States spent an estimated $131 billion on transportation in fiscal year 2010, but many cannot answer critical questions about what returns this investment is generating. Measuring Transportation Investments: The Road to Results, by the Pew Center on the States and the Rockefeller Foundation, found considerable differences among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Just 13 states are leading the way overall, with goals, performance measures and data that decision makers can use to choose cost-effective policy options and ensure the likelihood of a strong return for taxpayers.
The study comes at a time when most states are entering their fourth year of the ongoing budget crisis, having closed more than $400 billion in budget gaps since 2008. At the same time, policy and business leaders across the country acknowledge that states' transportation systems are essential to helping advance short- and long-term economic growth.
Most of the states performed best in the areas of safety and infrastructure preservation. Roughly half the states fared well in the areas of mobility and access. Only about a quarter earned the top distinction in the areas of jobs and commerce and environmental stewardship.
View our interactive map to see how each state fared.