Integrating Equity into MPO Project Prioritization

Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) have limited funding resources and must consider the potential returns on their investment when prioritizing any project. Among these returns is the degree to which a project provides historically disadvantaged communities with greater access to economic opportunity. This research aims to document effective methods for use by MPOs in project prioritization that emphasize improving access of transportation disadvantaged communities to centers of economic activity. The study will include an assessment of methods used by MPOs in Florida to set project priorities, equity issues associated with these project prioritization approaches, and national best practices of MPOs to prioritize the ability of transportation disadvantaged populations to access economic opportunities. The study will build upon previous research by the Principal Investigator on methods for integrating distributional equity into MPO long range transportation planning processes. The study will culminate in a resource guide that provides methods for use by MPOs to identify and prioritize projects that increase access to opportunity for historically disadvantaged populations. It will be accomplished in coordination with the Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council (MPOAC), the policy decision-making body for Florida’s 27 MPOs, with the goal of advancing MPO practices in Florida as well as nationally on this topic.