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Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside of the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program

The FAST Act of 2015 replaced the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) with a set-aside of funds under the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program. The new set-aside, which is referred to as the Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set-Aside, provides funding through 2020 for all of the projects and activities previously eligible under the TAP. The federal guidance is available here:
The TA Set-Aside provides funding for projects and activities defined as transportation alternatives, including on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility, community improvement activities, and environmental mitigation, trails that serve a transportation purpose, and safe routes to school projects.
PennDOT announced their 2018 TA Set-Aside Statewide Application Round on June 19, 2017. More information is available on PennDOT’s TA Set-Aside Funding Site: Applications will be available July 10th and may be submitted until 4:00 on September 22, 2017.
Potential projects sponsors for the 2018 TA Set-Aside Statewide Application Round should review the information below. More specific information can be found in the Program Guidance, which can be downloaded at PennDOT’s TA Set Set-Aside Funding Site:
  • A minimum of $55 million is available for the statewide funding round. Funding will vary in Large MPO areas, which are described in the Funding section of the guidance.
  • Applications submitted during this round will also be eligible for Federal Safe Routes to School funding.
Project Costs
  • The Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside (TA Set-Aside) is not a grant program and no money is provided upfront.
  • Projects are funded at 100% of the construction cost (including construction inspection).
    • No applicant match is required
    • Project sponsors must pay for project design, pre-construction permits, clearances, etc.
  • There is a minimum award of $50,000 for construction projects.
  • There is a maximum award of $1,000,000, although higher awards can be justified for “exceptional” projects.
Required Coordination
  • Project sponsors must meet with their Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) or Rural Planning Organization (RPO) staff to discuss their project application.
  • Project sponsors must meet with PennDOT Engineering District staff to discuss their project, PennDOT policies and regulations.
  • Project sponsors that meet with their MPO/RPO (Planning Partner) and District prior to submitting an application will receive additional points during statewide application scoring.
Project Sponsors
  • Project sponsors and anyone that would need to view or edit an application must either have an existing SharePoint account or create a new one here:
  • Potential project sponsors are strongly encouraged to participate in a webinar on July 13th at 1:00 PM. Appendix G of the program guidance has the call-in number, pin, and visual access links.
  • Nonprofit organizations that oversee the administration of local transportation safety programs are now eligible project sponsors. All other non-profits remain ineligible.
  • Project sponsors should select consultants that have demonstrated experience in the design and timely delivery of Safe Routes to School or Transportation Alternatives Program projects.