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Transportation Funding

Background

Funding large and small transportation-related projects is always a priority issue for municipalities. Your local Council of Government (COG) is an important resource. One of their primary responsibilities is to work on regional transportation planning including multi-modal planning that includes active transportation. Active transportation is any self-propelled, human-powered mode of transportation, most commonly thought of as walking or bicycling but also includes in-line skating, skateboarding, and other similar modes. The COGs have grant writers on staff to help secure funding for projects and they often administer the funding CT receives for the grants listed below.

Some of the funding opportunities include:

  • Federal
    • The National Highway Performance Program (NHPP) is the largest of the FHWA formula programs and covers a wide range of highway and bridge investments on the National Highway System (NHS) and, in limited cases, federal-aid highways not on the NHS. Eligible activities include construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, restoration, rehabilitation, preservation, or operational improvements; some bicycle transportation and pedestrian walkways; and highway safety improvements.
    • The Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) is the broadest and most flexible of the core FHWA programs. STBG funds projects that preserve and improve any federal-aid highway; bridge and tunnel rehabilitation projects on any public road; pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure; transit capital projects; and several other project categories.
    • The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program can fund a variety of highway, transit, and technology projects that support the state’s conformance with federal Clean Air Act standards. Projects must meet specific eligibility requirements and undergo an air quality benefits evaluation. Funding is apportioned to the state, which selects some projects directly and solicits others on a competitive basis from the MPO regions.
    • The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, or IIJA – to improve infrastructure, generate good paying jobs, confront the climate crisis, grow the economy equitably, and create a transportation system that works for every American
    • RAISE (Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity) – funds projects that enhance economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability, livability, state of good repair, and other statutory goals.
    • The Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant Program (SS4A) serves to significantly reduce or eliminate fatalities and serious injuries on roadways for all users by supporting planning, infrastructure, behavioral, and operational initiatives through two grant types.
    • The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Funding Program provides funding to state governments to build a safe, reliable, accessible, and equitable electric vehicle fast charging network. This funding continues a commitment to clean transportation, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating a reliable charging network to promote widespread EV adoption.
    • The Transportation Alternatives Program provides funding for a variety of transportation projects such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities; construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas; community improvements such as historic preservation and vegetation management; environmental mitigation related to stormwater and habitat connectivity; recreational trails; safe routes to school projects; and vulnerable road user safety assessments.
    • Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Electric Vehicle Charger Reliability and Accessibility Accelerator Program (EVC-RAA)  is designed to improve reliability of existing electric vehicle infrastructure. Funds must be used to repair or replace existing publicly accessible Level 2 or Direct Current Fast Charging chargers that are broken or non-operational, per the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) list of Alternative Fuels Station Locator, as of October 11, 2023.
    • FHWA Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Program (CFI) is intended to deploy publicly accessible electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure along designated corridors.
  • State
  • Other

 

See also the fleet funding page on our website.

Taking Action

Townwide

STUDY

PLAN

DO

>Vehicle Inventory

>Transp. Infrastructure Assmt.

>

>Transportation Plan

>Funding Options

>

>Education

>Policy Making

>Installation

Municipal

STUDY

PLAN

DO

>Town Fleet Assessment

>VMT Assessment

>EV Chargers Siting Assessment

>Vehicle Replacement Schedule

>VMT and Idling Reduction Plan

>Funding Options

>Charging Station Installation

>Fleet Conversion

>Employee Training

As with other areas of the 100PercentCT project, the strategy for transportation is to quantify current energy usage, reduce it, then replace remaining energy use with clean alternatives. The Benchmark Energy Assessment provides a starting point for this analysis. Using town-specific data from the tax roll, this analysis yields an estimate of the energy consumed by vehicles registered in town. This calculation entails summarizing the community’s fleet of vehicles by Connecticut Class Code and then using Department of Transportation estimates for miles per gallon (MPG) and vehicle miles travelled (VMT).

This quantitative assessment focuses on the current vehicle fleet of your town. The next step is a qualitative review of transportation systems other than motor vehicles. These should include bus systems, trains and other public conveyances in the community.

These quantitative and qualitative assessments then form the basis for a range of policies, regulations and initiatives aimed at reducing energy usage and emissions, and then replacing them with clean energy alternatives.

  • Complete a quantitative energy benchmarking exercise for your town’s vehicle inventory. The Resource section below provides a link to the data request from the town tax roll to get started.
  • Carry out a qualitative assessment of public transit infrastructure, bicycle/pedestrian resources, etc.
  • Develop a town-specific plan, as part of the broader Energy Plan, to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT), shift transport to public alternatives and accelerate the transition to low and zero-emission vehicles.
  • Electrify town vehicle fleet. Municipalities can accomplish several goals by electrifying their fleet – first they are leading by example – second they will achieve operating economies because of reduced fuel consumption and decreased maintenance requirements.
  • Consider deploying all-electric municipal or school buses (see resources below).
  • Conduct a study of your town’s electric vehicle readiness. An excellent resource here is the detailed study carried out in Fairfield.
  • Assess your town’s Plug-In Electric Vehicle Readiness Scorecard, administered by the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Assess where electric vehicle charging infrastructure is needed in town and develop a plan for building it out.
  • Add additional charging stations on municipal properties.
  • Consider property tax incentives for electric vehicles.
  • Require new construction to be EV-Ready.
  • Educate residents about local public transportation options.
  • Implement the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets
  • Achieve bronze certification as a Bicycle Friendly Community from the League of American Bicyclists.
  • Encourage commuting by entering the CTRides Transportation Leaders Program.
  • Explore opportunities to expand local bike/pedestrian trails.
  • Conduct a no idling campaign.

Resources

Checklist

Our Partners