History and Purpose

The Mono County Local Transportation Commission was created by joint resolution of the Mono County Board of Supervisors (Resolution No. 84-93, dated August 21, 1984) and the Mammoth Lakes Town Council (Resolution No. 84-26, dated August 20, 1984). Pursuant to government Code Section 29535 the Mono County Local Transportation Commission was designated by the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing as the regional transportation planning agency for Mono County on October 1, 1984. The Local Transportation Commission replaced the Mono County Transportation Commission, which served as the regional transportation planning agency for Mono County from April 1, 1972, through December 1984.

The Local Transportation Commission is required, pursuant to AB 402 (Transportation Development Act), its subsequent amendments, and the Guideline to the California Transportation Commission to: * Every four years, prepare, adopt and submit a Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), and Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP) to the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California Transportation Commission; * Annually, review and comment on the Transportation Improvement Plan contained in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP); * Provide ongoing administration of the Transportation Development Act (TDA) Funds; and * Annually, prepare and submit the Overall Work Program.

Funding is provided for public transportation from two major sources: The Local Transportation Fund (LTF), which has been in existence since 1972 (SB325), and the State Transit Assistance (STA) fund which came into being in 1980.

The TDA ("Mills-Alquist Deddeh Act, also known as the Transportation Development Act, PUC Section 99200) creates in each county a Local Transportation Fund (LTF). Revenues to the LTF are derived from 1/4 cent of the 7.25-cent retail sales tax collected statewide. The State Board of
Equalization returns the 1/4-cent to each county according the amount of tax collected in that county. Generally, revenues from the county's LTF must be apportioned by population to areas within the county.

The State Transit Assistance (STA) fund was created under Chapter 161 of the Statutes of 1979 (SB 620), and revised by Chapter 322 of the Statues of 1982 (AB) 2552), and Chapter 105 of the Statues of 1989 (SB300). The fund provides a second source of Transportation Development Act (TDA) funding for transportation planning and mass transportation purposes as specified by the legislature.
Funds for the program are derived from statewide sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. The money is appropriated to the Controller by the Legislature, for allocation by formula to each Transportation Planning Agency, to the five county transportation commissions, and to the Sand Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board. The formula allocates 50% of the funds according to population and the remaining 50% is allocated according to operator revenues from the prior fiscal year. STA allocation is deposited in each regional transportation planning entity's STA fund. STA funds are allocated to the transportation operator within the county by a resolution adopted by the LTC.   The allocations are based on the operator's share of revenues when compared with all of the other operators in the state and the funds may not be allocated to fund administration or streets and roads projects.

Senate Bill 45 (SB45) of 1997 (Kopp) is a new statute that took effect January 1, 1998. It transforms the State Transit Improvement Program (STIP) from a project delivery document to a resources management document. It succeeds the 1989 "Transportation Blueprint" legislation and makes
fundamental changes in the funding, programming and planning of transportation improvements in California.

Caltrans remains the overall system manager for the state's transportation system and continues to be responsible for the operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of the state highway system. Caltrans' role in the programming of transportation projects is changed. Under SB45 Caltrans will
program only those projects to be funded through the Interregional Improvement Program. Caltrans will also recommend highway improvement projects to be funded through Regional Improvement funds but will not control the actual programming decisions for those funds.

To an increased degree, Caltrans will now be accountable to the regions, and not just to itself, for designing projects on time and on budget. Caltrans and the regions will have to negotiate the cost and schedule for designing projects. Once an agreement is reached and the amount is placed in the STIP, Caltrans will have to meet those commitments.

The Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs) and the County Transportation Commissions continue to be responsible for transportation planning in their region and related implementation of their Regional Transportation Plans. Under SB45 they will be responsible for
programming improvement projects funded through the Regional Improvement Program. Regions may also recommend improvement projects to be funded through Interregional Improvement funds. The CTC may substitute a regional nomination for a Caltrans project when the CTC makes a "finding" based on objective analysis that the regional nomination is more cost-effective than the project proposed by Caltrans. The regions and Caltrans will have to negotiate the cost and schedule for designing projects. Once an agreement is reached and the amount is placed in the STIP, the regions will have to meet those commitments.

SB45 defines the funds available for programming under the STIP to include all State Highway Account, Public Transportation Account, and federal transportation funds, after deducting the Department's annual administration costs, annual expenditures for the maintenance and operations
of the state highway system, annual expenditures for the rehabilitation of the state highway system, annual expenditures for local assistance, and safety. Of the funds available for the STIP, 75% are committed to the Regional Improvement Program and 25% to the Interregional Improvement
Program. The Transportation Planning and Development Account (TP&D) is renamed as the Public Transportation Account (PTA), and its distribution formula is changed.

The Regional Improvement Program funds will be available to regional transportation planning agencies for a broad range of transportation improvements, including not only state highways, but also grade separation, transportation system management projects, transportation demand
management projects, sound walls, rail transit projects, local street and road projects, intermodal facilities and pedestrian and bicycle facilities. The projects selected by the region must be included in its Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP). The existing county minimum formula, which provides at least 70% of the STIP funds to the counties (as modified by the north-south split) is replaced with a "county share" system, which represents 75% of the STIP funds, again as modified by the north-south split.

The Interregional Improvement Program funds will be available for state highway, intercity rail, grade separation and mass transit guideway improvements included by the Department in the Interregional Improvement Program (IIP), which replaces the Proposed State Transportation Improvement Program (PSTIP). Sixty percent of these funds (15% of funds available for the STIP) are limited in use for interregional routes outside the urban areas and intercity rail. No less than 15% of this amount (2.25% of funds available for the STIP) must be spent on intercity rail, including grade separation improvements. This portion of the IIP is exempt from the north-south split.

The remaining 40% (10% of funds available for the STIP) of the IIP is available for use anywhere on the state highway system, as well as for intercity rail, grade separations, and mass transit guides, and is subject to the north-south split.