The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) raised concern over the small amount of transit projects that received Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants from the US DOT and urged the Administration to recognize the vital importance of public transportation in the nation.
Only 3.6% of the TIGER grants that were recently announced went to public transit projects, representing a significant decrease in public transit TIGER grants.
“While we appreciate the fact that two of the 41 FY 2017 TIGER awards will go to public transit projects in Georgia and Wisconsin, APTA notes that more than 20 percent of funding awards during the previous three fiscal years went to public transportation,” said APTA President/CEO Paul Skoutelas in a statement. “APTA urges the Administration to increase funding for public transit investments in future years.”
“The TIGER program is an important source of funding for projects across many transportation modes that increase mobility and support jobs in the national economy,” continued Skoutelas. “Typically, a much greater share of TIGER awards has been awarded to public transit project sponsors, recognizing the critical impact these projects have for reducing congestion, improving safety, environmental sustainability, and economic competitiveness.”
Noting that TIGER is an oversubscribed program and that some of the projects that received funding included public transportation components, Skoutelas’ statement added that there were numerous worthy public transportation projects that didn’t receive funding this round and that it was “indisputable that the Administration has dramatically reduced the share of funds that will support public transportation compared to previous years.” He also urged the Administration to provide greater support for public transportation in the future.
“A strong federal investment in public transportation needs to be preserved and increased, not cut, as the President has proposed in his budget and we have seen in these TIGER announcements,” concluded Skoutelas. “APTA looks forward to continuing to work with Congress and the Administration to support public transportation programs in future appropriations and authorization legislation, and calls on the Administration to provide greater support for public transportation for future discretionary grants."