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Section 2: Transportation Improvement Program

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Federal Requirement

Guidance in 23 CFR 450 Subpart B addresses statewide transportation planning requirements. The requirements of this subpart fall on the Texas Department of Transportation as the state transportation authority. Since Subpart C addresses metropolitan transportation planning and programming requirements and Subpart B contains requirements that must be addressed statewide, it follows that those portions of the state that fall outside the metropolitan area boundaries are the responsibility of the Texas Department of Transportation. The department has chosen to depend on the districts to prepare the required documents and conduct required meetings. Portions of the district requirements are addressed in the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Sections 15.7 and 15.8. Other portions are addressed through memos or letters to the districts.

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TxDOT Format and Information

As indicated in TAC Section 15.7(f), a standardized format for the TIPs has been prepared. That format has been distributed to the district offices and district staff on several occasions. On December 12, 1997, TPP sent a memo to all District Study Offices, titled “Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Format and Texas Administrative Code Rules.” Included in this memo was a November 12, 1996, memo, previously sent to all District Engineers, with information on preparing the TIP and a sample TIP format document. (To see a PDF file of the memos, click pln_apk.)

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Revision Information

The December 12, 1997, memo mentioned above also included information on the dates for revisions to the FY 1998 – 2000 STIP. As information on the revision dates for future STIPs is prepared it will be made available to the districts by memo.

TAC Section 15.8(f) provides background information for STIP revisions. In general, the districts are strongly encouraged to plan their projects in advance so that revisions can be made on the quarterly basis. Requests for exceptions to the quarterly revision requirement must meet requirements stated in Section 15.8(f) and should be directed to the Executive Director.

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Fiscal Constraint

Mandates of 23 CFR Subpart B and Subpart C require the STIP and the MPO TIP (respectively) to be financially constrained. Since the rural TIP is a part of the STIP, it logically follows that the rural TIP must be financially constrained. District funding is normally handled through the Unified Transportation Program (UTP), which is annually prepared by the Programming and Scheduling Section of TPP. Since the UTP is financially constrained, it becomes the basis for the district to prepare its financially constrained TIP. Funding for public transportation projects is contained in the UTP.

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