SCAG Regional Council Approves Connect SoCal 2024, Southern California’s Regional Plan


The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Regional Council on Thursday formally adopted the Connect SoCal 2024 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy, a long-term vision to balance future mobility and housing needs with economic and environmental goals over the next 25 years.

If fully implemented, Connect SoCal 2024 would reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and improve the region’s long-term economic viability through more than $751 billion in transportation investments and a more sustainable regional development pattern. Notable in this plan update are new strategies for addressing the housing crisis, adapting to climate change and investing in underserved communities. 

“Connect SoCal 2024 represents a significant milestone in meeting the mobility and quality-of-life needs of one of the most vibrant population centers in the United States,” said Art Brown, SCAG’s Regional Council president and Buena Park mayor. “With this plan, we have integrated creative strategies to address our regional transportation challenges while creating opportunities for economic prosperity, meeting our growth needs and safeguarding public health.” 

As the metropolitan planning organization for six counties and 191 cities, SCAG is mandated by state and federal law to develop a long-term regional transportation plan and sustainable communities strategy every four years. SCAG led an extensive planning and visioning process in developing Connect SoCal 2024, including meetings with 164 jurisdictions in the region to review their growth forecasts, an extensive public outreach process, and policy discussions with elected leaders from around the region. The plan identifies a series of outcomes including increased transit ridership; an emphasis on Priority Development Areas that bring housing, jobs and mobility options closer together; safe and efficient goods movement; and streets that prioritize people and safety. 

The plan also encompasses more than 2,000 local projects, including those identified and submitted by six county transportation commissions across the region. These projects are funded by a combination of federal, state and local dollars, and their inclusion in the plan allows them to advance under federal and state regulations. 

Performance measurement data included in the draft Connect SoCal 2024 shows that, if fully implemented, the plan could result in: 

  • A 11.6% reduction in overall vehicle miles traveled among passenger vehicles (from 2019). 
  • A 31.8% reduction in minutes of daily traffic delay per person (from 2019). 
  • Achievement of the region’s targets for reducing greenhouse gases from autos and light-duty trucks by 19% per capita, from 2005 levels, by 2035. 
  • 465,000 new jobs supported by transportation investments or improved competitiveness each year. 
  • An overall return on investment of $2 for every $1 spent. 

Of the $751.7 billion in investments identified in the plan, $303.3 billion is specific to transit projects and operations, $75.4 billion is specific to state highway operations and maintenance, $62.6 billion is specific to goods movement and $38 billion is specific to active transportation. However, the plan also identifies challenges in funding the maintenance and operations needs of the current transportation system, and the need for innovation to transition to more sustainable funding mechanisms. 

“As we shift to a zero-emission transportation system, transportation revenue sources dependent on fuel taxes will continue to decline,” Ajise said. “SCAG will collaborate with federal, state and local partners to leverage existing revenue sources, explore innovative funding and financing mechanisms, and advocate for increased investment in the region’s infrastructure needs.” 

Connect SoCal 2024 also is the most pro-housing regional transportation plan produced by SCAG to date and includes a standalone Housing Technical Report highlighting the challenges to housing production and best practices for implementation by jurisdictions. 

The plan projects Southern California will add more than 2.1 million people by 2050 to reach 20.9 million, an 11.1% increase. The number of jobs is expected to increase by 1.3 million, or 14.5%. 

For more on Connect SoCal, visit the Connect SoCal 2024 website.