Transportation planning plays a fundamental role in a state, region, or community’s vision for its future. It includes a comprehensive consideration of possible strategies; an evaluation process that encompasses diverse viewpoints; the collaborative participation of relevant transportation-related agencies and organizations; and open, timely, and meaningful public involvement.
Transportation planning is a cooperative process designed to foster involvement by all users of the system, such as businesses, community groups, environmental organizations, the traveling public, freight operators, and the general public, through a proactive public participation process.
In urbanized areas, the transportation planning process is conducted by a Metropolitan Planning Organization, in cooperation with the State Department of Transportation and transit providers. In rural areas, transportation planning processes are carried out by the state, in cooperation with local officials in non-metropolitan areas and transit providers.
FTA and FHWA jointly administer the federally required transportation planning processes in metropolitan areas, as set forth in 49 U.S.C. 5303 and 23 U.S.C. 134. In rural areas and on a statewide basis, the statutory provisions for transportation planning are set forth in 49 U.S.C. 5304 and 23 U.S.C. 135.