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What is JATSO?
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The Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization (JATSO) is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Joplin region. Federal legislation requires that any urbanized area with a population of over 50,000 must have an MPO. MPOs ensure that existing and future expenditures for transportation projects and programs are based on a continuing, cooperative and comprehensive planning process. MPOs also cooperate with State and public transportation operators to set spending levels for Federal funds that are meant for transportation projects. 

For more information on Metropolitan Planning Organizations, see Metropolitan Transportation Planning 101 or the Transportation Planning Process Briefing Book published by the Federal Highway Administration.

What does JATSO do?
JATSO maintains and monitors all transportation projects that receive state and federal funding, as well as all regionally significant projects that are funded locally. The JATSO is also responsible for updating long-range transportation plans and updating short-term and long-term transportation needs lists. 

JATSO consists of one permanent committee, the Policy Board. The Policy Board is the policy making governing body and provides a forum for cooperative decision-making for the transportation planning process. Although the Policy Board is made up of individuals from different municipalities and organizations, staff support provided by the City of Joplin. 

The Policy Board is composed of elected and appointed officials of local governmental entities and providers of transportation in the metropolitan area. This Board provides the forum for cooperative decision making and has the following responsibilities:

  • Approve goals and objectives of the transportation planning process.
  • Review and approve Unified Planning Work Programs (UPWP).
  • Review and adopt Transportation Improvement Programs (TIP), including project priorities and approve changes in the project schedules.
  • Provide metropolitan transportation planning process self-certifications. 
  • Review and adopt Long-Range Transportation Plans (LRTP) and revisions.
  • Serve as liaison between various governmental units in the study area to obtain cooperation of all governmental units in implementing various elements of the plan. 
  • Ensure citizen participation in the transportation planning process through the Public Involvement Plan. 
  • Be compliant with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations.