Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration
Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Legislation, Regulations, & Guidance

Flexible Funding for Highways and Transit and Funding for Bicycle & Pedestrian Programs

This guidance was superseded December 4, 2014

DOT Trisk Symbol  
U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
  Federal Transit
Subject: INFORMATION: Flexible Funding for Highways and Transit and Funding for Bicycle & Pedestrian Programs
February 6, 2006
From: /original signed by/
Cynthia J. Burbank, Associate Administrator
for Planning, Environment & Realty, FHWA
/original signed by/
Brigid Hynes-Cherin, Associate Administrator
for Planning & Environment, FTA
Reply to
Attn. of :
To: FHWA Division Administrators
Federal Lands Highway Divisions
FTA Regional Administrators
FHWA/FTA Metropolitan Offices

The guidance in this memorandum updates and replaces the information contained in our May 24, 2002, memorandum on the same subject to reflect new programs and revisions to existing programs as a result of enactment of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) on August 10, 2005. The main change is the addition of information on new programs and the deletion of information on programs that were not continued under the SAFETEA-LU. Also added is information on metropolitan and statewide planning funds.

Flexible funding was one of the hallmarks of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) that was continued under the 1998 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) and under the SAFETEA-LU. These flexible funding provisions enable State and local governments, transit operators, and metropolitan planning organizations to more effectively meet their unique needs, and facilitate a multimodal approach to meeting transportation needs at both the statewide and metropolitan levels. The flexibility provisions of these transportation acts include:

  1. Broad highway/ transit eligibility within selected categories of major highway and transit programs;
  2. Transfer of funds within the Federal-aid highway program to other programs with broader highway/transit eligibility; and
  3. Transfer of funds from FHWA to FTA and vice versa.

Attachment 1 is a summary of these flexibility provisions and the table in Attachment 2 includes information on eligible highway and transit projects under the various FHWA and FTA programs. Attachment 3 provides information on FHWA and FTA funds that may be used for bicycle and pedestrian activities. Although not a flexible funding issue, we felt that the information on bicycle and pedestrian facilities should be included in since it was also in the May 24, 2002, memorandum.

Please ensure that your staff is aware of this flexibility, and please share this information with your transportation partners.

If you or your staff has any questions about flexible funding, please contact Ken Petty (202-366-6654) in the FHWA Office of Planning (HEPP-20) or Ken Johnson (202-366-2053) in the FTA Office of Program Management (TPM-10). For questions on funding for bicycle and pedestrian activities, contact John Fegan (202-366-5007) in the FHWA Office of Natural and Human Environment (HEPN-50).

Attachment 1

Attachment 2

Attachment 3

Updated: 8/3/2015
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000