State transportation departments directed a record $1.7 billion of their federal road and bridge allocations to support mass transit programs in 2000, according to an analysis of federal surface transportation funding done by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).
The federal mass transit program contributed another $5.8 billion to the states last year, which also was a record amount.
In all, federal support for mass transit totaled a record $7.5 billion in 2000.
Federal law gives states flexibility to use some of their federal road funds for mass transit programs. State earmarking of federal road funding for transit use has jumped 245% since 1998, according to ARTBA.
California made the biggest transfer of federal road funds to transit in 2000 ($930 million), followed by Washington ($103 million), New York ($87 million), Georgia ($55 million) and Florida ($47 million).
Almost two-thirds of the transferred federal road funds were used to buy buses and rail cars, subsidize transit and carpool programs, conduct transit studies or develop urban transportation plans, according to ARTBA. The rest was used to finance transit-related construction work.