Kern Council of Governments Overview

Kern Council of Governments, better known as Kern COG, is an association of city and county governments created to address regional transportation issues. Its Member Agencies include the County of Kern and the 11 incorporated cities within Kern County.

The Kern COG Board of Directors is comprised of one elected official from each of the 11 incorporated cities in Kern County, two Kern County Supervisors and ex-officio members representing Caltrans and Golden Empire Transit District. Monthly board meetings provide the public forum for discussion and collaborative decision-making on significant issues of regional transportation and mobility. Meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month.

What We Do

As the federally-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization and the state-designated Regional Transportation Planning Agency for Kern County, Kern COG is responsible for developing and updating a variety of transportation plans and for allocating the federal and state funds to implement them.

Although regional transportation planning is its primary role, Kern COG also functions as the state-designated Census Data Center Affiliate for the Kern Region and the Kern Motorist Aid Authority, which operates emergency call boxes on county highways and Kern 511; and provides leadership in the development of Geographic Information Systems in local government.

Following Board direction, staff coordinates between local, state, and federal agencies to avoid overlap or duplication of programs. This intergovernmental coordination enables staff to work with many public agencies to ensure that planning and implementation of programs proceed in a coordinated manner.

A description of tasks to be performed by Kern COG and the costs associated with them can be found in our Overall Work Program (OWP) and Annual Financial Plan.


Transportation Planning Background Information

The following documents contain high level background information on the regional planning process from a variety of sources.  For the latest version of these documents, perform a web search of the website for the organization that originally prepared each document.

  1. Federal Aid Essentials for Local Public Agencies (topical videos)
  2. A Guide to Transportation Decision Making 2015, FHWA (24 pages)
  3. Transportation Funding in California 2018, Caltrans (40 pages)
  4. California Mobility Investment Opportunities 2017, CTC (82 pages)
  5. Transportation/Air Quality Conformity—A Basic Guide for State and Local Officials 2017, FHWA (24 pages)
  6. Regional Planning & Climate Change – Understanding SB 375, (8 pages)
  7. A Guide to Performance Based Planning, 2014 (188 pages)
  8. The Transportation Planning Process Briefing Book for Transportation Decision Makers, Officials and Staff, 2019 (90 pages)
  9. Kern COG 101 Presentation, 2021 (24 pages)


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