Acronyms, Acronyms!!!

....and other transportation jargon pertinent to the TEA program

Caution!! These are not in alphabetical order!!!

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ISTEA Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991

(6-Year federal transportation act 1991-1997)


TEA-21 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century

(6-Year federal transportation act (1997-2003)


SB 45 Senate Bill 45. State legislation to change transportation programming in California. Decentralizes many programming decisions from state to regional level.


Programming Documents:

STIP State Transportation Improvement Program

Multi-year capital improvement program

(Composed of the ITIP and RTIPs)

Updated every 2 years


SHOPP State Highway Operations and Protection Program

Multi-year maintenance and operation program


RTIP List of capital improvement projects from Regional Transportation Planning Agencies; these go into the STIP.



ITIP List of capital improvement projects from Caltrans; these go into the STIP.


Fund Estimate "Best guess" estimate of programming capacity for the STIP



The Decision-Makers:

FHWA Federal Highway Administration

FHWA approves all federal projects.


CTC California Transportation Commission

Responsible for programming and allocating funds to projects.

Will adopt program guidelines for TEA program.


RTPA Regional Transportation Planning Agency

Designated by state statute. There are 43 RTPAs.

(In smaller counties, usually the County Transportation Commission; in urban counties, usually the MPO is the RTPA.)

RTPAs put together the RTIPs for CTC approval.


Caltrans California Department of Transportation

Caltrans puts together the ITIP for CTC approval.


MPOs Metropolitan Planning Organization

Federal designation for urban areas.

(Typically, the MPO is the RTPA in urban areas.)


Funding Programs:

TEA Transportation Enhancement Activities

A 10% set-aside from Surface Transportation Program


STE Statewide Transportation Enchancement

A portion of the state share of the TEA Program.


STP Surface Transportation Program

(Part of STP resides on the state side, part on the local assistance side)


RSTP Regional Surface Transportation Program

(The portion of the STP residing on the local assistance side -- outside the STIP.)


Funding Terms:

OA (Obligation Authority) California’s capacity for spending federal transportation dollars in a given year.


Obligation To "obligate funds" is to encumber them to the project for the capital phases of the project (acquisition or construction).

This is the measure used to determine that a project is "delivered".


Second Vote (Allocation Vote) Project-by-project vote by the CTC. Applies to projects in the STIP and those from the statewide shares of TEA. This is the go-ahead for funds to be obligated on the project, and for the project to proceed to acquisition or construction.