Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)

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    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHA)


    This program provides funding for programs and projects 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; recreational trail program projects; safe routes to school projects; and projects for planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways.

    History of Funding

    None is available.

    Additional Information

    Under 23 U.S.C. 213(b), eligible activities under the TAP program consist of:

    • Transportation Alternatives as defined in 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29) (MAP-21 §1103):
      • Construction, planning, and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other nonmotorized forms of transportation, including sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle signals, traffic calming techniques, lighting and other safety-related infrastructure, and transportation projects to achieve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 USC 12101 et seq.).
      • Construction, planning, and design of infrastructure-related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non-drivers, including children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs.
      • Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other nonmotorized transportation users.
      • Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.
      • Community improvement activities, which include but are not limited to:
        • inventory, control, or removal of outdoor advertising;
        • historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities;
        • vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species, and provide erosion control; and
        • archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of a transportation project eligible under title 23.
      • Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to-
        • address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff, including activities described in sections 133(b)(11), 328(a), and 329 of title 23; or
        • reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats.
    • The recreational trails program under section 206 of title 23.
    • The safe routes to school program eligible projects and activities listed at section 1404(f) of the SAFETEA-LU:
      • Infrastructure-related projects.
      • Noninfrastructure-related activities.
      • Safe Routes to School coordinator.
    • Planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways.
    TAP funds cannot be used for:
    • State or MPO administrative purposes, except for SRTS administration, and administrative costs of the State permitted for RTP set-aside funds.
    • Promotional activities, except as permitted under the SRTS.
    • General recreation and park facilities, playground equipment, sports fields, campgrounds, picnic areas and pavilions, etc.
    • Routine maintenance and operations.


    Arlan Finfrock

    Arlan Finfrock
    U.S. Department of Transportation
    Federal Highway Administration
    1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
    Washington, DC 20590
    (202) 366-4232

  • Eligibility Details

    Under 23 U.S.C. 213(c)(4)(B), the Eligible Entities to receive TAP funds are:
    • Local governments;
    • Regional transportation authorities;
    • Transit agencies;
    • Natural resource or public land agencies;
    • School districts, local education agencies, or schools;
    • Tribal governments; 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.
    State DOTs and MPOs are not eligible entities as defined under 213(c)(4)(B) and therefore are not eligible project sponsors for TAP funds. However, State DOTs and MPOs may partner with an eligible entity project sponsor to carry out a project.

    Nonprofit organizations are not eligible as direct grant recipients for TAP funds unless they qualify through one of the eligible entity categories (e.g., where a nonprofit organization is a designated transit agency or a school). Nonprofits are eligible to partner with any eligible entity on a TAP project, if State or local requirements permit.
    • Local government entities include any unit of local government below a State government agency, except for a Metropolitan Planning Organization. Examples include city, town, township, village, borough, parish, or county agencies.
    • Regional transportation authorities are considered the same as the Regional Transportation Planning Organizations defined in the statewide planning section (23 U.S.C. 135(m)).
    • Transit agencies include any agency responsible for public transportation that is eligible for funds under the Federal Transit Administration.
    • Natural resource or public land agencies include any Federal, Tribal, State, or local agency responsible for natural resources or public land administration. Examples include:
      • State or local park or forest agencies
      • State or local fish and game or wildlife agencies
      • Department of the Interior Land Management Agencies
      • U.S. Forest Service
    • School districts, local education agencies, or schools may include any public or nonprofit private school. Projects should benefit the general public, and not only a private entity.
    The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) set-aside funds retain the RTP eligible project sponsor provisions under 23 U.S.C. 206. (23 U.S.C. 213(f)(3))

    Deadline Details

    Applications must be submitted March 6, 2014. Similar deadlines are anticipated annually.

    Award Details

    The estimated funding available for FY14 was $819,900,000. The Federal share for TAP projects is as follows:
    • For most TAP projects, including Safe Routes to School (SRTS) projects funded with TAP funds, the Federal share is the same as for the general Federal-aid highway program: 80 percent Federal/20 percent State or local match subject to the sliding scale adjustment . (23 U.S.C. 120)
    • Projects funded under the RTP set-aside from TAP retain the Federal share and flexible match and donation provisions available under 23 U.S.C. 206(f) and 23 U.S.C. 206(h), and these provisions remain in effect for prior year RTP funds. Please note that recreational trail projects funded from other TAP funds (not from the RTP set-aside) are subject to the general match requirement described for TAP funds above.
    • For projects funded under the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), the 50 percent non-Federal share may be satisfied with up to 100 percent TAP funds.
    • Section 120(j) allows Federal agency funds to pay the non-Federal share of the cost of any transportation project that is within, adjacent to, or provides access to Federal land, for projects funded under title 23 or under Chapter 53 of title 49.
    • Section 120(k) allows Federal land and tribal transportation funds to pay the non-Federal share of the cost of any project that is funded under title 23 or under Chapter 53 of title 49 that provides access to or within Federal or tribal land.

    Funding is allocated on a formulaic basis.

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

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