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The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1962 mandated that as a condition for the receipt of federal funds, each urban area with a population over 50,000 in the United States was required to carry on a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive transportation planning process.

The purpose of the mandate was to ensure that: 1) the transportation planning process remain a continuing effort responsive to land use and demographic changes, 2) participation be shared by all concerned, and 3) the transportation planning process be coordinated with other developmental urban planning aspects.

The Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization (TPO), formerly called the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Miami Urbanized Area, guides the transportation planning process in Miami -Dade County. The TPO was created on March 2, 1977 as required under Section 163.01, Chapter 163, Florida Statutes, and established by Interlocal Agreement between Miami-Dade County and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

A major role of the TPO is to ensure conformance with federal regulations requiring that highways, mass transit and other transportation facilities and services are properly developed and deployed in relation to the overall plan of urban development and to approve plans for regional and state transportation network accessibility. In addition, federal guidelines require that the use of Federal Aid for transportation be consistent with TPO endorsed plans and programs. Federal, state and local transportation planning funds are utilized on an ongoing basis to insure the effectiveness of the TPO process.

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A primary function for the TPO is to produce and update (every 5 years) the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) with a minimum time horizon of 20 years.