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Transportation: Flexible Funding Continues to Play a Role in Supporting State and Local Transportation Priorities
David J. Wise (au)
The nationäó»s surface transportation system is under growing strain, and the cost to repair and upgrade the system is estimated in the hundreds of billions of dollars. State and local governments must maintain existing systems while making efficient use of transportation dollars at a time when revenues to support the Highway Trust Fund äóî the major source of federal highway and transit funding äóî are eroding. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) introduced several Fed. Highway Admin. (FHWA) programs that provided states and urbanized areas flexibility in selecting projects to be funded with federal-aid highway funds. In particular, states and metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) may use FHWAäó»s Surface Transportation Program (STP) and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) funds, which this report refers to as flexible funding, for transit projects. Subsequent reauthorization acts have continued to provide this flexibility. In 2007, GAO reported on trends in flexible-funding use since the enactment of ISTEA (1992 to 2006). This flexibility also extended to certain Fed. Transit Admin. (FTA) Urbanized Area Formula Program funds prior to the enactment of MAP-21. This report examines the extent to which states have transferred flexible funding between highway and transit programs since 2007 and the factors that affected the decisions of selected states and urbanized areas to transfer flexible funding and the outcomes of those decisions. Similarities and differences to the previous flexible-funding report are noted, as appropriate. Figures and tables. This is a print on demand report.
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