Collage of places in the Richmond Region


About Us


Richmond Regional TPO

Emergency Management

Legislative Program



Street Name Clearinghouse



Public Comment,
Requests for Proposal, &
Financial Auditing

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The RRPDC is a regional planning agency serving
the Town of Ashland;
the City of Richmond; and
the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, and Powhatan.

Richmond Regional
Planning District Commission

9211 Forest Hill Avenue
Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23235

Directions to RRPDC

Phone:  804.323.2033
Fax:  804.323.2025

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Frequently Used Terms and Acronyms

Miscellaneous Terms

MPO Standing Committees

Federal, State and Regional Agencies

Federal Legislation

Funding Programs

Other Terms and Abbreviations




A term that means an area is in compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and/or the Clean Air Act (CAA). There are six atmospheric pollutants covered under the CAA. The Richmond area (i.e., Cities of Richmond, Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg, and the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield Hanover, Henrico and Prince George) is designated as a nonattainment area for ozone air quality standards.

Highway Trust Fund (HTF)

Provides dedicated funding for federal highway and mass transit programs. Revenues placed in the HTF come from the federal gasoline tax plus other user fees. The HTF consists of separate highway and mass transit accounts.

MPO Metropolitan Planning Organization - The Richmond Area MPO's membership includes the following local governments and agencies: Ashland, Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan, Richmond, CRAC, GRTC, RMA, RRPDC, VDOT, RideFinders, FHWA, FTA, and VDA; serves as the forum for cooperative transportation decision making in the Richmond area.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards; defined by EPA.


Commitments made by USDOT agencies to pay out money for federal-aid transportation projects. The TIP serves as the MPO's program of transportation projects for which federal funds have been obligated.

Regionally Significant

Term used for air quality conformity analysis to define highway and rail facilities covered by this analysis. Regionally significant projects are those projects on a facility that serves regional transportation needs and would normally be included in the modeling of a metropolitan area's transportation network. This includes, as a minimum, all principal arterial highways and all fixed guide-way transit facilities that offer a significant alternative to regional highways travel.


State Implementation Plan; identifies control measures and process for achieving and maintaining NAAQS; eligible for CMAQ funding.

Study Area

The area projected to become urbanized within the next 20 years; defines the area for MPO plans, programs, and studies.

"3‑C" Process

("Continuing, Cooperative and Comprehensive") Language from federal legislation establishing MPOs and used in reference to the regional transportation planning and programming process.


Transportation Control Measures (for Air Quality Control); eligible for CMAQ funding.


Traffic Demand Management; various transportation control strategies and measures used in managing highway demand.


Transportation Improvement Program; a staged, multiyear, intermodal program of transportation projects that is consistent with the transportation plan.

Transportation Plan

The MPO's adopted Long-Range Transportation Plan; serves as the initial step and framework in developing a regionally based network of transportation facilities and services that meets travel needs in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

TAZ (Transportation or Traffic Analysis Zone)

Generally defined as areas of homogeneous activity served by one or two major highways.  TAZs serve as the base unit for socioeconomic data characteristics used in various plans and studies.

Urbanized Area

Term used by the U.S. Census Bureau to designate urban areas. These areas generally contain population densities of at least 1,000 persons per square mile in a continuously built‑up area of at least 50,000 persons. Factors such as commercial and industrial development, and other types and forms of urban activity centers are also considered.


Unified Work Program; MPO's program of work activities noting planning priorities, assigned staffs, work products, budgets, and funding sources.


Volatile Organic Compounds; emissions from cars, power plants, etc; when VOCs react with oxides of nitrogen (NOx) in the presence of heat and sunlight to produce ground level ozone or smog.


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CTAC Community Transportation Advisory Committee
TAC Technical Advisory Committee

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CRAC Capital Region Airport Commission
DRPT Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation
EPA Environmental Protection Agency
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
FRA   Federal Railroad Administration
FTA Federal Transit Administration
GRTCS GRTC Transit System (formerly Greater Richmond Transit Company)

Metropolitan Richmond Air Quality Committee


A public nonprofit corporation that provides carpool/vanpool matching and other commuter and transportation services; also, a division of GRTC Transit System.

MARAD Maritime Administration
RMA Richmond Metropolitan Authority
RRPDC Richmond Regional Planning District Commission
USDOT United States Department of Transportation
VAMPO Virginia Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations
VDA Virginia Department of Aviation
VDEQ Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
VDOT Virginia Department of Transportation
VTRC Virginia Transportation Research Council

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ADA of 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act
CAAA of 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments

Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act; passed in 1991; reauthorized federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety and transit for a six-year period, 1992 to 1997. ISTEA provided for significant expansion of MPO planning and programming authority and responsibilities.


Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century; signed into law on June 9, 1998 (replaced ISTEA).  Authorizes federal funds for highways, highway safety, transit, and other surface transportation programs for the next 6 years.  Builds on and continues many of the initiatives established in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991.


Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users; federal transportation reauthorization signed into law on August 10, 2005 (replaced TEA-21) and expires September 30, 2009.  Congress has passed, and the President has signed, several continuing resolutions that have extended SAFETEA-LU.

MAP -21

Moving ahead for progress in the 21st century; signed into law on July 6, 2012 (replaced SAFETEA-LU). Funding surface transportation programs at over $105 billion for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, MAP-21 is the first long-term highway authorization enacted since 2005. MAP-21 creates a streamlined and performance-based surface transportation program and builds on many of the highway, transit, bike, and pedestrian programs and policies established in 1991.


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State Planning and Research; funds allocated to VDOT in support of MPO program activities.

Local Match

Funds required by recipients of PL and Section 5303 funds for matching federal and state grant funds.  Section 5303 and PL funds require a 10% match, with VDOT/VDRPT providing 10% and the remaining 80% provided by the federal source.


Funds from the RRPDC (state appropriations and local dues) provided in addition to required local match funds (sometimes noted as RRPDC overmatch).


Planning funds available from FHWA for MPO program activities.


Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality; federal funding program created under ISTEA (1991). Directs funding to projects that contribute to meeting National Ambient Air Quality Standards. CMAQ funds generally may not be used for projects that result in the construction of new highway capacity for single occupant vehicles. CMAQ funds may be available for eligible planning activities that lead to and result in project implementation.

Section 5303

Planning funds available from the FTA for MPO program activities.

Multimodal Planning

Multimodal Planning Grant; VDOT discretionary grant program (state funds matched by local funds) providing assistance and support for innovative multimodal transportation planning initiatives.


Transportation Efficiency Improvement Fund; purpose of program is to reduce traffic congestion by supporting transportation demand management programs designed to reduce use of single occupant vehicles and increase use of high occupancy vehicle modes; operated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.


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Average Daily Traffic; used in conjunction with current and projected traffic volumes.


Chief Administrative Officer


Community Assisted Ride Enterprise; program operated by GRTC providing demand‑response paratransit service for the elderly and disabled in the City of Richmond and Henrico County.

CMP Congestion Management Process
CHSMP Coordinated Human Services Mobility Plan
COA Comprehensive Operational Analysis (for transit studies)
CTB Commonwealth Transportation Board
EJ Environmental Justice
FFY Federal Fiscal Year  (October 1 to September 30)
FY Fiscal Year  (July 1 to June 30)
GIS Geographic Information System
I/M Inspection and Maintenance

Metropolitan Statistical Area. The Richmond/Petersburg MSA includes the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg, and Richmond; the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan, and Prince George; and the Town of Ashland.

NHS National Highway System
NHTS National Household Transportation Survey
NOx Nitrogen Oxides

Request for Proposals; process used for reviewing and selecting proposals for consultant study activities.  (Goods and non-professional services)

RFQ Request for Qualifications (Consultant Services)

State Implementation Plan (for attainment and maintenance of air quality standards)

SOV Single Occupant Vehicles
STP Surface Transportation Program

Six Year Improvement Program; annual document approved by the CTB. Provides the state's list of federal and state funded transportation projects and programs administered by VDOT and DRPT.


Transit Development Plan; DRPT requirement for all public transit service operators.


Transportation Management Area (i.e., MPOs greater than 200,000 in population).

VMT Vehicle Miles Traveled


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Richmond Regional Planning District Commission | 9211 Forest Hill Avenue | Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23235 | (804) 323-2033

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