Metropolitan Planning Organization

Transportation Planning and Programming Body

GNRC serves as the administrator of the federally-mandated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Nashville area in accordance with federal regulations and oversight provided by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  Locally, the process is governed by the Transportation Policy Board or TPB.

About MPOs

Established through federal legislation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) exist throughout the U.S. in urbanized areas of more than 50,000 people. Comprised of representatives from local, state, and federal government agencies, they are responsible for planning and prioritizing projects for federal funds.

Nashville Area Transportation Policy Board

The Transportation Policy Board, or TPB, oversees the development of the region’s federally-required long‐range transportation plan and short‐range transportation improvement program and serves as a forum for ongoing conversations about local transportation issues.  The Board is comprised of city and county mayors, transit and highway officials, the Governor of Tennessee, and representatives of the FHWA and FTA. 

With support from the GNRC staff, the Transportation Policy Board fulfills federal transportation planning requirements to ensure TDOT, local governments, and transit agencies remain eligible for federal transportation grants aimed at improving area roadways and transit systems.  Policies, plans, and programs are adopted by the Transportation Policy Board which convenes city and county mayors with local, state, and federal transportation officials.

Program Structure

The Transportation Policy Board consists of elected officials from each of the seven MPO counties, as well as cities in those counties with a population of 5,000 or more people. Additional board members include the Tennessee Governor (or Commissioner of Transportation), a representative from the Greater Nashville Regional Council, a representative of area public transit agencies, a representative of area county highway officials, and representatives from the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration. The Board provides a forum for collaboration and decision-making related to regional transportation policy, planning, and funding.

The Transportation Coordinating Committee (TCC) consists of administrators, planning directors, and engineers from local governments and transportation-related agencies. The basic responsibilities of the TCC include collaborating with staff to provide recommendations to the Transportation Policy Board in the development of regional transportation plans and programs.

Since 2017, the Transportation Policy Board has been administered and staffed by the GNRC in accordance with an agreement between the Transportation Policy Board and the GNRC Executive Board. The MPO is funded by federal grant programs authorized by the U.S. Congress and by contributions from the TN Dept of Transportation and local government members.