Flexible Funding Continues to Play a Role in Supporting State and Local Transportation Priorities [open pdf - 645KB]
From the Document: "The nation's surface transportation system is critical to the economy and affects the daily life of most Americans. However, the system is under growing strain, and the cost to repair and upgrade the system to safely and reliably meet current and future demands 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--the major source of federal highway and transit funding--are eroding. For this and other reasons, funding surface transportation remains on GAO's [Government Accountability Office] High-Risk List. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) introduced several Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) programs that provided states and urbanized areas introduced several Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) programs that provided states and urbanized areas flexibility in selecting projects to be funded with federal-aid highway funds. As federal dollars are often tied to a single mode of transportation, these programs are distinctive in the flexibility they grant to states and urbanized areas to implement a wide variety of transportation projects. In particular, states and metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) may use FHWA's Surface Transportation Program (STP) and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) funds, which we refer to as flexible funding throughout this report, for transit projects. Subsequent reauthorization acts--including the most recent surface transportation reauthorization, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)--have continued to provide this flexibility."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/