(a) To carry out the metropolitan transportation planning process under this subpart, an MPO shall be designated for each urbanized area with a population of more than 50,000 individuals (as determined by the Bureau of the Census).
(b) MPO designation shall be made by agreement between the Governor and units of general purpose local government that together represent at least 75 percent of the affected population (including the largest incorporated city, based on population, as named by the Bureau of the Census) or in accordance with procedures established by applicable State or local law.
(c) The FHWA and the FTA shall identify as a TMA each urbanized area with a population of over 200,000 individuals, as defined by the Bureau of the Census. The FHWA and the FTA shall also designate any urbanized area as a TMA on the request of the Governor and the MPO designated for that area.
(d) TMA structure:
(1) Not later than October 1, 2014, each metropolitan planning organization that serves a designated TMA shall consist of:
(i) Local elected officials;
(ii) Officials of public agencies that administer or operate major modes of transportation in the metropolitan area, including representation by providers of public transportation; and
(iii) Appropriate State officials.
(2) An MPO may be restructured to meet the requirements of this paragraph (d) without undertaking a redesignation.
(3) Representation. (i) Designation or selection of officials or representatives under paragraph (d)(1) of this section shall be determined by the MPO according to the bylaws or enabling statute of the organization.
(ii) Subject to the bylaws or enabling statute of the MPO, a representative of a provider of public transportation may also serve as a representative of a local municipality.
(iii) An official described in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) shall have responsibilities, actions, duties, voting rights, and any other authority commensurate with other officials described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to interfere with the authority, under any State law in effect on December 18, 1991, of a public agency with multimodal transportation responsibilities -
(i) To develop the plans and TIPs for adoption by an MPO; and
(ii) To develop long-range capital plans, coordinate transit services and projects, and carry out other activities pursuant to State law.
(e) To the extent possible, only one MPO shall be designated for each urbanized area or group of contiguous urbanized areas. More than one MPO may be designated to serve an urbanized area only if the Governor(s) and the existing MPO, if applicable, determine that the size and complexity of the urbanized area-make designation of more than one MPO appropriate. In those cases where two or more MPOs serve the same urbanized area, the MPOs shall establish official, written agreements that clearly identify areas of coordination, and the division of transportation planning responsibilities among the MPOs.
(f) Nothing in this subpart shall be deemed to prohibit an MPO from using the staff resources of other agencies, non-profit organizations, or contractors to carry out selected elements of the metropolitan transportation planning process.
(g) An MPO designation shall remain in effect until an official redesignation has been made in accordance with this section.
(h) An existing MPO may be redesignated only by agreement between the Governor and units of general purpose local government that together represent at least 75 percent of the existing metropolitan planning area population (including the largest incorporated city, based on population, as named by the Bureau of the Census).
(i) For the purposes of redesignation, units of general purpose local government may be defined as elected officials from each unit of general purpose local government located within the metropolitan planning area served by the existing MPO.
(j) Redesignation of an MPO (in accordance with the provisions of this section) is required whenever the existing MPO proposes to make:
(1) A substantial change in the proportion of voting members on the existing MPO representing the largest incorporated city, other units of general purpose local government served by the MPO, and the State(s); or
(2) A substantial change in the decisionmaking authority or responsibility of the MPO, or in decisionmaking procedures established under MPO by-laws.
(k) Redesignation of an MPO serving a multistate metropolitan planning area requires agreement between the Governors of each State served by the existing MPO and units of general purpose local government that together represent at least 75 percent of the existing metropolitan planning area population (including the largest incorporated city, based on population, as named by the Bureau of the Census).
(l) The following changes to an MPO do not require a redesignation (as long as they do not trigger a substantial change as described in paragraph (j) of this section):
(1) The identification of a new urbanized area (as determined by the Bureau of the Census) within an existing metropolitan planning area;
(2) Adding members to the MPO that represent new units of general purpose local government resulting from expansion of the metropolitan planning area;
(3) Adding members to satisfy the specific membership requirements described in paragraph (d) of this section for an MPO that serves a TMA; or
(4) Periodic rotation of members representing units of general-purpose local government, as established under MPO by-laws.
(m) Each Governor with responsibility for a portion of a multistate metropolitan area and the appropriate MPOs shall, to the extent practicable, provide coordinated transportation planning for the entire MPA. The consent of Congress is granted to any two or more States to:
(1) Enter into agreements or compacts, not in conflict with any law of the United States, for cooperative efforts and mutual assistance in support of activities authorized under 23 U.S.C. 134 and 49 U.S.C. 5303 as the activities pertain to interstate areas and localities within the States; and
(2) Establish such agencies, joint or otherwise, as the States may determine desirable for making the agreements and compacts effective.
[81 FR 34135, May 27, 2016, as amended at 81 FR 93470, Dec. 20, 2016; 82 FR 56543, Nov. 29, 2017]