Funding Analysis for Long-Term Planning

de Cerreño, A.L.C.
Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, July

In existence since 1956, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is the source of nearly all federal highway funding and roughly four-fifths of all federal transit funding. The Highway Trust Fund is integral to the long-term transportation planning of all 50 states. However, recent Congressional Budget Office forecasts show that at the current baselines (i.e. spending at currently enacted levels with adjustments for inflation within the context of current tax policies), the Highway Account of the HTF would be depleted by 2006 and the Mass Transit Account would fall to $0 three years later. These projections have been made in the midst of discussions regarding the reauthorization for surface transportation and the looming national needs in transportation that require an estimated average annual investment from all levels of government of between $90.7 billion and $110.9 billion just to maintain the system and between $127.5 billion and $169.5 billion to improve it.