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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

Statute, Regulation, & Guidance


Federal requirements regarding transportation planning in metropolitan areas, non-metropolitan areas, and statewide settings is legally established by enabling federal legislation, or statutes. Chapter 53 of Title 49 of the U.S. Code is amended to reflect changes regarding planning requirements in legislation enacted by Congress. The federal agencies responsible for implementing these laws then write regulations, providing descriptive and procedural detail to help planning practitioners implement the new requirements effectively. Accordingly, federal regulations carry the force of federal law. Finally, advisory guidance may also exist to clarify statute and regulation. Guidance is useful for understanding the specifics and "special cases" of how federal planning law is actually implemented.


Local Match Waiver for Complete Streets - This Dear Colleague letter informs states and metropolitan planning organizations that FTA has approved a waiver of the non-federal match for the Metropolitan Planning Program and the State Planning and Research Program for Complete Streets planning activities. For more information on the waiver and how grant recipients can utilize this waiver, please refer to the FAQ page.

FTA Toolkit - Applying Increased Federal Share Toward Planning Grants 49 USC 5305(f)(2) - This toolkit provides information about developing grant applications for planning grants with increased Federal support. FTA is increasing support for planning activities that help communities with lower population densities or lower average incomes expand access to public transportation. The toolkit explains eligibility, allowable activities and provides examples of potential projects.  

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 that incorporates this section by reference).

23 CFR 450 - Final Rule on Statewide and Nonmetropolitan Transportation Planning and Metropolitan Transportation Planning - The FTA and FHWA joint guidance on Statewide and Nonmetropolitan Transportation Planning and Metropolitan Transportation Planning published on May 27, 2016.

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.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Metropolitan Planning Organization Coordination and Planning Area Reform - Open for public comment until October 24, 2016.

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.