How Did the MATS MPO Get Started?

MATS was originally founded on February 21, 1964, by designation of the Governor and adoption of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between The City of Macon, the County of Bibb, the Municipality of Payne City, the Georgia State Highway Department (now the Georgia Department of Transportation) and the Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission.  The roles and responsibilities of MATS are covered by the MOU.

Over the years, MATS has expanded geographically to include portions of Jones County and Monroe County as a result of the region’s growth.  Additionally, other agency partners such as the Middle Georgia Regional Commission and the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority have also been added.

From time to time, the documents authorizing MATS need to be updated to reflect new circumstances.  For example, the most recent change to MATS happened in June 2015 and November 2015, when Payne City was removed from the MOU, and Macon-Bibb Industrial Authority replaced Payne City on the MATS Policy Committee. This was done to account for the dissolution of Payne City by the Georgia Legislature, after the Macon-Bibb government consolidation.

How is MATS Funded?

MATS is funded through local, State and Federal funding sources.  At the Federal level, MATS is supported by annual grants from the Federal Highway Administration (through the “PL Grant” program) and the Federal Transit Administration (through the “5303 Grant” program).  These funds are authorized by the U.S. Congress, administered locally through Georgia Dept. of Transportation, and constitute 80% of the MATS budget.  The remaining 20% is made up through local matching funds.  In the case of 5303 Grant funds, there is an additional requirement that the 20% local match be split evenly between the State and local government (i.e., 10% each).

As with any type of federal funding, MATS is required to report on its activities supported by the funds on a regular basis.  Each quarter, MATS submits grant activity reports to the Georgia Dept. of Transportation.  Figure 2 describes the relationships between Federal funding, MPO activities, and reporting requirements.

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