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.
How Can I Learn More/Get More Involved?
There are several ways to keep up with what MATS is doing. Try one, or all, of these options:
- Contact us! Not only do we want to hear from you, we need to hear from you. An informed public is our best asset in developing transportation projects intended and designed to serve the public interest. Federal law requires MPOs to do public outreach before making significant changes to the Long Range Transportation Plan and/or the Transportation Improvement Program. You can connect with us via e-mail.
- Get involved by checking this website for updates, following us on social media, and signing up for our enewsletter. This website, and our social media dialogue, are always works in progress: new projects and/or opportunities arise, new questions get raised, new answers get posted. Signing up for the MATS newsletter, will help you to stay informed about when the next set of meetings is coming up and what’s on the agenda. E-mail Gregory L. Brown, Senior Planner.
- Let us know if you want MATS staff to do a presentation to your community group. The materials on this website just scratch the surface of what the MPO’s current projects are, and the history of the organization. We would be happy to come out and speak to your group and answer questions in person. E-mail Gregory L. Brown, Senior Planner at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
- Consider volunteering for the Citizen Advisory Committee. There is no better “seat at the table” than an actual seat at the table. Please keep in mind that if you select this option, you are making a commitment to your community to attend the meetings, ask questions, and become an informed resource on their behalf. If you are interested in serving on the CAC, contact Gregory L. Brown, Senior Planner at email@example.com for details.