Federal Budget for the US Department of Transportation

The budget for the U.S. Department of Transportation came in at $17.8 billion in discretionary funding, which is a $646 million decrease from FY17 but $1.5 billion more than President Trump’s proposed budget.

Within that, two major concerns for municipalities have emerged – the elimination of the popular Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program and the rollback of the Transit New Starts program. Like the President’s budget, Congress zeros out the $500 million in TIGER grant program that provides grants to states and local communities for innovative infrastructure projects.

The House bill provides $1.75 billion for the New Starts program – $660 million less than last year but $521 million more than requested by the President’s budget. Based on these funding level changes and directions in the bill, New Starts would ironically no longer be able to start new projects yet still able to fulfill its existing obligations to current projects.

The following chart compares funding for key municipal programs in the current (FY ’17) Budget along with funding requests in the President’s proposal, as well as funding authorized in the bills approved by the House Appropriations Committee:

Program FY’17 Budget President’s Proposal FY’18 House Bill
TIGER program $500 million Eliminated Eliminated


Amtrak $1.4 billion Eliminates $630 million from long distance Amtrak routes. $1.4 billion
Transit New Starts $2.41 billion $1.4 billion $1.75 billion


  • Michael Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, mcerra@njslom.org, 609-695-3481 x120;
  • Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, jmoran@njslom.org 609-695-3481 x121;