About Us

Overview

Founded in 1965, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is a Joint Powers Authority under California state law, established as an association of local governments and agencies that voluntarily convene as a forum to address regional issues. Under federal law, SCAG is designated as a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and under state law as a Regional Transportation Planning Agency and a Council of Governments.

The SCAG region encompasses six counties (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura) and 191 cities in an area covering more than 38,000 square miles. The agency develops long-range regional transportation plans including sustainable communities strategy and growth forecast components, regional transportation improvement programs, regional housing needs allocations and a portion of the South Coast Air Quality management plans. In 1992, SCAG expanded its governing body, the Executive Committee, to a 70-member Regional Council to help accommodate new responsibilities mandated by the federal and state governments, as well as to provide more broad-based representation of Southern California’s cities and counties. With its expanded membership structure, SCAG created regional districts to provide for more diverse representation. The districts were formed with the intent to serve equal populations and communities of interest. Currently, the Regional Council consists of 86 members.

In addition to the six counties and 191 cities that make up SCAG’s region, there are six County Transportation Commissions that hold the primary responsibility for programming and implementing transportation projects, programs and services in their respective counties. Additionally, SCAG Bylaws provide for representation of Native American tribes and Air Districts in the region on the Regional Council and Policy Committees.
 

League of American Bicyclists
Bronze seal award from the League of American Bicyclists

SCAG is now a League of American Bicyclists recognized Bronze Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB℠)!

SCAG joins a cutting-edge group of nearly 1,200 local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies across the United States that are transforming the American workplace.

Learn more about the League’s Bicycle Friendly Business program at bikeleague.org/business.

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History of SCAG

SCAG was founded on October 28, 1965, when local elected officials from 56 cities and five counties first convened to begin growth projections and regional planning for Southern California’s future. SCAG, a joint powers authority (JPA) under California law, was established as an association of local governments and agencies that voluntarily come together on issues of common concern. Under federal law, SCAG is designated as a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and under state law as a Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA) and a Council of Governments (COG).

Generally, SCAG develops long-range regional transportation plans including sustainable communities strategy and growth forecast components, regional transportation improvement programs, regional housing needs allocations, and a portion of the South Coast Air Quality management plans. SCAG expanded its governing body, the Executive Committee, in 1992 to a 70-member Regional Council to help accommodate new responsibilities mandated by the federal and state governments, as well as to provide more broad-based representation of Southern California’s cities and counties. With its expanded membership structure, SCAG created regional districts to provide for more diverse representation. The districts were formed with the intent to serve equal populations and communities of interest. Currently, the Regional Council is comprised of 86 members.

In addition to the six counties and 191 cities that make up SCAG’s region, there are six County Transportation Commissions that hold the primary responsibility for programming and implementing transportation projects, programs and services in their respective counties. Additionally, SCAG Bylaws provide for representation of Native American tribes and Air Districts in the region on the Regional Council and Policy Committees.

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Vision, Mission & Values

Vision Statement

Southern California’s Catalyst for a Brighter Future

Mission Statement

To foster innovative regional solutions that improve the lives of Southern Californians through inclusive collaboration, visionary planning, regional advocacy, information sharing, and promoting best practices.

Core Values

Be Open
Be accessible, candid, collaborative and transparent in the work we do.

Lead by Example
Commit to integrity and equity in working to meet the diverse needs of all people and communities in our region.

Make an Impact
In all endeavors, effect positive and sustained outcomes that make our region thrive.

Be Courageous
Have confidence that taking deliberate, bold and purposeful risks can yield new and valuable benefits.

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Responsibilities

  • Maintain a continuous, comprehensive, and coordinated planning process (the “3 Cs”) resulting in a Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and a Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP)

  • Develop a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) to address greenhouse gas emissions as an element of the RTP

  • Develop demographic projections

  • Develop integrated land use, housing, employment, transportation programs and strategies for the South Coast Air Quality Management Plan

  • Co-lead agency for air quality planning in the Central Coast and Southeast Desert air basin districts

  • Responsible for developing and ensuring that the Regional Transportation Plan and the Federal Transportation Improvement Program conform to the purposes of the State Implementation Plans for specific transportation-related criteria pollutants, per the Clean Air Act

  • Authorized regional agency for intergovernmental review of proposed programs for federal financial assistance and direct development activities

  • Review environmental impact reports for projects having regional significance to ensure they are in line with approved regional plans

  • Develop an area-wide, waste treatment management plan

  • Responsible for preparation of the Regional Housing Needs Assessment

  • Along with the San Diego Association of Governments and the Santa Barbara County/Cities Area Planning Council, SCAG is responsible for preparing the Southern California Hazardous Waste Management Plan

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Federal Certification

At least every four years, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration must jointly certify the metropolitan planning process (the Federal Certification Review process) in designated Transportation Management Areas.

The SCAG region is such a designated area, and the FHWA and FTA most recently conducted this review with SCAG in February 2018.

View the certification letter and certification final report.

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Overall Work Plan

Each year, SCAG develops an Overall Work Program (OWP). This work program describes proposed transportation planning activities for the upcoming fiscal year. The OWP also includes those transportation planning activities and studies required by federal and state law and authorized by the Regional Council. These related planning studies address the overall social, economic and environmental effects of transportation decisions in the region.