Transportation Economic Trends

Government Transportation Revenues and Expenditures:

Government Transportation Revenues vs. Expenditures


Historically, government transportation revenues collected from transportation sources fall short of government transportation expenditures creating a need for additional funding sources.

2021 Year-in-Review (latest available)

  • Historically, government transportation revenues collected from transportation sources (own source revenue) fall short of government transportation expenditures creating a need for additional funding sources. In 2021, transportation expenditures exceeded total transportation revenues (own-source and supporting) by $16.3 billion (current dollars).
  • Of total transportation revenues, 48.7 percent came from non-transportation sources, such as local sales taxes dedicated to transportation in 2021.
  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was passed in 2020 dedicating $114.8 billion to transportation and the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CRRSA Act) and American Rescue Plan Act (ARP Act) were passed in 2021 dedicating $45.0 and $58.4 billion to transportation respectively. For more information on COVID-19 transportation funds, visit COVID-19 Stimulus Funding for Transportation.
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) was signed into law in November 2021 and dedicated $673.8 billion to transportation between 2022 and 2025. For more information on BIL, visit Statistics on Transportation Funding in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Total Government Transportation Revenues and Expenditures | Government Transportation Revenues and Expenditures by State

Total Government Transportation Revenues and Expenditures

Revenues collected from transportation-related activity and dedicated to transportation programs (own-source revenue) historically falls short of government transportation expenditures. Funds collected from non-transportation-related activities but dedicated to support transportation programs (supporting revenue), e.g., receipts received by state and local governments from sales or property taxes, help finance the gap between own-source government transportation revenues and government transportation expenditures.
Note: Transportation revenues in several years include transfers to Highway Trust Fund from other sources. See Transportation Trust Funds for transfer amount.

Total Government Transportation Revenues and Expenditures Government Transportation Revenues and Expenditure by State 

Government Transportation Revenues and Expenditures by State

States and local governments allocate funds among transportation modes differently because they have diverse geographies and economies, which lead to different transportation needs. For example, urban areas like the District of Columbia and New York devote a large share of total expenditures to transit. In contrast, inland low-density states in the Great Plains, like North Dakota and South Dakota, spend most of their transportation expenditures on highways. 

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Recommended citation
U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transportation Economic Trends, available at www.bts.gov/product/transportation-economic-trends.


The Bureau of Transportation Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is the preeminent source of statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics, and provides context to decision makers and the public for understanding statistics on transportation.
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