The short-range document is called a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The TIP includes a proposed listing of federal, state, and local money for highway, transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects during the next four years. The funding goes toward maintaining, operating, and expanding the transportation system.
The TIP translates recommendations from the long-range plan into a short-term program of improvements. The long-range plan identifies transportation improvements for the 20 years beyond the time frame of the TIP. As projects move from the conceptual into the implementation phase, they enter the TIP, which defines funding by fiscal year and funding source.
The TIP is not a “wish list” of projects, but rather must be fiscally constrained. This means that proposed funds in the TIP must not exceed the funds available over the next four years. The TIP is the region’s way of allocating these limited resources among its various capital and operating needs, based on a clear set of short-term transportation priorities.
Best Practices in Capital Improvement Programs (CIPS)
CIPs determine how constrained capital funds are allocated for the maintenance and expansion of public infrastructure. CIPs can include transportation infrastructure along with other public infrastructure (water, sewer, etc.) or can be divided to focus on one sector. While BMC’s member jurisdictions each approach their development individually, CIPs at their most basic fulfill four functions:
- 1. Inventory: What are the capital needs?
- 2. Prioritization: Which projects take precedence?
- 3. Funding: What fiscal resources are available to support capital investments?
- 4. Programming: How are funds being distributed among capital needs? Which capital needs are being met and which ones remain unfunded?
These functions may be accomplished through formal or informal processes. There are a wide range of factors that impact CIPs, from laws and budgets to citizen input and policies. It also tends to include construction and implementation schedules, and financing plans to fund the capital investments. The CIP provides a working blueprint for maintaining and improving the community’s public infrastructure. CIPs reflect a jurisdiction’s values and goals, financial capacity, and future development. This study focuses on knowledge sharing among BMC jurisdictions and furthering the state of practice in CIP development.
What does the TIP include?
In the Baltimore region, the TIP includes all state and local projects that request federal dollars. These federally funded projects include matching funds from the state or local project sponsor. Local project sponsors include counties in the Baltimore region as well as Baltimore City. State project sponsors include Maryland Department of Transportation modal agencies such as the Maryland Transit Administration and State Highway Administration. The TIP also includes all regionally significant projects regardless of funding source. Regionally significant projects are those that impact facilities serving access to the region, activity centers, or major planned developments.
The TIP document includes a description of federal requirements, a discussion of fund sources, and a detailed description of all projects in the TIP. Projects in the TIP are often long-term phased projects that extend beyond the four fiscal years covered by the TIP. Phases include project planning, engineering, right-of-way acquisition, and construction. Since individual project phases can take several years, only a portion of the project may be funded in the TIP.
What is the process for developing the TIP?
While the TIP is federally required to be updated at least every four years, the BRTB formally updates the TIP annually. The process for developing the TIP begins in January, includes a 30-day public comment period along with public meetings, and ends with a vote by the BRTB (usually in July). The current TIP is the 2022-2025 TIP. The schedule for development of the annual TIP is as follows:
The project schedules and funding breakdowns for projects in the TIP represent the best estimates by project sponsors at the time the TIP is developed. However, project schedules and funding can change. As a result, the TIP is frequently updated throughout the year through the TIP amendment process.
Air Quality Conformity
Because the Baltimore region is not currently meeting federal air quality standards, the BRTB must show that the emissions resulting from transportation plans and programs are within emissions limits set by the State of Maryland’s air quality plan. Every transportation plan for the region, including the TIP, is studied to see what effect the projects could have on air quality. This process is called “transportation conformity”, or just “conformity.”
Click on the button below to view the current TIP, the latest TIP updates, and other documents related to the TIP.
The current TIP for the Baltimore region is the