Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)?

A metropolitan planning organization, referred to as an MPO, is a transportation policy-making organization for an urbanized area. An MPO is directly responsible for making sure federal dollars spent on transportation projects and programs are based on a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive transportation planning process, known as the 3 C’s planning process. To facilitate the 3 C’s planning process, an MPO serves as a forum where transportation professionals, local elected officials, and members of the public come together to discuss regional transportation issues. 

MPO’s have various committees. Staff supports these committees. At the top of the committee structure is a decision-making committee which is supported by several advisory committees. 

What is Transportation Planning?

Transportation planning is everything that has to happen before the shovel hits the ground.

City and county planning staff create comprehensive development plans for their community. These plans are approved by either a city council or county board of supervisors. Comprehensive plans contain a transportation chapter that addresses local transportation goals and projects. The transportation chapter includes a description of future transportation projects within the city or county. You can view county and city comprehensive plans here: Stafford CountySpotsylvania County, City of Fredericksburg

FAMPO is the forum where all these plans are shared, discussed for their consistency and compatibility with the region’s transportation vision, goals, and priorities before being added to the region’s transportation plan and program. FAMPO also assists with regional studies to identify transportation issues and recommended solutions. 

Transit agencies and state agencies also engage in transportation planning. States establish transportation goals, conduct studies, and identify transportation projects. Each state department of transportation develops a statewide plan. You can learn more about the state’s transportation planning work here. Transit agencies like the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and FRED Transit also develop plans for their transportation systems.



What is the MPO Study Area?

FAMPO Urbanized AreaThe Study Area represents the planning boundary of the MPO. The study area encompasses the existing Census-defined urbanized area and the contiguous areas expected to become urban over the next 20-year period. Federal guidelines do not include explicit requirements for setting or adjusting study areas. The Study Area for FAMPO includes the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Spotsylvania and Stafford.


Where Can I Find Local Transportation Plans?

You can view county and city comprehensive plans here: Stafford CountySpotsylvania County, City of Fredericksburg

Each comprehensive plan has a chapter on transportation planning. These local plans are incorporated into FAMPO’s regional plans. 

What is FAMPO’s Mission Statement?
The Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (FAMPO) mission is to provide a cooperative, continuous and comprehensive (“3C”) transportation planning process to build regional agreement on transportation investments, that balance roadway, public transit, bicycle, pedestrian, and other transportation needs and support regional land use, economic, and environmental goals for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods. Special emphasis is placed on providing equal access to a variety of transportation choices and effective public involvement in the transportation planning process.


What are the primary functions of an MPO?
As defined by federal transportation regulations, MPOs direct how and where available federal dollars for transportation improvements will be spent. The primary functions of the MPO are to:

  • Establish the goals, objectives and policies governing transportation planning in the region.
  • Approve an annual Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) and budget.
  • Direct the preparation of, and adopt, the long-range and short-range strategies of the Transportation Plan (CLRP).
  • Recommend projects for implementation through the adoption of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
  • Perform the air quality conformity determination for the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).



What are MPOs key planning documents?

Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP): The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) serves as the annual work program for FAMPO.  It identifies funding sources of transportation-related planning activities that FAMPO intends to accomplish during the program year utilizing federal, state and local resources.  It supports ongoing work in the areas of long range transportation and land use scenario planning, congestion management program, public participation, corridor planning and other special projects.

Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP):  The MPO is required to develop the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).  A blueprint guiding priorities for development and transportation projects in the region, the LRTP identifies and prioritizes needed improvements and transportation goals 20+ years into the future.  The plan seeks to balance investments in various transportation modes against anticipated funding from federal, state and local sources.  The LRTP, updated every 4 years is based on local plans, regional population and economic growth projections, reflects ever-changing conditions and new planning principles.

Transportation Improvement Program (TIP):  The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is mandated by Federal legislation and is a fiscally-constrained, four-year list of transportation projects programmed for the FAMPO study area.  The TIP identifies, prioritizes and allocates anticipated funding for transportation improvements over the next 4 years.  The TIP is updated regularly and includes projects on the Interstate, Primary, Urban and Secondary Highway Systems.  It also includes safety, transportation enhancements and public transportation projects.  The TIP may also include funding for feasibility studies, preliminary engineering activities and environmental impact studies.

Public Participation Plan (PPP):  The purpose of the Public Participation Plan (PPP) is to serve as a guide to encourage public involvement in the regional transportation planning process.It is intended to encourage, facilitate and follow through on public comments, concerns and suggestions by establishing procedures for providing full public access to information and decisions, timely public notices, and early and continuing public involvement in plan development.

Title VI Non-Discrimination Plan:  The Title VI Non-Discrimination Plan outlines the procedures, strategies and activities used to facilitate and assure nondiscrimination.

Who makes decisions for FAMPO?
All decisions of FAMPO are made by the Policy Committee (PC) which is the transportation policy decision-making board comprised of eleven elected and non-elected voting members.  The Fredericksburg District Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) Representative and the Citizens Transportation Advisory Group Chairman serves as ex officio members.

FAMPO is responsible for transportation planning and funding allocations in the George Washington Region and partners with the public, planning organizations, government agencies, elected officials and community groups to develop regional transportation plans.

Are there any advisory committees for FAMPO?

The MPO has two committees who advise the MPO on specific issues.

The FAMPO Technical Committee (FTC) was established to advise and to provide technical engineering and planning expertise during the transportation planning process.  The FTC consists primarily of engineers, planners, and other professionals who represent the region’s local governments and transportation/transit agencies and works with the MPO staff to develop planning and programming recommendations for the MPO Policy Committee.

The FTC meets on the second Monday of each month at 9:00 a.m. at the FAMPO office located at 406 Princess Anne Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Call 540-373-2890 for more information. Calendars are posted on our website along with the agendas for each meeting.  These meetings are open to the public and public participation is encouraged.

The Citizens Transportation Advisory Group (CTAG) is a citizen advisory group to the MPO and functions as a sounding board for public opinion on transportation issues, promoting ways to improve the quality of the region’s transportation system. The CTAG was established to help provide and encourage active citizen participation in the transportation planning process and to also advise the MPO of the citizen’s perspective on transportation planning, programs and projects.

The CTAG meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the FAMPO office located at 406 Princess Anne Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Call 540-373-2890 for more information. Calendars are posted on our website along with the agendas for each meeting.  These meetings are open to the public and public participation is encouraged.

Why is the MPO important to the community?
Transportation planning is important to everyone. How well a citizen can travel to work, school, the shopping mall or the hospital affects their safety and quality of life. The population in our region is forecasted to more than double by the year 2040, therefore planning wisely can keep the transportation system working efficiently.

FAMPO provides an independent yet cooperative forum for regional planning and the allocation of millions of dollars in federal transportation funding annually.

FAMPO also helps citizens speak with one voice to their state and federal legislators on transportation-related issues.

Most importantly, effective public involvement ensures scarce tax dollars are used in accordance with the greatest needs and desires of the people.  

How do I get engaged in the planning process?

Beyond receiving public comment, the MPO strives to involve the public, stakeholders, and partner agencies to participate throughout the transportation planning process.

Public information meetings, public workshops, planning events, and focus groups are among the various opportunities for early and recurring participation.  However, there is no need for a meeting or event to be held to provide input.

Public comment can be provided at any time and in a myriad of settings. Feel free to contact us via the contact form on this website, by email, by USPS mail, by phone, or by fax.

You can also find current public involvement opportunities and comprehensive information on our public involvement page, here.