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The Harrisburg Area Transportation Study (HATS) was created in response to the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962, which mandated regional transportation planning as a condition for receiving federal funds for transportation projects. Under the law, transportation planning must be supported through a continuing, comprehensive and coordinated (3C) process.

HATS is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties and their 103 municipalities. It works with federal, state and local agencies and officials from throughout South-Central Pennsylvania, including the City of Harrisburg and Capital Area Transit, to meet the transportation needs of an area covering nearly 1,700 square miles.


The area is home to more than a half-million people, with its development patterns and transportation system influenced by its geography and location. It lies within the Capital Region of Pennsylvania; in the fringe of a major urban corridor along the northeastern US coast; in the Appalachian Mountains and their foothills; and in the Susquehanna River Valley.

HATS is comprised of Technical and Coordinating committees:

  • The Technical Committee oversees analyses and preparation of plans and studies; reviews transportation items brought before HATS to consider; and makes recommendations to the Coordinating Committee.

  • The Coordinating Committee is the policy body, which formally takes action based on Technical Committee input and adopts transportation plans and improvement programs.


Each committee has a chairman, vice-chairman and secretary, elected to one-year terms by voting members. For current members, click here.

HATS' lead staff agency, the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (TCRPC), provides planning and administrative support services, and ensures that the transportation planning process is being carried out in accordance with federal and state regulations. (For TCRPC staff listing and contact information, click here.)

HATS planning staff prepare the annual Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), biennial Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), the Regional Transportation Plan and other planning studies supported by the FHWA, the FTA, PennDOT and the municipalities HATS serves. The Congestion Management Process (CMP) is integrated into its overall program efforts as well.

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