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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Public Involvement & Outreach in Transportation Planning


In accordance with 23 CFR 450.316, a metropolitan planning organization (MPO) is required to engage in a metropolitan planning process that creates opportunities for public involvement, participation, and consultation throughout the development of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Under this requirement, MPOs must allow for:

  • adequate public notice of public participation activities;
  • review and comment at key decision points in the development of the MTP and TIP; and
  • multiple, accessible participation formats, including electronic and in-person.

The MPO should develop a collaborative and comprehensive Public Participation Plan, in full collaboration with the public and stakeholder communities, to be used in the development of the MTP and TIP, as well as to frame the strategies for public and stakeholder communication and collaboration in all phases of the planning process. The Participation Plan itself must be prepared by the MPO with a 45-day public review and comment period. Similarly, states are required to have a documented public participation process.


USDOT’s Promising Practices for Meaningful Public Involvement in Transportation Decision-Making guide provides strategies for meaningful engagement. 

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 incorporates this section by reference).

FTA Circular 8100.1D - 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.

Fact Sheet: Metropolitan, Statewide & Non-Metropolitan Planning provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Metropolitan & Statewide Planning and NonMetropolitan Transportation Planning - 5303, 5304, 5305 provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

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 Public Involvement