New RAISE Grant Program Replaces BUILD Grants at the U.S. Department of Transportation

The policy whiplash from the Obama administration to the Trump administration and now to the Biden administration continues.

2 minute read

April 14, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Biden administration

vasilis asvestas / Shutterstock

"The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) today published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to apply for $1 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 discretionary grant funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants," according to a U.S. DOT press release published on April 13, 2021.

The new RAISE grants will replace the BUILD grants of the Trump administration, which, in turn, replaced the TIGER grants of the Obama administration. The grant programs collectively have awarded over $8.935 billion in grants to projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico since 2009, though each iteration of the discretionary grant funding program has taken a different on spending priorities. While TIGER helped fund a wave of streetcar projects and other urban mobility projects, BUILD focused on rural road projects. Now RAISE promises to advance equity and sustainability.

"Projects for RAISE funding will be evaluated based on merit criteria that include safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, innovation, and partnership. Within these criteria, the Department will prioritize projects that can demonstrate improvements to racial equity, reduce impacts of climate change and create good-paying jobs," according to the press release.

The application deadline is set for July 12, 2021, and the U.S. DOT is hosting a series of informational webinars in the interim.

Hat tip to Jeff Davis, senior fellow at the Eno Transportation Center, for sharing the news of the RAISE program on Twitter.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in U.S. Department Of Transportation

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