Promoting Smart Growth & Regional Planning

Accessible, frequent, and fast public transit gets people to their destinations without contributing to traffic and is an important factor to lowering carbon emissions. Connected, well-maintained, and extensive trails, bike lanes, and sidewalks encourage active transportation, health, and recreation. Making roadways safe, comfortable, and accessible for users of all ages, abilities, income, and travel modes leads to healthier and stronger communities.

MAPC’s Transportation Department promotes sustainable transportation and strong infrastructure throughout the region in many ways, including transportation corridor planning, parking and land use studies, participating in projects to build bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, coordinating transportation funding programs, and advocating for transportation finance reform. MAPC is one of 22 members of the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which carries out comprehensive and cooperative transportation planning in the region.

To find a comprehensive library of our past transportation work, visit MAPC’s Publications Library.

Explore the categories below to learn more about the multi-faceted ways MAPC works to improve connectivity in the region.

Transportation PRIORITIES

Current Studies

  • Lower Mystic
  • Woburn ETOD (Equitable Transit Oriented Development)
  • North Shore Mobility: MAPC is collaborating with the towns and cities in the North Shore Coalition (NSC) to conduct a suburban mobility study. The study will research “first mile/last mile” opportunities to connect people to transit in the NSC region, focusing on transportation options other than single-occupancy vehicles.
Transportation PRIORITIES

Technical Assistance

MAPC’s Transportation team works on a wide range of projects with cities, towns, and other partners. How can we work with your community?

Visit MAPC’s publications library to see past parking studies, complete streets work, transit-oriented development solutions, and more.

If you’re interested in working with MAPC, contact Transportation Director Eric Bourassa at


Parking is the link between land use and transportation planning, and the way we set parking policies has an enormous impact on the built environment and how we choose to get around. MAPC is available to help municipalities diagnose their parking problems and recommend solutions with downtown parking occupancy and turnover studies, zoning recommendations, and more.

Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (E-TOD)

Equitable transit-oriented development concentrates on constructing affordable residential and commercial developments in places accessible by public transit. MAPC can help with financing tools, zoning, and TOD plans to help municipalities achieve equity goals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, boost transit ridership, and mitigate congestion.

Complete Streets

MAPC aims to make roadways more accessible for all travel modes and users of all ages, abilities, and income. Improving our roadways can increase safety, improve a community’s health and well-being, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and advance economic development. MAPC has technical assistance funding to assist our communities adopt Complete Streets policies and develop and implement bicycle and pedestrian network plans.

Subregional Mobility

Transportation and transit isn’t just limited to individual towns – it’s important to look at services on a regional and subregional level. MAPC inventories, analyzes, and recommends improvements to subregional suburban transit systems, identifying where municipalities can work together and where gaps exist.

Bike Sharing and Hubway

MAPC serves as the regional coordinator for the Hubway bike share system, negotiating and overseeing a regional agreement between operator Motivate and the municipalities of Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline.

Bike Parking

MAPC encourage communities to install bike racks in business districts, downtown areas, and at public buildings to encourage active transportation in their downtowns. We offer a joint-purchasing program with discounted pricing and a full selection of bike parking equipment. Learn more on the Regional Bike Parking Program page.


MAPC can help communities integrate elements of placemaking into their communities, creating healthy, safe, active, and useful public space. In transportation planning, this means making streets and roadways useful and enjoyable by including complete street elements such as handicap accessible sidewalks, visible and safe crosswalks, benches, trees and plants, street lighting, bike lanes, and signage.

LandLine: Regional Greenway and Trail Planning

Landline is MAPC’s vision to connect our greenways and trails into a seamless network. Our complete database of trails and bicycle facilities can be found at

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Transportation PRIORITIES

Research & Resources

Looking for more information about something transportation or transit-related?

You’ve come to the right place. Check out the pages below for in-depth material on our research, reports, partners, and more.

Autonomous Vehicles

MAPC recognizes the transformative benefits that autonomous vehicles can have for Massachusetts’ economy, environment, and quality of life – as well as the challenges that could result from disruption to existing forms of mobility. Autonomous vehicles will affect not only our transportation system, but also our economy, safety, workforce, environment, land use, and energy use. Learn more about considerations related to policy, technology, and transit here.

Perfect-Fit Parking

Parking is a point of contention in communities across Metro Boston, yet there’s little hard data about how much parking we have and how much we need. MAPC’s Perfect Fit Parking initiative is developing the data and tools that communities need to establish informed, sustainable, and economical parking policies. Visit the Perfect Fit Parking site to learn more about where parking spaces are going unused. 

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Greenhouse Gases & Transportation

Transportation Demand Management

Transportation demand management focuses on increasing transportation and transit system efficiency by understanding how people are using existing infrastructure. Read case studies and learn about measures already implemented by municipalities here. 

Boston MPO

MAPC is one of 22 members of the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which carries out comprehensive and cooperative transportation planning in the region. Learn more about the MPO’s work here.


This online resource is a comprehensive online map of trails for cyclists, walkers, and others engaging in active transportation and looking to explore the trails and other amenities throughout the MAPC region and beyond. Users can access the interactive map from their phones or desktop computers. Start exploring now!

Transportation PRIORITIES

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is responsible for conducting the federally-required transportation and planning process for the Boston region. MAPC and the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) provide planning support for the MPO and for the region’s communities.

THE MPO develops a vision for the Greater Boston region and uses the plan to allocate federal and state funds toward transportation projects such as roadways, transit, pedestrian, and bicycle projects. This work includes developing regional bicycle and pedestrian plans and providing alternative land-use analyses for upcoming projects.

MAPC is one of 22 members of the MPO charged with carrying out comprehensive and cooperative transportation planning. The MPO is responsible for the development, review, and approval of three key planning projects:

Regional Transportation Plan

Every four years, the Boston Region MPO develops a new Transportation Plan. The Plan is the MPO’s long-range, comprehensive transportation-planning document. It defines an overarching vision of the future of transportation in the region, establishes principles and policies that will lead to the achievement of that vision, and allocates projected revenue to transportation programs and projects that reflect those principles and policies.

Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

The TIP lists all transportation projects that are slated to receive federal funds over a five-year horizon, as well as all projects programmed with federal and state highway funds that are expected to be available.

Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP)

The annual UPWP describes all regionally significant surface-transportation planning projects expected to be undertaken in the region in a federal fiscal year. It also lists funding sources, from federal to state and local, for each planning project.

MAPC supports transportation that provides sustainable, accessible, and affordable service to the 101 cities and towns in the MAPC region. We recognize the transformative benefits that autonomous vehicles can have for Massachusetts’ economy, environment, and quality of life – as well as the challenges that could result from disruption to existing forms of mobility. Autonomous vehicles will affect not only our transportation system, but also our economy, safety, workforce, environment, land use, and energy use.

The deployment of autonomous vehicles holds the potential to positively transform the transportation network. The positive transformational impacts include strengthening public transportation, reducing crashes and fatalities for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as reducing traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. Autonomous vehicles also have the capability to lessen the need for parking facilities and increase mobility for those who cannot drive.

Legislative and Policy Considerations

In May 2017, the MAPC Executive Committee adopted a set of legislative and policy considerations to support regulations and planning encourage the Commonwealth and our member municipalities to safely and equitably accommodate autonomous vehicles on the roadway network.

Considerations outlined include data collection and sharing, revenue changes, public infrastructure, safety, autonomous delivery of goods, land-use, parking, long-range planning, and more.

Click here to read the full document.

Driverless Cars Forum: What Will They Change - and When?

On June 13, 2016, MAPC and Transportation for Massachusetts (T4Mass) hosted a forum exploring the transformative technology of autonomous vehicles and their likely impacts. The event gathered an audience of 250 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The forum featured an expert panel from both the public and private sectors and covered topics including driverless car technology, timeframe for implementation, how driverless cars could change the role of transit in communities, and the role of government in the process. The full event can be seen in the video below.

Link to YouTube video:

View individual speakers’ footage and presentations below:

Christopher ZegrasAssociate Professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT

Marc DraisenExecutive Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Tony DutzikSenior Policy Analyst, Frontier Group

Lauren IsaacManager of Sustainable Transportation, WSP | Parsons Brinkerhoff

Jonathan KoopmannSenior Engineer, Technology, Innovation and Policy Division, U.S. DOT/ Volpe Center

Mayor Joseph A. CurtatoneCity of Somerville

Kent LarsonDirector of the City Science Initiative & the Changing Places Group at the MIT Media Laboratory