Surface Transportation:

Regional Distribution of Federal Highway Funds

RCED/HEHS-97-167R: Published: May 30, 1997. Publicly Released: May 30, 1997.

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John H. Anderson, Jr
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the regional distribution of federal funds under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) relative to selected indicators of the needs of the federal-aid highway system.

GOA noted that: (1) the regional distribution of federal highway funds in relation to the three proxies for highway needs varies by geographic region; (2) for example, the Southeast, Far West, and Great Lakes regions received several dollars less than the national average relative to funding per vehicle mile traveled, $29.48; (3) the Southwest was just a few cents below the average; (4) in relation to funding per lane mile, different regions are affected; (5) the Plains, Southwest, and Rocky Mountain regions received from $7 to almost $14 less than the national average, $31.95 per lane mile; (6) the Southeast region was just a few cents below the average; (7) four regions, Southeast, Southwest, Far West, and Great Lakes received less ISTEA funding in fiscal year (FY) 1995 than each region contributed to the Highway Trust Fund; (8) the differences ranged from .7 percent to 11.7 percent; (9) three regions, Far West, Southeast, and Southwest, would receive more funding under all five of the formula options that GAO analyzed than they received in FY 1995 under ISTEA; and (10) the New England and Mideast regions would have received less under all five options.

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