Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study (SKATS)

Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study (SKATS) is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Salem-Keizer area. A MPO is a federally mandated body for any urban area over 50,000 in population. The SKATS MPO is directed by a Policy Committee (PC) composed of elected representatives from the cities of Keizer, Salem and Turner, Marion and Polk Counties, the Salem Area Mass Transit District, the Salem-Keizer School District and a manager from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Region 2 office.

The duties and responsibilities for cooperatively carrying out transportation planning and programming are outlined in the Cooperative Agreement which was adopted by the local jurisdictions in 1987 and amended in 2003 to include the city of Turner. In 2023, the city of Aumsville will become a member of SKATS to reflect the urban areas from the 2020 U.S. Decennial Census.

On May 8, 1987, Governor Neil Goldschmidt designated in a letter to the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments (MWVCOG) that the MPO for the Salem-Keizer area should be the Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study (SKATS) Policy Committee. Federal funding to carry out the transportation planning process would be funneled through MWVCOG and expended at the direction of the SKATS PC.

The SKATS boundary is illustrated in a map that includes the local jurisdictions that make up the MPO.

MWVCOG staff provide the day-to-day staff work for SKATS.

SKATS focuses on transportation planning activities, plans, and studies within the Salem-Keizer urban area for transportation facilities of regional significance. The Policy Committee adopts the long-range regional transportation plan and decides how the federal transportation funds available to the urban area will be spent on transportation projects and programs. Assisting in this process is the Technical Advisory Committee made up of staff from the same jurisdictions as the Policy Committee, as well as from the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Federal Highway Administration.

SKATS does not own, operate or maintain any transportation infrastructure. In addition, SKATS does not have the ability to collect or levy taxes or fees to support any investment in the transportation infrastructure. These duties and responsibilities are left to the members of the SKATS.

As required by federal regulation, SKATS produces three main products that facilitates transportation planning in the area. These are:

  • The Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), a 20-year plan for prioritized transportation investments on the regional system. Updated every 4 years (last adopted on May 23, 2023).
  • The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which discusses the near-term (4-year) allocation of federal and state transportation funds to projects.  Updated every 2-3 years (last adopted on May 23, 2023);  and
  • An annual Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), which details the work undertaken within SKATS, focusing on planning studies (such as facility studies) and programs (traffic modeling and forecasting).  The UPWP was last adopted on May 23, 2023.

Additional information on the projects and programs is available on the SKATS Transportation Hub.

Additional Information

Every four years, the planning processes at SKATS are reviewed by staff from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The latest review was completed in June 2020 and the findings are documented in SKATS 2020 Certification Review (available in Supporting Documents below).

As part of the development of the TIP, SKATS submits the MPO Self-Certification Document certifying that SKATS planning process is in accordance with applicable federal requirement. The latest was for the Fiscal Year(s) 2021-2024 (available in Supporting Documents below).

An update to the SKATS Congestion Management Process (CMP) was adopted in September 2022 by the SKATS Policy Committee. Previously the CMP was an appendix to the RTSP. Related to the CMP is the Regional Operational Characteristics Report (ROCR), which provides yearly reports on metrics of congestion on a selection of roads within SKATS. More information on the CMP and the reports is available at the SKATS Transportation Hub.

SKATS participates in all the planning studies undertaken in the area that are regional in nature. Links to the projects, both on-going and those that have been completed, is available on our Transportation Studies page. SKATS also gathers data on the operations of the transportation system in the Salem area. Maps and data reports are produced regularly and are available on our Maps portal and Reports and Data page respectively. SKATS maintains the regional travel demand forecasting model that is used in many of the studies undertaken in the area.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on gender, disability, age, and income status.  As a recipient of federal and state funds, the SKATS MPO is subject to Title VI provisions and has an adopted Plan to ensure that all have a voice and are considered during the development of plans and projects. Should any individual believe they have been subject to unequal treatment or discrimination, a complaint form is available.