Things to know about your MPO

How MPOs are established

MPOs are established based on population reported by the US Census Bureau every ten years. Areas that have a population of 50,000 or greater are required to establish an MPO by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962. MPOs receive federal funding and ensure regional cooperation in transportation planning. MPOs direct federal transportation infrastructure/service and planning dollars towards projects identified in its Transportation Improvement Program and Unified Planning Work Program.

The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) includes projects that are anticipated to be implemented in the MPO region over a four-year schedule. The plan is constrained to anticipated funding and projects that are not consistent with the goals of the MPOs LongRange Transportation Plan cannot be funded. Project examples include infrastructure such as roads, bridges, trails; and capital improvements including new transit buses, shelters, bike sharing stations/racks and more. TIPs are reviewed and updated each year.

The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) is a one-year schedule of all transportation planning activities to be funded in whole or part by state and federal planning funds. Projects ideas originate with members of the Technical Advisory Committee and Policy Board. Previously funded transportation plans include the Long-Range Transportation Plan, Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, Passenger Rail Study, Bus Stop Safety and Accessibility Studies, Regional Freight Plan, and corridor studies for several communities.

Examples of work

New River Valley MPO boundary

The New River Valley MPO was originally established following the 2000 Decennial Census. Originally the boundary included the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg, and the urbanized potions of Montgomery County. Following the 2010 Decennial Census, the urbanized boundary grew to include the City of Radford and urbanized areas of Pulaski County. The MPO planning area includes both the Census urbanized area, and the area that is expected to be urbanized in the next 20 years. A map of the MPO planning area is shown below.