Transportation, Department of

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All amounts are in dollars
Category Available
Change From
State Operations 55,342,000 48,429,000 -6,913,000 68,312,600
Aid To Localities 2,990,621,656 2,702,389,700 -288,231,956 212,463,900
Capital Projects 4,560,855,000 4,305,268,000 -255,587,000 15,337,609,000
Total 7,606,818,656 7,056,086,700 -550,731,956 15,618,385,500

Full-Time Equivalent Positions (FTE)
Program 2008-09
Estimated FTEs
Estimated FTEs
FTE Change
    Capital Projects Funds - Other 0 750 750
Design and Construction
    Capital Projects Funds - Other 3,878 3,124 -754
New York Metropolitan Transportation Council
    Special Revenue Funds - Other 68 68 0
Operations Program
    Special Revenue Funds - Other 12 12 0
Passenger and Freight Transportation Program, Office of
    Special Revenue Funds - Federal 79 79 0
    Special Revenue Funds - Other 112 112 0
    Capital Projects Funds - Other 98 98 0
Planning and Program Management
    Capital Projects Funds - Other 526 523 -3
Preventive Maintenance
    Capital Projects Funds - Other 4,944 4,980 36
Real Estate
    Capital Projects Funds - Other 180 179 -1
Total 9,897 9,925 28

Note: Most recent estimates as of 12/16/08.


The Department of Transportation (DOT) directly maintains and improves the State’s more than 38,000 State highway lane miles and over 7,500 bridges. In addition, the Department partially funds locally-operated transit systems, local government highway and bridge construction, and rail, airport, and canal programs.

The DOT of the 21st Century is capitalizing on evolving world trade patterns, using intelligent transportation technology to manage increases in traffic and balancing security concerns with the need to move people and products safely and efficiently. The Department closely coordinates with other State transportation agencies and authorities, with the goal of creating a seamless statewide transportation system that addresses environmental and community concerns and more efficiently moves people and goods throughout the State’s transportation system.

Budget Highlights

The Executive Budget recommends $7.1 billion All Funds ($78 million General Fund; $4.2 billion Capital Projects Funds; $2.8 billion Other Funds) for the Department of Transportation (DOT). This is a decrease of $551 million (decrease of $33 million General Fund; decrease of $254 million Capital Projects Funds; decrease of $264 million Other Funds) from the 2008-09 budget. This net change primarily reflects: DOT capital program reductions offset by inflationary adjustments for DOT maintenance and other planned capital program changes ($256 million); reductions in aid-to-localities funding, primarily for transit systems ($288 million); and the discontinuation of one-time appropriations and other minor adjustments for program activity ($7 million).

The Executive Budget recommends a staffing level of 9,925 FTEs for the Department of Transportation, a net increase of 28 from the 2008-09 budget, revised for financial management plan actions. This reflects an increase of 36 positions for snow and ice control and preventive maintenance activities for 254 State-owned lane miles that were previously performed by municipalities under snow and ice contracts; 15 new positions to replace consultant contracts for information technology and a reduction of 23 positions for DOT administration, planning and program management associated with the reduced capital program.

The Department is responsible for the implementation of transportation programs related to highways and bridges, transit, aviation, ports, rail and other modes. It is supported by revenues from the Petroleum Business Tax, highway use tax, motor fuel taxes, auto rental tax, transportation/transmission tax, motor vehicle fees, and other fees. Substantial Federal aid is also used to support the programs. The 2005 Bond Act provides additional funding for the 2005-10 period.

The five-year transportation capital plan enacted in State Fiscal Year 2005-06 included over $35.9 billion for the State’s transportation systems during the period, with over $17.9 billion for DOT capital programs and over $17.9 billion for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority program. To finance the plan, existing resources were augmented by increases in motor vehicle fees, a restructuring of the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund debt, increases in the sales tax and mortgage recording tax levied in the MTA service district, and the Rebuild and Renew New York Transportation Bond Act passed by the voters in November 2005. The DOT capital plan has been amended from time to time, and totaled approximately $18.52 billion prior to the actions recommended in this Executive Budget.

The Budget funds a DOT program that balances fiscal austerity with the preservation of essential services and projects. The revised plan maintains core funding to achieve three primary goals: providing funding necessary to accommodate non-discretionary health and safety related capital needs, matching Federal aid and ensuring adequate funding for snow and ice control and demand maintenance activities. Budget actions reduce program levels planned for 2009-10 in the State’s five-year transportation capital plan by $569 million, resulting in an overall five-year program of $17.95 billion. Major budget actions include:

  • Construction Contract Reductions: The annual construction contract level for State-owned roads and bridges is reduced by $274.3 million, from the planned level of $1.891 billion to $1.617 billion. These reduced levels would retain core funding to address non-discretionary health and safety needs and match estimated Federal highway aid.
  • Engineering/Administrative Reductions: Commensurate with capital program reductions, engineering, program management and administrative levels are reduced by $108.4 million from planned levels. This reduction includes $73 million for consultant engineering contracts and $27 million for State forces engineering and administration. An additional reduction of $8.4 million reflects resources for traffic signal control activities transferred to DOT maintenance and operations.
  • IT and Construction Inspection Insourcing: Engineering and administrative reductions above also include savings from enhancing the use of state staff for IT and construction inspection functions currently performed by consultant staff.
  • Rail and Aviation Capital Reductions: The budget includes a reduction in capital rail appropriations of $10 million from planned levels, and a reduction in rail operating support of $2.5 million. Aviation funding continues to include a State match to Federal aid of up to $4 million, but eliminates up to $4 million for discretionary State-funded projects.
  • CHIPS Program Reduction: Capital aid to local governments for highway and bridge projects under the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) is reduced by $58.8 million from planned levels of $309.7 million to $250.9 million (due to a one-time program add in 2008-09, the year-to-year decrease is $112.2 million). $39.7 million remains available under the Marchiselli program to provide matching funds for local federally-funded highway and bridge projects.
  • Eliminate Multi-Modal Program Funding: $50 million in discretionary funding for multi-modal program projects planned for 2009-10 is eliminated. An additional $50 million in 2008-09 multi-modal funding is also eliminated.

The Department’s operations are devoted primarily to highway maintenance, particularly snow and ice removal. The 2009 10 Executive Budget provides $665.2 million for snow and ice control and State forces preventive maintenance. This level represents an increase of approximately $61.8 million from adjusted 2008-09 levels. Primary components of this increase include: $4.8 million for personal service, fringe benefit and indirect costs associated with collective bargaining agreements and increased lane mileage responsibilities; $9.6 million for planned inflationary increases in non-personal service expenditures; $8.6 million for traffic signal repair and control costs previously funded from engineering appropriations; and $38.8 million to adequately fund core preventive and demand maintenance activities.

The Department’s regulatory programs and other operations are primarily funded by fees, miscellaneous revenues and federal aid. Approximately $24.95 million is derived from fees, including those imposed on trucks registered to transport products throughout the State; landing fees and rents levied at Republic Airport; revenues generated by the sale and rental of Department property, such as commercial leasing of land for parking or storage; and funds recovered from accident damage to State transportation facilities. These funds support a number of agency activities, including administrative support services, highway safety and aviation programs.

Federal aid of $20.9 million and dedicated mass transit funds totaling $5.9 million help finance the Department’s remaining operating responsibilities for mass transportation, aviation and motor-carrier safety programs.

Capital appropriations provide funding for construction and reconstruction projects on State highways, bridges, railways and airports, as well as financing the engineering staff and private-sector consultants who work on these projects. Obligations for State and local highway and bridge construction contracts will total $2.017 billion in 2009-10, a decrease of $111 million over enacted budget levels for the prior year.

The centerpiece of the State’s Highway and Bridge Program is the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund (DHBTF), established in 1993. The Trust Fund derives its revenues from portions of the petroleum business tax, motor fuel tax, motor vehicle fees, highway user fees, auto rental tax, transportation/transmission tax, and miscellaneous transportation-related revenues. These funds are used both on a pay-as-you-go basis and to pay debt service on bonds issued by the Thruway Authority to finance portions of the State and local highway programs. The 2009-10 Executive Budget proposes to dedicate an additional $95 million in revenue to the DHBTF ($60.5 million from increasing vehicle registration fees by 25 percent; $21.9 million from increasing drivers’ license fees from $50 to $62.50; $8 million from increasing the auto rental tax from 5 percent to 6 percent; and $4.6 million from increased fees for trucking permit renewals from $4 to $15), which helps to reduce General Fund support for funding shortfalls in the DHBTF.

A significant portion of the State and local highway capital program is supported by Federal aid, authorized in accordance with multi-year Federal transportation acts. The most recent Federal Transportation Act, known as SAFETEA-LU, is set to expire on September 30, 2009. It is expected that a successor program will be established to continue Federal support for the State’s transportation programs. The Federal capital aid appropriation in 2009-10 is available for up to $2 billion of Federal funding including provisions for State and local highways and bridges, engineering, rail and community enhancement programs. In addition, reappropriations are available to accommodate spending of Federal economic stimulus funds for transportation, should they become available.

The Budget would complete appropriation of the Rebuild and Renew New York Transportation Bond Act of 2005. The Bond Act provided $1.45 billion each for the DOT and MTA capital programs from State fiscal years 2005-06 through 2009-10. Appropriations in the fifth and final year of the program include $232 million for DOT and $82 million for the MTA.

Local highway and bridge capital programs include the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS), the Municipal Streets and Highways Program ("Marchiselli" Program) and the Multi-Modal Program. The CHIPS and Marchiselli programs are funded by bonds issued by the Thruway Authority with debt service paid from the State’s Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund. In 2009-10, the CHIPS capital program will be funded at $250.9 million, and the Marchiselli program at $39.7 million.

A $7.5 million appropriation for rail freight and passenger projects will continue to expand shipping opportunities for New York businesses, reduce costs for consumers and improve passenger transportation. The State will also provide up to $4 million to match Federal aviation grants.

The Aid to Localities budget is comprised primarily of appropriations supported by State taxes dedicated to public transportation through the Mass Transportation Operating Assistance (MTOA) Fund and the Dedicated Mass Transportation Trust Fund. Mass Transportation Operating Assistance Fund revenues are derived from a 3/8 percent sales tax; a business tax surcharge levied in the New York City metropolitan region; and a portion of statewide taxes on transmission, transportation and petroleum-related businesses. Dedicated Mass Transportation Trust Fund revenues are derived from a share of the revenues deposited in the Transportation Dedicated Funds Pool, which includes portions of the Petroleum Business Tax, the Motor Fuel Tax and motor vehicle fees.

The Budget provides $2.68 billion in aid to transit systems throughout the State, including $2.26 billion for the MTA and $414.4 million for other systems. This aid level reflects an overall reduction of $285 million from 2008-09 levels, with a $256 million reduction for the MTA and $29 million for other transit systems. The year-to-year change for the MTA includes the non-recurrence of approximately $150 million in aid that was accelerated to the MTA in 2008-09 from the Metropolitan Mass Transportation Operating Assistance (MMTOA) account as a one-time distribution of fund balance. The MTA decrease also reflects the impact of declining dedicated transit revenues and the discontinuation of $19.6 million in real estate tax transfers no longer available from the Additional Mass Transportation Assistance Program (AMTAP) fund. Transit aid reductions were distributed by system in proportion to 2008-09 aid levels after adjusting for one-time increases in the 2008-09 Budget and for annualization of 2008-09 deficit reduction actions.

Included in the appropriations recommended for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is $634.1 million from the Dedicated Mass Transportation Trust Fund in support of the MTA capital program. The MTA operating assistance also includes $25.3 million in General Fund support for the MTA as the State’s contribution to reduced fares for New York City school children. The City also provides a subsidy for this program.

Of the $414.4 million in new appropriations recommended for transit operators other than the MTA in 2009-2010, $162.6 million is targeted for upstate transit systems and $251.8 million is targeted for downstate non-MTA transit systems. Capital funding of $42 million is recommended for transit systems other than the MTA from the Dedicated Mass Transportation Trust Fund. This capital program funds a variety of transit-related needs, primarily bus purchases and a portion of the required match to Federal transit capital aid.

2009-10 Executive Budget — Agency Presentation
Transportation, Department of (PDF)