U.S. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Fox, recently announced that nearly $500 million is being made available for transportation projects across the country in the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.
The highly competitive grant program supports innovative projects, including those that are hard to fund through traditional federal programs. This year’s focus is on capital projects that generate economic development and provides access to safe, reliable, and affordable community transportation.
Since 2009, the TIGER grant has provided a total of $5.1 billion to 421 projects in the 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and tribal communities. During the past seven rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 7,300 applications requesting $143 billion. The demand for the 2016 TIGER grant vastly exceeded the available funds. The DOT received 585 eligible applications, collectively requesting over $9.3 billion in funding. Of the 40 grant recipients this year, two-thirds were repeat applicants.
Funding for the TIGER grant is provided in the 2016 Fiscal Year Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was signed by president Obama on December 18, 2015. The Act does not provide funding for the planning, preparation, or design of capital projects. However, these activities may be eligible to the extent that they are part of an overall construction project. A minimum of 20% of the funds will go to rural area projects.