The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), Public Law 105-178, contains a number of important provisions impacting the extension, rate structure, and operation of the Federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF). The HTF is the principal financing mechanism for the Federal highway and mass transit programs. The following bullets summarize some of the key provisions:
TEA-21 extends the imposition of highway-user taxes through September 30, 2005. These taxes consist of gallonage taxes on highway motor fuel and truck-related taxes, including an annual tax on heavy-vehicle use, a weight-based tax on heavy truck tires and a retail sales tax on truck and trailer sales. Each of these taxes, with the exception of 4.3 cents per gallon of the motor fuel taxes, would have expired after September 30, 1999. With the exception of alcohol fuels, all tax rates and related exemption and refund provisions are extended at the rates in effect prior to TEA-21 enactment.
The partial fuel tax exemption for gasohol and other alcohol fuels is extended through September 30, 2007, with a slight phase down of the exemption beginning January 1, 2001.
Generally, the deposit of amounts equivalent to the proceeds of the highway-user taxes in the Highway Trust Fund is extended through September 30, 2005.
The Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund receives an increased share of the motor-fuel taxes2.86 cents per gallon. The Transit Account receives smaller amounts on certain fuels which are taxed at reduced rates, including liquefied petroleum gases, liquefied natural gas, and methanol from natural gas. Both changes take effect retroactively to October 1, 1997, correcting and clarifying provisions of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.
The Highway Account of the HTF receives the almost all the remaining proceeds of the motor-fuel taxes and all of the proceeds from the truck-related taxes.
Authority to expend Highway Trust Fund monies for authorized purposes is extended through September 30, 2003. After that date, expenditures from the Trust Fund are authorized only to liquidate obligations made before that date. Any other expenditure will cause the cessation of deposits of highway-user taxes to the Trust Fund.
Cash balances in the Highway Trust Fund not needed for immediate expenditure will continue to be invested in securities of the U.S. Government, but effective October 1, 1998, interest earnings on such investments will no longer be credited to the Trust Fund.
A one-time adjustment to the cash balance of the Highway Account of the Trust Fund will be made on October 1, 1998. The account balance will be reduced to $8 billion with the remainder of the former balance being credited to the General Fund of the Treasury. No adjustment will be made to the Mass Transit Account balance.
The Mass Transit Account will be subject to the same anti-deficiency test (the Byrd Test) as the Highway Account.
The following table displays Federal tax rates under TEA-21
|Gasohol (10% ethanol)||10-01-1997||13||6.94|
(cents per thousand cu. ft.)
|Tire Tax||0-40 pounds, no tax Over 40 pounds -70 pounds, 15 cents per pound in excess of 40 Over 70 pounds - 90 pounds, $4.50 plus 30 cents per pound in excess of 70 Over 90 pounds, $10.50 plus 50 cents per pound in excess of 90|
|Truck and Trailer Sales Tax||12 percent of retailer's sales price for tractors and trucks over 33,000 pounds GVW and trailers over 26,000 pounds CVW|
|Heavy Vehicle-Use Tax||Annual Tax: Trucks 55,000 pounds and over GVW, $100 plus $22 for each 1,000 pounds (or fraction thereof ) in excess of 55,000 pounds (maximum tax of $550)|
The FE-series tables in FHWA's annual Highway Statistics publication provides historical background and other information on the HTF. For more information, contact Ralph Erickson, HPM-10, telephone 202-366-3295, or E-mail email@example.com.
To a far greater degree than before, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) is making use of State-reported highway information to apportion Federal-aid highway funds to States. More than one-half of all TEA-21 apportioned funds will rely directly on this type of highway information. Minimum Guarantee, which includes a guarantee of 90.5 percent of each State's percentage contributions to the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund, also relies on State-reported motor-fuel data.
The Interstate Maintenance (IM) and National Highway System (NHS) programs
as well as the Surface Transportation Program (STP) will now rely on Highway
Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) data as well as State-reported motor-fuel
data for formula use.
As a result of the TEA-21 Restoration Act, the Interstate Maintenance (IM) program will apportion most of its funds based on States' share of all Interstate lane miles open to traffic, States' share of total travel on Interstate System routes open to traffic, and States' share of commercial vehicle contributions to the Highway account of the HTF. This program averages about $3.8 billion annually.
The National Highway System (NHS) program will apportion most of its funds based on 25 percent States' share of non-Interstate principal arterial lane miles, 35 percent States' share of non-Interstate principal arterial travel, 30 percent States' share of highway use of diesel fuel, and 10 percent States' share of per capita principal arterial lane miles. This program averages about $4.6 billion annually over the life of TEA-21.
The Surface Transportation Program will apportion most of its funds based on 25 percent States' share of Federal-aid highway lane miles, 40 percent States' share of Federal-aid highway travel, and 35 percent States' share of contributions to the Highway account of the HTF. This program averages about $5.4 billion annually over the life of TEA-21.
Other Information Features
Other TEA-21 programs relying on State-reported highway information include
Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety programs (25 percent of States' share of total public road mileage) and Minimum Guarantee (which uses States' contributions to the Highway account of HTF to ensure that States receive a minimum percentage of certain apportionments).
In addition, the TEA-21 required Conditions and Performance Report and an Interstate Needs Study will rely on State-reported HPMS and finance data.
Important features of the bill may be accessed on http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/tea21/index.htm.
Highway Trust Fund and/or motor fuel questions should be directed to Ralph Erickson, HPM-10, at 202-366-9235, or E-mail Ralph.Erickson@fhwa.dot.gov. For more information on the HPMS, contact Jim Getzewich, HPM-20, at 202-366-0175 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few years ago, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Colorado DOT sponsored the development of a prototype expert system for validating data collected by automated traffic recorders (ATRs). Further work on the system was undertaken in cooperation with the Kansas and Minnesota DOTs. Subsequently, the FHWA and the Colorado DOT have enhanced the system and made it easier to use.
The new name is "TrafX" -- Traffic Analysis Expert System. It screens traffic volume data for possible anomalies using a hierarchical system of rules. These rules employ inductive logic and make comparisons to historical traffic patterns to test the quality of ATR data. A set of user-definable parameters allows a traffic analyst to calibrate the system for optimal performance. TrafX also provides an intuitive interface for examining and editing the data. It runs under WindowsTM 95 and NT.
In addition to being a valuable quality assurance tool, TrafX generates a number of useful reports. Standards templates include weekly and monthly station activity reports, the highest volume hours at a station for the year, and weekly mean factors for a group of similar stations to be used in calculating AADTs from short counts taken at other locations. The edited data may also be exported as a Card #3 format file suitable for submission to the FHWA for the Traffic Volume Trends.
You may download a copy of the TrafX software and User Guide from the Web at http:\\www.idt-ltd.com\TrafX, or you may get a copy by contacting Fred Newcomer of IDT at 303-774-9120.
In 1996, 13 States had Interstate System facilities with 12 or more through traffic lanes. Ten States had Interstate System segments operating at a level of 250,000 or more annual average daily traffic (AADT). The tables below show the greatest number of through lanes and the highest traveled sections for Interstate System routes by State and county. For more information, contact Paul Svercl at 202-366-5036 or e-mail Paul.Svercl@fhwa.dot.gov.
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) present an opportunity for new sources and types of data that can be used in various transportation-related applications. The motivation for the ADUS Requirements Workshop, held in Seattle, Washington, on July 15-16, 1998, was to agree on the functional requirements for this new user service to be added to the National ITS Architecture. A January 1998 Workshop on ITS as a Data Resource and an April 1998 report of the same name describes the variety of data potentially available from ITS and the stakeholders who have an interest in archiving ITS-generated data.
These stakeholders include: planners from States and metropolitan planning organizations (MPO); transportation data collectors; transit operators; traffic management operators; air quality analysts; MPO/State freight and intermodal planners; safety planners and administrators; maintenance personnel; transportation researchers; commercial vehicle enforcement personnel; emergency management services (local police, fire, and emergency medical); and private sector users.
Based on comments from this workshop, an addendum to the National ITS Program Plan that covers ADUS will be prepared. It is expected that the ITS Architecture Team will begin revising the National ITS Architecture this fall.
For more information on this workshop, contact Ralph Gillmann, HPM-30, at 202-366-5047, or E-mail email@example.com.
The changing social and economic role of women represents one of the most significant trends in the past three decades. Increasing labor force participation, licensing, and changes in the type and amount of trips made by women have had a permanent effect on travel behavior analysis and implications for the future of transportation planning.
Overall, adult women make more person-trips than men in the same age group, and are more likely to form complex work-trip travel chains than men, stopping at multiple destinations to and from work. However, a major finding in the 1995 NPTS shows that the majority of people don't stop anywhere on their way to work. Only one out of five men and one out of three women reported stopping for any reason on the trip from home to work.
However, the majority of women (61.2%) do make at least one stop after work, and almost 30 percent (28.3%) make two or more stops. Just under half (46.4%) of men stop on the way home from work, and only about one out of six (17.7%) make two or more stops.
On average, women make 50% more stops on the way home from work, and 80% more work-based tours. In fact, each tour type shows women making more stops, overall accounting for about half a trip per day more than men.
Although the total amount of travel has changed over time, women's trips to support the household activities have always occurred. However, as women have entered the work force in greater number, the workday has pushed these trips into the peak travel periods.
More information on trip-chaining behavior can be found in the report "Examining Trip-Chaining Behavior - A Comparison of Travel by Men and Women - Author: Nancy McGuckin" in the Publications section of the 1995 NPTS Website at: http://www-cta.ornl.gov/npts
For additional information, contact Bryant Gross, HPM-40, at 202-366-5026.
See Sidebar of Definitions:
A trip is a one-way segment of travel between an origin and a destination, by an means of travel. Each person in a vehicle is making a separate person trip, but together, in one car, they are making a single vehicle trip. There are not standard definitions for trip chaining. Those used in this report are:
Stop. These are the trip ends between two major anchors, generally home and work. If a person leaves home, goes to a day-care center, and continues to work, that is one stop.
Chain. A series of stops between the anchors of home and work. If a person leaves work, stops at a store, stops at a day care center, and goes home, that is one chain. In this preliminary analysis, we are also examining stops made between home and home, and work and work as chains.
Tour type. The four possible types are: Home to Work, Work to Home, Work to Work (trips made during the workday), Home to Home (the remainder of non-work trips).
The AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning (SCOP) passed a resolution to support a pooled-fund for the preparation of a Census Transportation Planning Package (CTPP) using the data from Census 2000. This resolution will be forwarded to the AASHTO Board of Directors for their approval. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Census Bureau are meeting bi-weekly to develop the CTPP 2000.
To stay abreast of decennial census activities and the Census Transportation Planning Package for 2000, please contact Tom Mank at telephone 202-366-4087, or E-mail Tom.Mank@fhwa.dot.gov to be added to the mailing list of the CTPP Status Report issued by the Federal Highway Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the Federal Transit Administration. Visit the Transportation Research Board Subcommittee on Census Transportation Data Webpage at: http://www.mcs.com/~berwyned/census/. Also, to subscribe to the CTPP list-serv, send an E-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with "subscribe ctpp-news" in the body of your message.
On July 2, 1998, the Office of Highway Information Management (OHIM) released an updated State Data Provider Directory, which compiles the names, addresses, and, in some cases, Internet addresses of State data providers of highway information used in the annual Highway Statistics publication.
The initial directory, which came as the result of State suggestions at Highway Statistics Steering Committee sessions, was first issued in July 1996. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (P.L. 105-178), with its greater reliance on State-reported data in Federal apportionment formulas, makes this revised directory very timely and will be of great value to State data providers and others in the field of highway information.
Copies of the directory are available through FHWA field offices or by
202-366-0170. It may also be accessed on OHIM's home page specifically at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/datadir.pdf under "Data Providers." The OHIM would also appreciate any updates and corrections (Attn:GSHULER).
The FHWA has recently released its publication, Highway Taxes and Fees 1998. The publication furnishes key information on State and Federal tax laws that provide for the taxation of motor fuels, motor vehicles, motor carriers, and licensed drivers, and the distribution of these taxes and fees. Also included are tables that show the use of State taxes for highways and the involvement of Federal agencies and Federal funds in highway activities. The publication provides excellent information and supports transportation and highway finance analyses. Highway-user revenues collected by States and Federal agencies were more than an estimated $85 billion in 1996, including some amounts for non-highway purposes. They will apply most of these revenues to the highway programs of the State and Federal Governments. With the recent enactment of the Federal Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), Public Law 105-178, interest in State and Federal financing legislation may well increase significantly.
Motor Fuel Taxation and Programs -- All States levy volume taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel. The rates in effect as of January 1, 1998, are shown on Table-121T. The gasoline rates vary from a low of 7.5 cents per gallon to 36 cents per gallon, with an average of 19.94 cents per gallon. Diesel rates vary from 7.5 cents to 30.8 cents, with an average of 19.86 cents per gallon. Every State has legislation directing how its motor-fuel receipts are used. In almost every State, an amount or portion of these funds is dedicated for use on highways. Further, the vast majority of States provide for the sharing of State-collected revenues with local governments. Table MF-106 traces the flow of funds for various uses and objects of expenditures.
Motor Vehicle Registration Taxation and Programs
-- All States impose registration fees on motor vehicles. These fees may
be on either a per-vehicle basis, or a vehicle weight or some combination
of flat-fee weight. The vast majority of States have legislation directing
that an amount or proportion of their motor-vehicle receipts are dedicated
for use on its highways. Table MV-106 traces the flow of funds for various
uses and objects of expenditures. According to the FHWA's 1996 Highway Statistics
publication, State motor-vehicle registration fees exceeded $13.2 billion
Other Fees --Thirty States levy taxes and fees, or appropriate funds (other than highway user revenues) for highway purposes. These fees might include sales taxes, severance taxes, income taxes, or general fund appropriations. Table S-106 shows the source of the funds and the objects for which the funds can be used. The information presented is based on data obtained from State authorities and the laws of the various States.
Federal Taxes and Programs -- All
States receive Federal-aid for highways based on legislated distribution.
The source of Federal funds in most but not all cases is the Federal Highway
Trust Fund (HTF). Table FE 21-B shows the fee structure for the HTF; Table
F-106 gives more detail on the Federal excise motor-fuel taxes and other
excise taxes and the Federal-aid Highway programs they finance.
The publication is being shared with the States through FHWA field offices and should reach readers later this month. It may also be accessed via http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/hwytaxes/taxpage.htm under "What's New." Call FHWA's Highway Funding and Motor Fuels Division, at 202-366-0170, for copies or questions.
Highway Information Seminar/VTRIS Workshop
The Office of Highway Information Management will be holding its annual Highway Information Seminar on November 17-19, 1998, at the Holiday Inn--Capitol in Washington, D.C. The Vehicle Travel Information System (VTRIS) workshop will be held at DOT Headquarters on Monday, November 16. A request for nominees went out to FHWA field offices on July 1. All participants who have received acceptance letters and are planning to stay at the Holiday Inn are reminded to make their arrangements directly with the hotel by October 16 and to identify themselves as being with the DOT/FHWA Highway Information Seminar to receive the special rate. Reservations received after that date will be provided on a space-available basis.
Questions concerning the course should be directed to Juanita Proctor, HPM-30, at 202-366-5047, E-mail email@example.com. For information on the VTRIS workshop, contact David Jones, HPM-30, at 202-366-5053, or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.