These programs provide funding to support cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive planning for making transportation investment decisions in metropolitan areas and statewide.
State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). Federal planning funds are first apportioned to State DOTs. State DOTs then allocate planning funding to MPOs.
Funds are available for planning activities that (A) support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, especially by enabling global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency; (B) increase the safety of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users; (C) increase the security of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users; (D) increase the accessibility and mobility of people and for freight; (E) protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, improve the quality of life, and promote consistency between transportation improvements and State and local planned growth and economic development patterns; (F) enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight; (G) promote efficient system management and operation; and (H) emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system.
Major new fixed guideway projects, or extension to existing systems financed with New Starts funds, typically receive these funds through a full funding grant agreement that defines the scope of the project and specifies the total multi-year Federal commitment to the project.
- 49 USC §5303 – Metropolitan Planning (PDF)
- 49 USC §5304 – Statewide Planning (PDF)
- 49 USC §5305 – Planning Programs (PDF)
Funds are available for four years.
Allocation of Funding
Funds are apportioned to states by a formula that includes each state’s urbanized area population in proportion to the total urbanized area population for the nation, as well as other factors. States can receive no less than .5 percent of the amount apportioned. These funds, in turn, are sub-allocated by states to MPOs by a formula that considers each MPO’s urbanized area population, their individual planning needs, and a minimum distribution.
The Federal Share is not to exceed 80% of the cost of the projects funded under the program.