Transportation Planning

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Transportation planning plays a fundamental role in a State, region, or community’s vision for its future. It includes a comprehensive consideration of possible strategies; an evaluation process that encompasses diverse viewpoints; the collaborative participation of relevant transportation-related agencies and organizations; and open, timely, and meaningful public involvement.

Transportation planning is a cooperative process designed to foster involvement by all users of the system, such as businesses, community groups, environmental organizations, the traveling public, freight operators, and the general public, through a proactive public participation process. In urbanized areas, the transportation planning process is conducted by a Metropolitan Planning Organization, in cooperation with the State Department of Transportation and transit providers. In rural areas, transportation planning processes are carried out by the State, in cooperation with local officials in non-metropolitan areas and transit providers. FTA and FHWA jointly administer the federally required transportation planning processes in metropolitan areas, as set forth in 49 U.S.C. 5303 and 23 U.S.C. 134. In rural areas and on a statewide basis, the statutory provisions for transportation planning are set forth in 49 U.S.C. 5304 and 23 U.S.C. 135.

More Info Description Selected Highlights

Metropolitan Planning Process & Products

Federal planning law (49 U.S.C. 5303) calls upon State and local officials and transit providers in metropolitan areas to undertake a continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative (3C) multimodal transportation planning process. This page presents information and resources about the products, processes, and players involved in the metropolitan transportation planning process.


Statewide & Non-Metropolitan Planning

Federal planning law (49 U.S.C. 5304) requires each State to develop a multi-modal long-range statewide transportation plan and statewide transportation improvement program (STIP). This page presents information and resources about the products and processes involved in the statewide transportation planning process.


Statute, Regulation & Guidance

This page contains links to the official Federal legislation, regulations, and policy guidance that govern transportation planning, as well as additional resources related to planning statute and regulation.


Training & Technical Assistance

This page provides links to planning webinars, training courses, and guidebooks—useful whether you’re a member of the public seeking a basic introduction to the field or an experienced transportation planner looking to sharpen your skills.


Planning Grant Programs

FTA provides formula grant funding for transportation planning under 49 U.S.C. 5305(d). This page provides information about FTA’s planning grant programs.


Planning Topic Index: A to Z

Planning is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary process that touches on many different topic areas. This page provides an A-Z list of planning topic area pages, each with links to FTA resources that topic.


Planning Resource Library

A one-stop-shop for all of our planning resources. Search, sort, and filter by title or topic area to find exactly the resource you’re looking for.