Every metropolitan area with a population of more than 50,000 persons must have a designated Metropolitan Planning Organization to qualify for federal highway or transit funds.
Harlingen San Benito Metropolitan Planning Organization urbanized area includes:
Cities of San Benito, Harlingen, Combes, Los Indios, Palm Valley, Primera, Rio Hondo, La Feria, Santa Rosa Mercedes (Ex-Offical) and certain parts of Cameron County.
The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) relies on the MPO to ensure that highway and transit projects that use federal funds are products of a credible planning process and meet local priorities. USDOT will not approve federal fundings for urban highway and transit projects unless they are on the MPO's program. Thus, the MPO's role is to develop and maintain the necessary transportation plans for the area to assure that federal funds support the locally developed plans.