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Metropolitan, Statewide & Non-Metropolitan Planning


In urbanized areas (with a population of 50,000 or more), federal planning law (49 U.S.C. 5303) calls upon local officials to cooperate with states and public transportation providers in undertaking a continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative (3C) multimodal transportation planning process. Well-organized, inclusive transportation planning can help a region meet current needs while preparing  for future challenges.

In non-metropolitan areas, federal planning law (49 U.S.C. 5304) requires each state to cooperate with local officials to develop a long-range statewide transportation plan and statewide transportation improvement program (STIP). These planning and programming documents are developed through a continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative (3C) process carried out on a statewide basis and coordinated with the metropolitan panning processes of the state. For nonmetropolitan areas, the statewide transportation plan must be developed in cooperation with affected nonmetropolitan officials with responsibility for transportation or, if applicable, through regional transportation planning organizations (RTPOs). Funding is available from FTA to support statewide and non-metropolitan planning through 49 U.S.C. 5305(e). Planning programs are jointly administered by FTA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), which provides additional funding.


23 CFR 450 - Planning Assistance and Standards Federal transportation planning regulations (this link goes to the highway version--the transit version, adopted by FTA at 49 CFR 613, is an identical copy which incorprates this section by reference).

FTA Circular 8100.1C - Program Guidance for Metropolitan Planning and State Planning and Research Program Grants FTA program guidance for metropolitan planning and state planning and research program grants.

FAST Act Fact Sheet: Metropolitan, Statewide, & Non-Metropolitan Planning Brief FTA fact sheet on the planning provisions in the FAST Act.

FHWA FAST Act Fact Sheet: Metropolitan Planning - FHWA fact sheet on the metropolitan planning provisions of the FAST Act.

U.S. Code Title 49, Chapter 53 - Public Transportation This is the public transportation section of U.S. Code. The Metropolitan Transportation Planning statute is found at Section 5303; Statewide Transportation Planning is found at Section 5304; and Planning Programs are found at Section 5305. The Metro and Statewide Planning sections are identical to the corresponding sections of Federal Highways code, 23 U.S.C. 134 and 135.

Additional resources related to Metropolitan, Statewide & Non-Metropolitan Planning

Updated: Friday, June 24, 2016
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