Unmet Transit Needs

Overview

Each year, PCTPA works with the transit providers and the public to identify any transit needs that are not currently being met. This process, called Unmet Transit Needs, is a requirement of the Transportation Development Act (TDA). As the Regional Transportation Planning Agency for Placer County, PCTPA administers TDA funds and conducts Unmet Transit Needs outreach and reporting. Once comments have been collected, PCTPA staff use the adopted Unmet Transit Needs (UTN) definitions to determine if request is reasonable to meet. If there are any unmet transit needs requests from the public that are  determined reasonable to meet, those needs must be met before TDA funds can be spent on roadway projects.

UTN Report

UTN report cover, orange with bus faded in background

Every year, this process is documented in the Annual Unmet Transit Needs Report. To see a copy of the current report for Fiscal Year 2019-2020, click here. To see previous reports, click here.

Adopted Definitions

The PCTPA Board has adopted Unmet Transit Needs definitions. These criteria are used to determine whether a service request collected during UTN outreach is an unmet need and is reasonable to meet. Click here to see the language in PCTPA's adopted unmet transit needs definitions.

 

What is an Unmet Need?

For a request to be considered an unmet transit need, it must be a request that cannot currently be met by the existing public transit system. A location is considered to have transit service if there is a bus stop within a 0.75 mile. A request is also considered an unmet transit need if it is required to comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

 

What is Reasonable to Meet?

For a request to be considered reasonable to meet, it has to meet four basic conditions:

Financially Feasible

A requested service must not cost more to implement than the amount of transit funding an operator has to spend.

Ridership

A requested service must generate enough ridership to be able to meet the minimum required farebox recovery ratio.

Community Support

The requested service must be supported by the community, including local leaders and community groups.

Plan Consistency

The requested service must be consistent with the goals and recommendations of the Regional Transportation Plan and Short Range Transit Plans.

Is Transit Meeting Your Needs?

Annual UTN Outreach

Every fall, PCTPA seeks community input on Unmet Transit Needs in Placer County. This quick online survey gives you the opportunity to describe how you currently use transit, outline a trip that you'd like to use transit for but can't, and choose between transit improvement tradeoffs. Click the button below to participate!

Stay In The Loop

While Unmet Transit Needs comments are only accepted during September and October, PCTPA works to keep the community informed on transit issues all-year-round. These emails are the best way to stay up-to-date on transit projects and to make sure you don't miss the UTN survey every year. Click the button below to sign up for the email list.

Process

Each year, usually in September and/or October, PCTPA solicits testimony on unmet transit needs that may exist. The process is advertised in the local newspapers, via press releases and public service announcements, on flyers in buses, in notices to social service agencies, and so on. Testimony may be provided in person at public workshops and/or hearings, by phone, or in writing. The Social Services Transportation Advisory Council (SSTAC) also provides testimony, though a listing of priorities for improvements in the transit system.  If you are interested in applying for membership on the SSTAC,  you may complete and submit an application.

Once the testimony period has ended, PCTPA staff compiles and analyzes each request. Based on this analysis and input from the SSTAC, staff provides recommendations for findings to the Board. The findings are usually presented to the Board for action in February. The Board adopted findings are then transmitted to Caltrans for certification