Begin Main Content Area

Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside

Now Accepting Applications for the 2021 Funding Round

Pre-Applications Due:      August 16, 2021 4:00 PM
Final Applications Due:   October 15, 2021 4:00 PM

The Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside (TASA) 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 FAST Act, which has provided funding for the TA Set-Aside since December 2015, expired September 30, 2020 but was extended until September 30, 2021 with a continuing resolution. While it is possible that the FAST Act will be extended or a new bill will be enacted on October 1st, there's no assurance that the TA Set-Aside will continue or that more funding will be available after that date. Funds made available to the Department through the bill prior to that date will still be available for use after September 30, 2021.   The federal guidance is available on the Federal Highway Administration website.

Project Costs

  • 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.

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

Project Sponsors may include the following: 

    • local governments;
    • regional transportation authorities;
    • transit agencies;
    • natural resource or public land agencies, including Federal agencies;
    • school districts, local education agencies, or schools;
    • tribal governments;
    • a nonprofit entity responsible for the administration of local transportation safety programs; and
    • any other local or regional governmental entity with responsibility for oversight of transportation or recreational trails (other than a metropolitan planning organization or a State agency) that the State determines to be eligible, consistent with the goals of subsection (c) of section 213 of title 23.
    • Nonprofit organizations that oversee the administration of local transportation safety programs are eligible project sponsors, however 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, Transportation Alternatives Program, or Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside projects.

Projects

Eligible Projects may include the following:

    • bicycle and pedestrian facilities;
    • bicycle and pedestrian education (grades K-8 only);
    • conversion of abandoned railway corridors to trails;
    • construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas;
    • outdoor advertising management;
    • historic preservation and rehab of historic transportation facilities;
    • vegetation management;
    • archaeological activities;
    • stormwater management; and
    • wildlife mortality mitigation.

Projects in areas designated as PA Byways, within DCNR Heritage Areas, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or affiliated with the National Park Service may be eligible under the construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.

Large MPO Competitive Selection Documents

SPC Regional Selection Information

Questions

If you have any questions related to eligibility, the application process, or other funding considerations, please email PennDOT's TA Set-Aside Program Office717-775-3276, or contact Jackie Koons-Felion, Transportation Planning Manager at 717-787-6388.