What is JATSO?
The Joplin area transportation planning process is an on-going work effort that constitutes a branch of planning work activities developed by the Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization (JATSO) staff. The purpose is to analyze and evaluate various types of data (such as demographic, socio-economic, land use and scientific) in order to provide a rational basis for making short-range and long-range decisions about transportation needs in the Joplin metropolitan area. The planning process identifies present and future needs, and develops plans, policies, and projects to carry out objectives identified in the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP).
The transportation planning process is required by federal regulations as a prerequisite to the receipt of federal capital and operating assistance. The end result from this continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive process will include plans and programs that match and enhance the comprehensively planned development of the metropolitan area. In addition, the planning process and requirements mandated by the enacted by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), and the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act).
On May 20, 1983, Governor Christopher Bond of Missouri signed the letter of approval designating the JATSO as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Joplin metropolitan area under Title 23 of the U.S. Code.The MPO has designated the City of Joplin as the contracting agent for service agreements involving federal planning funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The JATSO organization is governed by the JATSO Policy Board that consists of six members from the City of Joplin, and one member from each of the following: Harry S. Truman Coordinating Council, City of Webb City, City of Carl Junction, MoDOT Southwest District, Newton County, and Jasper County. The Harry S. Truman Coordinating Council, the local regional planning commission, represents the smaller villages and unincorporated area on the JATSO Policy Board. The organization and responsibilities of the various agencies involved in the metropolitan transportation planning process are defined in this Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), the Memorandum of Understanding, and the JATSO bylaws.