The overwhelming demand for TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act) program loans has greatly exceeded the dollars available, underscoring President Obama's call for greater transportation investment, according to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. The Department of Transportation received 26 TIFIA letters of interest exceeding $13 billion.
The high number of applicants for TIFIA credit assistance in response to a Notice of Funding Availability for 2012 follows the trend in recent years of overwhelming demand for the program. Requests in 2010 were more than $12 billion and more than $14 billion in 2011.
In light of the increased demand, the President's FY 2013 budget proposes to increase the program's funding level to $500 million, which will leverage into approximately $5 billion in TIFIA loans.
The TIFIA program provides Federal credit assistance to nationally or regionally significant surface transportation projects, including highway, transit and rail. The program is designed to fill market gaps and leverage substantial private co-investment by providing projects with supplemental or subordinate debt.