transportation system

transportation system

Intergovernmental Challenges in Surface Transportation Funding | Pew

1w ago
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Anne Stauffer, director of Pew’s fiscal federalism initiative, describes the substantial investments made by federal, state, and local governments in the nation’s highway and transit systems, as well as the funding challenges they all face. Understanding the connections and roles of each level of government in the transportation system is critical to identifying sustainable solutions. Transcript: So the first key point that we found was that all levels of government are having difficulties in maintaining their investment in transportation. This chart shows inflation-adjusted spending from 2002 to 2012 and a general national decline in total spending of 12%. State spending—the dark blue line at the top—has declined 15%. Local spending, which is the light blue line in the middle, has declined to 10%, and federal spending—the green line at the bottom—has declined 9% during this time. Again on inflation adjusted basis. But you'll note that actual spending was falling more steeply from 2002 to 2008 until the Recovery Act, or ARRA funding, provided a temporary boost that lasted through 2012 and then it was mostly spent out by that time. So the bottom line from this chart is that spending is down at all levels of government and they're all facing similar challenges. The second key point is that, like the nation’s highway system, transportation funding is interconnected. Our chart here shows funding flows from and between the levels of government into the transportation system. The boxes are the levels of government: federal, state, local. The green arrows that go horizontally show that funding going into the transportation system, and the light green arrows that go vertical show the transfers between levels of government. So, in 2012, total funding was $220 billion. Of that, $58 billion came from the federal government, $89 billion came from states, and $73 billion from local governments. On the federal side, you can see that there's a very small share that is spent directly on transportation. It's the $2 billion line at the top. The rest of it – $56 billion – is transferred to state and local governments. And states also transfer a fair share of their funding – $26 billion – to locals. So the key take away from this funding roadmap is that the system is complex and interdependent. Our third key point is that the role of federal funding really varies widely across the country. This map highlights the variation in the federal share of each state’s total highway and transit funding, and that includes state and local spending. The darker the blue, the higher the federal share. And there are substantial differences across the country. The nationwide average is 25%, but that ranges from a high of 55% to a low of 15% in New York. And for the states and city represented in the room, it's a tight range. Iowa is at 26%, Virginia is at 28%, and DC is at 29%. This number is also driven by not only how much federal funding each state or locality receives, but also the amount of money each state spends. So we can dive into that number little more as we continue our discussion today. And as these chart show, roads, bridges, and transit are funded through a complex partnership involving all levels of government.