Federal Requirements

Did you know?

In addition to being a smart thing to do, long-range transportation planning is also a federal requirement?

Guidelines and requirements for transportation planning are included in past and current federal transportation laws, including 2021’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which directs metropolitan planning organizations, such as COMPASS, to conduct continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive transportation planning processes.

Planning for a Broad Impact

Federal regulations recognize that the impacts of transportation planning extend far beyond “just” transportation. The IIJA specifies that “metropolitan planning shall consider projects and strategies that will:

  1. support economic vitality, especially by enabling global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency;
  2. increase the safety of the transportation system for motorized and non-motorized users;
  3. increase the security of the transportation system for motorized and non-motorized users;
  4. increase the accessibility and mobility of people and freight;
  5. protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, improve the quality of life, and promote consistency between transportation improvements and state and local planned growth and economic development patterns;
  6. enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight;
  7. promote efficient system management and operation;
  8. emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system;
  9. improve the resiliency and reliability of the transportation system and reduce or mitigate stormwater impacts of surface transportation; and
  10. enhance travel and tourism.” (23 USC §134(h))

What Else is Required?

Federal regulations also have other specific requirements for long-range transportation plans, including:

Fiscal constraint — the planned transportation system can only include transportation projects that have funding identified to pay for them.

Coordination and consistency — other plans, such as regional intelligent transportation system (ITS) architecture and the coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan, should be coordinated and consistent with the long-range transportation plan.

Performance-based planning — the plan must include performance targets coordinated with state and public transportation providers to track progress toward meeting regional goals.

Communities in Motion 2050 meets or exceeds all federal requirements for a long-range transportation plan.

Learn more about federally required aspects of long-range transportation planning and resulting plans.