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Archive of posts published in the category: Funding

Census data affects transportation funding

Transit agencies like the New York State Department of Transportation, the Department of Motor Vehicles and Capital District Transportation Authority are encouraging people to fill out the census because its results affect how more than $675 billion in federal funding is spent on transportation.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the federal Department of Transportation’s Highway Planning and Construction program alone distributed more than $38 billion, the fourth-largest amount of federal funding that was impacted by census results.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development distributed billions more in community development block grants, which are discretionary funds that local governments can choose to use on roads.

Census data also affects which areas are classified as urban and which as rural. This categorization impacts eligibility for federal funds. For example, the U.S. DOT’s Urbanized Area Formula Grants are extended to urban areas and to governors to spend on transportation in urban areas. The U.S. DOT defines an urban area as “an incorporated area with a population of 50,000 or more,” with the population count determined by the census.

According to the George Washington Institute of Public Policy at George Washington University, an undercount, which would lead to an underestimate of a state’s population, would result in a lower share of transportation funding for that state, while undercounted local areas would also receive less project funding.

State agencies rely on census results to inform how money is spent on transportation infrastructure. Many states, for example, use census numbers to allocate revenue from gasoline sales tax.

Data from another survey conducted by the Census Bureau, the American Community Survey, is used by the Census Transportation Planning Products program to provide state and metropolitan transportation agencies with more detailed information about how people travel.

CDTA: Starting Monday, April 6, fare collection will be suspended on all CDTA services, including paratransit services, as passengers are asked to use the rear doors to board and exit buses. Those with wheelchairs, mobility issues or other special needs may use the front door. This step is the latest in an effort to encourage social distancing whenever possible.

The CDTA’s revised weekday schedule remains in effect.

CDTC: The Capital District Transportation Committee has published its directory of senior transportation options. This provides senior citizens with the name, contact information, services and fees of the options available in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties. The CDTC cautions that some of the information may be altered because of the coronavirus pandemic and advises users to call providers or check their website for updates.

Have a question about transportation in the Capital Region? Email gettingthere@timesunion.com and include your name, town and phone number or tweet @abigail_rubel.

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Transportation For America State Transportation Funding

The states that successfully raised revenue since 2012

Below these maps are the details on the successfully enacted legislative plans that raised revenues at the state level from 2012 to the present. Plans that merely move money around, authorize a general fund transfer, or increase bonding authority are generally not included here — this only charts new revenue for transportation, not spending. Note: states have varying schedules for their legislative sessions. *This list does not include states that passed bills enabling certain localities to raise their own revenues for transportation. For more info on these states that have passed “enabling legislation” see this short primer on enabling legislation that includes a map, from our Measuring Up package.

States listed alphabetically below

Arkansas (2012)

Enacted – Constitutional amendment passed by legislature (HJR 1001) in 2011; passed by voters in November 2012.

The state can issue $1.3 billion in new general obligation bonds, mostly for a 4-lane state highway network. A portion of these revenues will be given to city and county governments to repair rural and local roads. The voters approved an increase in the statewide sales tax (half a penny) to repay the bonding. Bonds must be repaid in 10 years at which time the sales tax is rescinded. Intended for roads, and specifically a four-lane state highway network.

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California (2017)

SB 1 – Approved 4/7/2017
Increase in gasoline taxes and vehicles fees

SB 1 will raise $52 billion in new transportation revenue by raising the gasoline tax — unchanged in 23 years — by 12 cents (to 30 cents per gallon), increasing diesel taxes by 20 cents (to 36 cents per gallon) and creating a new annual fee on almost all vehicles based on value. It directs $7.5 billion to transit capital and operations, $1 billion into the state’s Active Transportation Fund and reserves $4 billion expressly for bridge repair. Read more details about what’s in the law in our blog post.

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Delaware (2013)

Enacted — Increase in tolls

Tolls on State Route 1 were raised by $1 on weekends, which will generate $20 million annually. The new funds will avoid cuts for the Community Transportation Fund which pay for local transportation projects, and will help raise revenue for road maintenance. Intended for state highways, road maintenance.

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Delaware (2015)

HB 140 — Enacted 7/1/15

The bill will generate $23.9 million annually by increasing several vehicle and license fees, including a 0.5-percentage-point increase in the vehicle sales tax. DelDOT leadership has indicated the agency will focus these new funds on road repair and maintenance.

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Florida (2014)

Enacted – HB 7175 was enacted in 2014

This broad transportation package includes new revenue from leasing right-of-way for cell phone towers near state roads and advertisements on state nature and recreational trails. It also calls for more toll roads. Intended for roads, and an increase of maintenance revenue.  (Ch. 2014-223, L.O.F of HB 7175)

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