Created in 1968, the San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) is a joint-powers authority comprised of the County of San Joaquin and the cities of Stockton, Lodi, Manteca, Tracy, Ripon, Escalon, and Lathrop. The role of SJCOG is to foster intergovernmental coordination within San Joaquin County and with neighboring jurisdictions, other regional agencies in the San Joaquin Valley, the state of California, and various Federal agencies.
SJCOG is overseen by a Board of Directors which makes allocations of funding to build transportation improvements. The board also establishes regional transportation policies and programs. Citizens, special or community interest groups, and other agencies are involved in the planning and approval process. Areas of public participation include SJCOG's committees and task forces as well as attending workshops or public forums and providing input on planning decisions.
SJCOG Bylaws (pdf) | SJCOG JPA (pdf) | SJCOG, Inc Bylaws (pdf) | Employee Handbook (pdf)
The mission of SJCOG is to partner with local governments, the private sector, and community groups as the forum, facilitator, and administrator of regional programs, and to advocate for regional and inter-regional issues in the development of a comprehensive strategy to achieve resolutions.
SJCOG's role is to foster intergovernmental coordination, both within San Joaquin County, as well as with neighboring jurisdictions, the other regional agencies for the San Joaquin Valley, the State of California and various Federal agencies.
Since 1969, SJCOG has served in several roles for its member jurisdictions:
Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA)
In 1973, SJCOG was recognized as the Regional Transportation Planning Agency for San Joaquin County. Initially the designation related solely to the administration and allocation of Transportation Development Act funds for public transit and possible road and street projects. However, over time the role has expanded. SJCOG now serves as the agency responsible for adopting a Regional Transportation Plan, a Regional Transportation Improvement Program which programs state funds within the region's boundaries. In addition, it gives SJCOG planning and coordination responsibilities over most federal and state funding programs for transportation administered by the State of California.
Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)
MPO is a federal designation identifying San Joaquin Council of Governments as the agency responsible for carrying out federal guidelines and statutes for planning and coordination. The passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act has expanded this role. SJCOG is also responsible for approving and programming Federal transportation funds on transit and street and road projects. SJCOG's region is designated as a Transportation Management Area and is carrying out state and federal Congestion Management functions.
Airport Land Use Commission
State law requires all counties with public use airports to establish an Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) to assure that surrounding land uses are compatible with the airports. SJCOG serves as the ALUC for San Joaquin County. The Airport Land Use Plan restricts land uses based on the Federal Aviation Administration's recommended height, noise and safety rules. In consultation with the airport operators, SJCOG staff reviews development proposals within the five airport areas of influence to determine if proposed uses meet the plan's requirements. In many cases, mitigations are recommended to protect both airport operations and public health and safety.
Census Data Center
SJCOG serves as the State Designated Data Center for San Joaquin County, and operates a Research and Forecasting Center. In this role, SJCOG receives the latest information on population, employment, business income characteristics and transportation from both public and private sectors. This information helps local public agencies, chambers of commerce, and businesses with site location, market research and even grants applications. SJCOG combines U.S. Census information with data from a variety of state and local sources and when information is not available, SJCOG staff often makes statistical projections or estimates.
Congestion Management Agency (CMA)
The California Congestion Management Program was approved by the voters as part of Proposition 111. Proposition 111 provided increased taxes on gasoline. The Congestion Management Program was a requirement for counties to receive the increased revenues from the gasoline tax. SJCOG was designated as the CMA for San Joaquin County. The intent of the CMA program was to monitor, and if needed, to mitigate the impacts of development in one jurisdiction on adjacent jurisdiction. SJCOG developed a Congestion Management Plan that was approved by the SJCOG Board.
Subsequent legislation removed the requirement for metropolitan areas to maintain the Congestion Management Program in order to receive the revenue from the increased gasoline tax. Counties were allowed to discontinue the program, but SJCOG did not elect to discontinue the program. SJCOG management has reviewed utilizing the Congestion Management Program as a tool for growth management in San Joaquin County, and may propose changes to the program for this purpose in the near future.
Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan
SJCOG invested over seven years in the development of the San Joaquin County Multi-Species Conservation Plan. The plan designates SJCOG Inc., a subsidiary of the Council of Governments, as the implementing agency of plan activities. The plan calls for the mitigation of approximately 100,000 acres of development through the acquisition of conservation easements over a 50-year period.
Local Transportation Authority (LTA)
In November of 1990, San Joaquin County voters passed a 1/2 cent increase in sales tax to support specific transportation improvements. The monies provided under this 1/2 cent sales tax are often referred to as Measure K funds. The Measure K funds are estimated to provide $2.552 billion for the transportation programs identified in the Expenditure Plan. The agency responsible for carrying out the improvements and administering the program is the Local Transportation Authority. SJCOG was named the Local Transportation Authority in 1990 by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.
Transportation Demand Management Program
Dibs was established by the San Joaquin Council of Governments in 1978 to enhance air quality and help reduce congestion through Transportation Demand Strategies such as carpooling, vanpooling, riding transit and biking and walking. Dibs partners with the Stanislaus Council of Governments and the Merced County Association of Governments to offer services to the three counties of San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced.
Dibs promotes alternatives to driving alone, such as carpooling, vanpooling, bicycling and use of transit services. These alternatives are promoted directly to commuters through its toll-free hotline, web site, events at employment centers, and other promotional events such as Rideshare Week and Bike to Work Week. Dibs operates using Federal Funds under contract with the State of California, through Measure K, and competes for CMAQ funding.
Lead Agency - Transportation Air Quality Attainment
Per the National Clean Air Act Amendments (1990) and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control Plan, adopted by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (Valley Air District), SJCOG serves as joint lead agency for transportation/air quality attainment in San Joaquin County. SJCOG has signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding with the Valley Air District, other Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and local Transportation Commissions in San Joaquin Valley to coordinate transportation/air quality planning functions.
Fair Share Housing Plan
In 1980, the State of California gave all Councils of Government the job of assigning each city and county its "fair share" of affordable housing needs. To accomplish this task, the SJCOG prepares a regional housing needs plan every eight years. The plan lists how many housing units by income category are needed by each jurisdiction, according to state formulas. The purpose of these plans is to help jurisdictions prepare for future residential growth in a way that allows residents of all income levels access to housing. Localities use these housing unit figures in preparing the Housing Element for their General Plans.
- California Vanpool Authority (CalVans). SJCOG joined with eight other MPOs to create a joint powers authority to fund and operate the Vanpool and other public transportation programs to provide agricultural workers with safe, affordable vehicles to drive themselves and others to work.
- Amtrak. SJCOG is a member of the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority to operate Amtrak passenger rail services from Bakersfield to Oakland and Sacramento.
- Altamont Corridor Express. SJCOG works with the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC), which owns and operates the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) service and appoints members to the Commission's board of directors.
- Freeway Service Patrol. Operated by SJCOG with Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol, the program offers free motorist assistance to reduce congestion and increase traffic safety.
- Regional Transportation Plan & Federal Transportation Improvement Program. SJCOG maintains a continuous, comprehensive, and coordinated planning process (the “3 Cs”) resulting in a Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and a Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP).
- Sustainable Communities Strategy. SJCOG has developed a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) to address greenhouse gas emissions as an element of the RTP.
- Community Pulse. SJCOG developed a regional data and performance indicator measurement center, where you can see graphs, charts, and explore up-to-date data on our region!
- Airport Land Use Commission. SJCOG is responsible to assure that surrounding land uses are compatible with the airports, based on the Federal Aviation Administration’s recommended height, noise and safety rules through our state designed role as the Airport Land Use Commission.
- Measure K. SJCOG administers the local transportation sales tax, better known as Measure K, as defined through the development of an Ordinance and Expenditure Plan and a master Strategic Plan.
- Regional Housing Needs Assessment. The state establishes affordable housing targets for each county. SJCOG is responsible for determining the fair share distribution of those affordable units among our member jurisdictions.
At least every four years, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration must jointly certify the metropolitan planning process (the Federal Certification Review process) in designated Transportation Management Areas. The SJCOG region is such a designated area, and the FHWA and FTA most recently conducted this review with SJCOG in February 2021. View the most recent certification letter.