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June 2019

News and Updates from the
San Luis Obispo Council of Governments

Regional Leaders on the National Stage

Representatives of Councils of Government and Metropolitan Planning Organizations — leadership, professional staff, board members, local elected officials, technical and program staff — came together in Omaha, Nebraska earlier this week to share best practices, attend informative sessions, and engage in training and technical service programs at the National Association of Regional Councils' (NARC) 53rd Annual Conference & Exhibition. 

At this conference, both SLOCOG President Fred Strong (pictured above) and SLOCOG Executive Director Peter Rodgers were elected to the NARC Board of Directors and NARC Executive Directors Council (EDC), respectively. While President Strong has served on the NARC Board for many years now, Mr. Rodgers was newly elected to the EDC. He will serve alongside San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata as the two district representatives from California on NARC's EDC. 

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for New Air Park Drive Bridge, Oceano

Yesterday, the County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the completed Air Park Drive Bridge in Oceano. The old timber bridge on Air Park Drive has been replaced with a new 80-foot long, structurally sound concrete bridge, complete with sidewalks on each side of the bridge. This bridge replaces a timber bridge that was built in 1940. Special attention was given to the aesthetic and architectural character of the bridge. Innovative techniques were used to place utilities underground and out-of-sight by AT&T and the Oceano Community Services District. This project was designed by Drake Haglan and Associates and the construction contract was awarded to Granite Construction for 2.1 million dollars. Funding was provided under the Federal Highway Bridge program and a local road fund.

For more information, contact Bridge Program Manager Kidd Immel at 805-781-5981.

SLOCOG Awards Five Projects to Improve Transit within the Region

On June 5th, the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) Board of Directors awarded funds for five transit projects totaling $875,809. These new funding awards will help improve and maintain the region’s transit system.
Both Rural Transit Funds and Senate Bill 1 State of Good Repair funds will be used for the following transit capital projects and rural regional transit service operations in fiscal year (FY) 2019/20:
New RTA Bus Maintenance Facility $15,148 
RTA Operating Assistance 2019/20 $300,000 
Morro Bay Replacement Trolley                $174,305 
Morro Bay Transit Hub Improvements (Phase I) $194,356 
SLO Transit Farebox Replacement $192,000 

See the press release below for project details. 

Contact Transportation Planner Tim Gillham at 805-781-1520 or with questions.
Press Release

2019 Regional Transportation Plan & Environmental Impact Report ­Adopted

SLOCOG is required by state and federal law to prepare and adopt a Regional Transportation Plan, or RTP, every four years. The 2019 RTP looks out over 25 years and identifies available transportation funding, investments, and a growth scenario for accommodating an expected 40,000 additional people, 18,000 additional homes, and 18,000 additional jobs. An Environmental Impact Report, known as the EIR, was also prepared. As required by State and Federal law, the RTP contains a Policy Element (vision and goals), Financial Element (projection of available transportation funding), Action Element (investment lists for modes of travel), and a Sustainable Communities Strategy (projected new growth accommodations). The SLOCOG Board certified the EIR and adopted the 2019 RTP at its June meeting.

It is worth noting that these documents were produced with significant input from our RTP stakeholders group, advisory committees, SLOCOG’s board of directors, county and local staff, and the public. Two public hearings were held at the March and April SLOCOG Board meetings.

The adopted documents are available online at Printed copies may be reviewed at SLOCOG’s office or will be available for $55 (to cover printing and binding cost).
Contact Planning Director James Worthley at 805-788-2002 or with questions.
More Info

DRAFT 2019 RHNA Plan to be Reviewed by Local Jurisdictions

The Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) is mandated by State Housing Law as part of the periodic process of updating local housing elements. Its purpose is to plan for the anticipated housing needs within each jurisdiction during specified planning periods. The 2019 RHNA Plan is for the planning period from December 31, 2020 to December 31, 2028, which will align the region’s schedule with the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) update in 2027.
Last week, the SLOCOG Board directed staff to distribute the draft plan to local jurisdictions for comment. Local agencies will have 45-days to appeal their distribution. If appeal(s) are received, local agencies will be notified and will have an additional 45-days to comment on other agencies' appeals. If no appeals are received, the Board may issue the proposed final plan in August.

Questions? Contact Planning Director James Worthley at 805-788-2002 or
More Info

SLOCOG Board Takes Position on State Legislative Bills

SLOCOG’s Legislative Analyst, Khouri Consulting LLC, presented a State Legislative Update to the Board on June 5th. The SLOCOG Board subsequently took action on the following two Senate bills of interest to the region:
SB 277 (Beall) – Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program: guidelines. The Local Partnership Program (LPP) provides $200 million annually for jurisdictions that have secured a voter-approved tax or fee dedicated for transportation purposes. It is currently split 50/50 between a formulaic share and a competitive program administered by the California Transportation Commission (CTC). Some regional transportation planning agencies (RTPAs) have expressed a desire to pursue legislation to change program allocations to be distributed on a 95/5 split favoring a formulaic share, or some hybrid that provides a higher floor of guaranteed funding. SB 277 is currently a spot bill that will be amended to convert the allocation method for the LPP.  (SLOCOG: Oppose)
SB 742 (Allen) – Intercity passenger rail services: motor carrier transportation of passengers. This bill would amend state law to enable joint power authorities (JPAs) responsible for managing and operating intercity rail service, such as LOSSAN, to pick-up and drop-off passengers on Amtrak intercity Thruway bus routes without requiring customers to purchase a train ticket. State law currently prohibits passengers that do not purchase a train ticket to use these buses, which are operated by the private sector and have dismal ridership along certain segments on the Amtrak Thruway Bus Network. SB 742 is also supported by the Coast Rail Coordinating Council (CRCC). (SLOCOG: Support)
Questions? Contact Transportation Planner Tim Gillham at 805-781-1520 or
More Info

Triennial Performance Audits Complete

The Transportation Development Act (TDA) calls for performance audits to be conducted every three years for each TDA claimant, each public transit operator, and SLOCOG. Two or three audits are conducted each year on a rotating three-year schedule. This year, performance audits were conducted for Atascadero Transit (Atascadero Dial-A-Ride), Morro Bay Transit, and Ride-On Transportation. For findings and recommendations, click the Reports button below.

Please contact Sarah Woolsey at 805-781-1385 or with questions.


FY 2019/20 Unmet Transit Needs Findings Resolution Adopted

A total of 91 individual requests were submitted for 31 transit-related improvements during the 2019/20 Unmet Transit Needs (UTN) cycle. Of these, one request was found to meet the adopted “Unmet Need” criteria requiring further analysis.
Following analysis, the request for a regional transit service and bus stop close to 825 Buckley Road did not rise to the “Reasonable to Meet” standard due to low ridership projections, farebox recovery, and other criteria. The SLOCOG Board subsequently adopted a resolution that one UTN was found but it did not rise to the "Reasonable to Meet" standard required to move the need forward during the FY 2019/20 UTN study. Staff was directed to compile the UTN final report for submittal to the state, which is required prior to the release of TDA funding for the next fiscal year.
Operator responses for the remaining 30 transit-related requests received during the 2019/20 UTN cycle indicate the following:
  • 7% are included in plans or being considered for current plan updates.
  • 10% are being addressed.
  • 17% are currently under review.
  • 66% lack available funding and/or demand (may be considered when funding/demand permits).
Contact Tim Gillham at 781-1520 or for additional information.
More Info

Partnering with CivicSpark

SLOCOG and CivicSpark are looking for passionate emerging leaders who want to gain real-world experience in the transportation sector and make lasting impacts in the San Luis Obispo region. SLOCOG has been offered a CivicSpark “fellow” to prepare the Regional Bus Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Plan. The fellow will identify potential consortium member agencies, research benefits and drawbacks of charging technologies, advise on depot and/or in-route charging, work with providers to identify lead implementation agencies by jurisdiction, find consensus, and develop and finalize the plan. Providers include Regional Transit Authority, South County Transit, SLO Transit, Monterey/Salinas Transit, and Santa Maria Area Transit. This is a $26K commitment of State Transit Assistance funds for a temporary employee over 10 months.

Recruitment is happening now. Learn more about this opportunity on LinkedIn and apply to become a fellow on CivicSpark's website.

SLOCOG is Now Green Business Certified!

We are pleased to announce that SLOCOG has completed the process of becoming a certified green business – and we are the first government agency in the San Luis Obispo region to do so! Three cheers for going green!
More Info

SLOCOG Celebrates 50 Years of Connecting Communities

This month SLOCOG will finish celebrating its 50th anniversary, which marks 50 Years of Connecting Communities in the San Luis Obispo region.

Down the Road...

The next regularly scheduled Board meeting is Wednesday, August 7, 2019 and will take place at the San Luis Obispo County Government Center. 

The August meeting will consider the following items:
  • Regional Rideshare Biannual Progress Report,
  • Status Assessment of Programmed Projects, 
  • Draft 2019 Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA), and
  • Freeway Service Patrol Agreement.
Contact the SLOCOG office at (805) 781-4219 to request ADA accommodations. Please note that 48 hours advance notice is necessary to accommodate your request. 
The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) is an area-wide planning and programming agency for issues of regional concern. SLOCOG is also the federal-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the state-designated Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA), the Service Authority for Freeways and Expressways (SAFE), the Census Data Affiliate (CDA) and the Regional Ridesharing Program for the San Luis Obispo Region. Member agencies and their designated representatives are listed below:
President - Fred Strong (Paso Robles)
Vice President - John Peschong (County District 1)

District 1 Supervisor - John Peschong
District 2 Supervisor - Bruce Gibson
District 3 Supervisor - Adam Hill
District 4 Supervisor - Lynn Compton
District 5 Supervisor - Debbie Arnold

Executive Director - Peter Rodgers

Copyright © 2019
San Luis Obispo Council of Governments,
All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
1114 Marsh St.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

(805) 781-4219
          Arroyo Grande - Jimmy Paulding, Councilmember

          Atascadero - Heather Moreno, Mayor

          Grover Beach - Jeff Lee, Mayor

          Morro Bay - Robert Davis, Councilmember

          Paso Robles - Fred Strong, Councilmember

          Pismo Beach - Ed Waage, Mayor

          San Luis Obispo - Andy Pease, Vice Mayor

          Ex-Officio, Caltrans District 5 - Timothy Gubbins