Federal Policy

A key focus of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership is to serve as an advocate for Safe Routes to School and related issues with Congress and the federal government and to monitor implementation of Safe Routes to School funding. Because Safe Routes to School affects communities in so many ways, our legislative priorities include transportation, education, health, and the environment.

Below you will find the latest information on the National Partnership’s legislative priorities and calls to action. You can explore the links on the left for detailed information on MAP-21, state implementation, and policy background.  For comprehensive search of all our resources, conduct an advanced search of our resource library.

MAP-21 Background and Resources

In late June 2012, Congress passed a transportation bill, MAP-21, that makes significant changes to funding for bicycling, walking and Safe Routes to School. Background on the bill and the Transportation Alternatives Program and its impact on Safe Routes to School is available in our MAP-21 Background and Resources.

Latest News and Information:

House transportation bill coming soon?

October 2, 2015:   It has been a busy few weeks in Congress, with the Pope visiting, Speaker of the House John Boehner resigning and Congress pushing a decision on how to fund the government until December.  Congress faces an October full of debate:  House Republicans have to elect a new leader, the nation’s debt ceiling has to be raised to avoid default and the transportation bill will expire if no action is taken. On October 2, Congressional leaders announced they were not able to reach a deal to use international tax reform to fund a long-term transportation bill, leaving uncertainty on how to fill the funding hole.  The House Transportation Committee may mark up the policy aspects of a transportation bill in the next few weeks.  As we wait for action, we continue to build support with Republicans and Democrats to sustain the Transportation Alternatives Program.

New Publication Highlights How Four MPOs Approach TAP and Safe Routes to School

September 29, 2015:   A new information brief, issued today by the National Center for Safe Routes to School and written by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, demonstrates how regional transportation planning authorities (or MPOs) can advance Safe Routes to School priorities using the relatively new Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). Read more in our blog and then download the publication.

States on a roll with TAP funds; remaining Safe Routes funds shrinking

September 18, 2015:   It is clear with our latest quarterly look at spending on the federal Safe Routes to School program and the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) that momentum is increasingly shifting to TAP. For Safe Routes to School funding, just 13 states have more than 25% of their Safe Routes allocation remaining, accounting for $77 million in unallocated funds--which is more than half of the remaining Safe Routes funds in all states. For TAP, a total of $71 million was obligated, and only one new state transferred funds away from TAP (Louisiana).  While TAP is moving well in most states, there are 5 states in which no TAP funds have been obligated at all nearly three years into the program--Alaska, Hawaii, Maryland, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and South Dakota.  Advocates should review the reports to assess their state's performance.

Older News

SEPTEMBER 9, 2015: Act now: Funding for bicycling and walking needs your support!
AUGUST 28, 2015:
House transportation bill on tap for September
JULY 30, 2015:
Congress punts transportation until fall
JULY 24, 2015:
Senate  inches forward on transportation bill
JULY 16, 2015:
House and Senate on different paths for transportation
JUNE 22, 2015:
Senate committee unveils DRIVE Act; Needs more to support bicycling and walking
JUNE 10, 2015:
House rejects amendment to limit safe routes to transit
JUNE 5, 2015:
Safe Routes to School allocations top $1 billion; states keep moving on TAP funds
MAY 26, 2015:
Federal transportation bill extended again
APRIL 29, 2015:
Momentum builds for Transportation Alternatives bill
APRIL 7, 2015:
Broad support for the Transportation Alternatives Program
MARCH 25, 2015:
Ask your Senator: Speak up for Safe Routes to School
MARCH 19, 2015:
Two new bills advance funding and safety for Safe Routes to School, bicycling, and walking
MARCH 17, 2015:
States receive and allocate TAP dollars; continue progress on Safe Routes to School
FEBRUARY 24, 2015:
What's at stake this spring in Congress
JANUARY 30, 2015:
Congress casts about for transportation funding solution

Legislative Archives