Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization
Unified Planning Work Program Committee Meeting Summary

March 16, 2023, Meeting

1:00 PM–1:50 PM, Zoom Video Conferencing Platform

Derek Krevat, Chair, representing Gina Fiandaca, Secretary of Transportation and Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)


The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Committee agreed to the following:


Materials for this meeting included the following:

1.    February 16, 2023, meeting summary (pdf) (html)

2.    FFY 2024 Raw Universe of Proposed Studies (pdf)

3.    Redlined FFY 2023 UPWP (pdf)

4.    Updated FFY 2023 UPWP (pdf) (html)

5.    Redlined FFY 2023 UPWP Appendix A (pdf)

6.    Updated FFY 2023 UPWP Appendix A (pdf) (html)

Meeting Agenda and Summary of Discussion

1.    Introductions

See page 5 for attendance.

2.    Public Comments

There were none.

3.    Meeting Summary of February 16, 2023—Approval of this summary

A motion to approve the summary was made by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) (Eric Bourassa) and seconded by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Advisory Board (Amira Patterson). The motion carried through a roll call vote.

4.     Action Item: Proposed Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2023 UPWP Amendment One—Srilekha Murthy, MPO Staff

The FFY 2023 UPWP Amendment One proposes the inclusion of an MBTA project within the UPWP. The MBTA was awarded a grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning. The study will focus on leveraging concentrated development areas along the Red Line through District Improvement Financing to provide sustainable revenue for capital improvements in these areas. The MBTA project is fully grant funded, so it does not impact the budgeting within the UPWP. Thus, staff are requesting for the UPWP Committee to vote to waive the 21-day public comment period for Amendment One and vote to endorse the amendment, allowing the MBTA to begin work.


A motion to waive the 21-day public comment period for Amendment One and endorse the amendment for inclusion in the FFY 2023 UPWP was made by the Regional Transportation Advisory Council (Advisory Council) (Lenard Diggins) and seconded by the Inner Core Committee, City of Somerville (Tom Bent). The motion carried through a roll call vote.

5.     FFY 2024 UPWP Raw Universe of Proposed Studies—Srilekha Murthy, MPO Staff

The FFY 2024 UPWP Raw Universe of Proposed Studies contains 76 studies, which were received through public outreach methods such as a public survey, staff surveys, and other comments. Preliminary conversations have occurred with staff and the Advisory Council. Staff have requested for the Advisory Council to create a list of recommended studies to incorporate into the final decision-making process.

The estimated budget for discrete studies within the FFY 2024 UPWP is $150,000. Ongoing programs from prior UPWPs will be funded at a higher level to support continuous MPO work and ensure that staff are able to respond to evolving needs in new UPWP cycles. An example of a past study that was incorporated into ongoing program work is the Baseline Equity Metrics study from the FFY 2022 UPWP, which is now part of the Transportation Equity Program. The goal of the UPWP projects is to establish systems for sustainable MPO workflow and allow the work to adhere more closely to the MPO’s vision, goals, and objectives in the long term. Two examples of proposed studies that can be easily incorporated into ongoing MPO work include R-2: Strategies for Environmental Outreach and TE-2: Applying Conveyal to Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Project Scoring.


David Koses, City of Newton, asked what “Conveyal” refers to. D. Krevat responded that Conveyal is a transit planning analysis software that is used to model the impacts of altering transit services.

L. Diggins asked if funding a project that continues into subsequent UPWP years will come from the UPWP budget for discrete studies. Betsy Harvey, MPO Staff, stated that after the initial year a study is programmed in the UPWP, it would be incorporated into the budget of the MPO program it relates to. B. Harvey stated that, for example, the study proposal TE-2: Applying Conveyal to TIP Project Scoring would be budgeted under the TIP Program in the years after FFY 2024.

E. Bourassa suggested removing study proposals that are general comments, proposals that suggest outsourcing UPWP funds to external agencies, and proposals for pilot programs from the Universe of Proposed Studies. D. Krevat and D. Koses agreed with this suggestion.

D. Krevat suggested categorizing proposals to indicate if there is an existing MPO program that the study can support. S. Murthy stated that staff have identified studies that could be transferred to partner agencies such as the MAPC, the MBTA, and MassDOT.

E. Bourassa asked why the FFY 2024 UPWP budget is limited to $150,000. Annette Demchur, MPO Staff, stated that the MPO has been investing in expanding MPO programs, in part due to feedback from the 2022 Certification Review, as well as investing in travel demand modeling.

E. Bourassa suggested that members should propose their top three studies to narrow down the potential studies to choose from.

T. Bent requested staff input on proposed studies to narrow down the selection of potential studies. 

S. Murthy and D. Krevat stated that a cleaned up list will be available for review prior to the meeting on March 30, 2023, and a survey for members to indicate their top five choices will be available around the same time.

6.    Members Items

D. Krevat stated a quarterly report will be circulated to UPWP Committee members.

7.    Next Meeting

March 30, 2023, at 1:00 PM

8.    Adjourn

A motion to adjourn was made by the MAPC (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the Regional Transportation Advisory Council (L. Diggins). The motion carried.




and Alternates

Massachusetts Department of Transportation (Office of Transportation Planning)

Derek Krevat

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Eric Bourassa

Regional Transportation Advisory Council

Lenard Diggins

At-Large City (City of Newton)

David Koses

At-Large Town (Town of Arlington)

City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department)

Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Tom Bent

Three Rivers Interlocal Council (Town of Norwood/Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce)

Three Rivers Interlocal Council alternate (Town of Westwood)

City of Framingham (Metrowest Regional Collaborative)



Other Attendees


Laura Gilmore


Andrew Jennings


Sandy Johnston


Benjamin Muller


Amira Patterson

MBTA Advisory Board

Wig Zamore



MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Silva Ayvazyan

Logan Casey

Paul Christner

Annette Demchur

Hiral Gandhi

Betsy Harvey

Stella Jordan

Erin Maguire

Srilekha Murthy


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Boston Region MPO
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