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President Obama, DOT Secretary Foxx announce $600M for 6th round of TIGER funding for transportation projects

27 February 2014

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joined President Barack Obama to announce that $600 million will be made available to fund transportation projects across the country under a sixth round of the US Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program.

The announcement was made at the Union Depot in St. Paul, Minnesota, which received $35 million in the first round of TIGER funding to renovate the facility and restore tracks. As in previous rounds, the FY 2014 TIGER Discretionary Grants are for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure, and are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the US, a metropolitan area, or a region.

Obama’s $302-billion vision for infrastructure
President Obama also used the St. Paul talk to call for a $302-billion, four-year transportation reauthorization proposal that increases and provides stable funding for highways, bridges, transit, and rail systems.
As outlined by the President, the proposal relies upon tax reform for about half of its funding—i.e., closing some tax loopholes and changing how businesses are taxed, resulting in about $150 billion.
Among the aspects of the proposal are:
  • $63 billion to fill the funding gap in the Highway Trust Fund;

  • prioritizing “fix-it-first” investments;

  • $72 billion to invest in transit systems and expand transportation options;

  • $19 billion in dedicated funding for rail programs;

  • $9 billion in competitive funding to spur innovation;

  • $10 billion for a new freight program to strengthening America’s exports and trade; and

  • $4 billion to attract private investment in transportation infrastructure.

The full proposal will be outlined in the President’s FY2015 Budget Request to Congress.

The TIGER 2014 grant program will place an emphasis on projects that support reliable, safe and affordable transportation options that improve connections for both urban and rural communities. DOT will prioritize applications for capital projects that better connect people to jobs, training and other opportunities, promote neighborhood redevelopment and reconnect neighborhoods divided by physical barriers, such as highways and railroads.

Eligible applicants for TIGER Discretionary Grants are State, local, and tribal governments, including US territories, transit agencies, port authorities, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), other political subdivisions of State or local governments, and multi-State or multi-jurisdictional groups applying through a single lead applicant.

Projects that are eligible for TIGER Discretionary Grants for capital projects include, but are not limited to:

  1. highway or bridge projects eligible under title 23, United States Code (including bicycle and pedestrian related projects);

  2. public transportation projects eligible under chapter 53 of title 49, United States Code;

  3. passenger and freight rail transportation projects;

  4. port infrastructure investments; and

  5. intermodal projects.

TIGER Discretionary Grants may be used for up to 80% of the costs of a project. DOT may increase the Federal share above 80% only for projects located in rural areas, in which case DOT may fund up to 100% of the costs of a project.

In additional to supporting capital grants, Congress has provided DOT with the flexibility to use up to $35 million of TIGER funds for planning grants, the first time since the 2010 round. In addition to supporting the planning of innovative transportation, these funds can support regional transportation planning, freight and port planning and programmatic mitigation approaches that increase efficiency and improve outcomes for communities and the environment.

Projects that are eligible for TIGER Planning Grants include, but are not limited to: activities related to the planning, preparation, or design of a single surface transportation project, or activities related to regional transportation investment planning, including transportation planning that is coordinated with interdisciplinary factors including housing, economic development, stormwater and other infrastructure investments, and/or that addresses future risks and vulnerabilities, including extreme weather and climate change.

The highly competitive TIGER program, which began as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, offers one of the only federal funding possibilities for large, game-changing multi-modal projects. These federal funds leverage money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies. The $474-million 2013 TIGER round alone supported $1.8 billion in overall project investments.

Since 2009, the TIGER program has awarded $3.5 billion to 270 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico—including 100 projects to support rural communities. Demand has been overwhelming, and during the previous five rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 5,300 applications requesting nearly $115 billion for transportation across the country.

Congress provided the most recent funding as part of the bipartisan Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, signed by President Obama on 17 January 2017. TIGER applications are due 28 April.

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February 27, 2014 in Infrastructure, Policy | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

There are no good reasons to have a 'funding gap' for the highway fund. Raising the current Fed Fuel tax by a single cent every moth would fix highway funding within a few months.

After a few months, the surpluses could finance many transportation electrification projects.

True, there are no good reasons, but you can bet that the usual suspects will stop that from happening with a whole bunch of bad reasons.

"Users should pay". In that case, users are the people using the road network with ICEVs. The most efficient way to collect the cost to build, upgrade and maintain roads and bridges is with a Federal Fuel Tax.

The current very low Fed Fuel tax ($0.18/gal) could be progressively doubled in 18 months. The extra revenues could pay the most of the above projects without increasing the national deficit over 60 months or so.

I think they ought to spend some of the money to double-track additional BN trackage between St Paul and Seattle. The Empire Builder has been held up nearly every day by huge crude oil trains and the EB is one of the few Long Distance trains that comes close to being profitable.


Amtrak as a whole is a bargain. Just 1.5Bn of federal support per year and they deliver an entire passenger transportation mode. Now that the new electric locomotives are arriving some of the east coast lines will lose less, or possibly even make a profit. Amtrak has seen ridership increases with record setting numbers in 11 of the last 12 years.

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