U.S. Department of Transportation


  • 2010 Budget: $73.3 billion1
  • Enacted 2009:  $71.5 billion

The President’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget includes $73.3 billion for the Department of Transportation.  The Administration intends to work with Congress to reform surface transportation programs to improve the system’s financial viability, enhance transit options, and generate better investments to reduce congestion and improve safety.  The Budget advances infrastructure modernization initiatives like Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and a strong federal commitment to high-speed rail.


  • Initiate a new federal commitment to high speed rail.  To provide Americans with a 21st Century transportation system, the Administration proposes a five-year, $5 billion high-speed rail State grant program, including $1 billion in funding for 2010.  This on-going program will give States the stable funding that is essential to create a nationwide network of high-speed rail corridors across the country linking regional population centers. 


  • Improve aviation transportation.  The Budget provides $865 million for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), a long-term effort to improve the efficiency, safety, and capacity of the air traffic control system.  The 2010 Budget amount supports moving from a ground-based radar surveillance system to a more accurate satellite-based surveillance system; development of more efficient routes through the airspace; improvements in aviation weather information; and work to reduce the environmental impact of air transportation.  The Budget also includes $9.4 billion to support FAA operations including the hiring of 107 new air traffic controllers and 36 safety staff.


  • Improve rural access to the aviation system.  The Administration is committed to maintaining small communities’ access to the National Airspace System.  The Budget provides a $175 million to fulfill current program requirements as demand for subsidized commercial air service increases.  The Budget also acknowledges that the program design must be updated and made more cost effective.  The Administration has committed to develop a more sustainable program to remediate these flaws and will work with Congress to do so.


  • Surface Transportation Reauthorization.  The Administration’s focus to date has been has been on taking immediate steps to improve the economy through the Economic Recovery Act and specific policy proposals in several key areas including surface transportation reauthorization have yet to be fully formed.  The Administration is committed to working with Congress to maintain the short-term solvency and long-term sustainability of the Highway Trust Fund.  To highlight the imbalance between projected revenues and spending out of the trust fund, the Budget shows significantly reduced trust fund appropriation for certain programs to maintain positive cash balances in the trust fund.  To maintain overall baseline levels for these programs, the Budget also assumes new discretionary General Fund appropriations.  

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
2010 Budget:  $41,846 million
2009 Enacted: $41,616 million

FHWA coordinates highway transportation programs in cooperation with states and other partners to enhance the country’s safety, economic vitality, quality of life, and the environment.  The Federal-Aid Highway Program provides financial assistance to construct and improve the National Highway System, roads, and bridges.  The Federal Lands Highway Program provides access to and within national forests and parks, Indian reservations, and other public lands by preparing plans and contracts, supervising construction facilities, and conducting bridge inspections and surveys.  The FHWA also manages a comprehensive research, development, and technology program.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
2010 Budget:  $550 million 
2009 Enacted:  $541 million

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.  Administration activities contribute to ensuring safety in motor carrier operations through strong enforcement of safety regulations, targeting high-risk carriers and commercial motor vehicle drivers; improving safety information systems and commercial motor vehicle technologies; strengthening commercial motor vehicle equipment and operating standards; and increasing safety awareness.

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
2010 Budget:  $2,705 million
2009 Enacted:  $1,798 million

The FRA promotes safe and environmentally sound rail transportation and administers passenger rail programs including the President’s new high-speed rail initiative and grants to Amtrak.  The FRA employs safety inspectors to monitor railroad compliance with federally mandated safety standards including track maintenance, inspection standards and operating practices.  The FRA conducts research and development tests to evaluate projects in support of its safety mission and to enhance the railroad system as a national transportation resource. 

Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
2010 Budget:  $10,336 million          
2009 Enacted:  $10,231 million

FTA provides leadership, technical assistance and financial resources to improve mass transportation systems for cities and communities nationwide.  FTA helps to plan, build, and maintain transit systems with economic development, land use policy, cost-effectiveness, and accessibility in mind.  The agency also provides resources to support research and development of  technological advancements to enhance safety, security and mobility.

Maritime Administration (MARAD)
2010 Budget:  $521 million   
2009 Enacted: $507 million

MARAD promotes development and maintenance of an adequate, well-balanced, United States Merchant Marine, sufficient to carry the Nation's domestic waterborne commerce and a substantial portion of its waterborne foreign commerce, and capable of serving as a naval and military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency. 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
2010 Budget:  $867 million   
2009 Enacted: $856 million

NHTSA is responsible for reducing deaths, injuries, and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes.  NHTSA sets and enforces safety performance standards for motor vehicles and equipment, and spurs effective local highway safety programs.  Research on driver behavior and traffic safety is conducted by NHTSA to develop the most efficient and effective means of bringing about safety improvements.

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
2010 Budget:  $188 million   
2009 Enacted:$173 million

PHMSA is responsible for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound transportation of energy products and other hazardous materials - by pipeline and other modes of transportation.  PHMSA has two programs, the Hazardous Material Safety program and the Pipeline Safety program. The Pipeline Safety program has responsibility for the safety of the Nation’s 2.3 million miles of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines.  The Hazardous Materials Safety program has responsibility for overseeing the safety of close to 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials. 

Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)
2010 Budget: $13.2 million   
2009 Enacted: $12.9 million

RITA is responsible for coordinating, facilitating, and reviewing DOT’s research and development programs and activities. RITA includes the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center that provides expertise in research, analysis, and other technical knowledge on transportation systems issues.  RITA also includes the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Transportation Safety Institute, the Intelligent Transportation Systems program, and the University Transportation Centers program.

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC)
2010 Budget:  $32 million                 
2009 Enacted: $32 million

The SLSDC operates and maintains a safe, reliable, and efficient waterway for commercial and noncommercial vessels within the territorial limits of the U.S. between Lake Erie and Montreal.  SLSDC works to develop trade opportunities to benefit port communities, shippers and receivers and related industries in the area.

Surface Transportation Board
2010 Budget:  $26 million
2009 Enacted:  $26 million

The Surface Transportation Board is an independent, bipartisan, adjudicatory body organizationally housed within the DOT.  It is responsible for the economic regulation of interstate surface transportation, primarily railroads, within the United States.  The STB's mission is to ensure that competitive, efficient, and safe transportation services meet the needs of shippers, receivers, and consumers.

1 All amounts are mandatory + discretionary, not including rescissions of mandatory contract authority.