The Rochester-Olmsted Council of Governments (ROCOG) was established in November 1971 to provide comprehensive planning services to member local government units. It was organized to comply with the Federal Aid Highway Act, which requires that all urbanized areas with a population of more than 50,000 have an organization designated by the Governor of the state that is responsible for implementation and maintenance of a regional transportation planning program.
That program includes preparation of a Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and an annual Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which identifies a list of transportation improvements supported by federal funding. ROCOG maintains a cooperative relationship with the City of Rochester, the Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department and Olmsted County, utilizing their staff as necessary to fulfill its transportation planning responsibilities.
The Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department does limited transportation planning, primarily in the area of studies and other special reports done with or for the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MN/DOT).
The ROCOG Policy Board is comprised of sixteen individuals representing the local units of government within Olmsted County and two citizen members, as follows:
The Policy Board has a technical advisory committee which consists of eight members representing each of the major jurisdictions that has dedicated transportation staff. The Transportation Technical Advisory Committee (TTAC) reviews transportation issues that have been identified in the ROCOG planning area and makes recommendations to the Policy Board. The make up of the technical committee is:
ROCOG receives annual funding from the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration to assist in the planning and development of transportation projects throughout the Rochester area. Federal funds provide approximately 80% of the funding used for transportation planning activities, with approximately 13% provided by the State of Minnesota and 7% from local area governments.
ROCOG strives to provide different community interests opportunity to be involved in the planning and programming of transportation improvements. Among the stakeholders are local government jurisdictions and agencies, the State of Minnesota, the Federal government, private citizens and business interests with an interest in the development of an efficient and well-maintained transportation system. ROCOG has an official policy on public involvement.