GPATS Policy Coordinating Committee
Enabling Legislation: Title 23 USC 134 and Sections 3(a)(2), (a), 5(g)(1), and 5(1) of the Urban Mass
Transportation Act of 1964, as amended, (49 USC 1602Xa)(2), 1603(a), 1604(9)(1) and (1)
The Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study (GPATS) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization, or MPO, for the Greenville Urbanized Area. MPOs were created in the 1960s and required for any Census-defined Urbanized Area with a population of 50,000 or more. MPOs were created to ensure that transportation planning is carried out on the regional scale, in order to allocate federal and other transportation funding most efficiently.
There are 11 MPOs in the state of South Carolina, and GPATS is one of the largest in terms of funding and population. GPATS covers a significant portion of Greenville County and Pickens County, and smaller portions of Anderson, Laurens, and Spartanburg counties. It contains the municipalities of Central, Clemson, Easley, Fountain Inn, Greenville, Greer, Liberty, Mauldin, Norris, Pelzer, Pendleton, Pickens, Simpsonville, Travelers Rest, West Pelzer, and Williamston. It covers an area of 777 square miles and is home to more than 500,000 residents. GPATS is a separate entity from the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), which maintains and manages a large percentage of the roads within the state. Additionally, many of the municipalities and counties within GPATS manage their own transportation projects within their boundaries.
The primary role of GPATS is to be the designated recipient of all state and federal funds for transportation projects. The GPATS Policy Coordinating Committee approves the scheduling of projects, the allocation of funds, and helps to guide the development of the region’s transportation infrastructure. This includes, but is not exclusive to, roads and highways, mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and freight.
The Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study is overseen by the Policy Coordinating Committee, whose members include 36 elected officials from around the region. This committee meets four times a year to address the transportation plans, projects, issues, and opportunities facing the region. The 29-member Policy Coordinating Committee includes elected and appointed officials from within the GPATS region. This committee is responsible for making funding decisions and approving projects and plans.
The Study Team is a technical committee that includes planners, engineers, public works staff, city and county representatives, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Appalachian Council of Governments (ACOG), Greenlink/Greenville Transit Authority, and Clemson Area Transit. The Study Team reviews projects and proposals and makes recommendations to the Policy Coordinating Committee.
The Transit Coordinating Committee (TCC) is a group of individuals, typically with technical training in transit, that discusses regional transit decisions before Study Team and Policy Committee meetings. They bring information and recommendations before the Study Team, who then advises the Policy Committee to help with the decision making processes.
The Chairman appoints 2 members of Council.