|(a) General. Pursuant to 23 U.S.C. §134 and 49
U.S.C. §5303, as implemented by 23 C.F.R. Part 450, the metropolitan
planning organization (MPO), in cooperation with the department and
with public transportation operators as defined by 23 C.F.R. Part
450, shall be responsible for carrying out the metropolitan transportation
planning process. The MPO, department, and public transportation operators
shall cooperatively determine their mutual responsibilities in the
conduct of the planning process, including corridor refinement (e.g.,
feasibility and major investment) studies. They shall cooperatively
develop the unified planning work program (UPWP), metropolitan transportation
plan (MTP) containing a long-range forecast of proposed projects and
transportation improvement program (TIP) containing a list of projects
that have been approved for development in the near-term. The MPO,
department, and public transportation operators shall coordinate the
development of the MTP and TIP with other providers of transportation,
such as 14 C.F.R. Part 139 airport sponsors, maritime port operators,
and rail operators. All transportation plans and programs developed
by the MPO as part of the planning process must comply with federal
requirements and provide for public involvement.
(b) Membership of MPOs. According to 23 C.F.R. Part
450, each MPO that serves a transportation management area shall consist
of local elected officials, officials of public agencies that administer
or operate major modes of transportation in the metropolitan planning
area, and appropriate state transportation officials.
(c) Approval of boundaries. The governor or the commission,
if the approval authority has been delegated to the commission, must
approve the boundaries of a designated metropolitan planning area
and any revision of those boundaries. Approval of the boundaries of
a designated metropolitan planning area by the Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA) or the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is not required.
The MPO must provide the governor and the department with appropriate
documentation and the rationale supporting any recommended boundary
change. The MPO must provide its approved metropolitan planning area
boundary maps to the department for submission to the FHWA, FTA, and
other applicable federal agencies.
(d) Metropolitan planning area agreements.
(1) Planning agreement. The responsibilities for cooperatively
carrying out transportation planning (including corridor and subarea
studies) and programming shall be clearly identified in a planning
agreement between the department and the MPO.
(2) MPO-public transportation operator planning agreement.
There shall be a written agreement between the MPO, the department,
and public transportation operators as defined by 23 C.F.R. Part 450
that specifies cooperative procedures for carrying out transportation
planning (including corridor and subarea studies) and programming
as required by this subchapter.
(3) Agreements in nonattainment MPOs. If the metropolitan
planning area includes part but not all of a nonattainment or maintenance
area, as defined by the federal Clean Air Act (CAA), there shall be
a written agreement among the department, the Texas Commission on
Environmental Quality (TCEQ), affected local agencies, and the MPO
describing the process for cooperative planning and analysis of all
projects outside the metropolitan planning area, but within the nonattainment
or maintenance area. The agreement shall be in accordance with federal
(4) Coordination of planning processes. If more than
one MPO has authority within an urbanized area or a nonattainment
or maintenance area, there shall be a written agreement between the
department and the MPOs describing how the processes will be coordinated
to assure the development of an overall transportation plan for that
area. The TCEQ and any local air quality agencies must also be parties
to an agreement that relates to a nonattainment or maintenance area.
(e) Coordination with state implementation plan (SIP)
development. In nonattainment or maintenance areas, the MPO shall
coordinate the development of the transportation plan with the state
implementation plan (SIP) development process, including the development
of any transportation control measures (TCMs). The MPO shall develop
or assist in developing the TCMs, which may include any measure used
for the purpose of reducing emissions or concentrations of air pollutants
from transportation sources by reducing vehicle use or changing traffic
flow or congestion conditions. The MPO shall not approve any metropolitan
transportation plan or transportation improvement program which does
not conform with the SIP, as determined in accordance with Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) conformity regulations.
(f) Metropolitan planning in areas with multiple MPOs.
If more than one MPO has authority in a metropolitan planning area
(including multistate metropolitan planning areas) or in an area which
is designated as nonattainment or maintenance for transportation related
pollutants, the MPOs, the governor, and the governor's counterpart
in any other involved state shall cooperatively establish the boundaries
of the metropolitan planning area (including the 20-year planning
horizon and relationship to the nonattainment or maintenance areas)
and the respective jurisdictional responsibilities of each MPO. The
MPOs shall consult with each other and the states to assure the preparation
of integrated plans and transportation improvement programs for the
entire metropolitan planning area. While an individual MPO's metropolitan
transportation plan and transportation improvement program may be
developed separately, each plan and transportation improvement program
must be consistent with the plans and transportation improvement programs
of other MPOs in the metropolitan planning area. For the overall metropolitan
planning area, the individual MPO planning process shall reflect coordinated
data collection, analysis, and development. In those areas where this
provision is applicable, coordination efforts shall be initiated and
the process and outcomes documented in subsequent transmittals of
the unified planning work program and various planning products (e.g.,
the metropolitan transportation plan and transportation improvement
program) to the department for further transmittal to the FHWA, FTA,
and other applicable federal agencies.