President Richard M. Nixon signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973 on August 13.
“The legislation I sign today represents an important forward step for our country, not only in providing for better and more balanced transportation but also in related fields such as environmental protection, highway safety, energy conservation, and community development,” Nixon said.
The legislation authorized three years of funds for highway and safety categories but also increased funding for the capital grant program of the Urban Mass Transportation Administration, the precursor to the Federal Transit Administration, from $3.1 billion to a maximum of $6.1 billion through fiscal 1975, using revenue from the general treasury.
The federal share increased from two-thirds to 80 percent. In addition, states could use highway right-of-way for publicly owned mass transit facilities, including rail lines, without repaying federal-aid funds used to acquire the property.