Every Urbanized Area with a population of 50,000 or more (as defined by the US Census) is required by federal regulations to have a designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). MPOs are responsible for conducting a continuing, cooperative and comprehensive transportation planning process. In the Indianapolis/Central Indiana region, the City of Indianapolis, Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) is the designated MPO.
Currently, all MPOs are governed by federal legislation called the FAST Act. MPO Program oversight is a joint Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) / Federal Transit Administration (FTA) responsibility. The MPO planning process is a prerequisite to the area receiving federal funds for transit, active transportation, and roadway improvements.
The Indianapolis MPO plans and programs federal transportation funds for highways, transit, non-motorized transportation, and other means of moving people and goods in the 8-county, Central Indiana region.
From 2013-2014, the MPO conducted a comprehensive overview of its organizational structure. This process served to determine what organizational structure was best for the central Indiana region. At the conclusion of the study, the Policy Committee determined that the current structure, plus some minor changes and a Hosting Agreement, was the best structure at this time.
An infographic showing how the Indianapolis MPO compares to our peer regions in population, employment, growth, infrastructure investment, exports, and transit investment.
The Indianapolis MPO created a strategic plan for the Central Indiana region. While the MPO already plans regionally for transportation investments, there are other planning elements that have not historically been planned with regional coordination (land use, water, resiliency, etc.). The IRTC adopted the MPO Strategic Plan on August 22, 2018.
The UPWP is a core guiding document for the Indianapolis MPO, which includes the MPO's mission, list of projects and tasks for the upcoming year, and the proposed budget for each task. It is updated annually and approved by the IRTC.