Federal aid highway funding to departments of transportation (DOTs) changed substantially in 2012 with the transition from the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) to Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). Ninety federal transportation programs funded under SAFETEA-LU were consolidated into 30 new and existing programs under MAP-21. The majority of the funding was consolidated into five formula programs [National Highway Performance Program (NHPP), Surface Transportation Program (STP), Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ), and Metro Planning]. While many small focused programs were eliminated as separate programs (e.g., Safe Routes to School), the activities they funded remain eligible for funding under other programs.
State DOTs employ a range of strategies to transfer federal aid highway funds across modes, among federal aid highway programs, and from state DOTs to local and regional governments. Limited research has been done on the extent that state DOTs use this flexibility or the effectiveness of their strategies.
The objective of this research is to examine how states have used the funding flexibility provided in MAP-21 to advance federal and state priorities while efficiently and effectively utilizing available resources.
The final phase of the research is underway.