PACTS Role in Capital Projects

Policy Commission Members Sitting in a Circle During a MeetingIn 1975 Congress created metropolitan planning organizations in urbanized areas around the country and gave them the responsibility to program the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funds in cooperation with state departments of transportation. Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System (PACTS) is the largest of the four Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in Maine.

Federal Funds

PACTS submits to the FTA and FHWA a report that lists all federally-funded projects programmed by PACTS and Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) in our region. The federal agencies may not release the federal funds for any of the projects without this support from PACTS. 

Transportation Improvement Plan

The report is called the PACTS Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP. PACTS and MaineDOT produce the PACTS TIP every two years, and amend it periodically.

Capital Management Area

The projects in the TIP must all be within the PACTS Capital Management Area. The Capital Management Area map endorsed by the PACTS Policy Committee in May 2014. 

MPO Allocation

In the late 1970s, MaineDOT established a policy to give PACTS the responsibility to program an "MPO Allocation" of FHWA funds. MaineDOT has continued that policy continuously since then.