The pent up demand to spur economic development by building multimodal transportation projects has once again been amply demonstrated. The $600 million available through the FY 2014 U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program attracted 797 applications for a total of $9.5 billion in funding, from 49 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.  



$s Awarded


# Awards

# Applications



2014 $600M TBD TBD 797 $9.5B
2013 $474M $1.8B 52 585 $9B
2012 $500M $1.7B 47 703 $10.2B
2011 $511M N/A 46 848 $14.29B
2010 $600M N/A 75 ~1000 $19B
2009 $1.5B N/A 51 ~1500 $60B


Since 2009, 270 projects covering all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico have been funded. Two examples are:  

  • An obsolete 85-year old bridge connecting the small rural towns of Milton, KY, and Madison, IN, was replaced last month, and a sidewalk to be added this summer will restore safe pedestrian access. A TIGER grant covering 20 percent of the project cost helped make it happen.
  • The Indianapolis Cultural Trail (pictured), a bicycle and pedestrian network one-third funded by a TIGER grant, is now touted as a draw to convention planners, a central catalyst for hundreds of millions of dollars in new commercial and residential development, and the linchpin of a vibrant community.

The 2010 census showed that 81 percent of the nation’s population now live in urban areas. The economic viability of these areas is directly related to developing them with pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders in mind. A business deciding where to locate in an urban area looks for maximum “foot traffic,” and mobility without a car has become a central consideration when young and old alike decide where they are going to live.

However, the House Subcommittee for Transportation-HUD Appropriations included only $100 million for TIGER grants in their markup last week (the Administration budget proposed $1.25 billion), and they included language barring the Department of Transportation from including transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects in their TIGER awards. When the full House Appropriations Committee does their markup Wednesday, will they be more responsive to the views of their constituents than the Subcommittee was? Stay tuned.