How Can MPO Criteria for Project Selection Incorporate Incentives for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions?

Focus Area

Climate Change


Air Quality, Environmental Process




Under $99k


Under 1 year

Research Idea Scope

Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) typically have project selection criteria that prioritize MPO spending of federal transportation funds.  These criteria differ greatly among MPOs.  It would be helpful to have a “menu” of criteria best practices, with this research idea focusing specifically on best practices associated with greenhouse gas emission reductions. Researchers would examine MPO criteria for project selection nationwide focusing on those communities that have the most advanced criteria, and identify the criteria best practices associated with greenhouse gas emission reductions (e.g., how best to incorporate vehicle miles traveled, or VMT, into project selection criteria).  Additionally, based on their research and expertise, the researchers could recommend a menu of options that could be incorporated into MPO project selection criteria to maximize greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Urgency and Payoff

This research will allow MPOs to incorporate well-developed incentives for greenhouse gas emissions reductions into their project selection criteria in an efficient manner, i.e., without each MPO having to do its own research.

Suggested By

Lois Epstein, Alaska Transportation Priorities Project