The National Academies

NCHRP 08-36/Task 49 [Completed]

Synthesis of Metropilitan-Level Transportation Funding Sources
[ NCHRP 08-36 (Research for the AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning) ]

  Project Data
Funds: 50000
Research Agency: ICF Consulting, Inc.
Effective Date: 12/16/2004
Completion Date: 12/15/2005
Comments: Completed---Final report sent to AASHTO

One of the most important constraints on future transportation investment is inadequate funding, especially in metropolitan areas. Some metropolitan areas have developed specific regional funding programs (e.g., regional sales tax or gas tax) dedicated to transportation needs in their area. Such examples could act as models for other metropolitan areas struggling with similar issues. Thus, there is a need to describe the different types of metropolitan-level funding sources that exist in the United States, explain how they came about, and assess the pros and cons of their current form of implementation.

The objective of this study is to identify different funding programs for metropolitan-level funding in the United States. Not only will this study describe such programs, but it will also assess the advantages and disadvantages of each type of funding arrangement. Specific tasks include:
  • Identify metropolitan-level funding mechanisms in the United States.
  • Develop a typology of metropolitan-level funding strategies.
  • Assess the advantages and disadvantages for these strategies in the context of changing economic structures and possible changing energy sources.
The contractor's final report was sent to AASHTO and is posted at

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