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Highlights

It is important to ensure that longterm spending on transportation programs meets the goals of increasing mobility and improving transportation safety. In this testimony, GAO discusses what recently completed work on four transportation programs suggests about challenges and strategies for improving the oversight and use of taxpayer funds. These four programs are (1) the federal-aid highway program, administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); (2) highway safety programs, administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); (3) the New Starts program, administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA); and (4) the Essential Air Service (EAS) program, administered out of the Office of the Secretary of Transportation. Differences in the structure of these programs have contributed to the challenges they illustrate. The federal-aid highway program uses formulas to apportion funds to the states, the highway safety programs use formulas and grants, the New Starts program uses competitive grants, and the EAS program provides subsidies. For each program, GAO describes in general how the program illustrates a particular challenge in managing or overseeing long-term spending and in particular what challenges and strategies for addressing the challenges GAO and others have identified.

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