President’s FY21 Budget Proposes Increased Highway and Transit Funding

Includes Top-line Surface Reauthorization Figures, Additional Infrastructure Investment in Request

On Feb. 10, the Trump administration released its fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget request that includes an outline for a $1 trillion infrastructure proposal. The proposal is centered around two main components: 1) an $810 billion, 10-year reauthorization of surface transportation programs and 2) a new $190 billion investment across a variety of infrastructure categories, including water, broadband, and additional transportation programs such as bridge and transit repair.

Surface Transportation Reauthorization

The budget proposed a 10-year surface transportation reauthorization with the following top-line spending figures:

  • $602 billion for highway infrastructure
  • $155 billion for transit infrastructure
  • $20 billion for highway safety programs
  • $17 billion for railroad infrastructure
  • $16 billion for TIFIA loans and BUILD grants
  • $1 billion for pipeline safety

The Administration did not include specifics for a legislative proposal on reauthorization of these programs but indicated that they intended to soon transmit further details to Congress. The request also did not include any recommendations for addressing the revenue shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund that would be necessary to fund increased highway investment levels, but pledged to work with Congress to identify new sources of revenue.

Additional Infrastructure Investments

The proposed $190 billion in additional infrastructure investments for FY21 includes a significant amount of funding for surface transportation, along with other infrastructure categories, as follows:

  • $60 billion for a New Building Infrastructure Great grants to fund mega projects for highway, bridge, railroad, transit pipeline, landside ports, intermodal connections, locks, dams, drinking water, wastewater energy, and broadband
  • $50 billion for Moving America’s Freight Safely and Efficiently program: formula and grant funding for strategic highway, railroad, port and waterway projects
  • $35 billion for a Highway Bridge Rebuilding program
  • $25 billion for a new Revitalizing Rural America program funding will be provided by formula and through grants for broadband, transportation, water and other infrastructure in rural areas
  • $20 billion for transit State of Good Repair Sprint program to fund rehabilitating existing transit assets
  • $6.5 billion for a Public Lands Infrastructure fund deferred maintenance in National parks, forests and wildlife refuges

Much like the surface transportation proposal, few specifics were offered as to how these programs would be authorized or funded.

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