KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Tri-State area of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. As the MPO, KYOVA serves as a transportation planning agency and forum for regional transportation decisions. Its mission is to plan for an orderly, cost-effective, multi-modal transportation system for all citizens of the service area. With the support of local officials, the Commission plans for sound transportation improvements, which facilitate the movement of goods and people in a safe and efficient manner. The Commission's goal is to promote cooperation among members to reach consensus on matters affecting all modes of transportation. KYOVA is responsible for the annual dissemination of millions of dollars in federal transportation funds to conduct transportation-related studies and implement transportation projects.
On July 16, 2012, the Tri-State region was designated a Transportation Management Area (TMA) according to data from the 2010 U.S. Census. A TMA is an area designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation having an urbanized area population of over 200,000. The Huntington, WV-KY-OH Transportation Management Area (TMA) includes the West Virginia counties of Cabell, Wayne, and a portion of Putnam; the Kentucky counties of Boyd and Greenup; and Lawrence County, Ohio. KYOVA oversees the transportation planning activities for the entire Huntington, WV-KY-OH TMA, excluding the portion of Putnam County; it was agreed that the adjacent MPO, the Regional Intergovernmental Council (RIC), would manage transportation planning activities for the TMA urbanized area in Putnam County, as RIC's planning boundary already included the rest of the county.
KYOVA was formally organized on October 11, 1968. Its creation, via interstate compact, was the culmination of years of diligence and hard work that began in 1965 with the Huntington-Ashland-Ironton Area Transportation Study (HAIATS). KYOVA was formed as a result of the HAIATS to coordinate and administer transportation planning. To provide a recognized geographical area of activity, in 1966, the Bureau of the Census designated the urbanized area of Huntington-Ashland-Ironton as the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) for the areas of: Cabell and Wayne counties in West Virginia; Lawrence County, Ohio; Boyd and Greenup counties in Kentucky; and the cities of Huntington, Ironton, and Ashland.
KYOVA's Policy Committee and staff work with state and federal officials to promote a unified transportation system for the area for the effective movement of people, goods, and services. The Commission's efforts focus on several key areas that include:
- Maintaining a Travel Demand Forecasting Model
- Integrating airport ground access and metropolitan surface planning efforts
- Providing a forum for regional governance
- Opportunity for collaboration and partnership between local government officials
- Providing relevant transportation-related information and data
- Partnership and issues facilitation
- Planning for the needs of all transportation modes
- Conducting air quality transportation conformity analysis
- Short and long-range planning
KYOVA Members participate through committees, task forces, workshops, and seminars. Some committees convene state and federal agencies, local governments, private sector representatives, and citizens to work on specific projects, while others meet to investigate evolving regional issues that may affect the future of the transportation system. Elected and appointed officials gather to develop priorities, build consensus, and implement plans for the future success of their respective communities, and the region as a whole.