Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA)
Did you know 72 percent of the pollutants that harm Lake Tahoe’s famous water clarity wash into the lake with stormwater from roads, parking lots, and other developed areas? The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency's (TRPA) transportation department is working to create a safe, efficient, and balanced transportation system that protects our lake and environment. They support a complete streets approach and promote projects that meet the needs of all travelers, including motorists, transit riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Complete streets enhance economic vitality with improved aesthetics, a unique sense of place, and community partnerships and connections.
As the federally-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Lake Tahoe Region, TRPA plans transportation system improvements and distributes state, regional, and federal transportation funding for programs and projects. Their bi-state partner, the Tahoe Transportation District, implements projects and operates transit services throughout the Tahoe Region.
The Lake Tahoe Region includes three integrated regional transportation planning authorities:
- Specific to the Lake Tahoe Region, the Bi-State Compact (PL 96-551) states the Regional Plan shall include a transportation plan.
- In the State of California, TRPA is the designated the Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA), which requires maintaining a Regional Transportation Plan.
- Designed by federal law, TRPA is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which provides the authority to direct federal transportation funding and requires maintaining a Long Range Transportation Plan.
The Governing Board’s mandate is to set policy and to approve amendments to the Regional Plan. The TRPA staff works diligently to gather the most current scientific data and other related information about issues facing Lake Tahoe. Each month, that information is presented to the TRPA Governing Board at its monthly public meeting. It is the responsibility of the Governing Board to use that data along with public input to make decisions and create regulations that protect the health and quality of Lake Tahoe.
- Environmental Improvement Program--TRPA's Environmental Improvement Program is a partnership of federal, state, and local agencies, private interests, and the Washoe Tribe to protect and enhance the Lake Tahoe Basin by implementing projects that restore resources, creating new bike trails, and protecting the lake from invasive species. To date, over 400 Environmental Improvement Program projects have been completed, with hundreds more in progress.
- Lake Tahoe Preservation--TRPA leads a collaborative effort to preserve and enhance the Lake Tahoe region. One measure TRPA has taken is to develop The Shoreline Plan. The plan will provide guidelines for uses of the shoreline that will strengthen the recreational experience while protecting the environment. TRPA also developed the Lake Tahoe Water Quality Management Plan, which guides desired water quality outcomes for the Tahoe Basin and how to achieve those outcomes. In addition, TRPA manages several invasive species programs in order to conserve the natural ecosystem and ward off threatening species. The TRPA website also offers a dedicated page for 10 Ways to Save Lake Tahoe in order to engage residents and visitors on how to preserve the lake and its environment.
The Governing Board is comprised of 7 representatives from California, 7 representatives from Nevada, and 1 ex-officio Presidential Appointee. Notably, only six members are elected officials that represent the units of local government. The Bi-State Compact requires that a majority of the seats to be held by citizens from outside the Tahoe Region who represent at-large voters from the two states. This ensures that the Board reviews issues not only from a local perspective, but also from statewide and nationwide viewpoints.