On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law P.L. 112-141, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). Funding surface transportation programs at over $105 billion for FY 2013 and FY 2014, MAP-21 creates a streamlined, performance-based, and multimodal program to address the many challenges facing the U.S. transportation system, including improving safety, maintaining infrastructure, reducing traffic congestion, improving system efficiency and freight movement, protecting the environment, and reducing delays in project delivery.
TOA has developed relevant highlights of MAP-21 for our clients and colleagues, and compiled them into “21 Things to Know About MAP-21” in the areas of:
- With an emphasis on safety, MAP-21 provides an overall funding increase of 75%, increasing Florida’s funding by about $53 million per year, up to $123 million.
- The Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and the High Risk Rural Roads (HRRR) set-aside have been consolidated, allowing more flexibility and expanded funding eligibility. HSIP funds are programmed through the FDOT State Safety Office based largely on safety projects developed and prioritized by the FDOT District Offices.
- HSIP funds may be used for infrastructure safety projects “on and off” the State highway system, including on publicly-owned trails and bicycle/pedestrian pathways. HSIP funding also may be used for the installation and replacement of and other improvements to highway signage and pavement markings or a project to maintain minimum levels of retro-reflectivity that addresses a highway safety problem.
- MAP-21 places increased priority on improving safety data systems and decision support systems (integration of crash data, roadway inventory, and countermeasure effectiveness) for both state and local road systems as well as increased emphasis on reporting progress on implementing highway safety improvement projects and assessing the effectiveness of those improvements, and also encourages implementation of systemic safety improvements.
- The Safe Routes to School Program has been moved into the Transportation Alternatives Program and related funding.
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- Funding for FY 2013 and FY 2014 continue at close to FY 2012 levels.
- Solvency of the State Transportation Trust Fund is maintained for two more years.
- Population thresholds for MPOs and Transportation Management Areas (TMAs) are unchanged.
- MAP-21 includes significant emphasis on accountability and performance measures for metropolitan and statewide planning processes, including identification of seven goals in the “national interest”: Safety, Infrastructure Condition, System Reliability, Freight Movement, Economic Vitality, Environmental Sustainability, and Reduced Project Delivery Delays. Long Range Transportation Plans (LRTPs) must address performance measures.
- MAP-21 requires representation by public transportation providers within two years. Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs) should identify how the improvements address the goals and associated performance measures.
- Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds are no longer prohibited from funding single occupant capacity expansion.
- States must reimburse MPOs within 15 days (decreased from 30) for eligible expenditures.
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- Transit systems in urban areas with 200,000+ population that operate <100 buses in peak service now can use Section 5307 program (Urbanized Areas) grant funds for operating assistance, as small-urban area systems (< 200,000) previously could. Urban systems with <75 buses in peak service may flex up to 75% of their formula funds for operating expenses, and urban systems with 76–100 buses in peak service may flex up to 50%.
- The Section 5309 program (Transit Capital Investment) previously provided capital assistance for new and replacement buses and facilities, modernization of existing rail systems, and new fixed guideway systems. The program now is the Fixed Guideway Capital Investment Grants and focuses on providing grants to assist in financing new fixed guideway capital projects, small start projects, and core capacity improvement projects.
- The Section 5311 program (Other Than Urbanized Areas Program) has been renamed the Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program and adds planning for rural areas as an eligible activity and includes a new program (Appalachian Development Public Transportation Assistance Program), funded at $20 million annually.
- The Section 5316 program (Job Access and Reverse Commute – JARC) is eliminated, but JARC projects are given a modified definition and are now eligible for funding under the Section 5307 and Section 5311 programs.
- The Section 5310 program (Transportation for Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities) and Section 5317 program (New Freedom) are combined into an expanded Section 5310 program, Formula Grants for the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities. The new program includes more eligible activities to enhance mobility for these two groups, including former New Freedom activities, improved access to fixed-route transit, and viable alternatives to public transportation.
- A new program, Section 5324 (Public Transportation Emergency Relief), can provide operating and capital assistance in cases where a state of emergency has been declared to support evacuation services, rescue operations, and temporary public transportation service, among other needs during or after an emergency.
- A new program, Section 5326 (Transit Asset Management), establishes and implements a National Transit Asset Management System in which federal funding recipients must prepare transit asset management plans and report on the condition of their respective systems.
- A new program, Section 5329 (Public Transportation Safety), will develop a National Public Transportation Safety Plan and grant FTA the authority to set minimum safety standards and conduct investigations and audits.
- A new program, Section 5337 (State of Good Repair Grants), takes over the Fixed Guideway Modernization program that was originally part of Section 5309 and shifts to a primarily formula-based process for distributing funds to advance transit systems to a state of good repair.
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21 Things to Know About MAP - 21 (pdf)