Both the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and its successor, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), have flexible funding provisions which enable certain program funds to be used for either transit or highway projects. This flexibility is intended to give planners and local decisionmakers the means to better meet local transportation needs and identify innovative solutions to transportation challenges. This survey examines the extent to which states are transferring funds from traditional highway programs to transit projects and what the “flexing” trends portend about the implementation of alternative transportation plans. The evidence from this survey suggests that many state and local leaders are missing the opportunity to take full advantage of flex funding.
An analysis of major federal highway funds that can be flexibly used for highway or transit programs between FY1992 and FY1999 found that: