What is an MPO?

Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study (SKATS) is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Salem-Keizer area. A MPO is a federally mandated body for any urban area over 50,000 in population. The SKATS MPO is directed by a Policy Committee (PC) composed of elected representatives from the cities of Keizer, Salem and Turner, Marion and Polk Counties, the Salem Area Mass Transit District, the Salem-Keizer School District and a manager from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Region 2 office.

The duties and responsibilities for cooperatively carrying out transportation planning and programming are outlined in the Cooperative Agreement which was adopted by the local jurisdictions in 1987 and amended in 2003 to include the city of Turner. In 2023, the city of Aumsville will become a member of SKATS to reflect the urban areas from the 2020 U.S. Decennial Census.

On May 8, 1987, Governor Neil Goldschmidt designated in a letter to the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments (MWVCOG) that the MPO for the Salem-Keizer area should be the Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study (SKATS) Policy Committee. Federal funding to carry out the transportation planning process would be funneled through MWVCOG and expended at the direction of the SKATS PC.