The Yellowstone County Planning Board is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and oversees transportation planning for the Billings Urban Area. The area encompasses the City of Billings as well as a planning area extending approximately 4.5 miles outside the City limits. The MPO prepares a Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) each year that contains:
Discussion of projects to undertake during the upcoming program year
Schedule for each project
The UPWP is supplemented by a five-year Transportation Improvements Plan (TIP). The TIP is a fiscal planning program for federally assisted highway and transit improvements for the Billings Urban Area. Every 4 years, the MPO prepares an Urban Area Transportation Plan that assesses the transportation needs and recommends actions to address those needs.
Transportation planning within the Billings Urban Area has been an ongoing process since the first official transportation plan was prepared in 1961. The plan has been updated in 1969, 1977, 1983, 1990, 2000, 2005, 2009 and most recently, 2014. In addition, the Transportation Planners work to organize active modes of transportation through the development of bike and pedestrian trails throughout the City and County.