A Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is a federally mandated and federally funded transportation policy-making organization that is made up of representatives from local government and transportation providers. The United States Congress passed the Federal- Aid Highway Act of 1962, which required the formation of an MPO for any urbanized area (UZA) with a population greater than 50,000.
Federal funding for transportation projects and programs are channeled through this planning process. Congress created MPOs in order to ensure that existing and future expenditures of governmental funds for transportation projects and programs are based on a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive (“3‑C”) planning process. Statewide and metropolitan transportation planning processes are governed by federal law (23 U.S.C. §§ 134–135). Transparency through public access to participation in the planning process and electronic publication of plans now is required by federal law.