The TPB’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) includes all the regionally significant projects that the region’s states and other jurisdictions have programmed in their respective capital programs, and have approved for the next six years. Like the Constrained Long-Range Plan (CLRP), the TIP is subject to federal review and must meet air quality conformity requirements.
Also like the CLRP, the TIP must be financially constrained. The first two years of the TIP must demonstrate that funding is "available and committed." The TIP is based upon state and locally approved budgets, which must be approved by their primary jurisdictions before project and funding information is forwarded to the TPB for inclusion in the TIP.
Most projects in the TIP take years to complete and must pass through several phases throughout the project development process. For example, a highway improvement project typically consists of a planning phase, an engineering phase, right-of-way acquisition, and construction. Each of these phases may last three or more years. While the entire project is described in the CLRP, in many instances only a portion of these activities (sometimes referred to as "breakout projects") is programmed in the six-year TIP. Each TIP includes many projects from earlier years, as well as new projects.
The TIP is a "federal obligation document, " which means it is intended to fulfill federal funding requirements. The best source for information about specific projects is through the project owner's webpages.
Due to the time required for TPB and staff review, which includes complex air quality testing, the schedule for the TIP is tight. The TIP is usually updated every two years. Every January, the DOTs, WMATA and other programming agencies submit projects for inclusion in the air quality analysis that the TPB is required to perform under federal law. In April, the agencies submit detailed and final project information for the TIP. The TPB is scheduled to approve the TIP in July.