The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a federal- and state-mandated program document that includes information concerning local highway, state highway, and transit projects and services for the following six years. It is revised in its entirety every two years and is open for amendment submissions once a month.
The TIP lists every transportation project that will receive federal funds or is subject to a federally required action (e.g. review for air quality impact). It also covers all capacity-enhancing and non-capacity transportation projects programmed with federal, state, or local funds, as well as the capital and operational details of highway and transit projects.
Lastly, the TIP lists all of the following projects that are defined by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) as regionally significant whether or not they require federal funding:
- State highways
- Principle arterials (eight-lane divided roadways)
- Major arterials (as defined by county)
- Routes to major activity centers
- Goods movement routes
- Intermodal transfer facilities (e.g. rail stations, airports)
- Fixed transit routes (e.g. light and heavy rail, commuter rail, bus)
All transportation projects must be listed in the TIP to be eligible for federal and state funding, federal and state permits, and review of Environmental Impact Reports and Environmental Impact Statements.
In order for federal funds to be released to the listed project sponsors, the TIP must be reviewed for air quality conformity with the federal and state laws, SCAG regulations, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).
Upon approval, the TIP is incorporated into the Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP) by SCAG, the Federal Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (FSTIP) prepared by Caltrans, and into the Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP) approved by the USDOT.