Focus Areas

Rural and Small Community Planning

The Rural and Small Community Planning focus area page is a one-stop shop for resources about transportation planning in rural and small communities on the TPCB website. It includes links to publications, legislation and guidance, recent peer events, upcoming calendar events, and related websites.

Resources and Publications

  • The Transportation Planning Process: Key Issues A Briefing Notebook for Transportation Decision makers, Officials, and Staff
    The Briefing Notebook is a primer for transportation decisionmakers and stakeholders. It provides government officials, planning board members, transportation service providers, and the public at large with an overview of transportation planning in metropolitan settings. Along with a basic understanding of the key concepts, the notebook provides references for additional information. Part I discusses transportation planning and its relationship to decisionmaking. Part II presents short descriptions of key products that are prepared as part of the transportation planning process. This book was updated in 2015 to reflect recent changes in Federal legislation.
  • Better Plans for Better Places: How the Sustainable Communities Initiative changed the way the country plans for a prosperous future
    The Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI) represents the most comprehensive federal support for community and regional planning in recent history. Never before has the federal government provided funding for planning that spans the environmental, social and economic challenges facing our communities. This investment enabled people and organizations in 143 places, representing nearly 40 percent of the US population, to work together--across jurisdictions, sectors, all manner of old divides--in broad and deep coalitions toward ambitious goals of vibrant, healthy, livable communities. These diverse places--urban and rural, regions and neighborhoods, thriving and more challenged--were supported by a team of experienced organizations using innovative techniques to build community capacity in myriad ways. Their results will have lasting impacts for the 145 million residents living in grantee communities and beyond.
  • A Guide to Transportation Decisionmaking
    Have you ever wondered how decisions are made about the transportation projects that affect your life? How do government officials decide where to put a bus stop, road, or bridge? How are these and other transportation projects planned? And how can you make sure your opinions are heard and considered by residents, planners, designers, and elected officials? The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) created this guide to answer these and other transportation project-related questions. We hope this guide will help you understand how transportation decisions are made at the local, State, and national levels; and that you will take advantage of the opportunities provided to contribute your ideas. We believe that the better the public understands the transportation decisionmaking process, the more certain it is that the transportation system will be safe and efficient, and that the planning process will be responsive to public needs and concerns about their communities and the natural environment. A revised version of this guide was published in April 2015.
  • View the Briefing Book Non-Metropolitan Local Officials Consultation - The webpage describes the role of non-metropolitan local officials in the statewide transportation planning process.
  • The Transportation Planning Process: Key Issues (the "Briefing Book") - The "Briefing Book" is a primer to help you better understand Federal transportation planning regulations and requirements at the statewide and metropolitan planning levels.

Click here to access a full list of Legislation, Regulations, and Guidance related to rural and small community planning on the TPCB website.

Calendar of Events

Check the calendar

Peer Event Reports

The TPCB peer program is a free resource for agencies in need of transportation planning assistance. Visit the peer program page to learn more or apply for a peer event.

Related Websites and Organizations

For more information about the TPCB program, please email

FHWA Home   |  FTA Home   |  Privacy Statement   |  Website Feedback   |  Site Map
  United States Department of Transportation