The Southwest New Mexico Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO)is a federally mandated program that follows the statewide process of 3-C process; continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive. 

NMDOT contracts with the Southwest New Mexico Council of Governments to support an employee as liaison between the local governments to enhance transportation in rural New Mexico. We partner with Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), other RTPOs, Districts, Tribes, local communities, and other agencies in New Mexico. The Southwest RTPO includes 4 counties: Catron County, Grant County, Hidalgo County, and Luna County.

While rural New Mexico has low population densities, more than 80% of the state’s highway system is in rural areas. Therefore, NMDOT (New Mexico Department of Transportation) developed along with federal guidelines, planning organizations for rural areas. RTPO’s ensure equity is considered in the transportation planning process for rural communities. Duties of a RTPO include: to serve as a forum and to elicit informed recommendations for multimodal transportation and enhancement projects; to review, rank, and submit these projects to NMDOT; to provide data and technical assistance; to prepare a regional long range transportation plan; to hold public hearings to solicit public input on transportation planning and projects; to facilitate meetings and provide assistance in the planning processes.

To meet these requirements, NMDOT supports five MPOs and seven RTPOs in the state of New Mexico. Programs managed by the RTPO include: The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), the Congestion, Mitigation, & Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ), and the Transportation Project Fund (TPF). There have been other new programs recently added in transportation through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

For more information visit SOUTHWEST | rtponm