U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will join President Barack Obama Feb. 26 to announce that $600 million will be made available to fund transportation projects across the country under a sixth round of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s highly successful Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program.
The announcement will be made at the Union Depot in St. Paul, which received $35 million in the first round of TIGER to renovate the facility and restore tracks. Combined with roughly $480 million in federal funding for the Central Corridor light rail transit line, St. Paul’s Union Depot is proof of the impact that transportation investment can make, leading to job creation, downtown revitalization and economic growth.
“President Obama knows that transportation means opportunity for so many Americans,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “TIGER investments answer the President’s challenge to expand opportunity through a strong transportation system that connects Americans with a better way of life.”
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, 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.
In additional to supporting capital grants, Congress has provided DOT with the flexibility to use up to $35 million of TIGER funds for planning grants, the first time since the 2010 round. In addition to supporting the planning of innovative transportation, these funds can support regional transportation planning, freight and port planning and programmatic mitigation approaches that increase efficiency and improve outcomes for communities and the environment.
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 Department of Transportation received more than 5,300 applications requesting nearly $115 billion for transportation across the country.