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Financial Planning & Fiscal Constraint


Federal regulations require Metropolitan Transportation Plans (MTPs), Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs), and Statewide Transportation Improvement Programs (STIPs) to be “fiscally constrained.” MTPs, TIPs, and STIPs demonstrate fiscal constraint by including sufficient financial information to confirm that projects in those documents can be implemented using committed or available revenue sources, with reasonable assurance that the federally supported transportation system is being adequately operated and maintained. For the TIP and the STIP, fiscal constraint applies to each program year. Fiscal constraint has been a key component of transportation planning and program development since the passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) in 1991, enhancing the credibility and usefulness of planning products.

The requirement for fiscal constraint is met through the preparation of financial plans, the requirements for which are contained in the joint FTA/FHWA regulations for Statewide and Metropolitan Transportation Planning (23 CFR 450).


23 CFR 450 - Planning Assistance and Standards Federal transportation planning regulations (this link goes to the highway version--the transit version, adopted by FTA at 49 CFR 613, is an identical copy which incorprates this section by reference).

FTA Circular 8100.1C - Program Guidance for Metropolitan Planning and State Planning and Research Program Grants FTA program guidance for metropolitan planning and state planning and research program grants.

FAST Act Fact Sheet: Metropolitan, Statewide, & Non-Metropolitan Planning Brief FTA fact sheet on the planning provisions in the FAST Act.

FHWA FAST Act Fact Sheet: Metropolitan Planning - FHWA fact sheet on the metropolitan planning provisions of the FAST Act.

U.S. Code Title 49, Chapter 53 - Public Transportation This is the public transportation section of U.S. Code. The Metropolitan Transportation Planning statute is found at Section 5303; Statewide Transportation Planning is found at Section 5304; and Planning Programs are found at Section 5305. The Metro and Statewide Planning sections are identical to the corresponding sections of Federal Highways code, 23 U.S.C. 134 and 135.

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Updated: Thursday, June 23, 2016
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