TIPs and STIPS: definitions and differences
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TIPs and STIPS: definitions and differences

Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

A TIP is a capital improvement program developed cooperatively by local and state transportation entities. It includes a list of multi-modal transportation projects, such as highway, transit and bicycle, for example. The projects are drawn from and consistent with a rural long-range plan (statewide plan), or Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) long-range plans known as a Metropolitan Transportation Plans (MTPs).

The TIP serves as a short-term programming document that lists approximately four years of funded (committed from local, state, and federal sources) transportation projects. These projects are designed to construct, complete, implement, operate and maintain regional and statewide transportation systems in accordance with the recommendations of the long-range statewide transportation plan and/or an MPO's MTP.

Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)

The STIP is the state's four-year capital improvement program that includes the MPO and Rural TIPs, and contains all phases of transportation projects to be built during the four-year period.

Projects must be consistent with the state and metropolitan long-range plans. In non-attainment areas (Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Beaumont and El Paso), projects must conform to the State Implementation Plan.


There are differences between the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) projects.

  • Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) TIPs are stand-alone documents, approved at the local level, that include projects within the MPO boundaries.
  • The STIP includes projects for the entire state and is approved first by the Texas Transportation Commission, and then by both the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
  • The STIP is subject to a statewide public involvement effort that culminates in a public hearing in Austin, Texas, and a subsequent comment period before commission adoption by minute order.
  • Federal dollars cannot be expended on a project in a TIP unless that project is in the STIP listed individually or by reference. Note: With few exceptions, projects must generally be included in the TIP
    and STIP in order to move forward.
  • There must be one over-lapping year of projects from one STIP document to the next to ensure that the state has an approved document from which to construct, complete, implement, operate
    and maintain projects.
  • The STIP includes financial summary tables to demonstrate fiscal constraint.

General Information