Congress Passes Funding Deal, Tripling the Funding of TIGER Program
Congress passed an omnibus package last week that triples the funding of the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program.
Fiscal year 2018 will now has $1.5 billion dollars to spend on multi-modal and hard-to-fund projects. This is excellent news, especially since the most recent round of TIGER grants were recently announced during the National Bike Summit.
The grant awards announced this year included a critical trail for Native Alaskans that will increase year-round access for villagers on Nelson Island to services, including the local hospital. TIGER also funded a trail project in Philadelphia which fills a key gap in the Schuylkill River Trail network.
The biggest story of the TIGER grant round awarded this year was the large number of complete streets projects that added or improved bike lanes, trails, and pedestrian sidewalks in numerous cities around the country. These types of projects create or fix bicycling and walking on-street networks, and many were coupled with separately-funded economic development projects in town centers. The joint efforts for improvement projects is important because the TIGER grant application goes through a benefit-cost analysis and the U.S. Department of Transportation determined these projects are an economic benefit.
The next TIGER grant cycle should begin soon. The funding levels just signed into law runs from October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018. Given that we are halfway through the fiscal year we should expect to see the call for proposals sometime this summer.
For more information on the omnibus implications for biking, check bikeleague.org!