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Which specific IIJA programs focus solely on active transportation (pedestrian, bicycle, scooter, etc.) projects?

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“IIJA”) does not include programs that focus solely on active transportation. Instead, the IIJA addresses multimodal transportation, including pedestrian, bicycle, scooter, and trail transportation.[1]

The Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (“INFRA”) program;[2] National Infrastructure Project Assistance (“Megaprojects” or “MEGA”);[3] Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost Saving Transportation (“PROTECT”) program;[4] Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program;[5] Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program (“Rural”);[6] Rebuilding American Infrastructure Sustainably and Equitability (“RAISE”) program;[7] and Safe Streets and Roads for All (“SS4A”)[8] are all IIJA-funded competitive or formula grant programs that may support projects related to safety and mobility. Depending on the specific circumstances, municipalities may be able to apply for and receive funding for active transportation projects through one or more of these IIJA grant programs. Each competitive grant program selects projects based on different sets of criteria.

  • INFRA is a grant program providing $7.25 billion in available funding. Municipalities may apply for funding of eligible projects that “improve safety, generate economic benefits, reduce congestion, enhance resiliency, and hold the greatest promise to eliminate freight bottlenecks and improve critical freight movements.”[9] Applications are due by May 23, 2022. [10] The U.S. Department of Transportation (“USDOT”) has authored an overview of previously approved projects and their descriptions, including programs focused on active transportation, that municipalities may consult.[11] Additionally, USDOT has published INFRA Frequently Asked Questions that may provide further guidance on funding opportunities.[12]
  • Megaprojects is a new grant program with $5 billion in available funding. Municipalities may apply for funds that “support large, complex projects that are difficult to fund by other means and likely to generate national or regional economic, mobility, or safety benefits.”[13] Applications are due by May 23, 2022.[14] Examples of eligible projects include intercity passenger rail projects and certain public transportation projects that are eligible for Federal Transit Administration funding of Title 49 of the United States Code.[15] USDOT has posted Frequently Asked Questions that may provide further guidance on funding opportunities.[16]
  • PROTECT is a new grant program with $7,299,999,998 in available funding. The first round of funding was “apportioned in December 2021.”[17] States may apply for funding of eligible projects that “conduct resilience planning, strengthen and protect evacuation routes, and increase the resilience of surface transportation infrastructure from the impacts of sea level rise, flooding, wildfires, extreme weather events, and other natural disasters. Highway, transit, and certain port projects are eligible.”[18]
  • RAISE (previously known as BUILD and TIGER grants) is a grant program with $7.5 billion available in recent funding. RAISE applications were due on April 14, 2022. Eligible projects include those that reflect community connectivity, mobility, accessibility for travelers, universal design, and increased mobility for supply chain and freight efficiency.[19] Municipalities may find it useful to explore existing USDOT guidance and overviews of previously approved projects and their descriptions.[20]
  • The Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program is a new grant program with $1 billion in available funding. Grants of greater than $5 million are available for capital construction projects, while planning grants of less than $2 million are available for eligible projects that “restore community connectivity by removing, retrofitting, or mitigating highways or other transportation facilities that create barriers to community connectivity, including to mobility, access, or economic development.”[21] USDOT will issue a Notice of Funding Opportunity with further details on Grants.gov in June 2022.[22]
  • Rural is a new grant program with $1 billion in available funding.[23] Municipalities may use funding for eligible projects that “improve and expand the surface transportation infrastructure in rural areas to increase connectivity, improve the safety and reliability of the movement of people and freight, and generate regional economic growth and improve quality of life.”[24] Applications are due by May 23, 2022.[25] An example of an eligible project includes a “project on a publicly-owned highway or bridge improving access to certain facilities that support the economy of a rural area.”[26] USDOT has posted Frequently Asked Questions that may provide further guidance on funding opportunities.[27]
  • Safe Streets and Roads for All is a new grant program with $5 billion in available funding. Applications are expected to open in May 2022.[28] Metropolitan planning organizations, political subdivisions of states, Tribal governments, and multijurisdictional groups of the above entities can submit applications for eligible projects that “support local initiatives to prevent death and serious injury on roads and streets, commonly referred to as ‘Vision Zero’ or ‘Toward Zero Deaths’ initiatives.”[29] Recipients must “(A) develop a comprehensive safety action plan; (B) conduct planning, design, and development activities for projects and strategies identified in a comprehensive safety action plan; or (C) carry out projects and strategies identified in a comprehensive safety action plan.”[30] USDOT has released additional information, including an informational webinar, on how municipalities can prepare for the anticipated grant application.[31]

Several other grant programs incorporate an active transportation element. The Pilot Program for Transit Oriented Development,[32] Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant,[33] and Carbon Reduction Program all specifically address modes of active transportation.[34]

  • The Pilot Program for Transit Oriented Development is a grant program with $68,864,631 in available funding. This program assists Federal Transit Administration grant recipients with “improving public transportation.”[35] Eligible projects must “improve economic development and ridership, foster multimodal connectivity and accessibility, improve transit access for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, engage the private sector, identify infrastructure needs, and enable mixed-use development near transit stations.”[36] The Notice of Funding Opportunity containing further details is expected in May 2022.[37]
  • The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program is a new grant program with $550 million in available funding that is expected to be released in Fall 2022.[38] This program assists “states, local governments, and Tribes to reduce energy use, reduce fossil fuel emissions, and improve energy efficiency.”[39] There are fourteen listed eligible uses for this funding, such as the “development of infrastructure, such as bike lanes and pathways and pedestrian walkways.”[40]
  • The Carbon Reduction Program is a new grant program with $6,419,999,998 in available funding. The first round of funds was “apportioned in December 2021.”[41] This program will provide “formula grants to States to reduce transportation emissions or the development of carbon reduction strategies.”[42] Eligible projects “support the reduction of transportation emissions, including: the construction, planning, and design of trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other nonmotorized forms of transportation; public transportation projects; and congestion management technologies.”[43]

Last Updated: May 4, 2022

[1] The White House, A Guidebook to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Governments and Other Partners (as of January 31, 2022), available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/BUILDING-A-BETTER-AMERICA_FINAL.pdf.

[2] Id., at 19.

[3] Id., at 21.

[4] Id., at 274.

[5] Id., at 34.

[6] Id., at 28.

[7] Id., at 18.

[8] Id., at 121.

[9] U.S. Department of Transportation: The INFRA Grants Program, available at: https://www.transportation.gov/grants/infra-grants-program.

[10] Id.

[11] U.S. Department of Transportation, INFRA FY 2021 Proposed Project Selections, available at: https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/2022-03/FY-2021-INFRA-Proposed-Project-Selections-v2.pdf.

[12] U.S. Department of Transportation, MPDG – Frequently Asked Questions, available at: https://www.transportation.gov/grants/mpdg-frequently-asked-questions.

[13] U.S. Department of Transportation: The Mega Grant Program, available at: https://www.transportation.gov/grants/mega-grant-program.

[14] U.S. Department of Transportation, MDGP – How to Apply, available at: https://www.transportation.gov/grants/mpdg-how-apply.

[15] The White House, A Guidebook to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Governments and other Partners (as of January 31, 2022), at 21, available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/BUILDING-A-BETTER-AMERICA_FINAL.pdf.

[16] Department of Transportation, MPDG – Frequently Asked Questions, available at: https://www.transportation.gov/grants/mpdg-frequently-asked-questions.

[18] Id.

[19] Id., at 18.

[20] U.S. Department of Transportation: RAISE Discretionary Grants, available at: https://www.transportation.gov/RAISEgrants.

[21] The White House, A Guidebook to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Governments and other Partners (as of January 31, 2022), at 34, available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/BUILDING-A-BETTER-AMERICA_FINAL.pdf.

[22] U.S. Department of Transportation, Upcoming Notices of Funding Opportunity Announcements in 2022, available at: https://www.transportation.gov/bipartisan-infrastructure-law/upcoming-notice-funding-opportunity-announcements-2022.

[23] The White House, A Guidebook to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Governments and other Partners (as of January 31, 2022), at 28, available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/BUILDING-A-BETTER-AMERICA_FINAL.pdf.

[24] U.S. Department of Transportation: MPDG – Frequently Asked Questions, available at: https://www.transportation.gov/grants/mpdg-frequently-asked-questions.

[25] U.S. Department of Transportation, MDGP – How to Apply, available at: https://www.transportation.gov/grants/mpdg-how-apply.

[26] The White House, A Guidebook to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Governments and other Partners (as of January 31, 2022), at 28, available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/BUILDING-A-BETTER-AMERICA_FINAL.pdf.

[27] U.S. Department of Transportation, MPDG – Frequently Asked Questions, available at: https://www.transportation.gov/grants/mpdg-frequently-asked-questions.

[28] The White House, A Guidebook to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Governments and other Partners (as of January 31, 2022), at 121, available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/BUILDING-A-BETTER-AMERICA_FINAL.pdf.

[29] Id.

[30] Id.

[31] U.S. Department of Transportation, Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant Program, available at: https://www.transportation.gov/SS4A.

[32] The White House, A Guidebook to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Governments and other Partners (as of January 31, 2022), at 86, available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/BUILDING-A-BETTER-AMERICA_FINAL.pdf.

[33] Id., at 180-181.

[34] Id., at 275.

[35] Id., at 86.

[36] Id.

[37] U.S. Department of Transportation, Upcoming Notices of Funding Opportunity Announcements in 2022, available at: https://www.transportation.gov/bipartisan-infrastructure-law/upcoming-notice-funding-opportunity-announcements-2022.

[38] The White House, A Guidebook to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Governments and other Partners (as of January 31, 2022), at 180-181, available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/BUILDING-A-BETTER-AMERICA_FINAL.pdf.

[39] Id.

[40] Id.

[41] Id., at 275.

[42] Id.

[43] Id.