Corrected: The Bell Tolls for the TIGER Grant Program
Update 1/3: Streetsblog USA is reporting that Secretary Elaine Chao did not announce that the Department of Transportation would cut the TIGER program. Further updates coming.
Update 2/3: a tweet by Yonah Freemark indicates that reports of the TIGER grant program's demise are premature. The Trump Administration draft budget proposal would cut the TIGER grant program, but the program can still be funded during the appropriations process.
As with many fed transport programs, the admin budget proposes cutting it, but if congress keeps appropriating funds, it will continue. Same with New Starts.
— Yonah Freemark (@yfreemark) March 7, 2018
Update 3/3: Streetsblog USA has posted a correction to the post reported below. According to the correction post, the error is in a misreading of Secretary Chao's remarks.
Angie Schmitt reports: "one year into the Trump administration, TIGER is officially on the way out."
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week that the next round of TIGER grants would be the last. The Trump Administration is killing the program despite its popularity with congressional representation on both sides of the aisle.
Funding previously devoted to TIGER grants will now be switched to the new INFRA grant program. Schmitt explains what's known so far about INFRA:
The “INFRA” grant program is new, and it’s hard to know exactly what Trump’s DOT intends to do with it. Early signs point to a program that emphasizes rural projects and toll road construction, however. The program description on the U.S. DOT website starts off saying it will “address critical issues facing our nation’s highways and bridges highways and bridges” and never mentions walking, biking, or transit. It’s also replete with jargon about private-public partnerships and “leveraging capital.”
The article includes background on the TIGER grant program and the incremental evolution it represented for federal transportation funding, as well as some early speculation on the kind of grant-funded projects that will result from the new INFRA approach.