MPO Final Rule

The U.S. DOT issued a final rule on Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) coordination that would require a unified suite of planning products (i.e. long-range transportation plan and Transportation Improvement Program) for each metropolitan planning area. This new rule include most of southeast Wisconsin, northwest Indiana and our region (CMAP).

To comply with this rule, urbanized areas that are currently served by multiple MPOs would require significant changes. This could include adjusting the existing MPO planning boundaries, merger of MPOs, or approval of identical planning products by the affected MPOs and their respective governors. The rule’s provisions would take effect two years after release of the 2020 U.S. Census results, which is likely to be in 2024. The final rule includes provisions for affected MPOs and their governors to petition U.S. DOT to waive the new requirements, while meeting certain criteria.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) has expressed their concern over potential impacts of the rule in our region, including an overly complex planning process, difficulty in meeting unique state and local regulations, and disincentives to pursue innovative or high-quality planning products.