Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside
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 on the Federal Highway Administration website.
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 its 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 10, 2017, and may be submitted until 4:00 p.m. 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.
- The Transportation Alternatives 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.
- 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 and anyone that would need to view or edit an application must either have an existing SharePoint account or create a new one.
- Nonprofit organizations that oversee the administration of local transportation safety programs are now eligible project sponsors. All other nonprofits 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.