What is a Metropolitan Planning Organization?

The Federal Highway Administration has identified 384 Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs).  An MPO is an agency created by federal law to provide local input for urban transportation planning and allocating federal transportation funds to cities with populations of greater than 50,000.  Nearly half of MPOs (178) operate as part of the Regional Council serving the same general geography. Under federal law emanating from the 1973 Highway Act and the Urban Mass Transit Act, organizations in urbanized areas are designated by their Governors to perform significant planning and programming of federally funded highways and transit projects. Through the Long Range Transportation Plan and its link to the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), MPOs are responsible for approving significant expenditures of federal dollars.

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