Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)
Highway Trust Fund cashflow shortfall and subsequent "patch" bill
The United States Highway Trust Fund is a federal transportation fund which receives money from a federal fuel tax of 18.3 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel fuel. It currently has two main accounts, the Highway Account which funds road construction, and a Mass Transit Account which supports mass transit. It was established in 1956 to finance the United States Interstate Highway System and certain other roads. These funds are distributed to states, cities and counties. The fund is authorized by the Federal Transportation Act, MAP-21, through Sept. 30, 2016.
On July 31, 2014 Congress passed a bill that transferred $10.8 billion in additional funding to keep transportation aid flowing to states. The additional funding came from pension smoothing (changing how employers fund worker pension programs), extending customs user fees and transferring money from a fund to repair leaking underground fuel storage tanks. The money was needed to make up a Highway Account shortfall between aid promised to states and revenue raised by federal fuel taxes, which haven't been increased in more than 20 years.
The HTF is currently spending an estimated $16 billion per year more than it is taking in and will be insolvent again in May or June 2015, unless additional funding is secured by Congress.
The overall apportionment level is consistent with FY 2012 funding with slight increase for inflation and introduces system performance requirements. This enhanced emphasis on performance measurement includes the assessment of penalties for underachievement. Policy decisions will be based on current guidance but are subject to change when additional performance measurement guidance is provided. Outreach continues with interim funding guidance provided for 2017. Full implementation of MAP-21 is anticipated in 2018.
Transportation Alternatives Program - MAP-21 provides funding for a variety of alternative transportation projects. MnDOT is holding a series of focus group discussions to gain stakeholder insight to successfully implement the TAP.
Opportunities to improve the project delivery process through an expansion of categorical exclusions and streamlining events provide for an accelerated environmental process.
Directs USDOT to establish measures within 18 months following Oct. 1, 2012. States shall coordinate with relevant partners in selecting targets to ensure consistency and integration of performance plans into the process.
Requires an investment tied to performance-based outcomes of national priorities and achievement of targets.
Provides an increase in funding the Highway Safety Improvement Program and requires an investment plan that prioritizes projects on the ability to reduce fatal and serious injuries.
Increases emphasis on freight includes the development of a National Freight Strategic Plan, national prioritization of projects to improve freight movement and formalizes a 30,000 mile National Freight Network.
Reduces the level of funding available for Surface Transportation Programs and increases emphasis on asset management, security and safety.