Financial Planning & Fiscal Constraint

Federal regulations require Metropolitan Transportation Plans (MTPs), Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs), and Statewide Transportation Improvement Programs (STIPs) to be “fiscally constrained.” MTPs, TIPs, and STIPs demonstrate fiscal constraint by including sufficient financial information to confirm that projects in those documents can be implemented using committed, available, or reasonably available revenue sources, with reasonable assurance that the federally supported transportation system is being adequately operated and maintained. For the TIP and the STIP, fiscal constraint applies to each program year. Fiscal constraint has been a key component of transportation planning and program development since the passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) in 1991, enhancing the credibility and usefulness of planning products.

The requirement for fiscal constraint is met through the preparation of financial plans, the requirements for which are contained in the joint FTA/FHWA regulations for Statewide and Metropolitan Transportation Planning (23 CFR 450).

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Name Description
NTI Course: Financial Planning in Transportation

National Transit Institute (NTI) course on financial planning and fiscal constraint.

Financial Planning and Fiscal Constraint for Transportation Plans and Programs Q&A

FHWA guidance page for financial planning and fiscal constraint.

Fiscal Constraint in Long-Range Plans: Best Practice Case Studies

A collection of fiscal constraint resources from the Transportation Planning Capacity Building Site.