The Department of Transportation ("DOT") recently announced that $600 million will be made available to fund transportation projects under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery ("TIGER") 2014 competitive grant program. These funds are available to support innovative transportation projects as well as regional transportation planning, and freight and port planning. Final applications must be submitted through Grants.gov by April 28, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. The DOT announcement can be found here: http://www.dot.gov/tiger.
The TIGER grant program began as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These federal funds leverage money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, and transit agencies to create "federal funding possibilities for large, game-changing multi-modal projects."
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. The $474 million 2013 TIGER round alone supported $1.8 billion in overall project investments. The program is highly competitive, and during the previous five rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 5,300 applications requesting nearly $115 billion for transportation projects across the country.
The most recent funding was provided by Congress as part of the bipartisan Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-76), which was signed by President Obama on January 17, 2017.
The TIGER 2014 grant program places 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. Unlike previous rounds of TIGER, funds are available for obligation until the statutory deadline of September 30, 2016 in order to encourage longer term projects.
In addition to supporting capital grants, DOT has the flexibility to use up to $35 million of TIGER funds for planning grants to support the planning of innovative transportation, the planning of regional transportation, freight and port planning, and programmatic mitigation approaches that increase efficiency and improve outcomes for communities and the environment.
Applicants must detail the benefits their project would deliver for five long-term outcomes: safety, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, livability, and environmental sustainability. DOT will award TIGER 2014 program grants on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area, or a region.
DOT will conduct a series of webinars to familiarize applicants with the TIGER grant program and process. These webinars will be held on March 12, March 19, and March 26, 2014.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Applications for TIGER 2014 grants can be submitted beginning on April 3, 2014. Final applications are due in Grants.gov by April 28, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. However, applicants must complete a 2-4 week registration process before submitting an application. Thus, any company wishing to apply for a TIGER 2014 grant must take immediate action in order to meet the application deadline.