About Polk TPO

The Polk Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) is the lead transportation planning agency  for Polk County.  It develops transportation plans and programs for Polk County as mandated by federal  and state legislation, which are designed to meet our community’s short and long term travel needs.   Transportation projects, e.g., road widening projects or bus service expansions, are planned and  programmed (federal and state funding) by the TPO is cooperation with the Florida Department of  Transportation (FDOT), transportation operators and local governments.  Staff support is provided  by the Growth Management Department of the Polk County Board of County Commissioners.

The TPO provides a forum for cooperative decision-making regarding countywide transportation issues.   It is comprised of a 19-member policy board of local elected officials, staff, and advisory committees.   The member governments include the Polk County Board of County Commissioners and the cities of Lakeland,  Winter Haven, Auburndale, Bartow, Haines City, Lake Wales, Fort Meade, Mulberry, Frostproof, Lake Alfred,  Dundee, Eagle Lake, Davenport, Polk City, and Lake Hamilton.  Other public agencies such as the Central  Florida Regional Planning Council, and the Florida Departments of Community Affairs (DCA), Environmental  Protection (DEP), and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), are also represented on its advisory  committees.

TD LCB Meeting 5-8-17
Neil Combee Administration Building, Polk County Commission Boardroom330 W. Church St. , Bartow, FL 33830
TAC Meeting 5-25-17
Neil Combee Administration Building, Room 413330 W. Church St. , Bartow, FL 33830
TPO Board Meeting 6-8-17
Neil Combee Administration Building, Polk County Commission Boardroom330 W. Church St. , Bartow, FL 33830
TAC Meeting 7-27-17
Neil Combee Administration Building, Room 413330 W. Church St. , Bartow, FL 33830
TPO Board Meeting 8-10-17
Neil Combee Administration Building, Polk County Commission Boardroom330 W. Church St. , Bartow, FL 33830

The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) is developed annually to target goals and objectives that are  to be accomplished by the TPO staff.  This program also serves to establish the annual budget.   The UPWP describes work elements to be performed, indicating local agency work participation and sources of funding.

Pdf  2016/17 - 2017/18 Unified Planning Work Program Amended April 13, 2017


TPO’s operating budget is derived from three (3) primary sources: federal, state, and local resources.   Federal funding is provided through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) provides funding in the form of both hard cash and soft cash matches,  and toll revenue expenditures are used as a credit or soft cash match toward FHWA funds.  The Polk County Board of County  Commissioners (BoCC) provides a local cash match to various tasks.

Funding SourceFiscal Years 2016/2017   Fiscal Years 2017/2018   
Federal $990,103 $974,233
State $230,648 $228,840
Local $38,306 $36,187

In 1977, the Lakeland Urbanized Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) was established,  with staff support provided by the Central Florida Regional Planning Council.  Since 1980, staff  support for the MPO for the Lakeland/Winter Haven Urbanized Areas has been provided by the Polk  County Board of County Commissioners.  In the 1990’s, the MPO Board adopted “Polk Transportation  Planning Organization (TPO)” as its formal name.

The urban transportation planning process was initiated for Polk County in 1967 with establishment  of the Lakeland Urban Area Transportation Study (LUATS).  The study included the development of  socioeconomic databases for the years 1967 and 1990, and the conduction of both home interviews  and roadside origin-destination surveys for complete travel demand model calibration.  The initial study,  completed in 1970, resulted in a 1990 principal street and highway plan.

In 1974, the Polk County Transportation Study was organized to provide a coordinated transportation  program for the entire county, including those areas previously served under LUATS.  A county-wide  database was developed for the base year 1973 and land use forecasts were prepared for the years 1980,  1985, 1990 and 2000.  Travel data from the 1967 LUATS origin-destination survey were supplemented with  a 1975 roadside interview of inter-city travelers.  The final product of this study, completed in 1978,  was an adopted transportation plan for the year 2000 with an interim 1990 plan for staging projects.

In 1983, work was initiated on a comprehensive travel demand model validation study using a 1980 database  in conjunction with the Florida Department of Transportation’s newly established Urban Transportation Planning  System (UTPS) standard model structure.  Following completion of the model validation study in 1984,  a separate study was begun to develop a 2010 Cost-Feasible Plan for Polk County, with an interim staging  plan for 1995.  In 1987, a consultant was selected to complete this work, and in 1989, the 2010 Long-Range  Transportation Plan was adopted.  In 1992, a board membership reapportionment plan was approved by the  Governor with the Cities of Auburndale, Bartow, Lake Wales, and Haines City authorized to have one  voting member each.  In 1995, the 2020 Long-Range Transportation Plan update was adopted, and on  December 7, 2000, the 2025 Long-Range Transportation Plan update was adopted.

In 2003, the Polk Transportation Planning Organization conducted a Countywide Transit Study which provided evidence that increased coordination and cooperation among Polk transit providers was needed. The Polk Regional Transportation Organization (RTO) was created in 2004 to increase coordination of the existing transit services and lead the transition to a new countywide transit system. The TRTO Board member, along with the Transition Committee, worked on drafting the legislation presented to the Florida Legislators in 2007 to form the Polk Transit Authority. On July 27, 2007, Governor Crist signed Bill 777, officially forming the Polk Transit Authority. The Polk Transit Authority Board of Directors was seated and held its first meeting on February 27, 2008, in Haines City.

In December 2005, the 2030 Transportation Improvement Plan (2030 TRIP), formerly known as the Long-Range Transportation Plan, was adopted.

In December 2010, the 2035 Mobility Vision Plan was adopted replacing the 2030 Transportation Improvement Plan.   This 2035 Mobility Vision Plan identifies and addresses future transportation needs and presents a vision for how transportation investments and policies will serve and promote the long term growth strategy for the County. Mobility strategies have been developed for drivers, transit users, pedestrians and bicyclists, ensuring that the overall transportation system will operate safely and effectively into the future.

The project and policy recommendations of the 2035 Mobility Vision Plan are based in part on the 2060 Transportation Vision Plan, which was completed in June 2009. This Plan establishes a framework for organizing and promoting development within existing centers and along major transportation corridors. The Plan focuses on transit investments that are appropriate to serve the future mobility needs within the County and that can be effectively implemented within existing road and rail rights-of-way.

In December 2015, Momentum 2040 was adopted replacing the 2035 Mobility Vision Plan. Momentum 2040 was developed with Goals, Performance Objectives, Targets, and Policies to guide the Momentum 2040 plan which seeks to balance the needs of all modes of travel as appropriate.

Staff Contacts:

  • Name & position Phone Number
  • Tom Deardorff Executive Director 863.534.6454
  • Ronnie Blackshear Director 863.534.6487
  • Ryan Kordek Transportation Planning Administrator863.534.6558
  • Diane Slaybaugh Senior Transportation Planner/Title VI & ADA Officer 863.534.6495
  • Julia Davis Senior Safety Transportation Planner863.534.6529
  • Annette Crews Office Manager863.534.6486
  • Tina Mann Communications Specialist863.534.6020 
  • Xiomara Meeks Senior863.534.6551 Transportation Planner
  • Curtis Knowles Senior Transportation Planner863.534.6491 
Momentum 2040


By the year 2040 Polk County is projected to be home to more than 1 million people. Create momentum for Polk's roads, trails and transit of the future by getting involved with our Long Range Transportation Plan update.