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The National Academies

NCHRP 20-24(133) [Active]

Update to Transportation Governance: A 50-State Review of State Legislatures and Departments of Transportation
[ NCHRP 20-24 (Administration of Highway and Transportation Agencies) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $200,000
Staff Responsibility: Ann M. Hartell
Research Agency: J.R. Rall Consulting LLC
Principal Investigator: Jaime Rall
Effective Date: 8/30/2021
Completion Date: 2/28/2023

Background

In 2011, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) collaborated to produce the report Transportation Governance and Finance: A 50-State Review of State Legislatures and Departments of Transportation. The report filled a gap in the existing knowledge base about transportation governance by examining the relationships between state legislatures and state departments of transportation (DOTs) in depth. The primary focus was on transportation funding and finance policy, with examination of other areas of transportation governance.

In 2016, the report was updated to reflect the enactment of federal legislation as well as relevant changes in state legislation including: new funding and finance mechanisms; the use of tolls; institutional arrangements for tolling authorities; and other changes in how state transportation systems were to be funded and managed.

The landscape for transportation funding and finance has continued to evolve nationally and in the states since completion of the latest version of the report. Since 2016, 20 states have enacted legislation to increase and modernize their transportation revenues; a number of states have been actively considering how to restructure, and even replace, gasoline taxes to ensure sustainable funding into the future. In addition, states are reckoning with changes in technology, particularly the impact of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) on transportation system operations. Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected state transportation revenue streams.

In light of these ongoing changes, an update of the 2016 report is needed to provide state, regional, and local transportation agencies; other governmental agencies; and private-sector organizations with current and complete information on transportation governance, funding, and financing.

Objectives

The objectives of this research are to (1) produce an updated version of Transportation Governance and Finance: A 50-State Review of State Legislatures and Departments of Transportation, with new survey data to reflect the current environment; and (2) assist AASHTO staff with dissemination of the updated information.

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