49 U.S.C. § 5303 - Metropolitan transportation planning

Cite as:49 U.S.C. § 5303
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-65 (10/09/2019)
 
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(a) POLICY.-It is in the national interest-

(1) to encourage and promote the safe and efficient management, operation, and development of resilient surface transportation systems that will serve the mobility needs of people and freight and foster economic growth and development within and between States and urbanized areas, while minimizing transportation-related fuel consumption and air pollution through metropolitan and statewide transportation planning processes identified in this chapter; and

(2) to encourage the continued improvement and evolution of the metropolitan and statewide transportation planning processes by metropolitan planning organizations, State departments of transportation, and public transit operators as guided by the planning factors identified in subsection (h) and section 5304(d).

(b) DEFINITIONS.-In this section and section 5304, the following definitions apply:

(1) METROPOLITAN PLANNING AREA.-The term "metropolitan planning area" means the geographic area determined by agreement between the metropolitan planning organization for the area and the Governor under subsection (e).

(2) METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION.-The term "metropolitan planning organization" means the policy board of an organization established as a result of the designation process under subsection (d).

(3) NONMETROPOLITAN AREA.-The term "nonmetropolitan area" means a geographic area outside designated metropolitan planning areas.

(4) NONMETROPOLITAN LOCAL OFFICIAL.-The term "nonmetropolitan local official" means elected and appointed officials of general purpose local government in a nonmetropolitan area with responsibility for transportation.

(5) REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLANNING ORGANIZATION.-The term "regional transportation planning organization" means a policy board of an organization established as the result of a designation under section 5304(l).

(6) TIP.-The term "TIP" means a transportation improvement program developed by a metropolitan planning organization under subsection (j).

(7) URBANIZED AREA.-The term "urbanized area" means a geographic area with a population of 50,000 or more, as determined by the Bureau of the Census.

(c) GENERAL REQUIREMENTS.-

(1) DEVELOPMENT OF LONG-RANGE PLANS AND TIPS.-To accomplish the objectives in subsection (a), metropolitan planning organizations designated under subsection (d), in cooperation with the State and public transportation operators, shall develop long-range transportation plans and transportation improvement programs through a performance-driven, outcome-based approach to planning for metropolitan areas of the State.

(2) CONTENTS.-The plans and TIPs for each metropolitan area shall provide for the development and integrated management and operation of transportation systems and facilities (including accessible pedestrian walkways, bicycle transportation facilities, and intermodal facilities that support intercity transportation, including intercity buses and intercity bus facilities and commuter vanpool providers) that will function as an intermodal transportation system for the metropolitan planning area and as an integral part of an intermodal transportation system for the State and the United States.

(3) PROCESS OF DEVELOPMENT.-The process for developing the plans and TIPs shall provide for consideration of all modes of transportation and shall be continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive to the degree appropriate, based on the complexity of the transportation problems to be addressed.

(d) DESIGNATION OF METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATIONS.-

(1) IN GENERAL.-To carry out the transportation planning process required by this section, a metropolitan planning organization shall be designated for each urbanized area with a population of more than 50,000 individuals-

(A) by agreement between the Governor and units of general purpose local government that together represent at least 75 percent of the affected population (including the largest incorporated city (based on population) as determined by the Bureau of the Census); or

(B) in accordance with procedures established by applicable State or local law.

(2) STRUCTURE.-Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the Federal Public Transportation Act of 2012, each metropolitan planning organization that serves an area designated as a transportation management area shall consist of-

(A) local elected officials;

(B) officials of public agencies that administer or operate major modes of transportation in the metropolitan area, including representation by providers of public transportation; and

(C) appropriate State officials.

(3) REPRESENTATION.-

(A) IN GENERAL.-Designation or selection of officials or representatives under paragraph (2) shall be determined by the metropolitan planning organization according to the bylaws or enabling statute of the organization.

(B) PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION REPRESENTATIVE.-Subject to the bylaws or enabling statute of the metropolitan planning organization, a representative of a provider of public transportation may also serve as a representative of a local municipality.

(C) POWERS OF CERTAIN OFFICIALS.-An official described in paragraph (2)(B) shall have responsibilities, actions, duties, voting rights, and any other authority commensurate with other officials described in paragraph (2).

(4) LIMITATION ON STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION.-Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to interfere with the authority, under any State law in effect on December 18, 1991, of a public agency with multimodal transportation responsibilities-

(A) to develop the plans and TIPs for adoption by a metropolitan planning organization; and

(B) to develop long-range capital plans, coordinate transit services and projects, and carry out other activities pursuant to State law.

(5) CONTINUING DESIGNATION.-A designation of a metropolitan planning organization under this subsection or any other provision of law shall remain in effect until the metropolitan planning organization is redesignated under paragraph (6).

(6) REDESIGNATION PROCEDURES.-

(A) IN GENERAL.-A metropolitan planning organization may be redesignated by agreement between the Governor and units of general purpose local government that together represent at least 75 percent of the existing planning area population (including the largest incorporated city (based on population) as determined by the Bureau of the Census) as appropriate to carry out this section.

(B) RESTRUCTURING.-A metropolitan planning organization may be restructured to meet the requirements of paragraph (2) without undertaking a redesignation.

(7) DESIGNATION OF MORE THAN 1 METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION.-More than 1 metropolitan planning organization may be designated within an existing metropolitan planning area only if the Governor and the existing metropolitan planning organization determine that the size and complexity of the existing metropolitan planning area make designation of more than 1 metropolitan planning organization for the area appropriate.

(e) METROPOLITAN PLANNING AREA BOUNDARIES.-

(1) IN GENERAL.-For the purposes of this section, the boundaries of a metropolitan planning area shall be determined by agreement between the metropolitan planning organization and the Governor.

(2) INCLUDED AREA.-Each metropolitan planning area-

(A) shall encompass at least the existing urbanized area and the contiguous area expected to become urbanized within a 20-year forecast period for the transportation plan; and

(B) may encompass the entire metropolitan statistical area or consolidated metropolitan statistical area, as defined by the Bureau of the Census.

(3) IDENTIFICATION OF NEW URBANIZED AREAS WITHIN EXISTING PLANNING AREA BOUNDARIES.-The designation by the Bureau of the Census of new urbanized areas within an existing metropolitan planning area shall not require the redesignation of the existing metropolitan planning organization.

(4) EXISTING METROPOLITAN PLANNING AREAS IN NONATTAINMENT.-

(A) IN GENERAL.-Notwithstanding paragraph (2), except as provided in subparagraph (B), in the case of an urbanized area designated as a nonattainment area for ozone or carbon monoxide under the Clean Air Act ( 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) as of the date of enactment of the SAFETEA-LU, the boundaries of the metropolitan planning area in existence as of such date of enactment shall be retained.

(B) EXCEPTION.-The boundaries described in subparagraph (A) may be adjusted by agreement of the Governor and affected metropolitan planning organizations in the manner described in subsection (d)(6).

(5) NEW METROPOLITAN PLANNING AREAS IN NONATTAINMENT.-In the case of an urbanized area designated after the date of enactment of the SAFETEA-LU, as a nonattainment area for ozone or carbon monoxide, the boundaries of the metropolitan planning area-

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