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Program Purpose

The statewide planning process establishes a cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive framework for making transportation investment decisions throughout the State and is administered jointly by FHWA and FTA.

Continuing Provisions

Among the most significant continuing provisions are the following:


FHWA statewide transportation planning funding derives from a 2 percent takedown of State apportionments for the Interstate Maintenance, NHS, Surface Transportation, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement, and Bridge Rehabilitation and Replacement Programs.

The 2 percent takedown averages $481.5 million per year for the 6 years of TEA-21, or a total of $2,888.8 million. Of the amounts set aside by the takedown, 25 percent must be used for research, development, and technology transfer activities.

Statewide planning is an eligible activity for additional funding under the NHS and STP programs.

FTA State transportation planning funding authorizations may vary for any year, depending on the degree to which Congress appropriates non-guaranteed funds authorized to be appropriated from the General Fund. Funding authorized from the Mass Transit Account of the HTF, and certain funds authorized to be appropriated from the General Fund, are guaranteed. Authorizations for state planning from all sources average a total of $15.4 million per year for the 6 years of TEA-21, or a total of $92.2 million, while guaranteed funding averages $10.5 million per year, for a total of $62.9 million. [3029(a)]

Key Modifications

TEA-21 consolidates the previous sixteen planning factors into seven broad areas to be considered in the planning process (same as for metropolitan planning): [1204(c)]

Failure to consider any one of the areas is not reviewable in court.

Adds provision for State to consult with non-metropolitan officials responsible for transportation in making transportation decisions in both the plan and the STIP. In addition, the concerns of local elected officials of units of non-metropolitan general purpose local governments must be considered in the planning process and affected local officials are to be involved in selecting projects for implementation from the STIP. Each State must document a process for consultation with local officials within one year of enactment (not subject to Secretarial review or approval). [1204(e), 1204(f)]

The Secretary will study and report to Congress within two years on effectiveness of local elected official participation in transportation planning and programming. [1204(i)]

Modifies the general objectives of the planning process to include operations and management of the transportation system. [1204(a)]

Strengthens language concerning the intermodal nature of the State transportation system as an integral part of the Nation’s intermodal system. [1204(a)]

Clarifies the focus on a 20-year planning horizon for the transportation plan. [1204(e)]

Adds financial plan option for State plan and program. [1204(e), 1204(f)]

Adds option of identifying, for illustrative purposes, in a financial plan which may be part of a long-range transportation plan or transportation improvement program, additional projects that would be included in the adopted transportation plan if reasonable additional resources beyond those identified in the financial plan were available. States and MPOs are not required to advance such projects and action by the Secretary is required before they can be included in a TIP or STIP. [1204(e), 1204(f)]

Adds a provision that the Secretary, prior to approving the STIP (at least every two years), must "Find" that the planning process producing the STIP is consistent with the statewide and metropolitan planning requirements. [1204(f)]

Adds freight shippers and users of public transit to list of specifically identified stakeholders that must be afforded an opportunity to comment on the plan and STIP. [1204(f)]

Adds a provision that only regionally significant Federal lands projects need to be individually identified in the STIP. [1204(f)]

Exempts Federal actions on State plans and STIPs from review under NEPA. [1204(h)]

September 14, 1998

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