FHWA Policy Memorandums - Office of Environment and Planning

INFORMATION: Inclusion of Administrators and Operators of Major Modes of Transportation on MPOs

Federal Highway Associate Administrator for Program Development
Federal Transit Associate Administrator for Grants Management
Regional Federal Highway Administrators
Federal Transit Area Directors and Regional Administrators

Recently, we were asked for our position on encouraging existing MPOs to expand their memberships to include officials of agencies that administer or operate major modes of transportation. As you know, 23 USC 134(b)(2) and FTA Section 8(b)(2) require that such officials be included on any MPO that is redesignated in a transportation management area subsequent to enactment of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA).

Our Interim Guidance on ISTEA Metropolitan Planning Requirements that was sent to you by memorandum dated April 6, 1992, contains the following guidance on this subject: "While not required unless a MPO is redesignated, existing MPOs (in cooperation with States) are encouraged to provide agencies that operate major modes of transportation a voice in the decisionmaking process. Adding such agencies to a MPO will not, in itself, constitute a redesignation action." Since the flexibility provisions of ISTEA need to be fully considered in the development of Transportation Improvement Programs, it is extremely important that the officials of agencies that administer or operate major modes of transportation including transit, air, rail, and water have a voice in the MPO, the forum for cooperative transportation decisionmaking as appropriate.

In our Interim Guidance, we did not attempt to specify how the voice in the decisionmaking process should be provided. In some cases, implementation of a cooperative process between the MPO, the State, and operators of transit and other major modes may be facilitated by giving the transportation providers voting membership on the policy body of the MPO. In other cases, other mechanisms, such as making them nonvoting members or establishing a transportation advisory committee to the MPO that includes the transportation providers, may be appropriate. From our point of view, this is a matter for the MPO, the Governor (or the Governor's designee) the State transportation agencies, and the operators to cooperatively work out.

Where an existing MPO does not include such officials, this guidance should be brought to the attention of the State and the MPO and they should be strongly encouraged to add such officials to the MPO. Questions on this matter should be directed to Mr. Robert Kirkland (FTA, TGM-21, FTS 366-1612) or Mr. Dean Smeins (FHWA, HEP-11, FTS 366-9227).

/s/Robert H. McManus /s/A. R. Kane


Robert H. McManus Anthony R. Kane

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