Functions of an MPO
A Metropolitan Planning Organization is a group of representatives from local governments that work together on regional transportation planning. By working together, MPOs strive to achieve consensus on projects between different levels of government and across jurisdictions. The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board is the MPO for the Baltimore region.
Under federal law, MPOs are required to:
Approve transportation improvement programs containing major transportation projects;
Ensure that these plans are consistent with federal environmental legislation and that they are financially affordable.
Work products include the Long-range Transportation Plan, the Transportation Improvement Program, and the Unified Planning Work Program.
The five core functions of an MPO:
- Establish a setting: Establish and manage a fair and impartial setting for effective regional decision-making in the metropolitan area.
- Evaluate alternatives: Evaluate transportation alternatives, scaled to the size and complexity of the region, to the nature of its transportation issues, and to the realistically available options.
- Maintain a long-range transportation plan: Develop and update a long-range transportation plan for the metropolitan area covering a planning horizon of at least twenty years that fosters (1) mobility and access for people and goods, (2) efficient system performance and preservation, and (3) quality of life.
- Develop a transportation improvement program: Develop a program based on the long-range transportation plan and designed to serve the area’s goals, using spending, regulating, operating, management, and financial tools.
- Involve the public: Involve the general public and all the significantly affected sub-groups in the four essential functions listed above.
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