Federal transportation dollars are disbursed based on a series of transportation authorization bills, the most recent of which is the FAST Act of 2015 (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation). Previous bills have included MAP-21 in 2012 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century), and ARRA TIGER in 2009 (American Recovery & Reinvestment Act). Revenue for federal transportation dollars comes from the federal gas tax of $0.184 per gallon (not raised since 1994).
Formula federal funds are distributed to each Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) across the country before being distributed to local agencies. For the 9 county Bay Area, the MPO is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). MTC, since 2012, has packaged these federal funds into the One Bay Area Grant program, also known as OBAG. Funding is typically allocated every 5 years. Cycle 1 of funding was allocated in 2012, while Cycle 2 was allocated in 2017. Cycle 3 is expected to be programmed in 2022. In the last OBAG cycle, Solano County received $21.17 million in funding.
Formula Allocated Funds
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ)
Administered by Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and STA
Typical Funding Amount: ~$8 million every 5 years
Funds projects that contribute to improved air quality and mitigate congestion. Typical projects include bicycle and pedestrian improvements, transit, electric vehicle infrastructure, mobility management, Safe Routes to School, etc. Projects funded with CMAQ in OBAG Cycle 2 include:
- Benicia’s Park Road Bike Lanes
- Fairfield’s Grange Middle School SR2S Project
- Vacaville’s I-505/Vaca Valley Pkwy Project
- STA’s Solano Mobility Call Center
- STA’s Safe Routes to School Program
Surface Transportation Block Group (STBG) (also known as Surface Transportation Program, or STP)
Administered by MTC and STA
Typical Funding Amount: ~$14 million every 5 years
Provides flexible funding that may be used to improve, preserve, or expand conditions on any Federal-aid highway, bridge, or tunnel projects on any public road. It may also be used for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and transit capital projects. Projects funded with STP in OBAG 2 include:
- Benicia’s Park Road Project
- Fairfield’s Travis Blvd Project
- Solano County’s Suisun Valley Farm to Market Phase 2
- Solano County’s 2020 Paving Project (various roads)
- Suisun City’s Railroad Ave Repaving
- Vacaville’s Jepson Pkwy Phase 1B
- Vacaville’s Street Overlay Project (various streets)
- Vallejo’s Sacramento Street Overlay
- STA Planning and Project Delivery
National Level Competitive Grants
Better Utilizing Infrastructure to Leverage Development (BUILD)
Focuses on transformative highway, rail, or transit projects. $1.5 billion available nationwide and grant sizes range from $5 million to $25 million. STA will be applying for along with the City of Vacaville for the I-505/Vaca Valley Pkwy Interchange Project in FY 18-19.
Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA)
Dedicated, discretionary funds for highway and bridge projects. Minimum grant size is $25 million, approximately $1.5 billion is available nationwide. STA will be applying for the I-80 Express Lanes Project.