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> Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council - UPWP

Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP)

(Simplified Statement of Work)

The 2020-2021 UPWP was reviewed and recommended by the ITCTC Planning Committee on January 21, 2020 and

received final approval of the ITCTC Policy Committee on February 18, 2020. It becomes effective 4/1/2020.

View the final 2020-2021 UPWP

The 2019-2020 Unified Planning Work Program

(effective 4/1/2019 - 3/31/2020)

Reviewed and approved by the ITCTC Planning & Policy Committees on February 19, 2019.



2019/2020 UPWP Amendments

Any amendments made to the 2019/2020 UPWP during the fiscal year will be listed and linked here after being approved by the ITCTC Policy Committee.


Description of the UPWP

The purpose of the UPWP is to serve as the annual work program for the ITCTC. The UPWP coordinates all transportation and transportation-related planning activities within the agency’s planning area. The UPWP is produced annually to match the New York State fiscal year of April 1 to March 31. It provides details of the transportation-related planning activities that the ITCTC intends to accomplish during the program year utilizing federal, state and local resources. It also delineates responsibilities and procedures for carrying out the cooperative transportation planning process. Included in the UPWP is a budget, which details how each fund source will be utilized. This permits the UPWP to act as a grant application for federal funds and also as a management tool for directing the staff activities throughout the year. Federal regulations require that all MPOs develop UPWPs. The draft UPWP for each year is reviewed, and the final document approved, during the first regularly scheduled Planning and Policy Committee meetings held each year.

 Federal Planning Emphasis Areas 

Planning Emphasis Areas (PEAs) are priorities that Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and State Departments of Transportation (State DOTs) should address in planning work programs. PEAs include:

  • FAST Act Implementation: Transition to Performance Based Planning and Programming (PB):

The development and implementation of a performance management approach to transportation planning and programming includes the development and use of transportation performance measures, target setting, performance reporting, and transportation investments that support the achievement of performance targets. These components will ensure the achievement of transportation system performance outcomes.

  • Models of Regional Planning Cooperation (RP):

Promote cooperation and coordination across MPO boundaries and across State boundaries where appropriate to ensure a regional approach to transportation planning.

  • Ladders of Opportunity (LO):

As part of the transportation planning process, identify transportation connectivity gaps in access to essential services. Essential services include housing, employment, health care, schools/education, and recreation.

There are numerous projects, efforts and initiatives included in the 2019-20 UPWP that support the different PEAs. As appropriate, the planning emphasis areas, work tasks and initiatives described in other sections of the UPWP will be identified with the acronyms of each of the PEAs as indicated above: PB, RP, LO. These labels identify the related PEA associated with each UPWP activity.

Emphasis Areas for the 2019/2020 UPWP

The 2019-2020 program year is the twenty-sixth year (April 1, 2019 - March 31, 2020) for which federal planning funds are available to the Ithaca area under the metropolitan planning program. This UPWP will continue to focus on the general goal of preserving and sustaining the core MPO activities and requirements with a focus on the following emphasis areas for 2019-2020:

  • Continued implementatiion of selected recommendations from the 2035 Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).
  • LRTP update to 2040 LRTP. Deadline for plan update is December 2019. (PB) (PF-1-10)
  • Implement the process for collecting and organizing data for the performance based planning process in the 2035 LRTP. (PB)
  • Continue collaborative work with transit providers and NYSDOT to develop and adopt performance targets. (PB) (PF-7)
  • Continue to monitor development and implementation of the FAST Act federal regulations and guideline as they apply to MPO operations, the Long Range Transportation Plan, the Transportation Improvement Program, and the performance based planning process. In particular, coordinate with federal and state partners on work leading to establishing procedures and measures for performance based planning. (PB)
  • Maintain the 2017-2021 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and provide appropriate updates to the State TIP in coordination with state and federal partners. Coordinate with NYSDOT and local project sponsors regarding TIP maintenance activities, review of project amendments and administrative modifications, public participation and other activities as required. (PF-4,6,7,8)
  • Work with local partners and NYSDOT to update the 2017-2021 TIP. The updated TIP is expected to cover fedral fiscal years 2020-2024. (PB) (PF-8)
  • Serve as team member for the NYSERDA funded Implementation of a Regional GHG Reduction Analysis Tool project led by RSG, Inc., which includes the ITCTC as a demonstration MPO of use of a new modeling tool. (PF-5)
  • Assemble, collect and/or distribute necessary data to support the transportation infrastructure decision-making processes including: assembling and/or distributing accident and traffic count data.(PB) (PF-2)
  • Together with regional partners, advance implementation of a regional web based ridesharing program (Finger Lakes Rideshare: and the MoveTogetherNY initiative ( (RP) (PF- 4,5,6)
  • Participate in implementation efforts for the Regional Economic Development Council of the Southern Tier’s Strategic Economic Development Plan, particularly as related to transportation initiatives. (RP) (PF - 10)
  • Continue to support Tompkins County, the City of Ithaca, and Cornell University as major partners of TCAT in their efforts to provide continuity and enhancements to public transportation services. (PB) (PF - 4,5,6)
  • Contribute to and support the transportation planning efforts of participating entities in the MPO process for the following efforts:
    • Coordination between Tompkins County, as designated recipient of FTA grants, and grant sub-recipients in Tompkins County. (PF-7)
    • Continue implementation of the Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan. (LO) (PF - 4,6,7)
    • Implementation of travel demand management strategies in cooperation with the Way2Go program, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, and other community partners. (PF - 1,4,5,6,7) 
  • Participate in efforts to address transportation aspects of "community livability" and "social justice". In particular:
    • Cooperate and work with the Tompkins County Department of Planning and Sustainability in implementation of action items from the Tompkins County Countywide Comprehensive Plan. (PF - 5,9)
    • Support local municipalities and community groups in development of transportation plans and other efforts that support the goals and objectives in the LRTP. (LO, PB)(PF-5)
    • Support community programs/initiatives that encourage increased use of active transportation (walking, bicycling, transit, shared transport), such as Bike Walk Tompkins ( and Ithaca Carshare ( (LO, PB) (PF - 2,4,5,6)
    • Coordinate with appropriate agencies to ensure that transportation services are seamless, comprehensive and accessible to all citizens. (LO) (PF - 7)
    • Provide continued emphasis and support for the development of transportation modes and programs that provide alternatives to the private automobile as a primary mode of transportation including (LO, PB) (PF -1-10)
      • trail development
      • public transportation
      • bicycling initiatives
      • pedestrian initiatives
      • car sharing
      • ride sharing
      • van pooling
      • guaranteed ride home
      • transportation demand management

Unified Operations Plan, May 2015