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Unmet Transit Needs


Each year, PCTPA works with the transit providers and the public to identify any transit needs that are not currently being met. This process, called Unmet Transit Needs, is a requirement of the Transportation Development Act (TDA). As the Regional Transportation Planning Agency for Placer County, PCTPA administers TDA funds and conducts Unmet Transit Needs outreach and reporting. Once comments have been collected, PCTPA staff use the adopted Unmet Transit Needs (UTN) definitions to determine if request is reasonable to meet. If there are any unmet transit needs requests from the public that are  determined reasonable to meet, those needs must be met before TDA funds can be spent on roadway projects.

UTN Report

May contain: bus, transportation, vehicle, and person

Every year, this process is documented in the Annual Unmet Transit Needs Report. To see a copy of the current report for Fiscal Year 2024/25, select the image, above. To see previous reports, please contact Mike Costa at or by calling (530) 823-4029. 

Adopted Definitions

The PCTPA Board has adopted Unmet Transit Needs definitions. These criteria are used to determine whether a service request collected during UTN outreach is an unmet need and is reasonable to meet. PCTPA Adopted Unmet Transit Needs Definition

What is an Unmet Need?

For a request to be considered an unmet transit need, it must be a request that cannot currently be met by the existing public transit system. A location is considered to have transit service if there is a bus stop within a 0.75 mile walking distance of a trip’s starting and end point. A request is also considered an unmet transit need if it is a service that is required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

What is Reasonable to Meet?

For a request to be considered reasonable to meet, it has to meet five basic conditions:

  • Would meet state fare standards
  • Could be paid for by existing transit funds and is a reasonable use of taxpayer funds
  • Is strongly and broadly supported by the community (not just representing a few individuals and/or specific stakeholder interests)
  • Is consistent with the Regional Transportation Plan and
  • Is consistent with the Short Range Transit Plan for the applicable jurisdiction

Stay In The Loop

While Unmet Transit Needs comments are only accepted during October and November, PCTPA works to keep the community informed on transit issues all-year-round. These emails are the best way to stay up-to-date on transit projects and to make sure you don’t miss the UTN survey every year. Click here to sign up for the email list.

Unmet Transit Needs Process

Each year, usually in October, PCTPA solicits testimony on unmet transit needs that may exist. The process is advertised in the local newspapers, via press releases and public service announcements, on flyers in buses, in notices to social service agencies, and so on. Testimony may be provided in person at public workshops and/or hearings, by phone, or in writing. The Social Services Transportation Advisory Council (SSTAC) also provides testimony, though a listing of priorities for improvements in the transit system.  If you are interested in applying for membership on the SSTAC,  you may complete and submit an application.

Once the testimony period has ended, PCTPA staff compiles and analyzes each request. Based on this analysis and input from the SSTAC, staff provides recommendations for findings to the Board. The findings are usually presented to the Board for action in February. The Board adopted findings are then transmitted to Caltrans for certification

Other Regional Unmet Transit Needs Processes

The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) is also required each year to conduct an unmet transit needs assessment for Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties. For more information about this process and SACOG's unmet transit needs schedule, please visit