Transportation Planning Partners
Metropolitan Planning Organizations
Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) are entities designated by law with the lead responsibility for the development of a metropolitan area's transportation plans and to coordinate the transportation planning process. All urban areas over 50,000 in population are required to have an MPO if the agencies spend Federal funds on transportation improvements.
There are eight Metropolitan Planning Organizations in Minnesota:
- Metropolitan Interstate Council (Duluth/Superior) | 218-529-7541
- Grand Forks/East Grand Forks MPO | 218-746-2660
- Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments | 701-232-3242
- St. Cloud Area Planning Organization | 320-252-7568
- Twin Cities Metropolitan Council | 651-602-1720
- Rochester/Olmsted Council of Governments | 507-328-7100
- La Crosse Area Planning Committee | 608-785-5977
- Mankato/North Mankato Area Planning Organization | 507-387-8613
The following are some primary functions of an MPO:
- Maintain a Long Range Transportation Plan
- Develop a Transportation Improvement Program
- Develop a Unified Planning Work Program
For more information on how MnDOT and MPOs work together, please contact Bobbi Retzlaff, Planning Program Coordinator.
Regional Development Organizations
Minnesota's twelve (12) Regional Development Organizations (RDOs) are key partners in statewide transportation planning and programming. Each RDO works with MnDOT through an annual work program framework. This framework helps ensure statewide consistency while allowing for unique differences in regional transportation issues around Minnesota.
Minnesota's twelve regional development organizations include the following:
- Region 1 Northwest RDC | Warren, MN | 218-745-6733
- Region 2 Headwaters RDC | Bemidji, MN | 218-444-4732
- Region 3 Arrowhead RDC | Duluth, MN | 218-722-5545
- Region 4 West Central Initiative | Fergus Falls, MN | 800-735-2239
- Region 5 Development Commission | Staples, MN | 218-894-3233
- Region 6E Mid-Minnesota Development Commission | Willmar, MN | 320-235-8504
- Region 6W Upper Minnesota Valley RDC | Appleton, MN | 320-679-4065
- Region 7E East Central RDC | Mora, MN | 320-679-4065
- Region 7W (Contact MnDOT District 3) | 218-828-5779
- Region 8 Southwest RDC | Slayton, MN | 507-836-8547
- Region 9 Development Commission | Mankato, MN | 800-450-5643
- Region 10 (Contact MnDOT District 6) | 507-286-7595
The following are some primary roles of an RDO:
- Area Transportation Partnership (ATP) Coordination and Technical Assistance
- Assistance with statewide planning efforts
- Assistance with regional planning efforts
- SRTS planning
For more information on RDOs, contact Katie Caskey, Planning Program Coordinator.
Area Transportation Partnerships
An ATP is a group of traditional and non-traditional transportation partners including representatives from MnDOT, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Regional Development Commissions, counties, cities, tribal governments, special interests, and the public that have the responsibility of developing a regional transportation improvement program for their area of the state.
The ATP process was introduced in the early 1990’s to ensure stakeholder participation in the investment of federal transportation funding. The ATP process provides for early and continuous involvement in the development of the State Transportation Improvement Plan a four year list of projects that are expected to be done within that timeframe.
The ATP solicits for projects that are eligible for federal funding. The resulting project lists are reviewed and integrated into the Area Transportation Improvement Program which is then sent to MnDOT’s Office of Transportation System Management to be included in the State Transportation Improvement Program. The final STIP is forwarded to the Federal Highway Administration/Federal Transit Administration for approval. No federal projects can be started until this approval is received.
Links to the eight ATPs in Minnesota can be found below. ATP sites typically host meeting notes, agendas, and other relevant documents.