Founded in 1965, the Southern California Association of
Governments (SCAG) is 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 that
include sustainable communities strategies and growth forecasts,
regional transportation improvement programs, regional housing
needs allocations, and a portion of the South Coast Air Quality
What is Connect SoCal?
The Connect SoCal plan (also known as the 2020-2045 Regional
Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy or RTP/SCS)
represents the vision for Southern California’s future, including
policies, strategies, and projects for advancing the region’s
mobility, economy, and sustainability through 2040. The plan
details how the region will address its transportation and land
use challenges and opportunities in order to achieve its regional
emissions standards and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets.
The components of Connect SoCal are required by federal and state
legislation and is an important planning document for the region,
allowing project sponsors to qualify for federal funding. SCAG is
required to update this long-range planning document every four
What is included in Connect SoCal?
Connect SoCal contains the following core components:
Vision, policies, and performance measures: Contains an
overarching vision, policies, a list of regional transportation
goals, and measures for evaluating our performance in achieving
Forecasts: Future distribution of population, households,
employment, land use, and housing needs.
Financial plan: Identifies reasonable expected revenues over
the 25-year plan horizon.
List of projects: Includes projects that are anticipated to
be initiated and/or completed by 2045.
Analysis of the following focus areas: active transportation,
aviation, environmental justice, goods movement, highways and
arterials, land use, open space farm and natural lands
conservation, passenger rail and transit, public health,
transportation demand management, and transportation safety and
How are projects selected for inclusion in Connect SoCal?
Early on in the planning process, SCAG asks that each of the six
county transportation commissions (CTCs) submit updated project
lists for inclusion. The CTCs are responsible for adding,
removing, or updating projects from the 2016 RTP/SCS based on
jurisdictional needs. These projects are then considered for
inclusion in Connect SoCal.
What is SCAG’s role in developing Connect SoCal?
SCAG is the lead agency in facilitating the development of the
region’s long-range transportation planning. SCAG understands the
importance of input and consensus, and utilizes a collaborative
process to create Connect SoCal. Throughout the development of
Connect SoCal, SCAG staff are guided by its Policy Committees,
CTCs, subregions, local governments, several state and federal
agencies (including Caltrans), environmental and business
communities, tribal governments, non-profit groups, as well the
general public. The end result of this collaborative process is a
collaborative and comprehensive document that reflects public
consideration and addresses the region’s needs.
How does the Connect SoCal affect me?
Given the geographic diversity and size of the SCAG region, a
coordinated transportation system that is well integrated with
land uses and operates efficiently is imperative to the mobility
and quality of life of Southern California residents. By
employing a regional focus to transportation and land use
planning, SCAG seeks to improve the region’s mobility, economy,
And although it doesn’t commit funds to specific projects,
Connect SoCal does set the framework for how transportation tax
dollars will be spent in the SCAG region over the coming years
and decades. The future of the SCAG region will be shaped by the
goals and policies set forth in Connect SoCal.
Why do we need Connect SoCal?
Our region is expected to add nearly four million people in the
next 25 years. Connect SoCal lays out a vision for accommodating
that growth, while at the same time maintaining our quality of
life and protecting our environment.
Who will approve Connect SoCal?
Various elements of Connect SoCal will be brought before SCAG’s
Policy Committees for review, and then before SCAG’s 86-member
Regional Council for approval. The Regional Council is made up of
elected representatives from the region’s cities and counties as
well as one representative of the Southern California Native
American Tribal Governments.
How is the public involved?
As the plan is being developed, SCAG will host a number of
interactive community workshops, elected official briefings, and
public hearings. Feedback shared will help shape the final plan.
Nearing the end of the plan’s development, SCAG will release a
draft of Connect SoCal for a 78-day public review and comment
period. SCAG is required to respond to or address all comments
and responses received during the public review and comment
period. The final plan will include a Public Participation &
Consultation Sub-Appendices to catalogue and archive comments