The Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS) is an association of local governments working together to plan for the future of the region. The agency conducts this work as the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for northern Ada County and Canyon County. The federal government requires the formation of an MPO when an urban area reaches 50,000 people.
Members appoint representatives to sit on the COMPASS Board of Directors. The Board is responsible for setting priorities for spending federal transportation dollars that come to the Treasure Valley over the next twenty years. They also represent the public interest in deciding how to distribute these transportation investments.
COMPASS staff offers members technical, analytical, and content support, and works closely with staff at member agencies – as well as the general public – to prepare materials essential to the transportation planning process.
COMPASS has served as the MPO for northern Ada County (Boise area) since 1977 and for Canyon County (Nampa area) since early 2003. Northern Ada County became a “Transportation Management Area” when the population reached 200,000 several years ago. This designation includes additional requirements for COMPASS to satisfy federal regulations, but also entitles the region to federal funds earmarked for large urban areas.