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Section 4: Authority

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Federal Law and Regulations

  • 23 CFR §450.300 establishes an ongoing transportation planning process in urbanized areas and further creates a single-focus planning organization with basic responsibilities in these areas. These regulations combined with 49 CFR Part 18 implement the federal law applicable to the transportation planning process in urbanized areas. The regulations:
  • Define the MPO as the forum for cooperative transportation planning.
  • Establish funding and administrative requirements.
  • Require the development of the following:
    • Unified Planning Work Program ( UPWP)
    • Metropolitan Transportation Plan ( MTP)
    • Transportation Improvement Program ( TIP)
    • Annual Performance and Expenditure Report ( APER)
    • Annual Listing of Obligated Projects.

At the time the UPWP document is submitted as well as at the time the TIP element is submitted, the state and the MPO certify to FHWA/FTA that the planning process is consistent with, and being conducted in conformance with specific program objectives including transportation planning, public transportation, clean air, civil and minority business rights, and rights of elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities.

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State Law

Texas Transportation Code §201.703 and §221.003 (scroll down on linked pages) authorize the department to expend federal and state funds for improvements to the state highway system, and for improvements to roads not on the system of state highways, as may be necessary for proper construction and prosecution of the work. This legislation permits the state to provide the necessary non-federal match (20 percent) for planning the integrated network of federal, state, and local roads.

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The TxDOT Transportation Planning and Programming Division (TPP) is responsible for providing general oversight to carrying out the metropolitan transportation planning process by the department. In turn, the department's districts provide day-to-day involvement in the operations of the activity. This partnership effectively ensures the department's compliance with known requirements.

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In administration of federal grants ( PL funds and Section 5303 funds), FHWA/FTA are the grantors, the department is the grantee, and in the case of planning funds, the MPOs are the subrecipients. In 49 CFR Part 18, known as the "Common Rule" for administering federal grants; §18.40, Monitoring and Reporting Program Performance, (a) Monitoring by Grantees, states:

Grantees are responsible for managing day-to-day operations of grant and subgrant supported activities. Grantees must monitor grant and subgrant supported activities to assure compliance with acceptable federal requirements and that performance goals are being achieved. Grantee monitoring must cover each program, function, and activity.

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