The primary purpose of the CMAQ program is to fund projects and programs in metropolitan areas that will help jurisdictions to meet the federal air quality standards regarding ozone or carbon monoxide by reducing transportation-related emissions.
This program is administered by State Departments of Transportation on behalf of the Federal Highway Administration.
Eligible activities under CMAQ include transit system capital expansion and improvements that are projected to realize an increase in ridership; travel demand management strategies and shared ride services; pedestrian and bicycle facilities and promotional activities that encourage bicycle commuting. CMAQ assistance may also be used for planning highway or transit projects, including certain major investment studies and other planning work elements or activities undertaken in support of specific projects designed to comply with air quality requirements.
CMAQ funds are awarded as grants with no matching requirements and are typically used for "one-time" infrastructure demonstration projects that last no more than 3 years.