Rural Planning Initiative

The Rural Planning Initiative or RuPI Grant program is intended to help rural communities identify needs and promote solutions that lead to an interconnected community with efficient modes of transportation. This initial year 2020 will be a pilot grant to determine if this program will benefit rural communities and to further develop the process.

Eligible communities must lie within the Distressed or At-Risk counties, and be located outside an MPO planning boundary.  There is zero local match required.

Applications will be due to the RPO Coordinator by June 10, 2020.

Announcements will happen within 10 days of Review Committee decision; July 29, 2020.


  • Assist rural municipalities to identify solutions, within their communities, that promote the efficiency of a multi-modal transportation system that aids in achieving the statewide transportation goals.
  • Guide rural municipalities in determining the strategies that will support improvements in traffic flow, safety, and overall efficiency of the transportation system. 
  • Provide rural city governments with planning resources to achieve community visions as related to transportation and land use needs that promote future economic growth
  • Assist communities with conducting to conduct facility inventories (transportation portion, like sidewalks) to support their ADA and/or Safe Routes to School plans


(Applicants must agree, to be considered)

  • Establish a dedicated “Steering Committee” of community leaders who will participate for the length of the study. This will involve allocating time for meetings and facilitating community input.
  • Illustrate interest and support from local government, chambers of commerce, merchant organizations, business and property owner’s within project area who recognize the importance of corridor improvements or connectivity to their community
  • Adopt a resolution by participating jurisdictions to implement to the best of their ability’s, recommendations from the study.

Key Facts

  • $25,000 maximum amount for planning services
  • 100% of consultant services will be funded by TDOT for communities classified as Distressed or At-Risk (based upon the eligibility requirements).
  • Project will be managed by the Rural Planning Organization

Eligible Planning Activities

  • Corridor Management Agreement (CMA) identified activities
  • Corridor Studies
  • Access Management studies
  • Road Diet Analysis
  • Transportation Facility Inventories
  • Transportation Feasibility Studies
  • Development of Resurfacing and Striping plans for local routes
  • All CTPG eligible planning documents: Community Mobility Plan, Complete Streets Plan, Bike/Ped Master Plan, Signal Re-Timing Plan.

Overview & Application