(a) In order to conserve fuel, decrease traffic congestion during rush hours, improve air quality, and enhance the use of existing highways and parking facilities, the Secretary may approve for Federal financial assistance from funds apportioned under sections 104(b)(1) and 104(b)(3) of this title, projects designed to encourage the use of carpools and vanpools. (As used hereafter in this section, the term “carpool” includes a vanpool.) Such a project may include, but is not limited to, such measures as providing carpooling opportunities to the elderly and handicapped, systems for locating potential riders and informing them of convenient carpool opportunities, acquiring vehicles appropriate for carpool use, designating existing highway lanes as preferential carpool highway lanes, providing related traffic control devices, and designating existing facilities for use as preferential parking for carpools.
(b) A project authorized by this section shall be subject to and carried out in accordance with all provisions of this title, except those provisions which the Secretary determines are inconsistent with this section.
(Added Pub. L. 95–599, title I, §126(a), Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2705; amended Pub. L. 105–178, title I, §1103(l)(1), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 125.)
A prior section 146, Pub. L. 93–87, title I, §125(a), Aug. 13, 1973, 87 Stat. 262, related to a special urban high density traffic program, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 94–280, title I, §128(a), May 5, 1976, 90 Stat. 440.
1998—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105–178 substituted “sections 104(b)(1) and 104(b)(3)” for “sections 104(b)(1), 104(b)(2), and 104(b)(6)”.
Pub. L. 97–424, title I, §163, Jan. 6, 1983, 96 Stat. 2136, as amended by Pub. L. 100–17, title I, §133(a)(4), (5), Apr. 2, 1987, 101 Stat. 170, 171; Pub. L. 102–240, title I, §1056, Dec. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 2002, provided that: “Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act or any other law, no funds apportioned or allocated to a State for Federal-aid highways shall be obligated for a project for constructing, resurfacing, restoring, rehabilitating, or reconstructing a Federal-aid highway which has a lane designated as a carpool lane unless the use of such lane includes use by motorcycles. Upon certification by the State to the Secretary of Transportation, after notice in the Federal Register and an opportunity for public comment, and acceptance of such certification by the Secretary, the State may restrict such use by motorcycles if such use would create a safety hazard. Any certification made before the date of the enactment of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 [Dec. 18, 1991] shall not be recognized by the Secretary until the Secretary publishes notice of such certification in the Federal Register and provides an opportunity for public comment on such certification.”
Pub. L. 97–424, title I, §123(b), Jan. 6, 1983, 96 Stat. 2113, provided that: “The Secretary of Transportation is authorized and directed to expend such sums as are necessary out of the administrative funds authorized by subsection (a) of section 104, title 23, United States Code, to carry out the provisions of subsection (d) of section 126 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1978 [section 126(d) of Pub. L. 95–599, set out below].”
Section 126(d)–(h) of Pub. L. 95–599, as amended by Pub. L. 102–240, title III, §3004(b), Dec. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 2088, provided that:
“(d) It is hereby declared to be national policy that special effort should be made to promote commuter modes of transportation which conserve energy, reduce pollution, and reduce traffic congestion. The Secretary is directed to assist both public and private employers and employees who wish to establish carpooling and vanpooling programs where they are needed and desired, and to assist local and State governments, and their instrumentalities, in encouraging such modes by removing legal and regulatory barriers to such programs, supporting existing carpooling and vanpooling programs, and providing technical assistance, for the purpose of increasing participation in such modes.
“(e) The Secretary of Transportation is authorized to make grants and loans to States, counties, municipalities, metropolitan planning organizations, and other units of local and regional government consistent with the policy of subsection (d) of this section. Such grants and loans shall be awarded in a manner which emphasizes energy conservation, although the Secretary may use other factors as he deems appropriate. The Federal share of the costs of any project approved under this subsection shall not exceed 75 per centum. No grant awarded under this subsection may be used for the purchase or lease of vehicles.
“(f) There is hereby authorized to be appropriated, out of the Highway Trust Fund, not to exceed $1,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1979, $1,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1980, and $1,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1981, for expenditures incurred by the Secretary of Transportation in carrying out the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, and $3,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1979, and $9,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1980, for the purpose of carrying out the program described in subsection (e) of this section.
“(g) The Secretary of Transportation shall not approve any project under subsection (d) or (e) of this section or under section 146 of title 23, United States Code; which will have an adverse effect on any mass transportation system.
“(h) The Secretary of Transportation is directed to study the administrative effectiveness of carpooling and vanpooling programs within the Department of Transportation, including programs of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, and the Office of the Secretary. Such study shall be completed no later than September 30, 1979. Upon completion of such study, the Secretary shall propose a plan to centralize or modify such programs to make delivery of services and grants more efficient, more cost-effective, and to avoid duplication of effort. Such plan shall list statutory changes needed to implement such a plan, which shall be sent to Congress no later than March 30, 1980.”
[“Federal Transit Administration” substituted for “Urban Mass Transit Administration” in section 126(h) of Pub. L. 95–599, set out above, pursuant to section 3004(a) of Pub. L. 102–240, set out as a note under section 107 of Title 49, Transportation.]
For provisions relating to the Federal Facilities Ridesharing Program, see Ex. Ord. No. 12191, Feb. 1, 1980, 45 F.R. 7997, set out as a note under section 6361 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.