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What is an MPO?

Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) are transportation planning and policy-making organizations for urbanized areas which have reached a population of 50,000 or greater.  MPOs are comprised of representatives from each local jurisdiction within that urbanized area, along with representatives from state and federal government agencies. 

MPOs are federally mandated (US Code, Title 23) and exist throughout the United States in urbanized areas with populations of 50,000 or greater and are designated by the Govenor.

Currently there are eight MPOs in the State of Oregon, as designated by the Govenor.  These inlcude MPOs representing the Portland Metro area, Eugene-Springfield, Salem-Keizer, Medford, Corvallis and Bend.  This also inlcudes two new MPOs in Albany and Grants Pass, which were established following the 2010 Census.  Two Oregon cities are also part of bi-state MPOs based in Washington;  these cities are Rainier (part of the Kelso-Longview MPO) and Walla Walla (part of the Walla Walla Valley MPO).

MPOs are responsible for planning and prioritizing transportation projects within its planning area for federal funds, with major responsibilities inlcuding:

1) Development of a long range transportation plan (20 Years) for the Urbanized Area;
2) Development of a 3-year Transportation Improvement Program, and;
3) Development of a Unified Planning Work Program.

These documents are developed in cooperation with the State Department of Transportation and consistent with the adopted goals of the community.

Learn more about MPOs at the following links:

The Transportation Planning Process - FHWA Briefing on MPOs
Federal Highway Adminstration website

Federal Transit Adminstration website

US Census - Urbanized Area Information

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