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The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is responsible for conducting the federally required metropolitan transportation planning process for the Boston metropolitan area. This planning process is often called the 3C process because it is continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive. The MPO uses this process to develop a vision for transportation in the region and to decide how to allocate federal and state transportation funds to transportation programs and projects that improve roadway, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian infrastructure. The vision established by the MPO is integral to each of the certification documents that the MPO is required to produce: the Long-Range Transportation Plan, Transportation Improvement Program, and Unified Planning Work Program.
The Boston Region MPO encompasses 97 cities and towns (PDF map) 97 cities and towns (HTML list), covering approximately 1,360 square miles and stretching from Boston to Ipswich in the north, Marshfield in the south, and to approximately Interstate 495 in the west. The region is home to nearly three million people and supports about two million jobs. The communities in the region range from relatively rural towns, such as Dover, to large urban centers, such as Boston and Cambridge. Therefore, transportation planning must take into account the demographic, cultural, and environmental diversity of the region, and consider the various means by which residents and visitors travel in the region.
Cooperatively selecting transportation programs and projects for funding is a role of the MPO’s 22 voting members. The membership, which is documented in the MPO’s Memorandum of Understanding (PDF) Memorandum of Understanding (HTML), includes state agencies, regional entities, and municipalities. Each fall, four municipal seats on the MPO’s board are up for election. The chief elected officials of the municipalities in the region vote to elect these members. You can learn more about this process on the election page. The organizational chart illustrates the MPO’s structure. The Operations Plan (PDF) Operations Plan (HTML), approved in July 2023, outlines general procedures and timelines for the MPO to follow. The Communication Norms (PDF) Communication Norms (HTML) describe the expected conduct of board members and designees.
The work of the MPO is performed by the Central Transportation Planning Staff under the direction of the MPO board. Throughout its work, the MPO promotes a strong public engagement program, collaborating with interested parties on an ongoing basis.
In all of its programs and activities, the MPO complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other federal and state non-discrimination statutes and regulations. Learn about the MPO’s nondiscrimination policy and how to submit a complaint here.
The activities of the MPO are periodically reviewed by the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration. The latest Certification Review Report (PDF) was issued in December 2022.