MAP-21 Implementation: States and the Future of Transportation

The passage of MAP-21, the federal surface transportation authorization bill, by Congress in 2012 provided some certainty for state transportation agencies that had dealt with short-term extensions of the previous bill for nearly three years. Moreover, the legislation included many policy changes they had long sought: the consolidation of federal programs, provisions to accelerate the delivery of transportation projects, an emphasis on performance measurement and an infusion of cash for a popular credit assistance program. But state transportation officials say the implementation of MAP-21 continues to present challenges even as the discussion must now turn to its successor--due in 2014--and the important question of how to fund the federal transportation program going forward.

This brief is an extended version of an article that appears in the 2013 edition of CSG’s The Book of the States.

Introduction:

The federal surface transportation bill known as MAP-21, which President Obama signed into law July 6, 2012, authorized programs and funding for two years. In addition to providing at least a modicum of certainty for state transportation agencies, the legislation incorporates important policy changes: consolidating and streamlining programs to give states added flexibility, including provisions designed to accelerate the delivery of projects, moving ahead with a performance-based approach to transportation investment and providing a boost to a popular credit assistance program that could help some states tackle expensive projects. State transportation officials from four states in different regions of the country say while many of these policy changes are welcome, much remains to be done to ensure MAP-21’s success and to ensure the next federal bill addresses the long-term future of the federal transportation program.

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MAP-21 Implementation: States and the Future of Transportation

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