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MAP-21: The New Transportation Funding

Monica Mosure

November 1, 2012

Signed into law July 2012, “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” (MAP-21) is the first long-term transportation funding reauthorization since 2005. Effective October 1, 2012, through September 30, 2014, MAP-21 aims to keep roads safe, ensure stable transportation funding, and improve efficiency by consolidating programs.


MAP-21’s main program reforms include program consolidation, performance and accountability, accelerated project delivery, and an increase in available TIFIA funds. The reauthorization provides around $100 billion over a two-year period for various highway, transit, financing, and related programs. Core highway programs account for nearly $80 billion of the reauthorization, with core transit programs accounting for another $21 billion.

Core Highway Programs

One of MAP-21’s most substantial changes comes in the consolidation of programs. Below is graphic created by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) that summarizes some of the largest highway program consolidations.

It is worthwhile to note that the federal share for STP projects is 80 percent for non-interstate system projects, requiring a local 20 percent match (with some exceptions).

According to the FHA, MAP-21 authorizes $37.5 billion in FY13 and $37.8 billion in FY14 in formula federal-aid highway programs.

Core Transit Programs

Authorization for transit programs is around $21 billion for the two-year period, and it is broken down into 10 primary programs/grants:

  • Planning Program
  • Metropolitan Program
  • Elderly and Disable Formula Grants
  • Rural Area Formula Grant
  • Bus Testing Facility
  • National Transit Institute
  • National Transit Database
  • State of Good Repair Formula Grants
  • Buses and Bus Facilities
  • Fast Growth/High Density Formula Grant

Other Noteworthy Changes

Some other important changes in MAP-21 include the following:

  • Expansion of Borrowing: Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program is greatly expanded in MAP-21, with allocations set at $750 million in FY13 and $1 billion in FY14.
  • Categorical Exclusions: The number of CEs are expanded in MAP-21 and include emergency projects, projects with limited federal assistance (less than $5 million), and certain multi-modal projects.
  • Program Performance Measures: Under MAP-21, DOTs are required to set new performance targets in conjunction with metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) that address safety, infrastructure condition, congestion reduction, system reliability, freight movement, environmental sustainability, and the reduction of project delivery delays. However, funding decisions for any given project are not explicitly tied to performance criteria.
  • Gulf Funds: To help areas impacted by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, MAP-21 allocates 80 percent of Gulf spill fines to be distributed to states surrounding the Gulf.

More Information

To learn more about MAP-21, browse the links below.


American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials:


U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Association:


U.S. Department of Transportation: