops, a formal 30-day public comment period, and State Agency consultation.  Strategic Partnerships grants are intended to support Federal Planning Factors and address State highway/transit issues of regional, interregional/statewide significance, in partnership with Caltrans.  The success of the Grant Program relies on this Branch to provide technical assistance, policy guidance, and reports on completed grant projects, to Caltrans Districts, grant recipients, and grant applicants. 

Grant and Resource Management Branch Fact Sheet (PDF)*

For more information on the Sustainable Transportation Planning Grants, please view the Sustainable Transportation Planning Grants Web Page.

Regional Coordination Branch

The Regional Coordination Branch works cooperatively with the twelve Caltrans district offices to guide and maintain California's regional transportation planning process.  The Branch monitors the regional transportation planning process through the Overall Work Program (OWP) and Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), coordinates the administration and funding of these documents, and acts as liaison and advocate for California's regional transportation planning program. Through a collaborative effort with federal, state, and regional partners, the Branch provides reliable information, guidance, and resources that relate to the regional transportation planning process.

Regional Coordination Branch Fact Sheet (PDF)*

For additional information and resources on RTPs, OWPs, and related resources please view the Regional Coordination Branch Web Page.

Fiscal Management Branch

The Fiscal Management Branch is responsible for the management of over $110 million in federal and state formula and competitive transportation planning funds awarded to regional and local agencies, transit operators, and tribal governments. The fiscal branch administers and monitors these funds in a manner that is consistent with the eligibility criteria established for each fund source. The fiscal branch is responsible for ensuring that all funds allocated to its recipients comply with all applicable state and federal requirements. 

The State Planning and Research (SPR) Program is a federal program administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that provides funding for State transportation planning and research activities.  State departments of transportation (DOTs) are responsible for developing an annual work program that is submitted to FHWA for review and approval.  The work program provides proposed activities, studies, deliverables, timeframes, and estimated costs needed to deliver the proposed planning and research work.  The annual SPR funding helps Caltrans carry out transportation planning work by providing funds for staff salaries and planning studies.  The branch is responsible for ensuring that all funds allocated comply with all applicable state and federal requirements. 

The Public Engagement contract seeks to provide early, meaningful, and inclusive opportunities for involvement by all affected parties: citizens, partner agencies, businesses, industries, Native American tribes, organizations, advocates, and disadvantaged and traditionally under-represented communities.

Fiscal Management Branch Fact Sheet (PDF)*

For additional information and resources on the federal and state transportation planning funds, please view the Fiscal Management Branch Web Page.

Air Quality, Environment and Health Branch

The Air Quality, Environment and Health (AQEH) Branch manages the Department’s air quality and transportation conformity policy statewide, serving as the lead for quality assurance/quality control of air quality sections of environmental documents as part of The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) assignment of NEPA responsibilities to Caltrans.

The Branch promotes consideration of public health in the transportation planning documents and Department policies; and represents Caltrans on the multi-agency California Health in All Policies Task Force.

The Branch promotes consideration of Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) in transportation planning documents and policies, providing support to staff from transportation planning and environmental planning functions.

Air Quality, Environment, and Health Branch Fact Sheet (PDF)*

Hot Topic: Federal SAFE Rule FAQs (PDF)*

For more information on the AQEH Branch, please view the Air Quality, Environment, and Health Branch Web Page.

Transportation Equity Branch

The Transportation Equity Branch promotes equal access to healthy and functional environments and active involvement of disadvantaged and underrepresented communities early in the transportation planning and project development process. Program Activities include equity guidance and tools for DOTP and regional transportation planning agencies, Title VI and Disadvantage Business Enterprise reporting and coordination and the development of equity language for Caltrans plans and guidance documents.

Transportation Equity Branch Fact Sheet (PDF)*

For more information on the Sustainable Transportation Planning Grants, please view the Transportation Equity Branch Web Page.

Contacts:

Reza Navai, Assistant Division Chief, DOTP
reza.navai@dot.ca.gov
(916) 654-3330

Erin Thompson, Office Chief, ORP
erin.thompson@dot.ca.gov
(916) 654-2596

Priscilla Martinez-Velez, Grant and Resource Management Branch
priscilla.martinez-velez@dot.ca.gov
(916) 651-8196 

Jennifer Duran, Grant and Resource Management Branch
jennifer.duran@dot.ca.gov
(916) 653-2368

Jackie Kahrs, Regional Coordination Branch
jacqueline.kahrs@dot.ca.gov
(916) 653-9255

Rosie Flores, Fiscal Management Branch
rosie.flores@dot.ca.gov
(916) 653-3957

Marilee Mortenson, Air Quality, Environment, and Health
marilee.mortenson@dot.ca.gov
 (916) 653-3758

Ed Philpot, Transportation Equity Branch
c.edward.philpot@dot.ca.gov
(916) 653-8817

Additional Resources: