WATS is a part of a wonderful family of fellow transportation planners across the state the strive to develop the best transportation projects using federal transportation dollars. All the MPOs work with their local transit agencies, Michigan Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, along with all the jurisdictions that are part of the MPO.
There are 13 MPOs across the state of Michigan. WATS is part of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments MPO, but is considered a transportation management area (TMA), with a population over 200,000. In 2010, Michigan added the newest MPO in the state in Midland.
Michigan Transportation Planning Association
Michigan also has a forum by which all Michigan transportation planners can participate in, it is known as the Michigan Transportation Planning Association (MTPA). MPOs, FHWA, and the DOT come together to discuss transportation policy and planning issues. This has been a great way for all agencies to collaborate on the ever changing planning environment.
There are over 384 MPOs in the country that are all working to create a seamless transportation system for all transportation users. Search each state’s MPO list https://www.planning.dot.gov/mpo.asp
As a reminder, a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is an agency created by federal law to provide local elected officials input into the planning and implementation of federal transportation funds to metropolitan areas with populations of greater than 50,000. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962, which mandated the formation of MPOs, has implemented that MPOs must plan for regional transportation planning expenditures and are responsible for the continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive transportation planning process for their urbanized area. Under federal law established in the 1973 Highway Act and the Urban Mass Transit Act, organizations in urbanized areas are designated by their Governors to perform significant planning and programming of federally funded highways and transit projects. The policy leadership, committees, professional staff, and consultants, combined with the administrative capability to support MPO planning processes, constitute the core elements of MPOs activities.
Contact your MPO today to see how you can get invovled http://www.mtpa-mi.org/members.asp.