Who We Are
Transportation challenges often reach beyond the boundaries of individual cities and counties. Members of the Chelan-Douglas Transportation Council (CDTC) work together as a unified region to develop strategic plans for better roads, bridges, trails, buses, railroads and airports. The Council establishes transportation priorities that support our region’s economic prosperity and quality of life.
CDTC is a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)
A Metropolitan Planning Organization or an “MPO,” is a federally mandated and federally funded transportation policy-making organization in the United States that is made up of representatives from local government and governmental transportation authorities. The United States Congress passed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962, which required the formation of an MPO for any urbanized area (UZA) with a population greater than 50,000. Federal funding for transportation projects and programs are channeled through this planning process. Congress created MPOs in order to ensure that existing and future expenditures of governmental funds for transportation projects and programs are based on a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive (“3‑C”) planning process. Statewide and metropolitan transportation planning processes are governed by federal law (23 U.S.C. §§ 134–135). Transparency through public access to participation in the planning process and electronic publication of plans now is required by federal law. As of 2012, there are 342 MPOs in the United States.
What is the purpose of the MPO and why are MPOs essential?
- Transportation investment means allocating scarce federal and other transportation funding resources appropriately;
- Planning needs to reflect the region’s shared vision for its future;
- Adequate transportation planning requires a comprehensive examination of the region’s future and investment alternatives; and
- An MPO is needed to facilitate collaboration of governments, interested parties, and residents in the planning process.
In other words, the federal government wished to see federal transportation funds spent in a manner that has a basis in metropolitan region-wide plans developed through intergovernmental collaboration, rational analysis, and consensus-based decision making.
What is the MPO's Core Function?
1. Establish a setting: Establish and manage a fair and impartial setting for effective regional decision-making in the metropolitan area (UZA).
2. Evaluate alternatives: Evaluate transportation alternatives, scaled to the size and complexity of the region, to the nature of its transportation issues, and to the realistically available options.
3. Maintain a Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP): Develop and update a fiscally constrained long-range transportation plan for the UZA covering a planning horizon of at least twenty years that fosters:
Mobility and access for people and goods;
Efficient system performance and preservation; and
Quality of life.
4. Develop a Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP): Develop a fiscally constrained program based on the long-range transportation plan and designed to serve the UZA’s goals while using spending, regulating, operating, management, and financial tools.
5. Involve the public: Involve the general public and all the significantly affected sub-groups in the four essential functions listed above.