Major transportation projects take many years to plan, design and build. So states and local governments need predictable federal funding and policy guidance.
On December 4, 2015 Congress enacted the FAST Act (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) — providing federal funding at a modest rate of annual growth for the next five years, from fiscal year (FY) 2016 through FY 2020. The bill provides $58 billion in total funding in FY 2016, an increase of almost 7 percent over FY 2015, and about 2 percent thereafter.
The FAST Act maintains the core highway and transit funding programs that were already established by its predecessor, MAP 21 or Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (passed in 2012). Two new programs established by the FAST Act are the National Highway Freight Program, a formula program focused on goods movement that receives $6.3 billion over five years and a competitive Nationally Significant Highway and Freight Projects program, which receives $4.5 billion over five years.
- $305 billion over 5 years, including $281 billion in Highway Trust Fund programs
- Transit funding formula programs increased by 9 percent in FY 2016, about 2 percent thereafter
- Highway funding formula programs boosted 5.5 percent in FY 2016, about 2 percent thereafter
- Environmental streamlining provisions to speed project delivery
- Maintain statewide and metropolitan planning process
- Maintain federal performance measures
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee: http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/transportation-and-infrastructure-one-stop-shop
House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee: http://transportation.house.gov/fast-act/
AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials): http://fast.transportation.org/Pages/default.aspx