Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO)
A metropolitan planning organization (MPO) is a federally-mandated and federally-funded transportation policy-making organization that is made up of representatives from local governments and governmental transportation authorities. Federal law requires the formation of an MPO for any urbanized area (UZA) with a population greater than 50,000. Federal funding for transportation projects and programs are channeled through this planning process. Congress created MPOs to ensure that existing and future expenditures of federal funds for transportation projects and programs are based on a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive (“3‑C”) planning process.
MPOs are charged with developing a 20-year long-range transportation plan (LRTP) and a short-term (usually 2-6 years) program called the transportation improvement program (TIP) for each of their respective regions. The seven MPOs of which Maryland jurisdictions and agencies are members are listed below. The Maryland member jurisdictions are listed beside each MPO (note that some MPOs cover multi-state regions). The Maryland Department of Transportation is a member of each of the MPOs listed.