Highways and Transit

The Subcommittee on Highways and Transit has responsibility for the development of national surface transportation policy, construction and improvement of highway and transit facilities, implementation of safety and research programs, and regulation of commercial motor vehicle operations.  Within this scope of responsibilities, the Subcommittee has jurisdiction over many U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) programs.

The foremost legislative product of the Subcommittee is the reauthorization of the Federal surface transportation programs.  The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)—the latest reauthorization of these programs—was enacted in the summer of 2012.  MAP-21 reauthorizes Federal surface transportation programs through September 30, 2014, and builds on the foundation established by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21) enacted in 1998, and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) enacted in 2005.  This legislation represents an investment in the nation’s infrastructure that translates into safer travel, more efficient commerce, faster project approval and delivery, and the creation of thousands of jobs.

Issues and agencies under the jurisdiction of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee include:

  • Federal-aid highway and Federal transit programs
  • Highway and transit project planning and development
  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
  • Motor carrier and highway safety regulation 
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • Highway safety research and highway safety grants to states
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Surface transportation research, administered by FHWA, FTA, and FMCSA, and coordinated through the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)
  • Security and enforcement responsibilities of the above agencies, particularly FTA and FMCSA
  • The Clean Air Act, certain provisions relating to air quality issues



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