Kelly Clifton, Associate Professor at Portland State University, asks:
"Is it urban vs. rural or problems coming up with match? Or just the desire for more roads?"I personally think it's a combination of all. States with more rural areas (fewer large cities) are less interested to flex funds to transit. Perhaps, transit agencies are not also strong enough (or maybe interested enough) to lobby and make the "flexing" happen.
"The underlying point, emphasized by Tanya Snyder at Streetsblog in her coverage of the new report, is that states can decide to allocate more money to transit "without any changes to national transportation law."
Also, I believe that the transit ridership is the U.S. does not increase unless people's travel behavior changes. Such change does not happen by only investing in transit infrastructure in an isolated manner. Other influential factors such as land-use need to change too. As long as population and job densities stay low, land-use remains unmixed (residential + commercial + institutional), and so on, it is unlikely to see a big shift in favor of transit, walking, and biking.