What We Do
OTO works to ensure a bright future for the region through planning for growth, transportation, and economic development.
The Ozarks Transportation Organization is a federally required metropolitan planning organization (MPO) charged with planning and coordinating how the region invests federal, state, and local funds to ensure transportation investments will satisfy the needs of residents and employers while creating economic growth and safety.
Our role is to bring area stakeholders to the table to discuss standards, priorities, and processes.
Where do we see a need?
Where will future needs arise?
How do we get there?
Limited Funds = Choices
What do we do first?
What criteria do we use to make those decisions?
Leaders from 7 Cities and 2 Counties sit at our table as well as other stakeholders to discuss and come to agreement on our transportation plan
We work on creating plans to help you get around.
Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF) is the primary air connection to the national and international markets. The airport surpassed 1-million annual passengers in 2018. A total of 13 non-stop destinations, including five major hubs are currently served by the airports four carriers. These destinations include:
- Los Angeles
- Las Vegas
- Tampa/St. Petersburg
- Sarasota/Ft. Myers -Seasonal
- Destin/Ft. Walton Beach- Seasonal
- Dallas/Ft. Worth
The Midfield Terminal was completed in 2009 and currently has 10 gates in operation, with room for 60 at full operation.
SGF is in the Top 100 airports for landed cargo weight in CY 2017. The airport saw over 197,000,000 pounds of cargo land during 2017. The airport also serves as a foreign trade zone (FTZ No. 225), which is an economic incentives program to facilitate international trade. The FTZ covers 23 counties in southwest Missouri. The cargo facility associated with the Foreign Trade Zone is utilized by UPS, FedEx, BAX Global, and Eagle Global Logistics.
General aviation at SGF serves all additional flights that are not part of the scheduled passenger flights or related to cargo.
The Downtown Airport is one of the first airports in the Ozarks region, has one runway, and can accommodate most modern private aircraft.
The Ozarks Transportation Organization region is currently in attainment for all transportation-related criteria pollutants. Of special concern, however, is ozone. The current standard is 70 parts per billion. The 2018-2020 design value for the Ozarks Transportation Organization region is 59 parts per billion.
Exposure to ground-level ozone can contribute to health and environmental problems. Ozone is formed when heat and sunlight mix with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). If the region were designated as non-attainment by the EPA, it would trigger additional regulations for the Ozarks Transportation Organization region, in addition to health impacts at that level.
Ozarks Transportation Organization is actively working in the community to help reduce ozone levels, and is working with the City of Springfield to promote carpooling throughout southwest Missouri. Staff participates in the Ozarks Clean Air Alliance, which participates in the EPA Ozone Advance Program, a voluntary program to reduce ozone emissions with technical support from EPA.
Bicycling and walking are important components of the overall transportation network. Ozarks Transportation Organization encourages all projects to consider bicycling and walking needs, in addition to providing support for projects that solely address bicycling and walking.
Ozarks Transportation Organization's Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan was most recently updated with Transportation Plan 2045, OTO's Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), adopted in September 2021.
Ozark Greenways' Sustainable Transportation Advocacy Resource Team (START), advocates for local forms of sustainable transportation including bicycling, walking, commuting and public transit.
Let's Go Smart Springfield, a community partnership led by Ozark Greenways, is designed to encourage the people of Springfield to make wiser transportation choices every day.
OzarksCommute is a powerful commuting tool available to the region's residents. Through this platform, residents can search for active carpools, track their commuting behaviors, and participate in community or workplace commute challenges. Registered users receive the monthly Ozarks Commuter newsletter, which contains important how-to information, user profiles, and the occasional drawing for popular gift cards.
The Missouri Department of Transportation also offers an online tool for the state's commuters, MoDOT iCarpool. This tool offers the ability to search for and form carpools, but it does not offer the range of commute tracking tools available through OzarksCommute.
The Ozarks Transportation Organization region is primarily served by BNSF Railway Company. Springfield is served by four BNSF lines, providing connections to Kansas City, MO; St. Louis, MO; Memphis, TN; and Tulsa, OK. The Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad Company also operates within the region, providing shortline connections from the BNSF yard to a number of businesses in southwest Springfield. The businesses in the Partnership Industrial Center in northeast Springfield, the City Utilities' John Twitty Energy Center, Kraft Foods, and Timken Belts, among others, are served by rail.
The Missouri Department of Transportation recently conducted a railroad crossing safety study that looked at the rail corridor through Republic and communities west of the OTO region. A number of projects, including crossing improvements and safety fencing, were identified. The implementation of this plan is expected during 2019 and 2020.
The trucking and warehousing industry accounts for nearly 5 percent of the jobs in the OTO region. Local trucking firms are located mostly in northeast Springfield. The Springfield Chamber of Commerce reports there are more than 40 truck terminals in Springfield. I-44 has some of the highest truck volumes in Missouri. Missouri Department of Transportation currently provides 17 spaces for truck parking in Strafford, along I-44. The highest truck volumes on the OTO highway network are on I-44 and US 65. According to data in the 2017 Missouri State Freight Plan, I-44 even carried more tonnage and more freight value than I-70 between St. Louis and Kansas City.
The Springfield-Branson National Airport is in the Top 100 airports for landed cargo weight in CY 2017. The airport saw over 197,000,000 pounds of cargo land during 2017 (most recent data available). The airport also serves as a foreign trade zone (FTZ No. 225), which is an economic incentives program to facilitate international trade. The FTZ covers 23 counties in southwest Missouri. The cargo facility associated with the Foreign Trade Zone is utilized by UPS, FedEx, BAX Global, and Eagle Global Logistics.
The region's only provider of fixed-route, public transportation services is City Utilities-Transit in Springfield. Services are provided 7-days a week, 365 days a year. CU-Transit runs 12 day routes; 7 routes on evenings and Saturdays; and 4 routes on Sundays and holidays. Paratransit services are also available. For more information about services offered by CU-Transit, please visit CU-Transit's website.
OATS Transit also provides a wide range of public transportation services throughout the OTO region. Depending on the service, rides are open to seniors, individuals with disabilites, or members of the general public. For more information about services offered by Oats, please visit their schedule page.