The San Angelo Metropolitan Planning Organization is a stand-alone governmental entity, which serves as the transportation planning authority for the area. Our planning area is approximately 116 square miles which includes San Angelo and a portion of Tom Green County.
SA-MPO is responsible for creating, reviewing, and updating all transportation plans. The primary documents include the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), and the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). The MTP is a 25-year long-range plan that details transportation plans and projects. The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) lists funded projects that will be constructed during a four-year period. The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) contains information related to the organization’s operation; it is essentially the MPOs operating budget. Other documents the San Angelo MPO is responsible for include:
- Public Participation Plan
- Limited English Proficiency Plan
- San Angelo Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
- Annual Performance and Expenditure Report
- Annual Project Listing Report
These plans, programs, and reports identify transportation activities and financial information. These documents are consistent with applicable federal, state, and local agency documents, which guarantee a collective unified approach to transportation planning.
Operational components of San Angelo Metropolitan Planning Organization include a policy board and professional staff. The organization has ad-hoc and special committees, which are created as needed to focus on certain projects or transportation planning issues. The San Angelo Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Board consists of voting representatives from Texas Department of Transportation, City of San Angelo, Concho Valley Transit District, San Angelo Chamber of Commerce, and Tom Green County. State and federal elected officials participate as non-voting members, and the City of San Angelo and Texas Department of Transportation (TxDoT) provide support services.
Other planning objectives include making transportation safer, giving people greater access to mobility options, protecting the environment while promoting economic conservation, improving the connectivity and integration of the current transportation system, promoting efficient transportation options, and preserving existing transportation as much as possible.
Local Taxi-cabs (city permit)*: Checker/Yellow Cab Taxi & Shuttle Service, Granny’s Taxi & Shuttle, Green Ride, Red Ball Taxi & Shuttle Service, Wade Taxi Service.*These listed services are not endorsements by the San Angelo Metropolitan Planning Organization
The San Angelo Metropolitan Planning Organization is very active within the community, which helps to support the economic liveliness of the San Angelo area. When planning for transportation, we ensure our projects incorporate livability, mobility, accessibility, and sustainability. Use of these methods in our operations helps to produce plans and programs that are beneficial for the community, and the region.
What is a Metropolitan Planning Organization?
A Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is policy-making agency created by federal law and funded with federal dollars. MPOs provide local input for urban transportation planning and decide how to allocate federal transportation funds. In 1974, the United States Congress amended the Federal Aid Highway Act, which mandated that all urbanized areas having a population of 50,000 or more designate a single agency to administer federal transportation funds. The agencies that were established were called Metropolitan Planning Organizations. The purpose of an MPO is to coordinate transportation planning within an MPO boundary.
Today, there are more than 300 Metropolitan Planning Organizations across the nation. Although each MPOs purpose is identical, they differ in size, structure, and have their own objectives. When Congress created the requirements for the MPOs, they identified several key functions that are essential to transportation. These include:
- Allocating scarce federal and other transportation funding resources appropriately
- Coordinating planning needs to reflect the regions shared vision for its future
- Requiring adequate transportation planning to include a comprehensive examination of the region’s future and investment alternatives
- Facilitating collaboration of governments, interested parties, and residents in the planning process.
To put it in simpler terms, the federal government wanted to see federal transportation funds spent in a manner that benefitted the region best. In every region, transportation planning is important to everyone whether he or she realizes it or not. How well a citizen can travel to work, school, the shopping mall or the hospital affects their safety and quality of life. The mission of a MPO is to provide comprehensive, coordinated, and continuous transportation planning for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods consistent with the region’s overall economic, social, and environmental goals.
In June of 1998, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21) was signed into law. TEA 21 modified the mandatory planning considerations required under previous law but retained the emphasis on cooperative decision making in transportation plans and programs. SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users) was enacted on August 10, 2005, and requires that Metropolitan Planning Organizations provide consideration of projects and strategies that will serve to advance transportation planning factors. On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed the new transportation legislation Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). This bill reauthorized surface transportation programs through fiscal year 2014.
Purpose of a Metropolitan Planning Organization?
Every city with a population of more than 50,000 must have a designated Metropolitan Planning Organization to qualify for federal highway and federal transit assistance. MPOs work cooperatively with stakeholders to provide the best transportation plans possible while maintaining a financially constrained budget. These transportation-planning activities focus on efficient access throughout the area while limiting congestion and pollution problems.
Metropolitan Planning Organizations major work activities must meet specific federal requirements, which include the development and maintenance of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan through a continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative planning process. One way to accomplish this is through the development of a four-year program for highway and transit improvements, which are outlined in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Another way is with the adoption of a comprehensive one or two year planning program known as the Unified Planning Work Program. This document details the individual transportation planning activities for the area and is essentially the MPO’s operating and planning budget.
In August 1964, a study of transportation in the San Angelo urban area began with respect to existing facilities, existing deficiencies, and future needs. This study was initiated as a result of the passage by Congress of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962, which provided for a “continuing, comprehensive transportation planning process carried on cooperatively by states and local communities” for each urban area of more than 50,000 population. The Governor of Texas designated the City of San Angelo as a metropolitan area in 1973.
Formal adoption of the transportation plan for the San Angelo area was through the combined efforts of the City of San Angelo, Tom Green County, the Texas Highway Department, and the Bureau of Public Roads of the U. S. Department of Commerce. Completion of the initial phase of study in 1966 covered ten (10) basic study elements, which resulted in the publication of a two-volume report: San Angelo Urban Transportation Study, Volume 1, 1964 Origin-Destination Survey; and San Angelo Urban Transportation Study, Volume 2, 1964-1985 Transportation Plan. While many revisions have been made, the original scope of this transportation plan remains.
In 1988, the Governor of Texas designated the City of San Angelo as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the San Angelo area. This gave the City of San Angelo Metropolitan Planning Organization the responsibility of overall transportation guidance. On October 19, 2010, the Council for the City of San Angelo resolved to re-designate the City of San Angelo Metropolitan Planning Organization to the San Angelo Metropolitan Planning Organization.
On December 9, 2010 the San Angelo Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Board, with a quorum present at a meeting duly called, agreed with the proposal for the re-designation. The board made a request to the state transportation commission and at its meeting on January 27, 2011; the Texas Transportation Commission approved the re-designation. The actions of the City Council and the Policy Board resulted in the San Angelo Metropolitan Planning Organization becoming a separate stand-alone entity.
In order to provide for the continuing phase of the comprehensive, cooperative planning process for keeping San Angelo’s transportation plan up-to-date, a continuing phase agreement between the San Angelo MPO Policy Board, the City of San Angelo, and the Texas Department of Transportation is executed every six years. This agreement outlines the guidelines and responsibilities for each entity, which helps guarantee successful and supportive transportation planning.
The San Angelo Metropolitan Planning Organization staff conducts studies, collects and analyzes data, and oversees projects within the MPO boundary. Staff collaborates with local and outside public and private entities to share and provide information which is used to make program and policy decisions.
Through research and planning, the MPO staff identifies transportation needs in the community. The information collected is shared with our planning partners and ordinarily these needs are addressed by member organizations. There are times when no other group responds to the request, so the staff may initiate a new program to resolve the issue.
Since public input is a large component of transportation planning, considerable time is devoted to public outreach and involvement. This guarantees citizens are informed of the MPOs programs and activities, and allows those interested in transportation planning the opportunity to participate. To keep the community and public current with SA-MPO, we use social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Mr. Major Hofheins - Director