Federal law requires a continuous, cooperative, and comprehensive transportation planning process in urbanized areas with a population of more than 50,000. The flow of federal transportation dollars is dependent on the continuation of a certified planning process. The Bay County Transportation Planning Division acts as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Bay City Urbanized Area and is responsible for fulfilling these duties. The Bay County Transportation Planning Division prepares required annual reports; reviews and updates the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan and the 2014-15-16-17 Transportation Improvement Program; provides staff coordination for the Bay City Area Transportation Study (BCATS); and conducts various transportation studies in the community. This division also works closely with other transportation studies in the community throughout the year.
The Bay City Area Transportation Study (BCATS) is the principal public agency conducting regional transportation studies for the Bay City Urbanized Area. BCATS, through an agreement with the Bay County Board of Commissioners, provides management and policy functions for the transportation planning programs as required by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act of 2012. BCATS provides transportation planning services on behalf of the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for Bay City and Essexville and the townships of Bangor, Monitor, Hampton, Portsmouth, Kawkawlin, and Frankenlust.
The mission of BCATS, as outlined in the BCATS 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, is to:
- Support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, especially by enabling global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency.
- Increase the safety and security of the transportation system for motorized and non-motorized users.
- Increase the accessibility and mobility options available to people and for freight.
- Protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, and improve quality of life.
- Enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight.
- Promote efficient system management and operation.
- Emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system.
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