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Transportation Alternatives Program

Street Signs Graphic: Transportation Alternatives

Applications for fiscal year 2018 will be accepted beginning Monday, April 17, 2017. Completed applications must be submitted by May 15, 2017. Please consult the Transportation Alternatives Program Summary before completing the application.

Program Update

On December 4, 2015 the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) was signed into law. The legislation converts the long-standing Surface Transportation Program (STP) into the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG), aligning the program’s name with how the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has historically administered it. Within the STBG funding is a set-aside amount called the Transportation Alternatives or “TA Set-Aside”. These set-aside funds include all activities that were previously eligible under Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) per MAP-21.

TAP Overview

The TAP or TA Set-Aside is a reimbursable federal aid funding program for transportation-related community projects designed to strengthen the intermodal transportation system. The program aims to expand travel choice, strengthen the local economy, improve the quality of life, and protect the environment by supporting non-traditional projects linked to the transportation system.

Projects will be reviewed through a competitive process and selected based upon a number of criteria including the project’s expected benefits to the community, feasibility and project readiness, consistency with agency plans and missions, and the sponsor’s demonstrated ability to manage a federal-aid project.

The TPB encourages TAP projects that support the following:

  • Multimodal Transportation Options (with emphasis on non-auto modes)
  • Activity Centers
  • Access to Transit
  • Safe Routes to School
  • Disadvantaged Communities
  • Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act

FY18 Funding

Each year, states are allocated funds for TAP through the FAST Act. In total, the District of Columbia (DDOT) has been allotted approximately $1.1 million for fiscal year 2018 to fund grant eligible projects through a competitive process.  Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) like the Transportation Planning Board (TPB) will work with DDOT to conduct the competitive selection process for funds.

The Transportation Alternatives (TA) Program is a reimbursable federal aid program for community-based transportation projects funded through the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21 Century Act (MAP-21). The program aims to expand travel choice, strengthen the local economy, improve quality of life, and protect the environment by supporting non-traditional projects linked to the transportation system. In total, there is approximately $1.15 million available for TA grants for the DDOT FY 2016 application cycle. 

Eligible Activities

Each TA project must demonstrate a relationship to surface transportation and fall under one of the eligible activities listed below.

  • Facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized forms of transportation
  • Safe routes for non-drivers
  • Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails
  • Community improvement activities, which includes, but is not limited to the following:
    • Inventory, control, or removal of outdoor advertising
    • Historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities
    • Vegetation management practices in transportation rights of way
    • Archaeological activities relating to impacts from transportation projects
    • Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas
    • Streetscape improvements, which are project components of another TAP eligible category
  • Environmental mitigation or pollution prevention
  • Safe Routes to School
  • Recreational Trails

Each project will be reviewed through a competitive process and selected based upon a number of criteria including the project's expected benefits to the community, feasibility and project readiness, consistency with agency plans and missions, and the sponsor’s demonstrated ability to manage a federal-aid project.

Eligible projects include bicycle and pedestrian facilities, Safe Routes to School, environmental mitigation, historic preservation, and others. Please note that TAP projects eligible under MAP-21 continue to be eligible under the FAST Act. However, now states and MPOs may utilize up to half of their allotted TAP funds on road-related projects. Please review the federal guidance for a complete list of eligible projects and activities.

Eligible Sponsors

Eligible project sponsors include local governments, regional transportation authorities, transit agencies, natural resource or public land agencies, school districts and agencies, Tribal governments and other appropriate local or regional governmental entities. Non-profits are not eligible to be direct grant recipients of TAP funds. However, nonprofits are eligible to partner with any eligible entity such as a government agency as a co-sponsor. 

If awarded funding, sponsors will be responsible for providing a project manager who will manage the implementation process. This includes project development, day-to-day management, supervising necessary contractors, and ensuring that the project is completed on time and in accordance with all federal requirements. The project sponsor also assumes the maintenance and legal liability for the duration of the project’s useful life.

Eligible project sponsors include the following:

  • Local governments
  • Regional transportation authorities
  • Transit agencies
  • Natural resource or public land agencies
  • School districts and local education agencies
  • Tribal governments
  • Other local and governmental entities with oversight of transportation or recreational trails

Nonprofit 501 (c) organizations are still eligible to apply in the role of Project Advocate provided that they partner with an eligible government agency that is willing to act as the official Project Sponsor. Nonprofits that apply using this arrangement should clearly articulate the role and responsibilities of the respective parties in the application.

 

To Apply

Project sponsors should familiarize themselves with the TA Program Summary prior to completing their applications. Applicants may then fill out the official application form and submit it to Stephen Rice, Transportation Planner, before the May 17 deadline.

Timeline

April 17, 2017 – Release call for projects.

May 15, 2017 – Deadline to submit project applications to DDOT’s Transportation Alternatives administrator.

June 2017 - Selection Panel Review

August 2017  – Official announcement of selected projects. Notifications are sent out to both award recipients and applicants for projects not selected for funding.

Additional Resources