As a condition to maintaining eligibility for Federal-aid, 23 U.S.C § 134 requires designation of an MPO and implementation of the prescribed metropolitan planning process in each urbanized area with a population of 50,000 or more. This designation is made by agreement between the Governor and units of general-purpose local government that together represent at least 75 percent of the affected population in the MPA. THAMPO was designated the MPO for the Terre Haute UA in 2020.
23 U.S.C. §134 states:
(a) POLICY. - It is in the national interest -
(1) to encourage and promote the safe and efficient management, operation, and development of surface transportation syste,s that will serve the mobility needs of people and frieght, foster economic growth and development within and between States and urbanized areas, and take into consideration resiliency needs while minimizing transportation-related fuel consumption and air pollution through metropolitan and statewide transportation planning processes; and
(2) to encourage the continued improvement and evolution of the metropolitan and statewide transportation planning processes by metropolitan planning organizations, State departments of transportation, and public transit operators as guided by the planning factors identified in subsection (h).
(h) SCOPE OF PLANNING PROCESS. -
(1) IN GENERAL. - The metropolitan planning process for a metropolitan planning area under this section shall provide for consideration of projects and strategies that will -
(A) support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, especially by enabling global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency;
(B) increase the safety of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users;
(C) increase the security of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users;
(D) increase the accessibility and mobility of people and for freight;
(E) protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, improve the quality of life, and promote consistency between transportation improvements and State and local planned growth and economic development patterns;
(F) enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight;
(G) promote efficient system management and operation;
(I) improve the resiliency and reliability of the transportation system and reduce or mitigate stormwater impacts of surface transportation; and
(J) enahnce travel and tourism.
The Code of Federal Regulations governing this process can be found at: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div5&view=text&node=23:126.96.36.199.11&idno=23