The highly-competitive TIGER program is able to fund innovative projects difficult or impossible to fund through other federal programs. In many cases, these grants will serve as the final piece of funding for infrastructure investments totaling $1.7 billion in overall project costs. These federal funds are being leveraged with money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies.
TIGER has enjoyed overwhelming demand since its creation, a trend continued by TIGER 2012. Applications for this most recent round of grants totaled $10.2 billion, far exceeding the $500 million set aside for the program. In all, the VSDOT received 703 applications from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
The grants will fund a wide range of innovative transportation projects in urban and rural areas across the country:
• Of the $500 million in TIGER 2012 funds available for grants, more than $120 million will go to critical projects in rural areas.
• 16 percent of the funding will support transit projects such as the Wave Streetcar Project in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
• 13 percent of the funding will support high-speed and intercity passenger rail projects such as the Raleigh Union Station Project in North Carolina.
• 12 percent will go to freight rail projects, including elements of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program to reduce freight rail congestion in Chicago.
• 12 percent will help build port projects such as the Outer Harbor Intermodal Terminal at the Port of Oakland.
• Three grants were also directed to tribal governments to create jobs and address critical transportation needs in Indian country.
TIGER projects will also improve accessibility for people with disabilities to health care, education and employment opportunities.
Over the next six months, 27 projects are expected to break ground from the previous three rounds of TIGER. In addition, work is under way on 64 capital projects across the country.
Under all four rounds combined, the TIGER program has provided $3.1 billion to 218 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Demand for the program has been overwhelming and during all four rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 4,050 applications requesting more than $105.2 billion for transportation projects across the country.