U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) will make $600 million available to fund transportation projects across the country under a sixth round of the highly successful Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program.
The announcement was made Thursday at the Union Depot in St. Paul, Minn., which received $35 million in the first round of TIGER to renovate the facility and restore tracks, by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.
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, making it easier for their residents to reach work, school and other ladders of opportunity.
While continuing to support projects of all types, the U.S. 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.
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 U.S. DOT received more than 5,300 applications requesting nearly $115 billion for transportation across the country.