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Funding Outlook

Transportation Council
Eoin Wrafter, Commissioner


The Transportation Council relies on federal planning funds to carry out the metropolitan transportation planning process. These funds, allocated on an annual basis and programmed through the Council’s UPWP, stem from two primary sources: the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Planning Program (PL) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5303 Metropolitan Planning Program (MPP). The funds are authorized through each federal surface transportation authorization, with the most recent being the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). For State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2018-2019, the FAST Act-based federal allocation for New York State is estimated to total over $31.7 million. Based on a formula that accounts for the population of each MPO planning area and their TMA status, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) distributed the funds to the 14 MPOs in New York State.

These planning funds, like other federal transportation programs, are administered through NYSDOT on a reimbursement basis. The Council (through its host agency relationship with Dutchess County) must first perform the planning work, after which it is reimbursed for the federal share of the activity. Council staff, housed under the Dutchess County Planning Department, administers UPWP activities and submits quarterly reimbursement requests and activity reports to NYSDOT.

As required by most federal transportation programs, a local match of 20 percent is required for the federal planning funds used in the UPWP: NYSDOT provides a 15 percent toll credit/in-kind service match for the federal funds, while Dutchess County provides a five percent monetary match.

2018-2019 Funding

The Council’s 2018-2019 UPWP annual funding estimate totals $665,907 ($540,527 in FHWA funding and $125,380 in FTA funding). In addition to this base allocation, the Council has $536,671 in FHWA funding available from previous program budgets. This amount does not include any savings from the 2017-2018 program year. Unexpended funds are available for programming as needed. The Council will program $270,000 of these funds for the 2018-2019 program year; these will support projects that require staff support from the Dutchess County Planning Department, other County Departments, and consultants. The remaining unexpended balance of $266,671 will be reserved for future projects and work needed to implement federal requirements in the FAST Act. The Transportation Council expects a large share of its savings backlog to be spent down within the next three years, likely by the end of SFY 2020-2021. However, the Transportation Council intends to keep some backlog funds in reserve to make up for any future rescissions.

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