The Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council (MPOAC) is a statewide transportation planning and policy organization created by the Florida Legislature pursuant to Section 339.175(11), Florida Statutes.
Why this group is important: The MPOAC assists local transportation planning organizations in carrying out the urbanized area transportation planning process by serving as the principal forum for collective policy discussion.
Local impact: The MPOAC endorses state legislation which can impact local transportation issues. Also, the current Governing Board Chair is Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox.
State legislation: Listed below are the top legislative priorities endorsed by MPOAC.
1. Encourages legislators to explore other options for sources of revenue. These include (1) expanding the Charter County and Regional Transportation System so all counties in MPO areas can enact up to a one cent local option surtax by referendum and (2) identifying ways to replace revenue for the current motor fuels tax, which can no longer support the needs of the transportation system.
2. Supports laws that regulates distracted driving as a primary offense by prohibiting use of handheld electronic wireless communications devices and other distracting devices while operating a moving motor vehicle.
3. Supports funding to 2007 levels for the Transportation Regional Incentive Program (TRIP). The 2007 funding levels were at approximately $149 million, compared to $16 million in 2017. Funding levels have varied, dropping substantially to below $50 million seven times between 2006 and 2017.
The MPOAC listed four additional priorities.
Allow Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) funds to be used on transportation facilities not originally under their system. The SIS would these use funds to enhance mobility or support freight transportation. This expansion of funding would directly benefit users of SIS facilities.
Establishes flexible, predictable funding for transit projects by removing various funding limitations in the State Transportation Trust Fund (STTF). This would increase funding for priority transit projects.
Recognizes federal metropolitan transportation planning funds as not state funds, for expenditure purposes. This would clarify that federal monies provided by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) shall not be used for federally required duties.
Supports advancing of innovative transportation. The goal is to advance transportation technologies while also protecting citizens from tampering by making tampering a punishable offense.