Tuesday, October 08, 2013

APTA seeks input for MAP-21 plans

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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) noted Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have jointly published proposed policy guidance and a request for comments concerning the role of metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in future transportation planning. APTA seeks to give active input into that process.

Though some MPOs presaged the initial Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) passed by Congress in late 1991, the organizations have gained increased importance and clout in regional transportation policy and development in the years since. Despite that, many MPOs simply have yielded to state departments of transportation and a continuation of policies heavily weighted toward more highway development.

The current (and stalled) federal transportation plan, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), would require MPOs in large urban areas to include transit representation on their policy boards, APTA says, urging its membership to review the proposal and submit comments "no later than Oct. 30, 2013."

Lee Gibson, vice chair, APTA Policy and Planning Committee, and its Metropolitan Planning Subcommittee, will be initiating the development of APTA draft comments for review by all of APTA membership, APTA said. Those interested in participating via conference call may contact Rich Weaver, Director-Planning, Policy & Sustainability, APTA Policy Department, by email.