Commission's Planning Role

The Transportation Commission’s Role in Statewide Transportation Policy Planning

The Commission itself does not own or operate part of the statewide transportation system, but its role is important. In addition to advising the legislature and the Governor on transportation policy and finance concerns, the Commission:

  • ŠServes as the State Tolling Authority for highway and bridge tolls and sets fares for Washington State Ferries
  • ŠConducts statewide outreach with the public and with local and regional agencies around the state to maintain an on-going forum on transportation policies and needs, and
  • ŠConducts specialized research and outreach on topics such as road usage charges and autonomous vehicles
  • All of this informs the other primary responsibility of the Commission established in state law: preparing and regularly updating a comprehensive, balanced, long-range statewide transportation policy plan that supports the goals established in RCW. 47.04.280, is consistent with the Growth Management Act, and which reflects regional needs and priorities.

The Commission’s statewide policy plan provides the framework to ensure consistency between all of the individual plans of local and state agencies and the state’s priority transportation goals State, regional, and local plans must be consistent with the Commission’s plan.

The Commission's plan must:

The Commission’s plan must consider the needs and priorities identified in those plans. In this way, the Commission’s strategic policy plan not only reflects the priorities of the legislature but also supports implementation of those priorities at the local, regional, and state levels while identifying and advancing recommendations that address issues concerning mobility statewide.

The statewide policy plan must:

  • A.  Establish a vision for the statewide transportation system.
  • B.  Identify significant statewide transportation policy issues.
  • C.  Recommend statewide transportation policies and strategies to the legislature that ensure the development and maintenance of a comprehensive and balanced statewide transportation system, one that provides for safe and efficient multimodal transportation services for people and goods.

About this plan, the WTP 2040 and Beyond

This document is the required update of the statewide policy plan.

Even were it not required, this update is warranted. Transportation today is subject to the same rapid pace of change affecting so many other aspects of our daily lives. A periodic refresh gives us a chance to look at emerging issues and opportunities, recalibrate our direction where needed, and identify near term measures that can help us address our mobility needs today and long into the future. Many things are working well, such as the increased emphasis on multimodal travel, practical solutions, and a focus on operations; we want them to continue working well. At the same time, there are stubborn challenges we’ve wrestled for years, such as funding for maintenance and preservation, and new issues are taking shape that affect all aspects of our transportation system.

Development of 2040 and Beyond required the active participation of transportation stakeholders across the state. This document reflects the input of local, regional, and state agencies, industry representatives, and funding authorities. It incorporates viewpoints on transportation from mobility advocates as well as land use, economic, social, and environmental perspectives. It considers public sector, private sector, and individual concerns. 2040 and Beyond was refined with input received at public meetings conducted around the state. In short, it is a plan for the state’s transportation system developed by transportation stakeholders

Working to Meet Our Mobility Needs, Together

2040 and Beyond is a strategic policy plan for the statewide transportation system...

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Implementation is not dependent on the work of a single agency but on the on-going and collective efforts of hundreds of stakeholders working at the local, regional, state, and tribal levels. Implementation is not a single action or set of actions, but a coordinated and continuing collaboration of efforts among the many stakeholders and other partners with overlapping interests. This is a plan for Washington’s future to ensure our transportation system supports broader community objectives about quality of life, economic health, equitable access, and environmental sustainability. Together, we will meet our mobility needs.