|Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Signatories|
|Bill Carpenter, Mayor, City of Brockton|
|Kenneth Tavares, Chairman, Board of Selectmen, Plymouth|
|Eldon Moreira, Chairman, Board of Selectmen, West Bridgewater|
|Daniel Salvucci, Vice Chairman, Board of Selectmen, Whitman|
|Stephanie Pollack, MassDOT Secretary and Chief Executive Officer|
|Thomas Tinlin, MassDOT Administrator, Highway Division|
|Reinald Ledoux, Jr., Administrator, BAT|
|Frank Staffier, President, OCPC|
The Old Colony Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) serves the Old Colony region and is advised by the Joint Transportation Committee (JTC). The MPO is the region's policy-making organization responsible for prioritizing transportation initiatives and producing the Transportation Improvement Plan. Members include the communities of Brockton, Plymouth, West Bridgewater and Whitman, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), Brockton Area Transit (BAT), and the Old Colony Planning Council.
The Old Colony Metropolitan Planning Organization operates under the following three Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs): the Comprehensive, Continuing, and Cooperative Transportation Planning and Programming Process MOU, the Conduct of Transportation - Air Quality MOU, and the Urbanized Area Designation MOU.
The Old Colony Metropolitan Planning Organization has endorsed the new Memorandum of Understanding on March 15, 2011.
What is a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)?
An MPO is a regional transportation policy-making organization consisting of representatives from local government, regional transit operators, and state transportation agencies. Federal legislation passed in the early 1970s required the formation of an MPO for any urbanized area with a population greater than 50,000. MPOs were created to ensure that existing and future expenditures for transportation projects and programs were based on a "3-C planning process":
- Continuing: Planning must be maintained as an ongoing activity and should address both short-term needs and the long-term vision for the region;
- Cooperative: The process must involve a wide variety of interested parties through a public participation process; and
- Comprehensive: The process must cover all transportation modes and be consistent with regional and local land-use and economic-development plans.
What do MPOs do?
MPOs create a fair and impartial setting for effective regional decision making in the metropolitan area with inclusionary approaches to effectively engage communities and stakeholders. MPOs achieve this by producing three principal planning documents:
Transportation Planning Certification Review Report – August 2016
The activities of the MPO are reviewed by the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration. The most recent Transportation Planning Certification Review Report was issued in August 2016. The report is available here.
The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) is the policy and visioning document of the MPO. This document results from regional and statewide collaboration and consensus on a region's transportation system and serves as the defining vision for the region. The document also contains a financial plan or budget which guides and shapes the actions an MPO undertakes as they fulfill the region's visions and objectives. This 20-year transportation vision document is updated every four years by the MPO.
Every year, the MPO must prepare and update its Transportation Improvement Program, a staged four-year program of capital improvements that reflect the needs of the regional transportation system. Under federal regulations, the TIP must be constrained to available funding, consistent with the long-range Regional Transportation Plan, and include an annual element, or listing, of projects to be advertised in the first year of the TIP. The TIP has a roadway component and a transit component. The State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) is a compilation of the 13 regional Transportation Improvement Programs prepared annually by the MPOs. The STIP is compiled annually by MassDOT/Highway, MassDOT/Rail & Transit Division, the regional planning agencies (RPAs), the regional transit agencies (RTAs), the Office of Transportation Planning (OTP) and the Federal Aid Expenditure and Programming Office (FAPO), and, is reviewed and approved by state and federal transportation and environmental agencies.
To initiate a project into the TIP, communities follow a Project Initiation and Project Review Process. MassDOT has released new 2013 versions of the Project Need Form (PNF) and Project Initiation Form (PIF). These new forms replace the versions that are in the current MassDOT Project Development and Design Guide, and should be used by all project proponents to initiate a MassDOT construction project.
- Project Need Form (PNF): MS Word (98KB) - PDF (199KB)
- Project Initiation Form (PIF): MS Word (211KB) - PDF (211KB)
When a project need has been identified, a project proponent should first complete the new Project Need Form and submit it to the MassDOT Highway District Five (5) Office. Detailed information about the proposed project is not required to complete the Project Need Form: only information related to identifying and defining the project need or opportunity - i.e., traffic congestion, safety concerns, poor pavement condition, etc. - is needed.
After it receives the Project Need Form, the District Office may contact the proponent to clarify information and arrange a field visit to the proposed project site. The District will then notify the proponent of its recommendations for continuing the project initiation process. Possible outcomes may include a recommendation to proceed with the completion of the Project Initiation Form, suggestions for additional planning, or a determination that a project is not warranted at this time.
If the proponent elects to continue with project initiation, the proponent should complete the Project Initiation Form and submit it to the District Office. The Project Initiation Form contains more detailed information describing the project proposed to address the need or opportunity identified in the Project Need Form. Again, after District Office receives the Project Initiation Form, it may contact the proponent to clarify information and discuss issues.
After that, MassDOT Highway's Project Review Committee will meet to review, evaluate, and discuss the proposed project and determine if it warrants approval. The project proponent will then be notified of the Project Review Committee's decision by the District Office. Click on the image to the left to download the current Transportation Improvement Plan, as endorsed by the Old Colony MPO.Accessible Version of the FFY 2016-2019 TIP
Unified Planning Work Program
The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) is a description of the continuing, cooperative and comprehensive transportation planning process of the Old Colony Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Annually, the MPO staff, under the direction of the MPO, prepares a work program of tasks to be completed by the MPO staff. This work program lists the transportation studies and tasks to be performed during this one year period. Transportation studies identified and completed through the UPWP lead to recommended actions that MPOs use to guide future transportation policy and project investment decisions. These regional MPO UPWP tasks and activities are funded with federal funds. Click on the image to the left to download the Unified Planning Work Program for the Federal Fiscal Year 2017 (October 1, 2016 - September 30, 2017)
Additional MPO Documents
In an effort to ensure that public agencies, private enterprises, non-profit organizations, and concerned citizens are kept informed of local transportation plans, the UPWP mandates the creation of the Public Participation Plan. This plan provides opportunities for the public to interact with the metropolitan planning process. OCPC has engaged the public with newsletters, an Annual Report, Visioning Workshops to discuss current issues in transportation planning, and Open Houses and Table Events at various regional public venues. One of the primary goals of the Public Participation Plan is outreach to the region's environmental justice communities to ensure that low-income, minority, foreign-born, or non-English speaking persons have equal access to the planning process.
The objective of Environmental Justice is to ensure that there is equity in the distribution of transportation resources and services for communities or populations classified as minority or low income, as well as equity in the distribution of impacts from projects. As part of this objective, Metropolitan Planning Organizations are required to provided full and fair participation for all socio-economic groups throughout their planning and decision-making processes. This means that all groups should harvest the benefits of transportation projects and equally bear any adverse impacts from them as well. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discriminatory practices in federally funded programs. The Title VI report published by the Old Colony MPO demonstrates compliance with the requirements of Title VI.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. As a sub-recipient of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Old Colony MPO utilizes a Title VI complaint procedure as part of its Title VI Program. The purpose of Title VI is to prevent the denial, reduction or delay of benefits to minority and low income populations, to ensure full and fair participation by affected populations in transportation decisions, and to ensure that policies and programs avoid producing disproportionately negative effects on minority and low income populations. The procedure to file a complaint can be found by clicking on the the link to the left and downloading the Notification of Protection and Complaint Procedure. To file a complaint, contact Pat Ciaramella at 508-583-1833. Additionally, the Title VI Complaint Form is available at this link.
What are the MPOs and RPAs in Massachusetts?
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has 10 urbanized regions designated as MPOs and 3 rural regions that function like MPOs. Each of the MPOs has co-terminus boundaries with the state created Regional Planning Agencies (RPAs). The MPOs/RPAs and links to their websites are as follows:
- • Berkshire Region Metropolitan Planning Organization
- • Pioneer Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization
- • Franklin Regional Council of Governments
- • Central MA Metropolitan Planning Organization
- • Montachusett Metropolitan Planning Organization
- • Northern Middlesex Council of Governments
- • Merrimack Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization
- • Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization
- • Old Colony Metropolitan Planning Organization
- • Southeast MA Metropolitan Planning Organization
- • Cape Cod Metropolitan Planning Organization
- • Martha's Vineyard Commission
- • Nantucket Planning and Economic Development Commission