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MARC's Role as MPO

The purpose of an MPO

MARC is the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) 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.

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)

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, Long-Range 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.

See MARC's Public Participation Plan


MARC's committees provides 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.


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.

For more information, view A Citizen’s Guide to Transportation Decision Making (1.6MB, pdf)