The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a 6-year financial program that describes the schedule for obligating federal funds to state and local projects. The TIP contains funding information for all modes of transportation including highways and HOV as well as transit capital and operating costs. State, regional and local transportation agencies formally update the program every two years to reflect priority projects in the CLRP. In between formal updates, the TIP is amended on a monthly basis.
While estimated completion dates are given for projects in the plan, it should be noted that the TIP is not a Capital Improvement Program. The TIP represents an agency's intent to construct or implement a specific project and the anticipated flow of federal funds and matching state or local contributions. The first year of the TIP is called the Annual Element. Projects that have funds programmed in the Annual Element are eligible to receive federal funding in that fiscal year.
Finally, the TIP serves as a schedule of accountability to the Federal Highway and Federal Transit Administrations. Their annual review and certification of the TIP ensures the continuation of federal financial assistance for Washington area transportation improvements.