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Highlights from the President's FY17 Department of Transportation Budget Request

February 11, 2016

Enacted FY16 funding is used for the Department of Transportation comparisons, unless otherwise noted.
The president’s FY17 budget request for the Department of Transportation (DOT) totals $98.1 billion (35.5 percent increase), including a vision to build a clean transportation system for the 21st century. Notable investments in research and development from the Department of Transportation include:

  • $418 million (0.7 percent increase) for the Federal Highway Administration’s Research, Technology and Education program, including a highway R&D program, a technology and innovation deployment program, an intelligent transportation systems program, and a training and education activities program;
  • $1 billion (2 percent increase) for the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen, program within the Federal Aviation Administration, including $63 million (11.3 percent decrease) for Research Engineering and Development;
  • $167.5 million (0.9 percent increase) for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Research, Engineering and Development activities to support work in both NextGen and research areas such as environmental and safety concerns, unmanned aircraft, advanced materials, and weather;
  • $53.5 million (36.8 percent increase) for the Federal Railroad Administration’s Railroad Research & Development activities, with a primary focus on safety; and,
  • $17 million (100 percent increase) for the Office of the Secretary’s Transportation Planning, Research & Development activities such as reducing infrastructure permitting and review timelines and emissions-reducing maritime-related projects with benefits exceeding costs.

Over the next 10 years, the president's budget proposes investing $320 billion to support the 21st Century Clean Transportation Plan. The FY17 budget includes $7.5 billion for new funding to the Federal Highway Administration to support the 21st Century Clean Transportation Plan through a series of new, multi-modal programs that reflect America’s changing and increasingly regional demographics. Of this total, $2 billion would go to modernizing the nation’s freight system, and $5.5 billion would be directed to regional governments and metropolitan planning organizations through the following new programs:

  • 21st Century Regions Grant Program, to implement regional-scale transportation and land use strategies;
  • Climate-Smart Performance Formula Funds Program, rewarding states that use federal infrastructure funds to cut carbon pollution and include energy efficiency;
  • Clean Communities Grant Program, to expand multimodal transportation choices in cities and towns; and,
  • Resilient Transportation Grant Program, to encourage local and state governments to propose specific projects addressing climate change impacts on transportation systems.

Other administrations within the DOT that would receive funding for the 21st Century Clean Transportation Plan include:

  • $150 million to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for multimodal safety investments, with $125 million going toward expanding FMCSA’s direct safety programs and $25 million to expand support for state and local agency partners.
  • $200 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to accelerate the development and adoption of autonomous vehicles by funding large-scale deployment pilots to test connected vehicle systems in designated corridors;
  • $525 million to the Federal Transit Administration for Rapid-Growth Area Transit Program, providing communities with fast-growing populations access to federal funds for bus rapid transit;
  • $5.9 billion to the Federal Transit Administration for Transit Formula Grants, supporting transit capital investment, state of good repair, and bus and railcar purchases and maintenance; and,
  • $3.7 billion to the Federal Railroad Administration to expand the Rail Service Improvement Program.
fy17budget, federal budget