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Designation and Redesignation of Metropolitan Planning Organizations

[Note: This document has been incorporated into and/or superseded by the FHWA/FTA Final Rule on statewide and metropolitan transportation planning and programming and congestion management processes / systems which was published in the Federal Register on February 14, 2007 and became effective on March 16, 2007. This Final Rule can be accessed at: HTML version: PDF version: (394KB). - ed.]

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March 30, 2005

Some inconsistencies exist between Title 23, United States Code, Highways (23 U.S.C.) and Title 49, Unted States Code, Transportation (49 U.S.C.) and between 23 U.S.C. and Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) with respect to designation and redesignation of Metropolotain Planning Organizations (MPOs). The metropolitan planning section of 23 CFR was last revised prior to the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21); consequently, in reconciling inconsistencies between the statute and the regulation, the language in 23 U.S.C. is controlling. The U.S. Department of Transportation is working to resolve remaining inconsistencies between 23 U.S.C. and 49 U.S.C.

To reconcile these differences the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) planning offices have adopted the following policy directions regarding designation and redesignation of MPOs:

The idea behind these more restrictive criteria for redesignation is that State authorities should not be allowed to unilaterally abolish and redesignate an MPO without the willing agreement of the local governments for whom the MPO was originally designated.

The "revocation" provision was explicitly removed from 23 U.S.C. by TEA-21 reauthorization language. Consequently, FHWA and FTA have interpreted the more restrictive provisions in 23 U.S.C. as controlling since it was enacted more recently than the statutory language in 49 U.S.C. 5303 and after 23 CFR Part 450 was issued.

In general, the following changes to an MPO policy board are allowed under 23 CFR 450.306(i)-(k), without requiring a redesignation:

Updated: 11/6/2012
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