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MARC's Role

MARC is the metropolitan planning organization for the bistate Kansas City region.  Federal highway and transit statutes require urbanized areas greater than 50,000 in population to designate MPOs as a condition for spending federal highway or transit funds.

One of our main roles is to provide transportation-planning services for eight counties — Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte in Kansas; and Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte in Missouri.

We work with many partners to plan coordinated transportation systems that move people and goods affordably, efficiently and safely. They include state departments of transportation, transit agencies, local governments, the private sector, aviation interests, and the region's residents.

MARC's committees provide an opportunity for local governments and citizens to interact in addressing transportation and air quality issues. Committees help establish funding priorities and strategies for managing the region’s transportation system.

The basics of transportation decision making

Transportation planning is the process of identifying transportation problems and looking for solutions to those problems. MARC works with federal and local governments, state departments of transportation, transit agencies, area stakeholders and the public to ensure that the plans and projects developed help move the region toward the goal of achieving a rising quality of life for everyone. Transportation planners look at different transportation alternatives and work with the public to select those that make the most sense based on the long-term goals for the region.

Roles and Responsibilities Memorandum of Understanding (1.6MB, pdf)
(Johnson County Transit, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Kansas Department of Transportation, Mid-America Regional Council, Missouri Department of Transportation, Unified Government Transit)

What we do:

  • Evaluate the impact of development and land-use patterns on the region's transportation system.
  • Work with committees to establish funding priorities and strategies for managing the region's transportation system.
  • Develop plans for long- and short-term transportation investments.
  • Guide state and federal transportation dollars to projects that meet
    regional and local goals.
  • Coordinate technical and policy studies.
  • Promote transportation choices through supporting public transit, bicycle and pedestrian travel, carpooling and vanpooling.
  • Improve air quality through investments in transportation infrastructure,
    public education and outreach.
MARC conducts studies on issues such as congested corridors and future transit possibilities in order to understand transportation needs and relationships in the Kansas City region. Studies take into consideration land-use, environmental, social and other impacts on the community.

Main products of the planning process:

The Public's Role

Without the public's input and ideas, state and local planners cannot have a true understanding of a community’s needs. MARC’s goal is to have significant and ongoing public involvement in the transportation planning process. A period for public comment is provided for the updates and major amendments to all of the primary transportation planning projects for which MARC is responsible (Unified Planning Work Program, Metropolitan Transportation Plan and Transportation Improvement Program.)

To follow the latest developments, citizens can:

  • Provide input on transportation plans;
  • Volunteer to serve on a citizen focus group or citizens' advisory committee;
  • Ask a transportation official to attend meetings of civic and community organizations to explain the process;
  • Find out what public involvement activities are available by contacting MARC, Kansas and Missouri departments of transportation, or a local transit agency; and
  • Put their name on a mailing list to receive newsletters, updates and other information.