Increased demand demonstrates the need for ‘TIGER’ grants
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx last week announced that applications to the U.S. Department of Transportation for its seventh round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants totalled $9.8 billion, almost 20 times the $500 million set aside for the program, demonstrating the continued need for transportation investment nationwide. The demand for infrastructure investments from across the nation, and for all types of transportation projects, has been overwhelming. Among the 625 applications received this year, 60 percent are road projects, 18 percent are transit projects, and 8 percent are rail projects; with port and bicycle-pedestrian applications each representing 6 percent of the total. The Department received 625 eligible construction applications from all 50 states and U.S. territories. There were 565 such applications in 2014.
“The consistent number of high quality projects we’re unable to fund through TIGER every year demonstrates the need for Congress to act to give more communities access to this vital lifeline,” Secretary Foxx said. “That is why we proposed doubling TIGER in the GROW AMERICA Act.”
Earlier this year, the Department reintroduced an improved surface transportation reauthorization bill, the GROW AMERICA Act. The bill would provide $7.5 billion in funding over six years for the TIGER grant program. Under the GROW AMERICA Act, the TIGER grant program will be available for another six years, extending a proven track record of helping communities coordinate innovative, multi-modal transportation projects that serve the diverse travel needs of their residents and businesses in the 21st Century.
The highly competitive TIGER program, which began as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, offers federal funding possibilities for large, transformative multi-modal projects. These federal funds leverage money from private sector partners, state and local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies. The $584.1 million awarded under TIGER 2014 supported 72 capital and planning transportation projects in 46 states and the District of Columbia.
Congress provided the most recent funding as part of the bipartisan Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, signed by President Obama on December 16, 2014.
Since 2009, the TIGER grant program has provided a combined $4.1 billion to 342 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Demand has been overwhelming, and during the previous six rounds, the Department received more than 6,000 applications requesting more than $124 billion for transportation projects across the country.
More information about previous years’ TIGER grantees as well as this year’s application process can be found at http://www.transportation.gov/tiger.