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Come and Get It: LaHood Announces Fifth Round of TIGER Grants

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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told members of Congress last week that U.S. DOT would be announcing TIGER V on Friday. He kept us in suspense through the weekend, but here it is: $474 million for innovative transportation projects that don’t necessarily fit neatly under other funding programs.

The projects that will be prioritized under TIGER V are those that “are ready to proceed quickly.” (Don’t call them “shovel ready"!) The application deadline is June 3 and the money has to be out the door by October 1 of next year.

In addition to shovel-readiness “readiness to proceed quickly,” U.S. DOT will also be looking for projects that:

  • Improve existing transportation facilities and systems
  • Contribute to American economic competitiveness
  • Create and preserve jobs
  • Increase transportation choices and access to transportation services for people in communities across the U.S.
  • Improve energy efficiency, reduce dependence on oil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improve safety

The focus on transportation choices and reducing oil dependence make transit and active transportation projects good candidates for TIGER grants. In urban areas, grants need to be for at least $10 million, and with bicycle and pedestrian projects being so cost-effective, only sizable ones will be eligible. However, in rural areas, projects of as small as $1 million are considered.

According to U.S. DOT, the first four rounds of TIGER attracted 4,050 project proposals seeking more than $105.2 billion. So far, the program has given out just over $3 billion.

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