The Southeast Arkansas Regional Planning Commission (SARPC) is a local council of governments that provides planning and technical services to Jefferson County and the local governments within the County. SARPC was established in 1964 in accordance with the Arkansas State Statute on Metropolitan or Regional Planning. Until 1967, Pine Bluff and Jefferson County were the participating local entities in SARPC, and in 1967, the City of White Hall also became a member government. In the early 1970's, the other cities of the County joined the Commission. Three representatives from each member government make up the governing body of the Commission.
In 1974, SARPC was designated by the Governor as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for transportation planning for the Pine Bluff Metropolitan Statistical Area. The formal name of the transportation planning program is the Pine Bluff Area Transportation Study (PBATS). The PBATS program was established in accordance with the Federal Highway Act of 1962, which required urban areas of more than 50,000 populations to create and maintain a continuing comprehensive transportation planning process carried on cooperatively by state and local communities in order to meet the transportation needs of public while complying with local, state and federal rules and guidelines. The PBATS area encompasses the cities of Pine Bluff, White Hall and portions of the unincorporated areas of Jefferson County that make up the Metropolitan Urbanized area as defined by the U.S. Census.