The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is mandated by the Federal Highway Act of 1973 to provide a cooperative, comprehensive, and continuing transportation planning and decision-making process. The process encompasses all modes and covers both short-range and long-range transportation planning. MPO plans and programs are reviewed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Each urban area in the United States has a MPO which acts as a liaison between local communities, their citizens, and the state departments of transportation (DOTs). MPOs are important because they direct how and where available state and federal dollars for transportation improvements will be spent.
As defined by federal and state transportation regulations, the primary functions of the MPO are to:
- Establish the goals, objectives and policies governing transportation planning in the region.
- Approve an annual Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) and budget.
- Direct the preparation of, and adopt, the long-range and short-range strategies of the Transportation Plan.
- Recommend projects for implementation through the adoption of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
- Perform the air quality conformity determination for the Transportation Improvement Program.
- The Hernando County Planning Department provides staff services in support of the MPO program.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) holds fully advertised public hearings prior to adoption of all transportation-related plans, documents, programs, and grant applications. Public hearings are also held prior to taking formal policy actions on matters of specific interest to the community and on other topics of importance.
Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, or family status. Persons who require special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or persons who require translation services (free of charge) should contact Dennis Dix, MPO Coordinator, or Mary Elwin, Operations Assistant, at 352-754-4057, at least seven days prior to the meeting.
For more information on MPOs and their importance in the life of a community please read the following by Howard Glassman, Executive Director of Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Committee ---- MPO’s: A Primer