The Tribal Transportation Planning Needs Assessment Study was a collaborative project conducted by Caltrans and the Mineta Transportation Institute, San Jose State University. The primary goal of the project was to identify the current state of transportation planning activities and partnerships within Tribal governments in California, so that Caltrans can meaningfully engage more actively with Tribal governments early in the planning process and better meet the transportation needs of Tribal communities. The study focused on the 109 federally recognized Tribal Nations in California, and collected data through a survey questionnaire. The key task undertaken by the study team was to engage and support Tribes to ensure that their opinions were heard and to provide as much or as little technical assistance on the questionnaire as they needed. The findings of the study clearly demonstrate that Tribal Nations have challenges related to technical and staff capacity, funding, lack of resources to meet transportation needs, and lack of collaborative partnerships at the local, state and federal levels, among other issues. This study identifies specific needs and provides recommendations for future engagement between Caltrans, local, state and federal agencies with the Tribal Nations.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Miscellaneous, Planning and Policy

Digital Object Identifier


MTI Project



Transportation Planning, Information, data, and knowledge, Questionnaires, Data Collection, Database, Technical Assistance


Infrastructure | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Transportation