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The TIGER grant program (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) is authorized through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and provides $1.5 billion in competitive grants for transportation projects across the nation. Applications to USDOT were due on Sept. 15th, 2009.

When will grant awards be announced by USDOT?
The deadline is Feb. 17, 2010 although USDOT announced its intention to award grants earlier.

Are matching funds required?
No, TIGER grants may be used for up to 100 percent of project costs. However, priority will be given to projects “for which Federal funding is required to complete an overall financing package that includes non-Federal sources of funds.”

Who can apply?
State, local, tribal governments; transit agencies; ports; multi-state and multi-jurisdictional entities are eligible to apply.

Who will select projects for funding?
Applications will be evaluated by a team consisting of technical and professional staff from the various mode divisions. Team members will evaluate and rate applications and then convene to discuss applications. Applications will be rated: highly recommend, recommended, or not recommended. Grants are more likely to be awarded to projects that are highly recommended in multiple criteria.

What kinds of projects are eligible for funding?
In general, most highway, bridge, public transportation, passenger and freight rail, and port infrastructure, (including projects that connect ports to other modes of transportation and improve the efficiency of freight movement) are eligible for funding.

How much funding can a project receive?
A grant may be no more than $300 million for one project or state, and no less than $20 million. The minimum can be waived by USDOT for “funding significant projects in smaller cities, regions or states.”

When must the funds be spent?
Funds must be obligated by September 30, 2011.

What are the application criteria?
Priority will be given to projects that can be completed by February 17, 2012 (definition: all funds have been obligated and expended, and construction of the project is substantially complete).

  • Funds will be awarded on competitive basis to projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area, or a region.
  • Primary selection criteria: (1) Long Term Outcomes (subcategories: State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness; Livability; Sustainability; Safety) and (2) Jobs Creation and Economic Stimulus.
  • Secondary selection criteria: Innovation (to accomplish primary criteria; for example, ITS, dynamic pricing, ATM; innovative financing, contracting, project delivery, congestion mgmt, etc); and Partnerships.
  • Criteria USDOT will review to determine a project’s readiness to proceed: project schedule; environmental approvals; legislative approvals; state and local planning; technical feasibility and financial feasibility.
  • Specific criteria will be used to prioritize projects in the following areas: Bridge replacement, transit, port infrastructure.
  • Additional priority to projects that create more livable communities, encourage energy efficiency, improve environment, supported by relevant public agencies with energy or environmental missions, and public housing agencies.
  • USDOT will ensure an equitable balance geographically, and between urban and rural projects.

Visit for USDOT updates about the TIGER program.