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Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act or "FAST Act"

Statewide and Nonmetropolitan Planning

Program purpose

The FAST Act continues the statewide and nonmetropolitan planning process, which establishes a cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive framework for making transportation investment decisions throughout the State. Oversight of this process is a joint responsibility of the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.

Statutory citations

FAST Act § 1202; 23 U.S.C. 135

Funding features

Type of budget authority

Funded by contract authority from the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund. Funds are subject to the overall Federal-aid obligation limitation.

Source and apportionment of funds

The FAST Act continues funding for statewide and nonmetropolitan planning as part of a 2 percent set-aside for planning and research activities from each State’s apportionments of five core programs: National Highway Performance Program [23 U.S.C. 119], Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG) [23 U.S.C. 133], Highway Safety Improvement Program [23 U.S.C. 148], Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program [23 U.S.C. 149], and National Highway Freight Program [23 U.S.C. 167]. [23 U.S.C. 505(a)]

Statewide surface transportation planning is also an eligible activity for additional funding under STBG. [23 U.S.C. 133(b)(10)]

Federal share

The Federal share for statewide planning carried out with State Planning and Research funds is generally 80 percent. However, the Secretary may increase this Federal share (up to 100 percent) if s/he determines that this would best serve the interests of the Federal-aid Highway Program.
[23 U.S.C. 505(d)]

Program Features

Except as specified above or below, the FAST Act continues all of the statewide and nonmetropolitan planning requirements that were in effect under MAP-21.

Support for intercity bus and commuter vanpools

The FAST Act continues to require long-range statewide transportation plans and statewide transportation improvement programs (STIPs) to provide for the development and integrated management and operation of transportation systems and facilities that enable an intermodal transportation system, including pedestrian and bicycle facilities. It adds to this list other facilities that support intercity transportation (including intercity buses, intercity bus facilities, and commuter vanpool providers). [23 U.S.C. 135(a)(2)]

Scope of planning process

The FAST Act expands the statewide transportation planning process’ scope of consideration to include projects, strategies, and services that will—

Participation by interested parties in the planning process

The FAST Act explicitly adds public ports and certain private providers of transportation (including intercity bus operators and employer-based commuting programs) to the list of interested parties that the State must provide with reasonable opportunity to comment on the proposed STIP and long-range transportation plan. [23 U.S.C. 135(f)(3)(A)(ii) & (g)(3)]

Performance-based approach

The FAST Act now requires that long-range statewide transportation plans include—

Previously these items were recommended. [23 U.S.C. 135(f)(7)]

Additionally, the FAST Act requires that the statewide transportation planning process provide for the establishment and use of a performance-based approach to transportation decision making to support the national goals described in 23 U.S.C. 150(b) and the general purposes described in 49 U.S.C. 5301. [23 U.S.C. 135(d)(2)(A)]

Long-range plan considerations of existing transportation system

The FAST Act continues to require the long-range statewide transportation plan to include certain measures to ensure the preservation and most efficient use of the existing transportation system. In addition, the plan must now include—


April 2016

Page last modified on February 8, 2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000