News Releases

Sen. Murray fought for provision to increase ferry funding
Many programs in Washington state will receive a boost in investments due to bill passage
State will receive $3.5 billion in highway funding, $1.2 billion in transit funding
Bill renews Export-Import Bank, a critical agency for small businesses in Washington state

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded the passage of a five-year surface transportation bill that will increase funding for infrastructure and public transit programs in Washington state and around the country, giving the state, local communities, transit agencies, and employers the certainty they need to address long-standing transportation needs. An agreement was reached on Tuesday, and the legislation passed both the House and the Senate today. The bill, once signed into law, ensures Washington state will receive $3.5 billion in highway funding, and $1.2 billion in transit funding over five years, and priorities that Senator Murray pushed to be included in the final bill.


“I am so glad to see this critical bill be sent to the President to be signed into law, providing more investment  for many projects in Washington state over the next five years,” said Senator Murray. “This deal will increase investments, improve our ferry system, establish new programs to make our freight mobility safer and more efficient, and support new investments in public transit.”


More details on the final bill below:


  • Increases funding for Washington state overall, providing a total of $3.5 billion in highway funding and $1.2 billion in transit funding over five years.


  • Increases funding to the ferry program to $400 million over five years, with approximately $17.9 million going to Washington state annually. Washington state operates the largest ferry system in the U.S., moving 22.4 million passengers and 10 million vehicles a year.
    • Another $150 million over five years is provided through a competitive grant program, for which Washington state can apply.


  • Reinstates the Bus and Bus Facilities Competitive Grant Program, providing $1.5 billion over five years including a $275 million set aside for no or low emission vehicles. This will ensure transit agencies have a competitive grant program, in addition to $2.2 billion over five years in formula funding, to support capital investments in bus and bus facility replacements and will help transit agencies all across Washington provide safe and reliable bus service.


  • Supports the safe and efficient movement of goods to national and international markets on highways, roads, and rails by funding two federal freight programs.
    • The National Highway Freight Program, a formula based program, will provide Washington state $107.8 million over five years to bolster the movement of goods on roads.
    • Establishes the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program, a new competitive grant program for road, rail, and multimodal freight projects. The bill provides $4.5 billion over five years including a $500 million per year set aside for multimodal freight projects.


  • Supports locally owned highways and bridges by providing $54 billion through the Surface Transportation Program Block Grant Program, formally known as the Surface Transportation Program (STP), and increases the amount of funding provided to local governments from 50 to 55 percent over the life of the bill. Approximately $946.7 million will go to Washington state over five years to help preserve and improve highway, bridge, and tunnel projects on any public roads, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and transit capital projects.


  • Maintains important infrastructure investments for alternative modes of transportation like biking and walking. The Surface Transportation Block Grant Set-Aside, formally known as the Transportation Alternatives Program, will provide $4.2 billion over five years to improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure like sidewalks, bike lanes, off-street trails, and connections to public transit. Approximately $64.3 million will go to Washington state over five years.


  • Increases funding to help maintain and construct roads and bridges on federal and tribal lands in Washington state.
    • Federal Lands Transportation Program: $1.7 billion over five years
    • Federal Lands Access Program: $1.3 billion over five years
    • Tribal Transportation Program: $2.4 billion over five years


  • Renews Export-Import Bank. This agency provides loans and other services to help U.S. companies do business overseas. In 2014, nearly 100 businesses in Washington state used the Export-Import Bank’s services, the majority of them small businesses.