Transportation Planning Process

Transportation planning is the process of defining future policies, goals, investments, and designs to prepare for future needs to move people and goods to destinations. As practiced today, it is a collaborative process that incorporates the input of many stakeholders including various government agencies, the public and private businesses. Transportation planners apply a multimodal and / or comprehensive approach to analyzing the wide range of alternatives and impacts on the transportation system to influence beneficial outcomes.

The Columbus-Phenix City Transportation Study (C-PCTS) is one (1) of sixteen (16) Metropolitan Planning Organizations in the State of Georgia and one (1) of twelve (12) in the State of Alabama. In 1964, the C-PCTS was designated a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) through the Federal-Aid Highway Act 1962. An MPO is defined as a transportation policy-making body made up from representatives of local governments and transportation agencies with authority and responsibility in metropolitan planning areas. The Act also required Governors of each state to formally designate local government entities to make up a MPO in each urbanized area with a population of 50,000 persons or more. Listed below are several core functions of the MPO:

  1. Program and allocate federal funds to transportation projects and infrastructure investments through identifying and evaluating alternative transportation improvement options.
  2. Create and coordinate policy that guides transportation planning in its area of jurisdictions. A key element of policy development is that it is data driven, goal focused and anticipated outputs are measureable.
  3. Establish and manage a fair and impartial setting for effective regional decision making in the metropolitan area. Transparent decision making through active public involvement is a key requirement. Successful existing and future transportation plans seek to incorporate and sustain a significant level of public input.
  4. Prepare and maintain a Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). Preparation of this document occurs once every five (5) years and has a typical planning horizon between 20 to 30 years.
  5. Develop a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which is similar to the MTP, however with a much shorter planning horizon, e.g., four (4) years. Transportation projects presented in the TIP are also included in the MTP.

MPO's do not implement transportation projects but facilitate their construction or initiation through the allocation of federal funds or by the creation of a policy environment conductive to transportation planning, outcomes monitoring and / or land use development. MPOs assist local jurisdictions to access federal and state financial resources by ensuring their transportation planning efforts meet federal and state regulations. Collaborating with state and / or county agencies, the Columbus-Phenix City Transportation Study (C-PCTS) MPO provides the public and interested stakeholders reasonable and meaningful opportunities to participate in the transportation planning process.

For additional information, please contact the Columbus-Phenix City Transportation Study MPO at 706-653-4421.