Lowcountry Area Transportation Study

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

This organization was created due to the Bureau of the Census defining a new Urbanized Area, based on the 2010 Census, when the combined population of the Town of Hilton Head Island, the Town of Bluffton, and parts of unincorporated Beaufort County reached over 50,000.

23 CFR Section 450.310(a) requires that a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) be designated for each Urbanized Area with a population of more than 50,000 individuals as determined by the Bureau of the Census.

The purpose of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is to carry out a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive multimodal transportation planning process, including the development of a metropolitan transportation plan and a transportation improvement program that encourages and promotes the safe and efficient development, management, and operation of surface transportation systems to serve the mobility needs of people and freight (including accessible pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities) and foster economic growth and development, while minimizing transportation-related fuel consumption and air pollution.

The MPO is a policy board of the organization created and designated to carry out the metropolitan transportation planning process and act as the forum for cooperative decision making by the principal elected officials of the units of general purpose local government.