Study: State DOTs outspend federal agencies on public-transit systems

A recent study by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) indicated that state departments of transportation (DOTs) invested more in public mass-transit systems than the federal government invested in 2013.

Throughout fiscal 2013, the state departments invest $16.3 billion, while the federal government invested $10.1 billion in public-transit systems.

The state departments of transportation have been significantly boosting transit investments. In 2012, the departments invested $14.2 billion. Between 2012 and 2013, the departments’ investments increased by approximately $2.1 billion, reaching $16.3 billion in 2013.

In comparison, the federal government’s investments have not shown a significant increase during the same period. Federal transit investments amounted to $9.86 billion for fiscal year 2009. 2012 saw an increase to $10.21 billion and a decrease to $10.14 billion for 2013.

The U.S. public-transit system encompasses rural and urban bus, light rail, para-transit, subway, commuter rail and passenger ferry services. These systems receive funding from a range of state, local and federal sources.

The survey also considered spending by state agencies, which increased considerably compared with state-agency transit funding five years ago, which amounted to $13.1 billion.

The report, titled “Survey of State Funding for Public Transportation – Final Report 2015,” includes only  state DOT transit contributions, not any from local agencies. The report is available at

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American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 444 North Capitol St NW Suite 249 Washington, DC - 20001

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