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Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)

Fact Sheets on Highway Provisions


Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Authorization $54 M $100 M $125 M $150 M $183 M

Program Purpose

To enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school; to make walking and bicycling to school safe and more appealing; and to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects that will improve safety, and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.

Statutory References

SAFETEA-LU Section(s): 1101(a)(17), 1404


Funded by contract authority, to remain available until expended. Contract authority is not subject to transfer and is subject to the overall Federal-aid obligation limitation.

Each year after deducting $3 million for the administrative expenses of the program, the Secretary shall apportion the funds to States based on their relative shares of total enrollment in primary and middle schools (kindergarten through eight grade), but no State will receive less than $1 million.

Funds are to be administered by State departments of transportation to provide financial assistance to State, local, and regional agencies, including non-profit organizations, that demonstrate the ability to meet the requirements of the program.

Eligible Use of Funds

For infrastructure related projects, eligible activities are the planning, design, and construction of projects that will substantially improve the ability of students to walk and bicycle to school. These include sidewalk improvements, traffic calming and speed reduction improvements, pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements, on-street bicycle facilities, off-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities, secure bike parking, and traffic diversion improvements in the vicinity of schools (within approximately 2 miles). Such projects may be carried out on any public road or any bicycle or pedestrian pathway or trail in the vicinity of schools.

Each State must set aside from its Safe Routes to School apportionment not less than 10 percent and not more than 30 percent of the funds for noninfrastructure-related activities to encourage walking and bicycling to school. These include public awareness campaigns and outreach to press and community leaders, traffic education and enforcement in the vicinity of schools, student sessions on bicycle and pedestrian safety, health, and environment, and training, volunteers, and managers of safe routes to school programs.

Each State receiving program funds must use a sufficient amount of the funds to fund a full-time position of coordinator of the State's safe routes to school program.

Program Features

Using funds setaside for the administrative costs of the program, the Secretary shall

  • Make grants to a national nonprofit organization engaged in promoting safe routes to school to operate a national safe routes to school clearinghouse, develop information and educational programs on safe routes to school, and provide technical assistance and disseminate techniques and strategies used for successful safe routes to school programs.

  • Establish a national safe routes to school task force, composed of leaders in health, transportation, and education, to study and develop a strategy for advancing safe routes to school programs nationwide. The Secretary is to report to Congress by March 31, 2006, on the results of the study and a description of the strategy developed, along with information regarding the use of program funds for infrastructure and noninfrastructure purposes.

Federal Share

The Federal share is 100 percent.

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