Discrepancy In Funding Transit Versus Highways
"The Dulles rail project highlights a distortion in federal transportation policy: Transit and highway systems are treated differently by federal laws, rules and regulations. This results in distorted decisions on the local level that can have a ripple effect in the metropolitan area. Here's the rub: The law also requires that some of the nonfederal money come from a stable and reliable source of local funds. Certainly, it is important to demonstrate local commitment to such projects. However, the federal government pays 80 percent of highway project costs. And none of the remaining funds have to come from local sources -- they usually come from the state. So in effect, while new transit projects must compete for scarce dollars with other local needs such as police, fire and education, highway projects are essentially free to localities."
Thanks to Richard Layman