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.
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
Funding for MPO transportation planning is provided through a
combination of federal, state and local funds.
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Last modified: July 16, 2010