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What is an MPO?

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A Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is an agency whose purpose is to prioritize how federal transportation funding will be spent in the region. An MPO is required to provide a continuous, cooperative, and comprehensive transportation planning process that considers all transportation modes and supports the region's overall economic, social and environmental goals. The MPO’s plans and programs lead to the development of an integrated, intermodal transportation system that facilitates the efficient, economic movement of people and goods.

Federal law requires that an MPO be designated for each urbanized area with a population of 50,000 or more. The US Census Bureau determines if an area is urbanized and what the boundary of the urbanized area is based on the results of the decennial census. There are about 400 MPOs across the country and 23 located in Texas. Each MPO receives federal funding for transportation planning and programming. Many also receive state and local funds as well to carry out their mandated planning activities.


For more information about MPOs and the transportation planning process, please visit the website for the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) at


For more information about the MPOs in Texas, please visit the website for the Association of Texas Metropolitan Planning Organizations (TEMPO) at