January 5, 2022
This week, FTA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued updated Planning Emphasis Areas (PEAs). In the letter announcing the revised PEAs, FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez and the FHWA Deputy Administrator Stephanie Pollack are asking FTA and FHWA field offices to work with their metropolitan planning organizations, state Departments of Transportation, transit agencies, and federal land management agencies to incorporate these PEAs into their Unified Planning Work Programs and State Planning and Research Work Programs.
Several of these emphasis areas focus on the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of advancing equity and environmental justice in transportation planning, which will help achieve greenhouse gas reduction goals and increase resilience to extreme weather events resulting from climate change. These efforts will better support regional and local governments as they plan for future transportation needs in their communities. There is considerable flexibility in how metropolitan planning organizations and State DOTs can incorporate the PEAs into the transportation planning process. Recognizing the variability and timing of transportation planning processes, FTA and FHWA encourage these PEAs to be incorporated as programs are updated.