The RPAC is a committee of local agency planning representatives who provide technical review and recommendation to the Kern Council of Governments Board of Directors. Meetings are held on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m., two weeks prior to the Kern COG / TPPC Meetings.
Kern COG works in cooperation with various state agencies and other planning organizations throughout the San Joaquin Valley to ensure a coordinated approach to transportation planning. Kern COG is a member of several regional collaboratives that work together to address regional issues.
San Joaquin Valley Transportation Planning Agencies
Eight federally designated Metropolitan Planning Associations, including Kern COG, and two Rural Transportation Planning Agencies coordinate efforts to address transportation and air quality issues that impact the entire valley. In 1991, the San Joaquin Valley TPA Directors began meeting regularly to discuss and develop strategies to address state and federal air quality/transportation issues. The eight transportation planning agencies have entered into a joint memorandum of understanding for the purposes of coordinating transportation planning activities. A second MOU exists among the eight TPAs and the Air District for the purposes of coordinating transportation/air quality planning activities.
Eastern California Transportation Planning Partnership
The Eastern California Transportation Planning Partnership comprises representatives from Kern, Inyo, Mono and San Bernardino counties and Southern California Association of Governments. It is intended to address transportation corridors of mutual concern, such as State Routes 14, 58 and U.S. 395. Route improvements in eastern California will ensure that vital tourism, public transportation and freight movement interests among all regions are properly addressed over the next several decades. The partnership was created by a memorandum of understanding in July, 2002.
For information on the role of various agencies, visit the links below:
The SSTAC addresses the needs of the transit-dependent, including the elderly and handicapped. Specifically the committee:
- works with private transportation providers regarding proposed service and transportation planning opportunities;
- informs private sector transportation providers of the criteria used in making service decisions and
- offers private-sector transportation advisors opportunities to present their ideas on transit plan development.
Public Transportation Operators Committee
Representatives of transit providers throughout Kern County make up the PTOC, which provides a forum for any transit-related issue, including performance measures, performance audits, short-range transit plans, productivity-enhancing strategies and new regulations. Fundamentally, the committee works to establish a seamless transit system in the county.
Kern COG coordinates regional air quality planning efforts for on-road mobile source emissions in the Kern Region. Kern is divided into three air basins/planning areas. The San Joaquin Valley, the Mojave Desert and the Indian Wells Valley Planning Area of the Mojave Desert.
San Joaquin Valley Air Basin
The San Joaquin Valley portion of Kern has failed to attain the federal standards for Ozone and Particulate Matter (PM).
- Ozone – To control ozone emissions Kern COG and its member agencies identified all reasonably available control measures (RACM) in accordance with the 1990 Federal Clean Air Act.
- Particulate Matter – To control PM emissions Kern COG and its member agencies identified all best available control measures (BACM) in accordance with the 1990 Federal Clean Air Act.
Kern COG coordinates with the eight San Joaquin Valley counties in air quality planning efforts. For the latest status on the San Joaquin Valley, go to: www.valleyair.org.
Eastern Kern County Air Basin
The mountain and desert portions of Kern have failed to attain some of the federal standards for PM. For the latest status on Eastern Kern, go to: www.kernair.org.
Kern COG also functions as the Kern Motorist Aid Authority (KMAA), which operates roadside call boxes for drivers who require assistance after a vehicle breakdown or other non-emergency situation. KMAA was founded in 1990 to implement a call box system on designated state highways throughout Kern County. The availability of call boxes on rural roads provides aid to motorists traveling in and through the area.
In addition to assuming responsibility for the design, installation and maintenance of the call box system in Kern County, the KMAA works with the appropriate local and state agencies to implement and maintain the system. The KMAA is a member of the California Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies (CalSAFE) organization.
Transportation Corridors may be multi-regional or multi jurisdictional. Roads and highways do not stop at a jurisdictional boundary. By identifying an approved location for a future transportation corridor, many community and environmental impacts can be avoided.
Regional coordination of transportation planning allows local and state agencies to work cooperatively in addressing both the inter-regional and inter-jurisdictional transportation need. Identifying and approving corridor locations prior to the development of housing and businesses permits local agencies to incorporate the approved road or highway corridor into local master plans and allows protection of the corridor at the time of development. Information on corridor plans can be found with our documents.
“A Garden In The Sun”
Established 1910 and incorporated on December 21, 1960, Arvin was named as tribute to Arvin Richardson, an early Kern Pioneer.
Uniform temperatures and miles of rich soil make Arvin one of the most cultivated areas in the region. Products include a bounty of grapes, deciduous fruits, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets and various orchards; all available to buyers across the nation during a long and vigorous growing season.
“More to Explore”
The city that gave its name to the famous Bakersfield Sound is the hub of California’s largest agricultural-producing county and one of the nation’s largest oil-producing areas. Located at the crossroads of several transportation networks, Bakersfield’s central location supports a well-developed economic sector plus numerous festivals and sports events. It also is the seat of Kern County government.
In the mid-19th century, Col. Thomas Baker let the word out that his property was a place where weary travelers could stop and rest themselves and their animals. Word soon spread that everyone was welcome in Baker’s field. From the town he plotted in 1869 to today’s ninth largest city in California, that welcoming spirit of Col. Baker lives on.
“Room To Grow”
California City was founded in May 1958 and incorporated on December 10, 1965. A planned community, California City is the third largest incorporated city in land area in California and the eleventh largest in the United States.
With easy access to the Mojave Desert and Edwards Air Force Base, California City is an ideal area for military personnel and lovers of the wide, open desert.
“International Community Working Together”
Established in 1870 as a Southern Pacific railhead, developed as a farming town, and incorporated in 1915, Delano is an agricultural market center for south Kern and Tulare County farming interests. With easy access to markets, including overnight truck delivery to all California markets, Southern Pacific Railroad and Santa Fe rail facilities, Delano benefits from its location in the center of a two-county agribusiness area.
Delano is the second largest incorporated community in the county.
“Gateway to the Sea”
Incorporated July 25, 1911, this “mother city” of the prolific Midway-Sunset Oil Fields is the gateway to the Cerro Noreste/Mt. Pinos recreation area.
Maricopa is the name applied by a Pima Indian Tribe to a neighboring tribe of Uymas inhabiting the Gila River Valley in southern Arizona. How the name reached California is unknown, but it was given to the oil-booming community when a station on the Sunset Western Railroad was established there in 1903.
The real growth in Maricopa began with the opening of the first Lakeview gusher in 1910. The famed gusher helped make Kern County “First in Oil” in the state and nation.
“Heartbeat of Agriculture”
Located on Highway 99, McFarland is a thriving community deeply rooted in agriculture. Cotton, sugar beets, potatoes, and roses are some of the leading enterprises. A citrus processing plant, an almond hulling facility, and a winery further serve the area’s agriculture and economic interests.
Incorporated July 15, 1957, the town was named for J. B. McFarland, who with W. F. Laird, established the townsite in 1908.
“Key to New Horizons”
Ridgecrest’s beginnings and continued rapid expansion was sparked by the establishment of the China Lake Naval Ordnance Test Station in 1943. Attaining in a decade what most communities take half a century to accomplish, Ridgecrest serves a population exceeding 40,000 and includes the communities of China Lake, Inyokern, Johannesburg, Randsburg, and Trona.
Situated in the Indian Wells Valley, Ridgecrest basks in the clear blue skies and clean air of the high desert. The city was incorporated in 1963.
“Pursuing Our Vision Preserving Our Values”
Named for General William (Pecos Bill) Shafter, the city was incorporated in 1938, and became a Charter City in 1995. Shafter is located approximately 18 miles northwest of Bakersfield in Kern County. Shafter, which traces its roots to the completion of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1898, evolved as a prosperous farming community that today is home to many local businesses and farming operations.
Shafter is host to numerous community events and festivals, and is located within a short drive of various boating, fishing, camping and golfing facilities. Shafter boasts a strong sense of community spirit and pride that coupled with an exceptional “small town” quality of life, makes our city one of the San Joaquin Valley’s best kept secrets.
“Center of Midway, Largest Oilfield in the World”
The city of Taft is on the western side of Kern County. Incorporated in 1910 and named for President William H. Taft, the city has served as home to those dependent upon oil production for their livelihoods.
Taft features an airfield where sky diving and sail plan enthusiasts can be easily accommodated. Taft is also home to Buena Vista Lake and Golf Course, providing recreation for the fun-loving residents of Kern County.