The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has opened two grant funding opportunities with a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for both.
RAISE discretionary grant program
The first grant opportunity for $1.5 billion is made available through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program for 2024.
RAISE discretionary grants help project sponsors at the state and local levels, including municipalities, Tribal governments, counties, and others complete critical freight and passenger transportation infrastructure projects. The eligibility requirements of RAISE allow project sponsors to obtain funding for projects that may be harder to support through other USDOT grant programs.
RAISE projects are rigorously reviewed and evaluated on statutory criteria of safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, mobility and community connectivity, economic competitiveness and opportunity, including tourism, state of good repair, partnership and collaboration and innovation.
Additionally, projects designated “RCN Program Extra” during the new Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods (RCN) Program competition and submitted for consideration under the FY 24 RAISE NOFO will have a greater opportunity to be advanced during the FY 24 RAISE evaluation process, as described in the NOFO.
Half of the funding will go to projects in rural areas and half of the funding will go to projects in urban areas. At least $15 million in funding is guaranteed to go towards projects located in Areas of Persistent Poverty or Historically Disadvantaged Communities and projects located in these areas will be eligible for up to 100 percent federal cost share, as directed in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The NOFO is available here. The deadline for applications is 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 28, 2024, and selections will be announced no later than June 27, 2024.
A full list of 2023 awarded projects is available here.
All Stations Accessibility Program
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) also opened the All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP) for its next round of funding. This program aims to make it easier for people with disabilities and mobility needs to access some of the nation's oldest and busiest rail transit systems through essential upgrades, such as elevators. $343 million in FY 24 federal funding has been made available for the program. In December 2022, FTA awarded $686 million to support projects through the ASAP program using Fiscal Year 2022 and 2023 funding.
ASAP will help to ensure that those relying on rail systems can get to work and school, be less dependent on vehicles, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Instructions for applying and eligibility information can be found on FTA's website. Complete proposals must be submitted electronically by Jan. 30, 2024.