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Cheat Sheet for MAP-21, New Federal Transportation Bill

Posted by Larry Ehl on Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Transportation Issues Daily

This is based on an initial skim of the bill (which is expected to pass Friday or Saturday) and information gathered from others.  We’ll have more details on most of these aspects in the coming weeks.  Part Two coming later today.

Name: MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century)

Expires: October 1, 2014

Annual Funding: $54.6 billion (basically level with current funding with a slight bump for inflation) (SAFETEA-LU average annual funding:  $50.1b; TEA-21: $34.1b)

Highways/Transit funding split: current 80/20 (roughly) split maintained

Highway funding: about $40.4b in FY 2013, and about $41b in FY 2014 (contract authority)

Transit funding: about $10.5 billion for FY 2013, about $10.7b for FY 2014

Distribution of highway funding: formulas eliminated, state distribution based on a state’s 2012 share

Non-transportation funding/offsets to fund bill: about $18 billion

Nat’l Highway Traffic Safety: $670 million in FY 2013 and $680 in FY 2014

Commercial Safety: $561m in FY 20113, $572m in FY 2014

Research: $400m annually, authorizes 35 competitive grants for University Transportation Centers

New Starts: $1.9b in each fiscal year. Enables more bus rapid transit projects to be funded. Also authorizes a new “core capacity” funding criteria that gives existing systems some additional spending flexibility

Mega-projects program: $500m FY 2013 competitive grant program (Projects of National and Regional Significance). Applicants restricted to States, tribal governments and transit agencies. Subject to being funded through Appropriations.

TIFIA: increased from current $122m/year to $750m in year one and $1b in year two

Enhancements program: merges with Safe Routes to School, Recreational Trails, Scenic Byways to become new program, “Transportation Alternatives”

Transportation Alternatives funding: Initial analysis indicates funding drops from $1m annually to $700m.  Adds eligible expenses such as truck stop electrification, HOV lanes, turning lanes, and diesel retrofits. 50% of funds are directed to MPOs; all funds to be distributed through competitive grants

Local funding: Increase allocation to MPOs to about 14% of highways funding from current approximate 12.5%

Tolling: expands tolling authority if road capacity is increased, though there must be more free lanes than tolled lanes.

Part 2 – Cheat Sheet for MAP-21, New Federal Transportation Bill

This is based on an initial skim of the bill (which is expected to pass Friday or Saturday) and information gathered from others.  We’ll have more details on most of these aspects in the coming weeks.  See part one.

Program Consolidation: About 60 programs are eliminated or consolidated into four core programs

Keystone: Excluded

EPA/Coal Ash: Excluded

Environmental/Project Streamlining:  includes a number of provisions, including reductions in USDOT office funding if defined decision deadlines are not met

Complete Streets: Senate proposal not in final bill. Safety provisions require consideration of all users when constructing/repairing roads.

Transit benefit parity: not included in final bill

Performance measures: included for first time, directs states to set some targets and incorporate into planning and programming processes

National Highway Performance Program: new program formed by consolidating by consolidating –Interstate Maintenance, National Highway System and Highway Bridge programs

Ferries: funding to be distributed by formula instead of congressional discretion

National Strategic Plan: directs USDOT to identify projects of national and regional significance, and update it every two years

National Freight Program: Senate proposal were excluded from final bill. Does increase federal funding share of projects that meet certain freight criteria

High Risk Rural Roads: this funding set-aside is eliminated, but there are provisions for directing funding if fatalities increase.  Includes provision to maintain and expand intercity bus service and vanpooling.

Buy America: current law retained, refinement provisions not accepted

Transit Oriented Development: creates $10m pilot program for grants to communities with a New Starts Grant to do station area planning

Commuter Benefit: does not restore parity between parking and transit benefit

MPOs: retains current law. No tiering of MPOs or dissolution of smaller MPOs

Federal Lands Highways: reformed into Federal Lands and Tribal Transportation program.

Bus and Bus Facilities Program: this competitive grant program converted to formula distribution of funds

Safety: provides for enhanced data collection, requires setting of performance-related goals, restricts some funding if goals not met, and/or if strategic safety plan is not updated

Bridges: Bridges on the National Highway System would be funded under the National Highway Performance Program (new core program); bridges not on the NHS would be funded under STP. The 15 percent setaside for bridges of the federal-aid highway system on low volume local roads is retained.

Larry Ehl is the founder and publisher of Transportation Issues Daily. In the public sector, Larry was Federal Relations Manager for Washington State DOT; Chief of Staff to US Senator Slade Gorton; and was twice elected to the Edmonds School Board.

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