In the sixth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery or “TIGER” discretionary grant program, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is released $600 million to fund 72 transportation projects in 46 states and the District of Columbia.
However, in a conference call with reporters last week, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said only about $138 million of those monies are aimed at funding freight transportation projects.
Foxx added that approximately 47% of that $600 million will go to highway projects, with 27% dedicated to transit, 12.7% to maritime, and 11.5% to rail. He also noted that about one quarter of that $600 million is funding transportation projects in rural parts of the U.S.
Altogether, DOT said it received 797 eligible applications from 49 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia for the sixth round of TIGER grants – an increase from the 585 applications received in 2013. Overall, applicants requested 15 times the $600 million available for the program, said Foxx – some $9 billion in total grant requests.
“That means for every $1 we funded, there was $15 of transportation project requests we could not fund,” he stressed. “By one measure, we need $2 trillion by 2020 to fund our nation’s long-term transportation infrastructure needs.”
Altogether, since 2009, DOT noted that Congress has dedicated more than $4.1 billion in funds for all six rounds of the TIGER grant effort.