The Metropolitan Planning Organization is established as a required part of the transportation planning process under federal law. It is responsible for planning and programming financial resources for a multi-modal transportation system for the Boston region. The MPO was established in 1973.
The Boston MPO Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that details the governing structure and process of the MPO can be viewed at www.bostonmpo.org/mou
The MPO must prepare and approve several plans and programs on an annual basis. These include:
• The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), which programs funds for transportation planning programs in the region;
• The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which programs federal, state, and local funding for surface transportation projects (highway and transit).
The MPO also prepares and approves several other plans and programs as necessary. These include:
• The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), which provides a 25-year plan for the Region’s transportation needs and priorities and;
• The conformity of all surface transportation plans and programs with applicable federal laws (including air quality, and the Americans with Disabilities Act).
Meetings are held as needed to accomplish the MPO’s business. There are approximately two MPO meetings a month and all but four are held in Boston, during the day, at the state transportation building. Four MPO meetings will be held (one per quarter) outside of Boston. MPO meetings typically begin at 10 AM on the first and third Thursday of the month, and last approximately three hours. The MPO has the authority to establish necessary committees to accomplish its responsibilities. Recent experience suggests that the municipal members of the MPO or their designees attend at least two meetings per month to accomplish the work of the MPO.