Metropolitan Planning Process & Products

Federal planning law (49 U.S.C. 5303) calls upon local officials in urbanized areas (with a population of 50,000 or more) to cooperate with States and public transportation providers in undertaking a continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative (3C) multimodal transportation planning process. Well-organized, inclusive transportation planning can help a region meet today’s needs while preparing itself to thrive in the face of tomorrow’s challenges.

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Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

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Metropolitan Transportation Plan

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Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

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Unified Planning Work Program

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Guidance image icon - Guidance Regulation image icon - Regulation Statute image icon - Statute

Name Description
Transportation Planning Newsletter

The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Resource Center, the FHWA Office of Planning, and the Federal Transit Authority’s (FTA) Office of Planning and Environment, regularly publish the Transportation Planning Update Newsletter which highlights important transportation planning activities occurring within both agencies and with our stakeholders and partners.

TPCB Metropolitan Transportation Planning

The Metropolitan Planning focus area page is a one-stop shop for resources about the metropolitan transportation planning process on the Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) website.

Statute image icon U.S. Code Title 49, Chapter 53 - Public Transportation

This is the public transportation section of U.S. Code. The Metropolitan Transportation Planning statute is found at Section 5303; Statewide Transportation Planning is found at Section 5304; and Planning Programs are found at Section 5305. The Metro and Statewide Planning sections are identical to the corresponding sections of Federal Highways code, 23 U.S.C. 134 and 135.

Regulation image icon 23 CFR 450 - Planning Assistance and Standards

Federal transportation planning regulations (this link goes to the highway version--the transit version, adopted by FTA at 49 CFR 613, is an identical copy which incorprates this section by reference).

Guidance image icon FTA Circular 8100.1C - Program Guidance for Metropolitan Planning and State Planning and Research Program Grants

FTA program guidance for metropolitan planning and state planning and research program grants.

MAP-21 Fact Sheet: Metropolitan, Statewide, & Non-Metropolitan Planning

Brief FTA fact sheet on the planning provisions in MAP-21.

The Transportation Planning Process: Key Issues - A Briefing Book for Transportation Decision-makers, Officials, and Staff

Click here to get information on key concepts in statewide and metropolitan transportation planning.

NTI Course: Introduction to Metropolitan Transportation Planning

National Transit Institute (NTI) course providing a general introduction and overview of the metropolitan transportation planning process.

Transit at the Table I: A Guide to Participation in Metropolitan Decisionmaking

The first of three Transit at the Table reports drawing upon case studies to identify processes, experiences, and results of transit participation in planning, this report focuses on transit participation in the metropolitan planning process for larger (>200,000) urban areas. 

Transit at the Table II: A Guide to Participation in Metropolitan Transportation Decisionmaking for Transit Agencies in Small- and Medium-Sized Metropolitan Areas

The second of three Transit at the Table reports drawing upon case studies to identify processes, experiences, and results of transit participation in planning, this report focuses on transit participation in the metropolitan planning process for small- and medium-sized (50,000-200,000) urban areas.

FHWA MAP-21 Fact Sheet: Metropolitan Planning

FHWA fact sheet on the metropolitan planning provisions of MAP-21.

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