The Planning Section of the Transportation Division acts as staff to the Missoula Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), a regional transportation planning body for the Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA) that includes the City of Missoula and the adjacent urban areas of Missoula County.
The mission of the MPO is to plan and program a safe and efficient transportation system for the Missoula area that increases access and mobility through multimodal options.
Federal transportation planning law requires formation of MPOs for all urban areas with a population greater than 50,000 residents. Missoula’s MPO was designated in 1982 through an Interlocal Agreement between the City of Missoula, Missoula County, Missoula Urban Transportation District (MUTD) and the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT). The agreement established the Transportation Policy Coordinating Committee (TPCC) to act as the governing body for the MPO and its associated staff. The agreement further established the Transportation Technical Advisory Committee (TTAC) to provide technical advice to the TPCC and technical direction to the transportation planning process.
Under the direction of the TPCC, the MPO is responsible for carrying out the transportation planning process required for the region by 23 CFR 450. Specific MPO responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Conducting a continuing, comprehensive, and coordinated (“3-Cs”) transportation planning program for the region;
Providing for the transportation planning needs of state and local agencies and to assist these agencies in securing federal funds for the region;
Encouraging cooperation among all levels of government;
Providing information for government agencies and public and private sector organizations; and
Ensuring the development and implementation of a fully integrated multimodal transportation plan which meets all federal mandates.