A long-range transportation plan is the statement of the ways the region plans to invest in the transportation system over the next twenty years.

Some key purposes of the plan are to:
  • Identify policies, strategies, and projects for the future;
  • Determine the demand for transportation services over 20 years;
  • Focus on the systems level, including roadways, transit, non-motorized transportation, and intermodal connections;
  • Consider how issues and expectations related to regional land use, development, housing, and employment will affect transportation systems;
  • Estimate costs and identify reasonably available financial sources for operation, maintenance, and capital investments; and
  • Determine ways to preserve existing roads and facilities and make efficient use of the existing system.

Metropolitan Planning Organizations make special efforts to engage interested parties in the development of the plan. In addition, the Baltimore metropolitan area is designated as an air quality nonattainment area. Therefore, the plan must conform to the State Implementation Plan for air quality.

The current plan is the 2011 Baltimore Regional Transportation Plan, known as Plan It 2035. Federal legislation SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users) provided a context for development of the plan. Findings from Imagine 2060 served as a core frame around which the goals and policies of Plan It 2035 were developed.