Models for Independence: Structures of Independent Metropolitan Planning Organizations in Florida

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - planning, organisation - structures, organisation - management, mode - mass transit, mode - subway/metro


Transportation planning, Transit operating agencies, Transit lines, Transit, State departments of transportation, Public transit lines, Public transit, Orlando (Florida), Organizational structure, Organizational management, Organizational effectiveness, Metropolitan planning organizations, Mass transit lines, Mass transit, Local transit, Florida


The characteristics of four independent metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in Florida are highlighted; an “independent MPO” is defined as one that is administratively separate from any individual MPO member government. The four MPOs reviewed—First Coast MPO, Metroplan Orlando, Sarasota–Manatee MPO, and West Florida Regional Planning Council—each represent one of three distinct organizational structures for providing staffing and administrative services independent of an individual member jurisdiction or agency. The three structures identified are the third-party government agency model, the staff services agreement model, and the freestanding MPO model. The advantages and disadvantages of the three models are presented and discussed. Any MPO that is considering becoming independent would benefit from such a discussion.