Federal Programming Branch
The Federal Programming Branch is responsible for preparing and managing the Federal Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (FSTIP). The FSTIP is a four year statewide intermodal program of transportation projects that is consistent with the statewide transportation plan and planning processes, the metropolitan plans and the Federal Transportation Improvements Programs (FTIPs). The FSTIP is prepared by Caltrans in cooperation with the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and the Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs).
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The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) prepared the 2023 Federal Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (FSTIP) in coordination with the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and the Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs) in California. The FSTIP is a federally mandated document required to be updated every two years. The 2023 FSTIP includes phases of capital and non-capital transportation projects prioritized to receive federal funding under Titles 23 and 49 of the United States Code during federal fiscal years 2023 through 2026. The FSTIP also includes regionally significant projects regardless of the funding source.
Each of the State’s eighteen MPOs prepares a Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP), which includes federal, state, local, and transit projects within its boundary. These FTIPs are included in the FSTIP by reference. On December 16, 2022, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit administration (FTA) jointly approved the 2023 FSTIP.
- 2023 Federal Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (FSTIP) (PDF)
Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program
As the direct recipient of federal funds, Caltrans has statewide responsibility for oversight of the Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program funds. While Caltrans prepares annual apportionments for the STBG and CMAQ programs, the State distributes most of the federal STBG and CMAQ program funds to the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs) in the State.
As the federally designated planning agencies, MPOs maintain responsibility for regional transportation planning and discretion in managing and administering federal funds to address their unique transportation needs and air quality challenges. The MPOs are responsible for establishing a region-wide project selection process to prioritize projects for inclusion in their respective Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP).
For STBG and CMAQ funds apportioned to rural areas of the State that are not represented by a federally designated MPO, Caltrans coordinates with the state designated RTPAs to program projects in the Federal Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (FSTIP).
Coordination between the State and MPOs ensures a region’s project selection procedures fulfills federal requirements. Additionally, Caltrans encourages integration of the Federal Transportation Performance Measures into the MPO’s project selection process to conduct a performance-based planning and programming process and help achieve the federal transportation performance targets.
Below are federal guidance resources that the State and MPOs utilize to ensure proper administration of the STBG and CMAQ programs.
Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program
STBG provides flexible funding that may be used by States, MPOs, and RTPAs for projects to preserve and improve the conditions and performance on any Federal-aid highway, bridge and tunnel projects on any public road, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and transit capital projects, including intercity bus terminals.
- FHWA Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) STBG Factsheet
- FHWA STBG Eligibility Guidance
- FHWA Sub-allocation of Apportioned STBG Funds (Q&A)
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program
The purpose of the CMAQ program is to fund transportation projects or programs that will contribute to attainment or maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone, carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (both PM10 and PM2.5). The CMAQ program supports two important goals: improving air quality and relieving congestion.
MPOs are required to have a CMAQ project selection process that is transparent, in writing, and publicly available. Caltrans ensures each MPO’s CMAQ procedures are provided at the time of each FTIP and FSTIP update cycle.
STBG and CMAQ Apportionments
The Caltrans Division of Financial Programming (DOFP) prepares the annual apportionments for the STBG and CMAQ programs in compliance with federal law and guidance. In preparing the State’s apportionments, which is published in the Federal Notice each year, Caltrans identifies the STBG and CMAQ financial amounts available “for distribution” after calculating the required set-asides. A portion of the STBG funding for distribution is calculated based on four population categories as stipulated in federal law.
In October of each year, following the publication of the Federal Notice, Caltrans distributes Estimate Apportionments and Final Apportionments for each Federal Fiscal Year (FFY). The Estimate Apportionments and Final Apportionments for the STBG and CMAQ funds are distributed to the MPOs and to the RTPAs representing the rural areas of the State, where there is no established federally designated MPO.
Four-Year Estimate Apportionments
In addition to the annual apportionments for the STBG and CMAQ, every two years, Caltrans prepares the four-year estimates of the STBG and CMAQ apportionments. The four-year estimates are prepared in February of even-numbered years for the development of the FTIP and FSTIP. The methodology for the four-year estimates is to average actual apportionments from the last four historical years as the first-year apportionment, and to increase the next three years by an estimated inflation percentage rate. Similarly, the four-year estimates are distributed to the MPOs and to the RTPAs representing rural areas of the State, where there is no established federally designated MPO.