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TIP (Transportation Improvement Program)

What is a TIP?

The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a ten-year work program that includes all regionally significant transportation projects in the MPO planning area.  The TIP includes projects for all modes of transportation including roadway, public transportation, rail, aviation, bicycle and pedestrian.  The TIP is updated every two years, as a subset of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). All projects in the TIP must be consistent with the adopted Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP).

The TIP is the MPO’s subset of the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP):

  • It is updated every 2 years
  • It assigns specific funding to implement a project
  • It must EXACTLY match the STIP; It is incorporated into the STIP without change
  • It is approved by the MPO Board and Governor

Development of the TIP is advised by the MPO’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan and Metropolitan Transportation Plan.

NCDOT and the STIP

Transportation Improvement Program funding is divided among the 14 Highway Divisions in North Carolina. The FBRMPO is part of both Divisions 13 (Buncombe and Madison) and 14 (Haywood and Henderson). Beyond highway funds, FBRMPO receives TIP funding for the transit systems in the urban areas and supplemental funding for planning studies and other locally administered programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the TIP Developed?

The process by which the STIP and subsequent TIP are developed is known as NCDOT Prioritization. To learn more about NCDOT Prioritization, also known as SPOT (Strategic Transportation Prioritization) Click Here.

How Often is the TIP Updated?

The TIP is adopted every two years but may be amended as necessary in order to account for changes in funding, project schedule, and to remain consistent with the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

What Period is Covered by the TIP?

The TIP covers a 10-year period – currently 2024 to 2033. The first five years of the document is known as the delivery TIP, and the last five years of the document cover what is considered the development period. It outlines the projects that NCDOT plans to work on during that timeframe.​

Why is the TIP a 10-year plan?

Most major projects require more than five years before construction to plan, design, acquire right of way and permits as well as relocate utilities. Projects in the second half of the TIP (the last five years of the TIP) are intended to let the public know what NCDOT has started work on for the delivery portion of a future TIP.​

What does it mean if a project schedule indicates it is ”Funded for Preliminary Engineering Only”?

Since the STIP is updated approximately every two years, a project that is included in the first five years of the program has a greater certainty of being delivered as it is scheduled; these are shown with fiscal year schedules and labelled as “Scheduled for Delivery”. 

Projects in the second half of the STIP may continue with planning and design activities.  However, these projects will have to compete again in Prioritization to remain funded in a future STIP. If a project is not included in the current STIP, when can it be resubmitted for scoring?

The STIP is updated approximately every two years, so projects can be resubmitted during the next round of prioritization.  ​

Do you have more questions? Click here for NCDOT’s comprehensive list of STIP FAQs


TIP Amendment and Modification Guidelines (2020)

STIP Reprogramming Parameters per NCDOT (August 2020)

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