Congress Passes FY 2020 Funding Bill
This week, in a flurry of action, Congress passed the FY 2020 Transportation Budget. The legislation includes funding above and beyond what was authorized by the FAST Act. Below is a brief summary:
The bill provides $1.0 billion for national infrastructure investments, these have been called TIGER and BUILD grants in the past. The Secretary is directed to invest in a variety of transportation modes, which includes a broad range of transportation projects such as highway, bridge, or road projects; transit projects; passenger and freight rail projects; port infrastructure improvements; intermodal projects; bicycle and pedestrian projects; and multimodal infrastructure projects. Maximum grant size remains at $25 million and the minimum grant sizes remain at $5 million for non-rural grants and $1 million for rural grants. Federal share remains capped at 80 percent for non-rural grants.
Federal Highway Administration
The bill provides a total of $48.5 billion in discretionary budgetary resources for the Federal Highway Administration in 2020. This includes $781.1 million apportioned to states by formula above what was authorized by the FAST ACT. The funds are distributed through the surface transportation block grant program (STBGP) and in the same ratio as FY 2020 funds are distributed to states. STBGP provides States with broad flexibility on how to spend the funds and also requires that a portion of the funds be allocated to metropolitan areas.
Federal Transit Administration
The final bill provides a total of $12.91 billion for the Federal Transit Administration including funding that is in addition to the amount authorized by the FAST Act:
- $168 million for formula bus grants under bus/bus facility
- $170 million for competitive bus grants under bus/bus facility
- $75 million for low-emission and/or no-emission bus grants
- $40 million for additional formula grants for rural areas
- $40 million for additional formula grants to high-population-density states
- $5.5 million for the innovative mobility solutions program (Mobility on Demand Sand Box 3)
- $8.5 million for competitive grants (to include planning, engineering, development or financing plans for transit projects) for areas of persistent poverty (defined as having a poverty rate of at least 20 percent over the last 30 years).