SPRTA Model & Regional Impact Fee Update

The South Placer Regional Transportation Authority (SPRTA) Board of Directors is currently composed of four members from the Placer County Transportation District Board from Lincoln, Rocklin, Roseville and Placer County. The SPRTA Board recently approved a contract with a traffic engineering firm, WSP, to update the travel demand forecasting model and Regional Transportation and Air Quality Mitigation Fee (Tier I and II) programs. Approximately 18 years ago, the SPRTA joint powers authority instituted a regional impact fee on new development within the south Placer Area to provide timely and strategic funding for high priority transportation projects in South Placer County. These funding programs present a significant source of revenue for transportation improvements in South Placer County.

SPRTA Model & Regional Impact Fee Update With the assistance of WSP, PCTPA staff will begin a two-year effort to update the travel demand forecasting model and the Tier I & II regional impact fee programs. The last update was done 18 years ago when traffic congestion was much less. Large amounts of commercial and residential development have been built in South Placer, and updates are needed to comply with state regulations.

The travel demand forecasting model is an analytical tool that traffic engineers and planners use to estimate future traffic levels and determine the transportation improvements needed to accommodate future population growth. Although the models tend to be relatively complex, the basic components of a model include the location and type of land uses such as homes, schools, and jobs; the roadways and transit services that get people to their destinations; and numerous assumptions based on data about how and when people make their trips. 

The model will be used to calculate new development’s fair share contribution toward the regional SPRTA transportation projects. The amount of the contribution from each new development is governed by state law under the Mitigation Fee Act, or AB-1600. This act requires mitigation impact fee programs to determine the following:

  • Identify the purpose of the fee
  • Identify how the fee is to be used
  • Determine how a reasonable relationship exists between the fee’s use and the type of development project on which the fee is imposed
  • Determine how a reasonable relationship exists between the need for the public facility and the type of development project on which the fee is imposed.

These steps are an important process in updating the regional impact fees as the Mitigation Act does not allow the full burden of existing traffic congestion to be placed upon new development. Only the contribution of traffic added by a new development to existing traffic congestion can be assessed by an impact fee program. However, new development can be assessed the full cost of a future transportation project necessary to serve that specificdevelopment. 

The SPRTA regional impact fee is a critical component in the multi-faceted approach to funding future transportation improvements in South Placer County. 

Local streets and roads are built by local development projects, or funded by city and county traffic impact fees.  Regional roadways and highways are funded by regional traffic impact fees, state programs and federal grants. When our regional highways were built, almost 90% of the cost of these improvements were funded by the state and federal government.  These regional transportation impact fee programs, like SPRTA, paid for the 10% needed to match these state and federal funding programs.  A few years ago, local jurisdictions were asked to fund about 50% of the cost of these projects requiring local agencies to come up with additional funding such as transportation sales tax measures.

During the two-year update process, PCTPA staff will engage local elected officials, public works and planning staff, the building community, residents, and other interested stakeholders on traffic congestion impacts and how transportation projects are funded. A robust engagement process will be implemented to share project updates on how traffic congestion impacts daily commerce and personal travel choices, how future traffic congestion is forecast, and how impact fees are set. A series of virtual workshops, an informational video, and regular electronic communication via
 email and social media will keep stakeholders informed. 

This SPRTA Traffic Model and Regional Impact Fee update is more than just an engineering and financial exercise—we want the entire community to understand South Placer’s transportation needs and multiple funding streams that it takes to deliver these projects. 

Since the inception, the Tier I and II fee programs have collected $65 million towards regionally significant projects such as:

  • Lincoln Bypass
  • Sierra College Boulevard Interchange
  • Douglas Boulevard/I-80 Interchange
  • Auburn Folsom Road Widening in Granite Bay

SPRTA will also contribute funding to future projects such as:

  • Placer Parkway
  • SR 65 Widening from I-80 to Lincoln Boulevard
  • I-80 Rocklin Road Interchange
  • I-80/SR 65 Interchange
  • Regional serving transit projects

For more information about the SPRTA Regional Impact Fee program, visit http://pctpa.net/sprta/ or email pctpa@pctpa.net

Download the article on the SPRTA Model & Regional Impact Fee here.