Corrected: The Bell Tolls for the TIGER Grant Program

The Trump Administration signaled a desire to scrap a funding program that helped fund transit, pedestrian, and bike infrastructure. A new program likely focused on rural and toll roads could take its place.
March 7, 2018, 12pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Hudson Institute

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.

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.

Original Post:

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. 

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 in Streetsblog USA
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