Two Portland-area planning agencies have combined staff and resources into a single organization.

The Greater Portland Council of Governments and Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System announced the new arrangement in a statement Wednesday.

The two groups will operate together as GPCOG and are expected to merge completely within three years. The two agencies share offices at 970 Baxter Boulevard.

“As one combined organization, we can now fully realize our strategic vision of a more prosperous, stronger and more secure region, as we integrate economic and public health programs with the region’s current and new transportation initiatives,” GPCOG President Jerre Bryant said in a written statement.

The Greater Portland Council of Governments was established in 1969 and provides land-use planning and economic development services to 26 cities and towns in Cumberland County.

The comprehensive transportation system helps coordinate transportation planning and investment with federal funds in 18 communities in southern Maine. It was created in 1975.

“With our staff experts working side-by-side, there will be more opportunities to implement and refine PACTS’ long range transportation plans, and integrate federal investments with local and regional growth strategies,” PACTS Chair Bob Burns said in a statement.

Peter McGuire can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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