Transportation Infrastructure:

Major Program Revisions Present Challenges

T-RCED-92-93: Published: Sep 17, 1992. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 1992.

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GAO discussed the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act's effect on the nation's approach to transportation. GAO noted that: (1) the act substantially changes surface transportation programs by providing a 6-year funding authorization designed to prevent bias in use of funds decisions, replacing four existing highway systems, giving states more flexibility in allocating funds between roads, mass transit and other transportation programs, and requiring each state to develop a statewide intermodal transportation system plan; (2) although the act's funding authorization is ambitious, federal and state budget constraints may reduce actual funds availability; (3) potential changes in allocation formulae cause uncertainty in determining states' shares of federal funds; (4) the act requires GAO to study the various ways of apportioning highway funds to determine their advantages and disadvantages, and to determine how to improve the quality of the nation's highways and bridges; (5) the act emphasizes the development of new transportation technologies, safety aspects of highway use, and planning; and (6) meaningful criteria for effective planning, cooperative coordination of government planners' and public advocates' concerns, and good data and analytical tools will be needed for effective planning of the intermodal transportation systems under all applicable laws.

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