The application period for the sixth round of the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants recently ended. Once again, USDOT says the request for funds far exceeds what is available. The 797 eligible applications, compared to 585 in 2013, request $9.5 billion, 15 times the $600 million set aside for the program.
USDOT says the program’s continued popularity demonstrates “the continued need for transportation investment nationwide.”
The announcement comes weeks after Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx unveiled the GROW AMERICA Act, a four-year surface transportation reauthorization bill that USDOT says would create millions of jobs and lay the groundwork for long-term economic competitiveness.
“These applicants confirm what I saw as I traveled through eight states and 13 cities as part of my Invest in America, Commit to the Future bus tour last month – America is hungry for infrastructure investment,” said Secretary Foxx. “The continued overwhelming demand for these grants demonstrates that communities want the kind of long-term funding our GROW AMERICA Act provides to build transportation projects across the country.”
The proposed GROW AMERICA Act authorizes $5 billion over four years for additional TIGER funding to help meet the overwhelming demand for significant infrastructure investments around the country and provide the certainty that states and local governments need to properly plan for investment.
The highly-competitive TIGER program, which began as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, offers federal funding possibilities for large, game-changing multi-modal projects. These federal funds leverage money from private sector partners, state, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies. The $474 million awarded under TIGER 2013 supported $1.8 billion in overall project investments.
Since 2009, the TIGER program has provided $3.5 billion to 270 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico – including 100 projects to support rural and tribal communities. Demand for the program has been overwhelming, and during the previous five rounds, USDOT received more than 5,300 applications requesting more than $115 billion for transportation projects across the country.