The legislature hereby authorizes creation of regional transportation planning organizations within the state. Each regional transportation planning organization shall be formed through the voluntary association of local governments within a county, or within geographically contiguous counties. Each organization shall:
(1) Encompass at least one complete county;
(2)(a) Have a population of at least one hundred thousand, (b) have a population of at least seventy-five thousand and contain a Washington state ferries terminal, (c) have a population of at least forty thousand and cover a geographic area of at least five thousand square miles, or (d) contain a minimum of three counties; and
(3) Have as members all counties within the region, and at least sixty percent of the cities and towns within the region representing a minimum of seventy-five percent of the cities' and towns' population.
The state department of transportation must verify that each regional transportation planning organization conforms with the requirements of this section.
In urbanized areas, the regional transportation planning organization is the same as the metropolitan planning organization designated for federal transportation planning purposes.