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: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/transportation_alternatives/guidance/guidance_2016.cfm.
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.
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.
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.
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.