Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Metropolitan planning organizations

Wisconsin has 14 metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) that share responsibility for transportation planning in 17 metropolitan areas. WisDOT works closely with MPOs to ensure a comprehensive, coordinated approach to local, regional and state transportation planning in Wisconsin's urbanized areas.

What is an MPO?

A metropolitan planning organization is an organization of primarily local elected officials who provide a forum for local decision-making on transportation issues of a regional nature. The federal government requires that an MPO be designated for each urbanized area with a population greater than 50,000. 

This designation must be agreed on by the governor and the units of general purpose local governments that together represent at least 75 percent of the affected population (including the central city or cities as defined by the Bureau of the Census).

Each MPO has a policy board that is generally comprised of chief elected officials who represent different parts of the region served by the MPO. This board is advised by a technical committee (typically referred to as a Technical Advisory Committee, or TAC) that consists of planning and engineering staff from jurisdictions within each region.

The TAC develops high quality technical tools and analysis for the region, and advises the MPO policy board on technical and administrative issues related to regional transportation planning. Some MPOs also utilize a citizen advisory committee and other specialized committees to advise the policy board.

Funding for MPO transportation planning is provided through a combination of federal, state and local funds.

SSI - Project contacts Questions about the content of this page:
Bureau of Planning, bop.dtim@dot.wi.gov 
Last modified: September 5, 2014

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