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Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)

Program Information

Eligible Entities

Under 23 U.S.C. 133(h)(4)(A), as amended by the BIL, the entities eligible to receive TA Set-Aside funds are:

  1. A local government. Local government entities include any unit of local government below a State government agency, except for an MPO representing an urbanized area with a population over 200,000. Examples include city, town, township, village, borough, parish, or county agencies.
  2. A regional transportation authority. 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)).
  3. A transit agency. Transit agencies include any agency responsible for public transportation that is eligible for funds as determined by the Federal Transit Administration.
  4. A natural resource or public land agency. 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.
  5. A school district, local education agency, or school. 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.
  6. A Tribal government.
  7. A metropolitan planning organization that serves an urbanized area with a population of 200,000 or fewer. MPOs representing urbanized areas over 200,000 population are not eligible entities.
  8. A nonprofit entity. The BIL removed the requirement that the nonprofit entity be responsible for the administration of local transportation safety programs.
  9. Any other local or regional governmental entity with responsibility for or oversight of transportation or recreational trails (other than a metropolitan planning organization that serves an urbanized area with a population of over 200,000 or a State agency) that the State determines to be eligible, consistent with the goals of 23 U.S.C. 133(h).
  10. A State, at the request of an eligible entity listed above.

Eligible Projects

The BIL retained previous TA Set-Aside eligibility, amended the reference for SRTS projects, and added activities in furtherance of a vulnerable road user safety assessment, as defined in 23 U.S.C. 148(a). See 23 U.S.C. 133(h)(3). The BIL also added eligibility for State DOTs to use funds for administrative and technical assistance, limited to 5 percent of the TA Set-Aside fund (after the RTP set-aside). 23 U.S.C. 133(h)(6)(C). TA Set-Aside eligible projects consist of:

Section 133(h)(3)(A): Projects or Activities described in 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29) or 23 U.S.C. 213 as in effect prior to the enactment of the FAST Act. Those sections contained the following eligible projects:

  1. Transportation Alternatives as defined in 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29) as it appeared prior to changes made by the FAST Act: The term “transportation alternatives” means any of the following activities when carried out as part of any program or project authorized or funded under title 23 U.S.C., or as an independent program or project related to surface transportation:
    1. 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 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
    2. 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.
    3. Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other nonmotorized transportation users.
    4. Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.
    5. Community improvement activities, including:
      1. inventory, control, or removal of outdoor advertising;
      2. historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities;
      3. vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species, and provide erosion control (see State DOTs Leveraging Alternative Uses of the Highway Right-of-Way Guidance); and
      4. archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of a transportation project eligible under title 23, U.S.C.
    6. Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to:
      1. address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff;
      2. reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats.
  2. The recreational trails program under 23 U.S.C. 206 of title 23. (See the Recreational Trails Program section. Any project eligible under the RTP also is eligible under the TA Set-Aside.)
  3. The safe routes to school program under section 1404 of the SAFETEA-LU (23 U.S.C. 402 note; Public Law 109-59) [now codified as 23 U.S.C. 208 and including]:
    • Infrastructure-related projects eligible under section 1404(f)(1) [now eligible under 23 U.S.C. 208(g)(1)].
    • Noninfrastructure-related activities eligible under section 1404(f)(2) [(now eligible under 23 U.S.C. 208(g)(2)].
    • SRTS coordinators eligible under section 1404(f)(3) [now eligible under 23 U.S.C. 208(g)(3)].
  4. Planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways.
    • See Boulevards from Divided Highways for examples.

Section 133(h)(3)(B): projects and activities under the safe routes to school program under 23 U.S.C. 208.

Section 133(h)(3)(C): activities in furtherance of a vulnerable road user safety assessment (as defined in 23 U.S.C. 148(a)).

Section 133(h)(6)(C): Improving Accessibility and Efficiency.