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Superseded Guidance

Memorandum - Implementing TEA-21 Planning Provisions

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U.S. Department
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Subject: ACTION: Implementing TEA-21 Planning Provisions Date: February 2, 2001






Cynthia J. Burbank, Program Manager
Planning and Environment CBU

Charlotte Adams, Associate Administrator for Planning

Attn. of: TPL-12
To: FHWA Division Administrators
FTA Regional Administrators

The purpose of this memorandum is to advise you how to proceed with TEA-21 planning requirements absent new planning regulations. Although new planning regulations have not been issued, the requirements in TEA-21 are in effect. Hence, FHWA and FTA field offices should be working with MPOs, State DOTs, and transit operators to ensure a basic level of compliance with TEA-21 planning requirements, based on the statutory language.

We would particularly draw your attention to these TEA-21 requirements:

  1. Annual listing of projects
  2. Revenue estimates for Plans and TIPs
  3. State consultation with local officials in non-metropolitan areas
  4. Consultation with transit users and freight shippers and service providers
  5. MIS integration
  6. Federal planning finding for STIP approvals
  7. Consolidation of planning factors
  8. Public involvement during certification reviews

The statutory language for each of these provisions is attached. Because of the uncertain status of the planning regulations, we are not providing written guidance at this time. However, we ask that you advise your State, MPO, and transit partners that these statutory requirements are legally in effect since the enactment of TEA-21, and ask that you work with them to ensure basic compliance.

The current FHWA/FTA metropolitan and statewide planning regulations remain in effect, except where superceded by TEA-21 statutory changes.


cc: Directors of Field Services


Statutory Provisions

  1. Annual listing of projects (23 U.S.C. 134(h)(7)(B); 49 U.S.C. 5303(c)(5)(B)):

    "An annual listing of projects for which Federal funds have been obligated in the preceding year shall be published or otherwise made available by the metropolitan planning organization for public review. The listing shall be consistent with the categories identified in the transportation improvement program."

  2. Sharing of revenue estimates for TIPs and Plans (23 U.S.C. 134 (g)(2)(B) and (23 U.S.C. 134(h)(1)(B); 49 U.S.C. 5303(a)(1) and (f)(1)(E) and 49 U.S.C. 5304(a)(2)):

    ". . .For the purpose of developing the long-range transportation plan, the metropolitan planning organization and State shall cooperatively develop estimates of funds that will be available to support plan implementation."

    "For the purpose of developing the transportation improvement program, the metropolitan planning organization, public transit agency, and State shall cooperatively develop estimates of funds that are reasonably expected to be available to support program implementation."

  3. State consultation with local officials in non-metropolitan areas (23 U.S.C. 135 (c)(1), (e)(2)(B), (f)(1)(B)(ii)(I) and (II), (f)(3)(A) and (B); 49 U.S.C. 5323(1)):

    "With respect to each non-metropolitan area, the long-range transportation plan shall be developed in consultation with affected local officials with responsibility for transportation."

    "With respect to each non-metropolitan area in the State, the program shall be developed in consultation with affected local officials with responsibility for transportation."

  4. Consultation with transit users and freight shippers and service providers (23 U.S.C. 134(g)(4) and (h)(4) and (23 U.S.C. 134(e)(3)(A) and (f)(1)(C); 49 U.S.C. 5303(f)(4) and 49 U.S.C. 5303(a)(1)):

    "Before approving a long-range transportation plan, each metropolitan planning organization shall provide citizens, affected public agencies, representatives of transportation agency employees, freight shippers, providers of freight transportation services, private providers of transportation, representatives of users of public transit, and other interested parties with a reasonable opportunity to comment on the long-range transportation plan, in a manner that the Secretary deems appropriate."

  5. MIS integration (Pub. Law 105-85, Sec. 1308)):

    "The Secretary shall eliminate the major investment study as set forth in section 450.318 of title 23 Code of Federal Regulations, as a separate requirement, and promulgate regulations to integrate such requirement, as appropriate, as part of the analyses required to be undertaken pursuant to the planning provisions of title 23, United States Code, and chapter 53 of title 49, United States Code, and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) for Federal-aid highway and transit projects. The scope of the applicability of such regulations shall be no broader than the scope of such section."

  6. Federal planning finding for STIP (23 U.S.C. 135(f)(4); 49 U.S.C. 5323(1)):

    "A transportation improvement program developed under this subsection shall be reviewed and, on a finding that the planning process through which the program was developed is consistent with this section, section 134, and sections 5303 through 5305 of title 49, approved not less frequently than biennially by the Secretary."

  7. Planning factors (23 U.S.C. 134(f)(1)(A-G) and (23 U.S.C. 135(c)(1)(A-G); 49 U.S.C. 5303(a)(1)(A-G)):

    "The metropolitan (and statewide) transportation planning process for a metropolitan area (or State) under this section shall provide for consideration of projects and strategies that will:

    1. Support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area (or State), especially by enabling global competitiveness, productivity and efficiency;
    2. Increase the safety and security if the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users;
    3. Increase the accessibility and mobility options available to people and for freight;
    4. Protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, and improve quality of life
    5. Enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight;
    6. Promote efficient system management and operation; and
    7. Emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system."

  8. Public involvement in certification reviews (23 U.S.C. 134(i)(5)(D)):

    "In making certification determinations under this paragraph, the Secretary shall provide for public involvement appropriate to the metropolitan area under review."


For the purposes of additional information, please contact Charlie Goodman, Chief, Metropolitan Planning Division, FTA, (202) 366-1944, Paul Verchinski, Chief, Statewide Planning Division, FTA, (202) 366-1626, Sheldon Edner, Team Leader, Metropolitan Planning and Programs, FHWA, (202) 366-4046 or Dee Spann, Team Leader, Statewide Planning and Programs, FHWA, (202) 366-4086.

Item 8 refers to a TEA-21 requirement that FHWA and FTA implement a process for public involvement during the certification process for transportation management areas. We required this process administratively prior to TEA-21. TEA-21 made it a statutory requirement.

Updated: 3/17/2016
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