The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released a draft of the transportation bill late last Friday and plans to mark up the bill today. The EPW committee’s portion of the bill covers what’s known as the “highway” title. (The Banking Committee is responsible for writing the “transit” title and the Commerce Committee covers rail and safety. Those sections of the bill have not been released yet.)
We’ve prepared a short few pages on what MAP-21 means for the federal transportation program. This top-line analysis is a bit on the wonky side, but hopefully it’ll be helpful if you’ve been trying to summarize the 600 pages of bill text.
One of the most visible changes MAP-21 makes is to restructure seven core highway programs and 13+ formula programs into just five core highway programs. This graphic below illustrates those changes.
MAP-21 consolidates numerous FHWA programs into five core programs. The new program structure is as follows.
National Highway Performance Program (NHPP): ~$20.6 billion
This new program focuses on repairing and improving an expanded National Highway System (NHS). The NHS is expanded from ~160,000 miles to ~220,000 miles. States are required to develop asset management plans and as a part of these plans establish performance targets for the condition of roads and bridges and the performance of the system. In addition, the program includes provisions to hold states accountable for the repair of Interstate pavement and NHS bridges by requiring that they spend a certain amount of funding on the repair of those facilities if they fall below minimum standards established by USDOT.
Transportation Mobility Program (TMP): ~$10.4 billion
TMP replaces the existing Surface Transportation Program (STP) and allows states and regions to invest flexible dollars in a broad set of highways, transit projects, freight rail projects, and bicycle and pedestrian projects, as well as other activities like travel demand management. Fifty percent of these funds are suballocated to areas in the state based on their population. While this percentage is lower than the current 62.5 percent, the absolute amount of funding to be suballocated will remain the same due to an increase in program size.
Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP): – $2.5 billion
Funding is provided to states to improve safety for all road users on all public roads. A road user is defined as both motorists and non-motorized users. States are required to collect extensive data on crashes and create a database containing information on safety issues for all public roads including identification of hazard locations. (8% of all funds in this program are set-aside for data collection.) States must also develop a strategic highway safety plan using the data collected. If states do not develop a strategic highway safety plan within a year using a process approved by USDOT, they are required to spend additional funding on safety projects. States are also required to develop performance targets on fatalities and serious injuries.
Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Program (CMAQ): ~$3.3 billion
In the CMAQ program there are two pots of funding – one that funds typical CMAQ projects and another “reserved” fund.