The TPB is required to produce two basic documents. The first is the Financially Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan (CLRP) which includes all regionally signficant transportation projects and programs that are planned in the Washington region over the next 25 years. This differs from the second document, the TIP (Transportation Improvement Plan) which lists projects and programs that will be funded in the next six years. In order to receive federal funding, transportation projects must be included in the CLRP and the TIP.
The Financially Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan, or CLRP, includes all regionally significant transportation projects and programs that are planned in the Washington metropolitan region over the next 25 years.
The projects and programs that go into the plan are developed cooperatively by governmental bodies and agencies represented on the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB). Each year the plan is updated to include new projects and programs, and analyzed to ensure that it meets federal requirements relating to funding and air quality.
The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a 6-year financial program that describes the schedule for obligating federal funds to state and local projects. The TIP contains funding information for all modes of transportation including highways and HOV as well as transit capital and operating costs. State, regional and local transportation agencies update the program each year to reflect priority projects in the CLRP.
While estimated completion dates are given for projects in the plan, it should be noted that the TIP is not a Capital Improvement Program. The TIP represents an agency's intent to construct or implement a specific project and the anticipated flow of federal funds and matching state or local contributions. The first year of the TIP is called the Annual Element. Projects that have funds programmed in the Annual Element are eligible to receive federal funding in that fiscal year.
Finally, the TIP serves as a schedule of accountability to the Federal Highway and Federal Transit Administrations. Their annual review and certification of the TIP ensures the continuation of federal financial assistance for Washington area transportation improvements.
The TIP is updated on a two-year cycle. The FY 2011-2016 TIP was adopted by the TPB on November 17, 2010.