The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) was enacted July 6, 2012. MAP-21 extended the Federal-aid highway program unchanged through September 30, 2012, and authorized new provisions effective October 1, 2012, for Federal fiscal years 2013 and 2014. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) developed a summary for MAP-21.
MAP-21 authorized funding for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) as a setaside of the new Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) (23 U.S.C. 213). The RTP funding is the same as the FY 2009 amount (unless the State opts out; see below): whatever a State received for the RTP in FY 2009 (as revised) will be the RTP amount. This will be up to $84.16 million nationwide, annually, for FY 2013 and 2014.
MAP-21 did not amend the RTP as a program in 23 U.S.C. 206. Existing RTP requirements and provisions remain unchanged, including how States administer the RTP. RTP funds are still consider apportioned funds.
MAP-21 authorized an opt-out provision for the RTP. A State may opt out of the RTP if the Governor of the State notifies the Secretary [of Transportation] not later than 30 days prior to apportionments being made for any fiscal year (September 1).
If a State opts out of the RTP, the funds remain as Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funds.
States that opt out of the RTP lose the ability to use RTP funds for State RTP administrative costs for the fiscal year because those funds are tied to apportionments for a fiscal year. If the State opts out, then there is no program for the fiscal year.
Recreational trail projects will be broadly eligible for the TAP. However, the State would have to treat all trail projects using TAP funds as projects on a Federal-aid highway, meaning all projects must be treated as highway projects for contracting and wage rate purposes.
MAP-21 also amended the Surface Transportation Program (STP) to allow any projects eligible under the RTP to be eligible for STP funds. Recreational trail projects in highway rights-of-way must be treated as highway projects, but projects not in highway-rights-of-way may use "Common Rule" procedures under 49 CFR Part 18.