Strategies and Actions for Collaboration: A Guide for DOTs, MPOs, and Partners

State departments of transportation (DOTs) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) have been working in partnership for over 60 years under the concept of “3C planning,” in which their transportation planning activities are continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative. Since the 1960s, the scope and requirements of transportation planning have evolved for state DOTs and MPOs through federal aid provided with each successive transportation authorization bill. New and multidisciplinary planning activities have been authorized or required, shifting the paradigm from complying with the legally required minimum of cooperative approaches to collaborative approaches with a broader set of partners. In 2016, the U.S. DOT published the Regional Models of Cooperation Handbook to promote notable examples of regional cooperation for various topic areas. In the 7 years since its publication, transportation planning has continued to evolve with a growing list of multidimensional outcomes and shared objectives that state DOTs and MPOs strive to achieve, directly or indirectly, through partnerships with other agencies, local governments, and others. As transportation agencies shift toward more community-centered outcomes, opportunities and challenges for collaboration are impacted by many contextual factors.  These factors may include different-sized state DOTs and MPOs; state legislation; skill, capacity, and resource variances among agencies; and competing priorities. Additionally, emerging technology, freight, e-commerce, public health, housing, and land use drive the need to work with an additional set of partners. Research is needed to provide state DOTs and MPOs with actionable models of collaboration beyond the traditional cooperative approaches with specific recommendations for implementation. The objective of this research is to develop a guide to provide state DOTs and MPOs with (1) implementable collaboration models for existing or emerging issues areas and (2) aspirational models where practices do not yet exist to strengthen state DOTs and MPOs relationships, external partnerships, and capacity to achieve community-centered outcomes. 


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-179

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Wadsworth, Trey

  • Start Date: 20240319
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01883933
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-179
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 30 2023 7:38PM