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Memo: Census 2000 Results for New MPOs and TMAs

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Subject: INFORMATION: Census 2000 Results for New MPOs and TMAs Date: December 21, 2000


ORIGINAL SIGNED BY: Reply to: Murakami

Cynthia J. Burbank, Program Manager
Planning and Environment CBU

Charlotte Adams, Associate Administrator for Planning

Attn. of: HEPM
To: FHWA Division Administrators
FTA Regional Administrators

The first results from Census 2000 will be the population counts for States. These

counts determine the number of Congressional seats for each State. These results are due in December 2000. The first small area data, population counts by race and ethnicity by census block, will be released by April 1, 2001.

MPOs and TMAs are designated based on urbanized area population (50,000 threshold for MPOs and 200,000 threshold for TMAs). The Census Bureau plans to issue a Federal Register notice by February 2001 recommending a new definition of urbanized areas and urban clusters. Subsequent to the Federal Register notice, there will be a comment period. Because of this, the Census Bureau is not planning to define and release urbanized area boundaries until Spring 2002.

Governors and local officials will have 12 months from the time the urbanized area boundaries are released to establish an MPO. A new urbanized area does not require a new MPO, it could be integrated into an existing MPO; a State/local choice.

The earliest time at which the apportionment of metropolitan planning (PL) funds to the States will be affected will be for FY2003 funds apportioned on October 1, 2002. Within a State, the State's current PL formula would be used to allocate planning funds to MPOs within the State, unless modified by the State with input from the existing MPOs and approved by the FHWA Division Administrators and FTA Regional Administrators. A State may provide State Planning and Research, National Highway System and Surface Transportation Program funds to support "start up" planning activities in anticipation of MPO designation.

For more detail, please see the attached sheet of "Frequently Asked Questions."


Frequently Asked Questions

When will new MPOs and TMAs need to be designated?

What is an urbanized area? An urban cluster?

When will the distribution of PL and STP funds have to change to account for these new MPOs and TMAs?

If an existing MPO adds new urbanized areas to its overall planning area, what changes need to be made to its governing board?

At what point do existing MPOs that become TMAs have to modify their governing boards?

Does the definition of new Metropolitan Areas by OMB affect MPOs?

Should State DOTs and MPOs be concerned about whether the Census Bureau uses "adjusted" or "unadjusted" counts from the Census 2000?

Additional information is available at the Census Bureau website (, and for CTTP products at

Updated: 3/17/2016
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