Connect with Metro
503-797-1804 TDD
503-797-1797 fax

Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Portland region

Planning and conservation    Regional planning and policy    MPO for the Portland region

Learn about Metro's role as the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Portland region, which helps make the most of limited federal transportation funds. Discover the wide range of transportation programs that make this a great place.

As the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Portland region, Metro is authorized by Congress and the State of Oregon to coordinate and plan investments in the transportation system for the three-county area. Metro uses this authority to expand transportation options, make the most of existing streets and improve public transit service.

Congress created MPOs in the early 1960s to help address the unique transportation needs of urban areas, as distinct from rural areas or neighborhood streets within an urban area. About three-fourths of all Americans live and work in areas covered by MPOs, and their role in the nation's economic competitiveness is growing. About 1.5 million people live in the urban portions of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties, the area covered by the Metro MPO.

As an MPO, Metro works collaboratively with cities, counties and transportation agencies to decide how to invest federal highway and public transit funds within its service area. It creates a long range transportation plan, leads efforts to expand the public transit system and helps make strategic use of a small subset of transportation funding that Congress sends directly to MPOs.

Unlike most MPOs, Metro also has land use authority across the urban area, giving it the ability to coordinate land use and transportation investments in a more efficient, effective way than many regions across the country.

Here is a quick overview of the documents, plans and projects that Metro is pursuing in its role as the MPO for the area.

Discover in this section

Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation

Comprised of 17 elected officials from the region's cities, counties and also some appointed transportation agency leaders, JPACT is the policy board for the Metro MPO. This authority is shared with the Metro Council, as all JPACT actions must also be considered by the council before they are final. Learn more

Metro Council

Metro is the only regional government agency in the U.S. whose governing body is directly elected by the region's voters. In its shared role as the MPO policy board, the Metro Council may approve or remand actions of JPACT but cannot amend them before approval.Learn more

Transportation Policy Alternatives Committee

Comprised of planning staff from area cities, counties, transportation agencies and six community representatives, TPAC is the technical advisory committee of the Metro MPO. TPAC reviews regional transportation planning projects and programs, and makes recommendations to JPACT, the policy board. Learn more

Regional Transportation Plan

The Regional Transportation Plan is the long range plan for the Portland area's multi-modal transportation system. It includes policies that direct our investments and a list of projects eligible for federal funds.Learn more

Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program

The Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program identifies how all federal transportation money is spent in the Portland metropolitan area. Funds cannot be spent unless they are included in the program. Learn more

Regional flexible funding

Through the MPO, regional leaders have direct control over a small portion of federal transportation investments in the region. Known locally as regional flexible funds, the region uses these federal programs to build public transit, active transportation and freight projects and create programs that make efficient use of the transportation system. Learn more

Unified Planning Work Program

Working together as one region has helped communities across the Portland area make the most of scarce resources. Each year, Metro and regional partners create a list of the regionally significant transportation planning activities that could lead to future investments in the area's roads, trails and public transit service. That list is called the Unified Planning Work Program.

Download the 2013-15 UPWP UPdate DRAFT

Download the 2013-15 UPWP

Download the 2012-13 UPWP

Transportation system management and operations

Transportation system management and operations strategies provide money saving multimodal solutions that relieve congestion, optimize infrastructure investments, promote travel options, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.Learn more

Air Quality Conformity Determination

Federal and state regulations require that the region assess the air quality consequences of proposed transportation improvements.Learn more

Local transportation system plans: Bringing the Regional Transportation Plan to life

Leaders from across the region adopted the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan in 2010, setting the direction for creating an innovative, sustainable transportation system. Learn how local transportation system plans will help bring about that vision.Learn more

Active Transportation Program

Find out how Metro and partners across the region are working to complete the regional active transportation network.Learn more

High Capacity Transit System Plan

Learn about the program to guide regional high capacity transit capital investments by evaluating and prioritizing transportation corridors for potential new projects and extensions to existing lines.Learn more

Freight and goods movement

The Regional Freight Plan presents policies and strategies for moving freight that complement the region's multimodal transportation system and support regional land use goals.Learn more

Regional Travel Options

The Regional Travel Options program addresses the demand side of the transportation system. It coordinates the planning and funding of activities that encourage residents to reduce drive-alone trips and increase the use of active transportation. Travel options is not a mandated MPO activity, though it supports the Congestion Management Process. Learn more

Public involvement policy for transportation planning

Read Metro's updated policies that guide public involvement in transportation planning processes. These policies set standards for Metro and affect the eligibility of local projects to receive federal transportation funding. Learn more

Metro respects civil rights

In order to ensure that your civil rights are protected, Metro follows Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Executive Order on Environmental Justice and the social equity elements of the region's values statements. Learn more

Consortium of Oregon MPOs

As one of six MPOs in Oregon, Metro participates in the Oregon Metropolitan Planning Organization Consortium (OMPOC). The consortium is a forum for MPOs to address common needs, issues and solutions to transportation and land use challenges. It helps the MPOs advocate for policy, regulatory and funding interests at the state and federal level. Learn more

External links

Learn more about MPOs with information from the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations. Go

Learn more about the most recent transportation bill passed by Congress and signed by the president, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). It covers a 27-month period starting summer 2012.View the AMPO presentation 

Learn more about MAP-21 and its expected impact on Oregon transportation programs and funding levels with analysis by the Oregon Department of Transportation. Includes a comparison of MAP-21 to the previous transportation bill. Go

Related documents

To view PDF files, download free Adobe Reader. To translate PDF files into text to assist visually-impaired users, visit

To view MOV files, download free QuickTime.

© 2014 Metro. All rights reserved.

Send questions, comments and suggestions about the website to

600 NE Grand Ave.
Portland, OR 97232-2736
503-797-1804 TDD
503-797-1797 fax