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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 29, 2001
Contacts:
FHWA, Lori Irving, 202-366-0660
FTA, Karen Clarke, 202-366-4043
FHWA 40-01

FHWA, FTA Launch Program To Help Meet Transportation Challenges

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today joined the administrators of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in launching the Metropolitan Capacity Building (MCB) program and program web site. The goal of the MCB program is to improve public ability to respond to transportation challenges in metropolitan areas.

"I have time and again seen the power of transportation improve cities and neighborhoods of all backgrounds, and the MCB program will help leverage that power," Secretary Mineta said. "This program is a good example of applying new technology to complex, real-world transportation problems - one of my priorities for the department.

The MCB website provides a "one-stop" shop for information on a broad array of planning topics. It contains information about the MCB program, a briefing book for metropolitan planning organization board members, case studies, training information, hot links to other relevant sites and more.

"Metropolitan areas face enormous challenges, such as congestion, air quality, financial constraints, growth issues and diverse traveler needs," FHWA Administrator Mary Peters said. "The Metropolitan Capacity Building program will help elected officials and transportation professionals meet these challenges and design and operate transportation facilities that meet the needs of the American public."

FTA Administrator Jennifer L. Dorn said, "In the largest metropolitan areas, where traffic congestion is a pressing concern, a multi-modal, balanced approach to addressing transportation issues is essential. A decision-making process that is inclusive, offering communities a voice in planning solutions, will ensure that issues are addressed in ways that are responsive to community needs and concerns. I believe the MCB program will increase awareness, understanding, and informed participation in the transportation planning and decision-making processes, and help keep our communities safe and moving."

The MCB program has several components. It provides transportation agency board members information on the metropolitan transportation planning process. It also provides a means for sharing successful examples of good practice. The FHWA and FTA, in conjunction with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the American Public Transit Association, and the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations also offer technical assistance, training and education programs.

By consolidating this information in one place, the agency hopes to help state and local transportation officials and their staffs become better prepared to address the transportation issues in metropolitan areas.

The Metropolitan Capacity Building web site on the Internet is www.mcb.fhwa.dot.gov.

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