The Wichita Falls Metropolitan Planning Organization, WFMPO, is a federally mandated organization developed to coordinate the highway, transit, and land-use planning process in order to receive federal funds for highway and transit improvements.
It is the regional transportation planning organization responsible for working with local, state and federal governments, the private sector, and the region's citizens, to plan coordinated transportation systems designed to move people, goods and services affordably, efficiently and safely throughout the MPO area. The function of the Wichita Falls MPO is to coordinate regional transportation planning between the State of Texas, Wichita County and the cities of Wichita Falls, Pleasant Valley and Lakeside City. The major goal of the Wichita Falls MPO is to bring about regional planning under one voice while providing the greatest transportation benefit for all. Other goals include supporting economic vitality, making transportation safer, providing greater access to mobility options, protecting the environment while promoting energy conservation, improving connectivity of the current transportation system, and preserving existing transportation infrastructure.
The federal government, to ensure that transportation decisions within the MPO area are performed in a continuing, comprehensive and cooperative process, established the Wichita Falls MPO. The MPO is responsible for creating, developing and reviewing transportation plans, which include the long-range, 25-year Metropolitan Transportation Plan, the short-range, 3-year Transportation Improvement Program, the annual Unified Planning Work Program, travel models, thoroughfare plans, transit plans, and bicycle/pedestrian plans. All of these documents work together to identify transportation programs and funding alternatives.
The Wichita Falls MPO provides a forum for local input into the expenditure of federal highway and transit dollars. Citizens and stakeholders can come together and share ideas and information with the two main bodies that make up the MPO. The first body is the Technical Advisory Committee or TAC, which makes recommendations and reports directly to the second body, the Transportation Policy Committee or TPC. The Technical Advisory Committee is a combination of TxDOT and City planning professionals. The Transportation Policy Committee is responsible for all policy decisions made by the MPO and is comprised of local and city officials.
Congress has passed subsequent transportation reauthorization laws since 1973. The newest reauthorization known as Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) was signed into law on December 4, 2015. The FAST Act authorizes $305 billion over fiscal years 2016 through 2020 for highway, highway and motor vehicle safety, public transportation, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials safety, rail, and research, technology, and statistics programs. Previous reauthorizations include Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA-LU), Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), and Intermodal SurfaceTransportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA).