Regional councils play a critical role in the nation’s transportation system: planning how the system will function in the future, providing for citizen engagement, and setting transportation goals and spending priorities for the local governments they serve. Regional transportation planning includes maintaining and improving the roadway and transit systems and bicycle and pedestrian facilities, fostering freight movement, integrating intelligent transportation systems, and more.
Many NARC members are the federally-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for their regions. MPOs are governing boards comprised of local elected or appointed municipal or county government officials and other transportation stakeholders – from state governments, transit agencies, non-profit and advocacy organizations, and others – that collectively decide how to spend federal transportation dollars. Each metropolitan area over 50,000 in population is required to have an MPO. This regional approach is vital for the federal transportation program and ensures that local officials are leading the decision-making for federal investments.
Find more information on MPOs from the Department of Transportation here.