The December 12 edition of the Daily Press features an editorial by Virginia DOT Secretary Aubrey Layne explaining how the state’s new project selection process, dubbed SMART SCALE, improved the way transportation projects are planned and developed. The editorial points out that regional leaders in the Hampton Roads area needed to be strategic about which projects were the most important and would score the best under SMART SCALE. This process lead to better, more thoughtful projects being submitted for the limited available state funds.
Tennessee DOT recently announced the creation of a $30 million Multimodal Access Fund to support local projects that improve pedestrian, bicycle, and transit access to state routes and transit hubs. A handful of states have implemented new mechanisms for funding multimodal projects in light of insufficient federal funds, but Tennessee’s dedication of existing revenues shows a unique commitment to providing transportation choices in the state.
A new report from AASHTO shows that state funding for transit has increased from $13.8 billion in FY 2007 to $13.983 billion in 2011. This funding increase is a result of 18 states increasing their public transit funding by $1.23 billion, which made up for decreases in some other states.