Jointly administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program provides a flexible funding source for transportation projects and programs that help improve air quality and reduce congestion.
State and local governments can use the funding to support efforts to meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) under the Clean Air Act in both nonattainment and maintenance areas for carbon monoxide, ozone, and particulate matter.
For a list of nonattainment and maintenance areas, see www.epa.gov/airquality/greenbook.
To be eligible for CMAQ funding, a project must come from a conforming transportation plan and transportation improvement program (in metropolitan areas) or from a State transportation improvement program (in rural areas). State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) are responsible for distributing CMAQ funds. The federal share for most CMAQ-eligible projects is 80 percent, but certain safety projects that include an air quality or congestion relief component (e.g., carpool/vanpool projects), may have a Federal share of 100%. The CMAQ program operates on a reimbursement basis, so funds are not provided until work is completed.
Further, all CMAQ projects must meet these three eligibility requirements:
CMAQ funds can be used to acquire new transit vehicles like this bus.
CMAQ funds may be used to support public transportation in four broad categories of transit projects and programs.
For any proposed project, the sponsor must document its effects on vehicle emissions so the project can be compared with other CMAQ proposals to allow informed decisions on the best use of available funds.
Under specific conditions, CMAQ funds can be used to offer reduced fares or free transit service.
Maryland, Commuter Rail Coaches
New, higher-capacity coaches were purchased for Maryland’s commuter rail service in the Baltimore-Washington, DC, region.
CMAQ funds: $290,111
Total cost: $7,236,659
Houston, Clean Air Action Program/ Transit Subsidy
A reduced transit fare program was offered in August, when ozone readings are typically highest.
CMAQ funds: $2,625,000
Total cost: $3,500,000
Illinois, Lake Cook Shuttle Bug
An employer-sponsored transit shuttle service operated between a commuter rail stop and a business park in a Chicago suburb.
CMAQ funds: $312,000
Total cost: $390,000
CMAQ funds can be used for improvements that add capacity at transit stations.
New York City, 63rd Street-Queens Boulevard Transit Connection
A subway link was constructed to facilitate travel between Queens and Manhattan. The project alleviated congestion on the jammed E and F lines running through Queens and resulted in approximately 31 hours per year in savings for the average Queens rider on the E, F, and R lines.
CMAQ funds: $44 million
Total cost: $645 million
For more information, please contact:
U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration
Office of Natural Environment
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20590
This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification or regulation.
The Federal Highway Administration provides high quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.
Publication No. FHWA-HEP-13-010