Equity in Core MPO Planning

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The MPO integrates equity across its core planning activities, including the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), and the Coordinated Public Transit–Human Services Transportation Plan (Coordinated Plan).

Long-Range Transportation Plan

Transportation Equity Goal and Objectives

The MPO’s 2023 LRTP, Destination 2050, sets the MPO’s priorities for transportation in the region. The LRTP’s transportation equity goal and objectives set the framework for the MPO's Transportation Equity Program’s activities and how it will measure success.

Transportation Equity Goal and Objectives

Facilitate an inclusive and transparent planning process and make investments that eliminate transportation-related disparities borne by people in disadvantaged communities.

  • Facilitate an inclusive and transparent engagement process with a focus on involving people in disadvantaged communities.
  • Ensure that people have meaningful opportunities to share needs and priorities in a way that influences MPO decisions.
  • Eliminate harmful environmental, health, and safety effects of the transportation system on people in disadvantaged communities.
  • Invest in high-quality transportation options in disadvantaged communities to fully meet residents’ transportation needs.

Disparate Impact and Disproportionate Burden (DI/DB) Analysis

The MPO conducts a DI/DB analysis to determine if the projects in the LRTP would likely disproportionately impact minority and low-income populations. In the FFYs 2025–29 TIP, the MPO is developing an approach for mitigating these impacts.

What is a disparate impact and disproportionate burden?

  • Disparate Impact: the disproportionate effect of a facially neutral policy or practice on members of a group identified by race, color, or national origin, which may be a denial of benefits or an imposition of burdens. (In the MPO DI/DB analysis, it refers only to minority populations.)
  • Disproportionate Burden: a disproportionately high and adverse effect. (In the MPO DI/DB analysis, it refers only to low-income populations.)

Boston Region Needs Assessment: What are the transportation equity challenges and opportunities in the region?

The Needs Assessment StoryMap collection for Destination 2050 documents the transportation needs of the Boston metropolitan region gathered through public engagement and data analyses conducted between 2019 and 2022. It is organized around the MPO's goals—Access and Connectivity, Resiliency, Clean Air and Healthy Communities, Safety, Mobility and Reliability—and the implications for equity are explored within each goal area. A separate StoryMap describes the MPO’s Approach to Equity in the Needs Assessment.

Transportation Improvement Program

The MPO’s capital plan documents the projects that will be funded in the Boston region over the next five years. MPO staff scores projects proposed for funding by the MPO for their impacts on equity populations, and conducts equity analyses on all projects funded in the TIP, in the aggregate, to better understand if the projects are improving equity outcomes and helping the MPO meet its equity goal and objectives.

Unified Planning Work Program

The UPWP, which documents the MPO’s priorities each year, includes an analysis of the distribution of funds to MPO work that would benefit minority and low-income populations.

Coordinated Plan

Updated every four years, the Coordinated Plan documents the transportation needs of people with disabilities and older adults in the region. To receive Massachusetts Department of Transportation Community Transit Grant Program funding, projects must meet a need identified in the Coordinated Plan for the MPO region in which they are located.


Betsy Harvey
Transportation Equity Program Manager