Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board


SMART SCALE: Funding the Right Transportation Projects in Virginia


SMART SCALE is Virginia’s data-driven prioritization process to fund the right transportation projects that generate the greatest benefit for taxpayers.

SMART SCALE stands for System for the Management and Allocation of Resources for Transportation, and the key factors used in evaluating a project’s merits: improvements to Safety, Congestion reduction, Accessibility, Land use, Economic development and the Environment.

SMART SCALE is the result of an intensive collaborative effort, made possible by Governor Terry McAuliffe and bipartisan support of the General Assembly, to bring localities and regional bodies across the state together to develop an outcome-based scoring system of transportation projects, the only one of its kind in the country.

What is the SMART SCALE process?

Localities, public transit operators, and metropolitan planning organizations submit projects to be scored through the SMART SCALE process. Projects are objectively scored according to key factors or merits listed above. After the projects are scored, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) selects which projects are included in the Six-Year Improvement Program. Once the projects are in the program, they are fully funded through construction.

How is SMART SCALE funded?

After maintenance and other programs and needs are financed, remaining construction funding goes to SMART SCALE and is distributed according to a funding formula. Nearly half (45%) of the funding goes to rehabilitating existing pavements and bridges called State of Good Repair, the rest is divided between high priority projects that have statewide impact and district projects that benefit localities or regions.