he Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are required to review, evaluate, and certify the metropolitan transportation planning process in each Transportation Management Area (urbanized area of 200,000 population or more) at least every three years.† The intent of the statutory and regulatory requirements is to develop a transportation system that serves the mobility interests of people and freight through a multifaceted metropolitan planning process.† The certification review is to assure that the planning process is addressing the major issues facing the area, and that the planning process is being conducted in accordance with:
1) Section 134 of Title 23, U.S.C., and sections 5303-5306 of Title 49;
2) Sections 174 and 176 (c) and (d) of the Clean Air Act;
3) Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Title VI assurance executed by each State;
4) Section 1003(b) of ISTEA regarding the involvement of disadvantaged business enterprises in the FHWA and FTA funded planning projects;
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and
6) Provisions of the Older Americans Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 6101);
7) The provisions of 49 CFR part 20 regarding restrictions on influencing certain Federal activities; and
8) All other applicable provisions of Federal law.
The Federal certification process evaluates a Metropolitan Planning Organizationís (MPOís) process, identifies strengths and weaknesses (as appropriate), and makes recommendations for improvement.† Following the review and evaluation, FHWA and FTA can take one of four certification actions:
$ Full certification of the transportation planning process - which allows federally funded programs and projects of any type to be approved in the TIP over the next three years in accordance with the continuing planning process.
$ Certification subject to specified corrective actions being taken - which allows all projects to move forward in the process while corrective actions are taken; this option may take the form of a temporary certification for a certain number of months rather than the full three years.
$ Limited certification - which allows only certain specified categories of program and project funding to move forward while corrective actions are being taken.
$ Certification withheld - which means stopping approval of funding in whole or in part for attributed FTWA and FTA funds that the metropolitan area receives until the deficiencies in the planning process are corrected.