Skip to content

Funding Sources

Home » Resources » Funding and Project Resources » Funding Sources

Transportation Funding: Two Principal Programs

The Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) is the federally designated transportation planning agency for the Charlotte urban area which includes Iredell, Mecklenburg and Union counties. CRTPO is responsible for the allocation of federal transportation funds and ensuring funds are spent in accordance with federal policy. The following information summarizes the two principal programs which fund transportation projects in the CRTPO planning area.

State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)

The Strategic Transportation Investment (STI) law established Prioritization as NCDOT’s decision making process and tool for developing the STIP, which is a listing of projects to be delivered within an upcoming ten-year work program. CRTPO nominates projects for scoring by NCDOT, and the application of local input
points based upon its methodology.

1. Funding Sources:

Motor Fuel Tax


DMV Fees


Highway Use Tax


2. Accounts of Funding

Highway Fund

60% Total State Revenues
(Maintenance & Operations)

Highway Trust Fund

40% Total State Revenues

4. Expenditures of Funding

70% of the Highway Trust Funds are allocated to projects identified through Prioritization. Funds for maintenance or specific types of projects are taken of top of following buckets.


100% of funds allocated to State tier projects


Funds divided among 7 Regions based on % of State Population


Funds divided among 14 Divisions based on % of State Population

5. Prioritization of Funding (2 year Cycle)

  1. Project Submittal Data
  2. Review & Scoring Quantitative
  3. Scores & Statewide Funded Projects Released
  4. Regional Impact Local Input Point Assignment
  5. Regional Impact Total Scores & Funded Projects Released
  6. Division Needs Local Input Point Assignment
  7. Division Needs Total Scores & Funded Projects Released

Draft STIP Released

$926 Million of the 2020-2029 STIP funds programmed in CRTPO (Over 12% of NCDOT’s programming budget)

CRTPO Discretionary Grants Program

All CRTPO controlled funds (federal direct attributable and state bonus allocation funds) are subject to the Discretionary Grants Program Policy Guide which allocates funds based on data-driven scoring. Below is a summary of the funding sources which finance the program and the expenditure priorities.

1. Funding Sources:

Surface Transportation Block Grant – Direct Attributable


Annual Allocation Flexible funding to preserve and
improve conditions and performance of the transportation network.

Congestion Management Air Quality (CMAQ)


Annual Allocation Flexible funding for projects/programs to help meet requirements of Clean Air Act.

Bonus Allocation



Annual Allocation Allocation of
proceeds for local governments participation in tolling project or local contribution.

Allocation of funding is determined by the Discretionary Grants Program Policy Guide which includes funding targets. There is a biannual call for projects.

2. CRTPO Discretionary Grants Program Policy Guiding Principles:

  1. Projects must be federal funds-eligible.
  2. There is an annual schedule for proposing, scoring, and funding projects.
  3. Project scoring is consistent with requirements of various funding sources.
  4. Process addresses project funding shortfalls.
  5. Process is iterative.
  6. Policy is transparent and easily understood by stakeholders.

3. Methodology to allocate funding

Funding Targets






Competitive Score

Available funds allocated to top
scoring projects.

$287 Million Discretionary grant funds programmed in 2019-2022.

Click here to download the CRTPO Transportation Funding Programs Brochure

Fast Act

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or “FAST Act” – which reauthorized surface transportation programs through fiscal year 2020. The act authorized $305 billion for highway, highway and motor vehicle safety, public transportation, bicycle and pedestrian, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials safety, rail, and research, technology and statistics programs.

Federal Highway Administration – Fast Act

Federal Transit Administration – Fast Act

Strategic Transportation Investments

The State of North Carolina passed into law transportation funding legislation on June 26, 2013.  More information regarding this legislation can be found by clicking on the following link.

Strategic Transportation Investments