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Government Transportation Expenditures

Government Transportation Expenditures

Spending on building, maintaining, operating, and administering the nation’s transportation system by all levels of government totaled $149.0 billion in 2000 (in chained 1996 dollars1). The federal government spent 30 percent of the funds; state and local governments, 70 percent (figure 106). Between 1990 and 2000, these transportation expenditures grew faster than total government expenditures, increasing transportation’s share in the total from 5.6 percent to 6.1 percent. State and local government spending grew faster (at an average annual rate of 3 percent) than the federal government’s spending (at 2 percent). State and local governments also spent a higher percentage of their total expenditures on transportation than the federal government. In 2000, the respective shares were 13 percent and 3 percent [1].

Among all modes of transportation, highways receive the largest amount of total government transportation funds. In 2000, this amounted to $93.6 billion and accounted for nearly 63 percent of the total (figure 107). Transit and air modes accounted for 19 percent and 13 percent, respectively, while rail and pipeline modes accounted for less than 1 percent each. Between 1990 and 2000, government expenditures on highway, transit, and air transportation increased at about the same rate, leaving the overall modal distribution of government transportation expenditures almost unchanged [1].


1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Government Transportation Financial Statistics 2001, available at http://www.bts.gov, as of February 2003.

1 All dollar amounts are expressed in chained 1996 dollars, unless otherwise specified. Current dollar amounts (which are available in appendix B of this report) were adjusted to eliminate the effects of inflation over time.

Updated: Saturday, May 20, 2017