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Section 3: MPO Coordination

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Federal Requirements

The MPO, in cooperation with the state and operators of publicly owned transit services, shall be responsible for carrying out the metropolitan transportation planning process. The MPO, the state, and transit operator(s) shall cooperatively determine their mutual responsibilities in the planning process. They shall cooperatively develop the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), MTP, and TIP. In addition, MTP and TIP development shall be coordinated with other providers of transportation, e.g., sponsors of regional airports, maritime port operators, rail freight operators, etc. In nonattainment or maintenance areas, the MPO shall coordinate MTP development with the State Implementation Plan (SIP) development process including the development of the transportation control measures.

The MPO shall develop or assist in developing transportation control measures (TCMs). As required by 23 CFR §500, the required management systems shall be developed cooperatively by the state, the MPOs, and transit operators for each metropolitan planning area. In TMAs, the congestion management system (CMS) will be developed as part of the metropolitan transportation planning process. The state shall cooperatively participate in MTP development.

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TxDOT Requirements

As program manager for the metropolitan transportation planning process, TxDOT serves as both partner in the continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative planning process (also called the “3C” planning process) and as manager of the federal funds used in the process. This means TxDOT will provide the necessary support and information to assist the MPOs in the developing plans and programs. However, TxDOT also has the responsibility of ensuring the federal funds allocated to the MPOs are spent in an appropriate manner and in accordance with federal requirements.

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Oversight of Attainment, Non-TMA MPO Agreement

FHWA, acting on behalf of FTA and itself, developed an agreement with TxDOT to give TxDOT the responsibility of overseeing certain activities of the attainment, non-TMA MPOs. The following outlines the responsibilities of each agency:

  • FHWA will continue to review and approve the initial UPWP. TxDOT will then review and approve all subsequent revisions. TxDOT will send copies of the approved revisions to FHWA.
  • FHWA will provide a letter of authorization to TxDOT for the funds obligating the full unobligated balance for the MPOs. FHWA will also provide, as a contingency amount, those funds not programmed. TxDOT will manage and track the contingency amounts for each MPO.
  • If an MPO revises its UPWP, TxDOT would review and approve/reject the revision. Copies of approved UPWPs would be transmitted to FHWA for their information. In the case of TMAs, no work order would be issued to the MPOs prior to receiving FHWA approval of their UPWP or revisions.
  • Triennial reviews will not be conducted unless deemed necessary by individual circumstances. TPP will continue to be in constant contact with the TxDOT district personnel and MPO staff and will be able to identify potential issues and address them in a timely manner. TxDOT will provide necessary documentation to ensure FHWA that, for a Joint Record of Review for the STIP, planning procedures are being followed.
  • TxDOT will submit to FHWA a copy of the annual performance report for each MPO.
  • TxDOT will continue its review and approval of contracts for areas without approved procurement procedures only for contracts using public law funds. The only prior approval would come from TxDOT’s General Services Division on the contract or from TxDOT’s Transportation Planning and Programming Division on the scope of work. Field representatives will continue to recommend that MPOs develop approved procurement procedures.
  • TxDOT would review and approve all equipment purchases over $5,000 in accordance with OMB Circular A-87.
  • FHWA and FTA will conduct process reviews as deemed necessary. Process reviews will be a coordinated team approach with representatives of TxDOT, FHWA, and FTA participating.
  • TxDOT will implement whatever steps are necessary to effectively carry out its responsibility as the oversight agency.
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Metropolitan Transportation Planning Contract

The Metropolitan Transportation Planning Contract is used to identify the responsibilities of both the state and the MPO to carry out transportation planning in the metropolitan area. It also identifies the eligible expenditures by the MPO and the conditions for compensation. To see a PDF file of a generic, sample contract, click pln_aph.

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