The U.S. Department of Transportation is now inviting tenders for $1.5 billion of grant funding for transport projects in the latest round of the Federal RAISE infrastructure investment program.
The DOT will invest $1.5 billion (an additional $500 million dollars over previous years) of public money in transformative transport projects to create high quality jobs, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, connect communities and reduce inequality.
The Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program has been increased by 50 per cent in response to overwhelming demand. Transit agencies, individual states and multi-state consortiums can now apply for grants of up to $25 million to fund projects which will have a significant local or regional impact.
This year’s RAISE grant is more explicitly directed at any public entity, including municipalities, counties, port authorities, tribal governments, MPOs, or others, not just State DOTs and transit agencies.
For the first time this year, surface transport components within airport projects (for example, a high frequency express shuttle or light rail link) will be eligible for grants.
And projects that proactively address racial equity and barriers to opportunity – including automobile dependence as a form of barrier – or redress prior inequities and barriers to opportunity will be given priority consideration.
$75 million of the allocated funds will be ring-fenced for planning, preparation, or design of projects that do not result in construction in the current financial year, with at least a further $15 million dedicated to projects in areas of persistent poverty or with historically disadvantaged communities.
In its official Notification of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) the Department said it was looking to award projects that align with the President’s greenhouse gas reduction goals to:
- Promote energy efficiency
- Support fiscally responsible land use and transportation efficient design
- Increase use of lower-carbon travel modes such as transit and active transportation
- Incorporate electrification or zero emission vehicle infrastructure
- Increase climate resilience
- Support domestic manufacturing
- Incorporate lower-carbon pavement and construction materials
- Reduce pollution
- Recycle or redevelop brownfield sites
The Department will also prioritize projects that address environmental justice – particularly for communities that disproportionately experience climate change-related consequences.
Funding bids will be evaluated based on statutory primary selection criteria: safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness and opportunity, state of good repair, and mobility and community connectivity.
In 2021, RAISE funded 90 projects in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. Overall, USDOT has awarded $9.9 billion to more than 700 projects such as dedicated bus lanes in Baltimore and a rail to trail scheme in Arkansas.
Eligible Applicants for RAISE grants are: States and the District of Columbia; any territory or possession of the United States; a unit of local government; a public agency or publicly chartered authority established by one or more States; a special purpose district or public authority with a transportation function, including a port authority; a federally recognized Indian Tribe or a consortium of such Indian Tribes; a transit agency; and a multi-State or incurred under an FTA Letter of No Prejudice under Chapter 53 of title 49 U.S.C.
Minimum award: $5 million (urban) and $1 million (rural)
Maximum award: $25 million
The deadline for applications for the current round of RAISE grants is 5pm Eastern on April 14, 2022.
NEED HELP OR ADVICE?
If any of these initiatives are in line with your own initiatives, please get in touch with Masabi to learn about our equitable Fare Payments as a Service (FPaaS) platform and how other agencies have leveraged these grants in the past: firstname.lastname@example.org