The Census Bureau designates a new list of Urbanized Areas (UZAs) every 10 years, following the conclusion of each decennial census. The designation of UZAs by the U.S. Census Bureau has significant implications for the metropolitan planning process.
Federal transportation legislation requires that a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) be designated for each urbanized area with a population of more than 50,000 people in order to carry out the metropolitan transportation planning process, as a condition of Federal aid.
As a result of the 2020 decennial Census, 28 new urbanized areas were identified. These areas will either have to establish and staff a new MPO, or merge with an existing MPO. Additionally, a total of 15 new Transportation Management Areas (TMAs) were designated by the Secretary of Transportation as a result of increases in their urbanized area population or because of splits or mergers of urbanized areas within existing metropolitan planning area boundaries. TMAs generally are metropolitan areas with a population greater than 200,000.
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