DSATS is the federally-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the DeKalb-Sycamore-Cortland urbanized area. The primary purpose of the MPO is to carry out the federal Metropolitan Planning Process, which includes establishing a policy direction for prioritizing federal transportation investments in the region and providing a mechanism for cooperation among local jurisdictions to address area transportation issues.  To assist in this process, the MPO examines local travel patterns and trends, conducts demographic and future travel demand analyses, and identifies emerging opportunities to provide a safe and efficient transportation system that supports increased mobility while protecting the environment. Primary members include representatives from the Cities of DeKalb and Sycamore, Town of Cortland, DeKalb County, Northern Illinois University, and Illinois Department of Transportation..

The DSATS organization includes four primary components: Policy Committee (PC), Transit Operations Committee (TOC), Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), and staff. Policy Committee is the governing body of the MPO and is primarily responsible for approving federally-funded transportation activities in the metropolitan planning area (MPA). Both TOC and TAC provide professional technical advice and recommendations to Policy Committee concerning transportation-related activities and oversee the technical planning functions and duties of DSATS. Other agencies, including IDOT’s Office and Planning and Programming, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) serve in an advisory capacity for MPO activities.

The DSATS Region

DSATS is required to carry out the federal metropolitan transportation planning process within its Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA), defined as the adjusted urbanized (UZA) boundary plus areas expected to incur development activity within the next 20 years . The UZA, last delineated as a result of the 2010 census, is the contiguous developed area that meets residential density and urban use criteria with a population over 50,000. To create a consistent classification of federal-aid eligible roadways in the region, the MPO, in cooperation with IDOT and FHWA, adjust this boundary to create the adjusted UZA. Boundary areas outside of the adjusted UZA but within the MPA are generally identified from local municipal comprehensive plans.

All parcels and roadways included within the MPA are considered in planning studies. Classified roadways (non-local) and all bridges within the UZA are eligible for Surface Transportation Program-Urban (STP-U) funding while boundary areas are eligible for Surface Transportation Program-Rural (STP-R) funding. The UZA is also receives annual allocations for public transit, which are received and managed by the City of DeKalb.


Nathan F. Schwartz P.E. | Director
Jacob Johnson | Coordinator