Why Complete A Freight Mobility Study?

The Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (TDL) cluster is a vital component of South Carolina’s economy, it is also one of five economic clusters the strategy targeted for expansion. Ports and large manufacturers across the state are only as productive as their ability to connect with the rest of the world, and many of those connections travel through the Columbia Region.

The preferred growth pattern of multiple center growth with new growth in existing cities and towns, especially priority investment areas, also requires the mobility of freight to restock supplies or distribute products.

Even Fort Jackson and McEntire Joint National Guard Base recognize the importance of mobility not just for supplies but also for troops.

Central Midlands Council of Governments

Since 1969, the Central Midlands Council of Governments (CMCOG) has been assisting local governments develop local and regional plans within the four midlands counties (Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry, Richland) of South Carolina, as well as providing local governments with planning and technical support to improve the quality of life within the region.

CMCOG currently consists of 15 member governments and serves in excess of 725,000 people by providing a regional forum, which allows local officials to seek out common goals and address regional concerns. Today, CMCOG provides a variety of local and regional planning services and technical assistance to local governments within the four-county region. Three of our services are highlighted below. For  more information about CMCOG please check out our website at


Transportation Planning

The Central Midlands Council of Governments (CMCOG) is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) responsible for carrying out the urban transportation planning process for the Columbia Area Transportation Study (COATS). The primary responsibilities of any MPO are to: 1) develop a Long Range Transportation Plan, which is, at a minimum, a 25-year transportation vision for the metropolitan area; 2) develop a Transportation Improvement Program, which is the agreed-upon list of specific projects for which federal funds are anticipated; and 3) develop a Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), which identifies in a single document the annual transportation planning activities that are to be undertaken in support of the goals, objectives and actions established in the Long-Range Transportation Plan. More information about CMCOG’s Transportation Planning can be found here.

Economic & Community Development

Working with regional economic development partners, CMCOG staff assists local governments in research, referrals and grant writing to support the development, expansion, and retention of businesses in the region. Local governments are also assisted in obtaining grants for water and sewer upgrades and improvements, workforce training needs, neighborhood planning, and other community development needs.

Please note that the Community and Economic Development division does not assist individuals with obtaining grants. People with individual needs can contact the United Way 211 service to locate resources including support groups, community clinics, counselors, shelters, food pantries, programs for seniors and much more. ¬†Additional information about CMCOG’s Economic & Community Development can be found here.

Environmental Planning

The CMCOG Environmental Planning Program examines regional environmental issues such as air and water quality, open space preservation, sustainable energy and environmental justice. CMCOG is also involved with regulatory compliance activities related to Section 208 of the Clean Water Act (CWA); the Federal Clean Air Act; and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). In addition to these activities, CMCOG staff also provides a number of other environmental planning activities related to GIS/Mapping, local government technical support, wetlands mitigation, and comprehensive planning. Learn more about CMCOG’s Environmental Planning efforts for the region here.