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FTA, FHWA release final rule for metropolitan transportation plans

The Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Highway Administration late last week jointly issued a final rule to update regulations governing the development of metropolitan transportation plans and programs for urbanized areas.

Published May 27 in the Federal Register, the rule also covers long-range statewide transportation plans and the congestion management process. The changes reflect the passage of both the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST).

The changes implement a new mandate for state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to apply a performance-based approach to plans and programs. The final rule requires that states, MPOs and operators of public transit establish targets in key national performance areas to document expectations for the future.

Additionally, the rule calls for a structural change to MPOs and a new framework for voluntary scenario planning.

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