Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (FFY 2016-2020) changed the Surface Transportation Program (STP) to the Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program. However, to maintain continuity, it will continue to be referenced as STP. The STP program continues to be the most flexible of all the highway programs and provides the most financial support to local agencies. Projects eligible for STP funding include highway and bridge construction and repair; transit capital projects; bicycle, pedestrian and recreational trails; and construction of ferry boats and terminals. FAST requires the sub-allocated amount based on population to grow over the period of the Act (51% in FY 2016; 52% in FY 2017; 53% in FY 2018; 54% in FY 2019; 55% in FY 2020) and the remaining Flexible funds includes:
- Set-aside for bridges off the federal aid system (WA - ~$22.9 million). For additional details see the Local Bridge program.
- An amount that can be used in any area of the state and is split between the WSDOT and local governments. NOTE: WSDOT portion is held at FFY 2015 level.
WSDOT allocates STP funds to Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO’s) and County Lead Agencies for prioritizing and selecting projects that align with their regional priorities involving all entities eligible to participate in a public process. In addition, WSDOT sets delivery targets for each MPO and county lead agency.
The FAST Act passage resulted in the convening of a Governor’s FAST Act Advisory group to discuss distribution of federal funds for state and local projects. During this time the MPO Coordinating Committee requested the Task Force with representatives from MPOs and Counties to review and revise the STP allocations to a formula driven approach due to the passage of a long-term Act.
The STP funds are split based on population (based on 2010 Census) and lane miles as follows:
- Areas Over 200,000 population (Urbanized) – the funds are distributed to Benton Franklin Council of Governments (BFCG), Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC) and Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC), based on the MPOs respective levels of urbanized population per the 2010 census. Project selections are made by the MPOs in consultation with the State. These funds may be used anywhere within the planning area boundary of the MPO.
- Areas between 5,000 population and 200,000 population (Urban) – the funds are distributed to MPOs and county lead agencies based upon the 2010 census for areas of this size. These funds can only be used in areas encompassed by adjusted urban or urbanized area boundaries. Need to ensure that these funds are not used in any rural areas, regardless of whether they may be within an MPO’s planning area.
- Areas Less than 5,000 population (Rural) – the funds are distributed to the MPOs and county lead agencies based on rural lane miles. The rural funds may be used anywhere that is outside of an adjusted urban or urbanized area boundaries. These funds can be used in rural areas including those encompassed by an MPO’s planning area. FAST maintains the abilities for localities to utilize up to 15 percent of the amount reserved for rural areas for rural minor collector improvements.
The remaining STP Flexible funds are distributed as follows:
- Local Programs administration costs. $3.5 million is taken off after initial allocations based on proportional share of the total allocation for each MPO and county lead agency.
- Consideration of allocating up to $15 million for short span bridges and/or fish passage barrier projects. Due to the limited funding available funding, this is not currently funded.
- Remaining funds are distributed to all based on 75% total population/25% total county lane miles.
For details specific to your area, contact your MPO/RTPO/County (pdf 107 kb) lead agency. Further details on the STP program are available at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/fastact/ and specifically https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/fastact/factsheets/stbgfs.cfm.