The Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization (TPO), formerly known as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), was created to guide the transportation planning process in Miami-Dade County. A primary function of the TPO is to produce and update a Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) every five years and a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) every year. The role of the TIP is putting the LRTP into action. The TIP constitutes an agreement among federal, state, regional and local agencies as to the projects that need immediate attention for funding.
Consistent with the requirements of Florida Statute 339.175(8)(a)(b), MPOs are responsible for developing, annually, a list of project priorities to be incorporated in the TIP. Every year, the TIP is updated with a new fifth year of projects and funding. The TPO Program Priorities is the mechanism to provide the “new 5th year” program priorities of the TPO Governing Board to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Once the TPO adopts these TPO Program Priorities project listing, FDOT produces a Five-Year Work Program to execute these priorities as directed by the TPO. The purpose of this effort is to communicate to the State the priority projects approved by the TPO to be added in the “new 5th year” of the FDOT Work Program. This list of projects will be used by FDOT in identifying funding to implement these projects based on anticipated federal, state, and local revenues.
The TPO Program Priorities include multimodal projects under the following generalized groupings:
The TPO Program Priority projects are approved by the TPO Governing Board. Prior to the Board approval, the list of project priorities must be formally reviewed by the Transportation Planning Council and Citizen Transportation Advisory Committee, and recommended for approval to the TPO Governing Board. Once approved by the Board, the list of priorities is transmitted to FDOT District 6, to be included in the FDOT tentative five-year work program which feeds directly into the TIP development cycle.
On April 17, 2020, the TPO staff reached out to City staff and requested a list of priority projects for FY 2026 funding consideration. Funding could be advanced if available. While this is the first year that the TPO staff formally solicits a list of priority projects from cities, previously approved TPO Program Priority projects have included various Miami-Dade County Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Plan projects in Miami Beach:
- Beach Corridor Rapid Transit Corridor (SMART Plan)
- Beach Express North Bus Express Rapid Transit (BERT) (SMART Plan)
- Beach Express Central BERT (SMART Plan)
- Beach Express South BERT (SMART Plan)
- Commuter Ferry Service between Miami Beach and Downtown Miami
Lastly, the TPO Program Priority projects are in addition to other projects proferred by the City through the LRTP and TIP development processes. For example, staff from the City's Transportation and Mobility Department participate in the LRTP and TIP Development Committees on a regular basis to ensure that the City's current and future transportation and transit needs are being effectively addressed through the TPO's transportation planning process.