Demand Demonstrates Need for Greater Transportation Investment through GROW AMERICA Act
DETROIT, Mich. — U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was in Detroit today to announce a $12.2 million TIGER grant for the City of Detroit towards construction of a 3.1-mile streetcar line that will help revitalize the city’s historic Woodward Avenue corridor. The project is one of 72 transportation projects in 46 states and the District of Columbia selected to receive a total of nearly $600 million from the Department of Transportation’s 2014 TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Program, which Secretary Foxx announced on September 12.
“As uncertainty about the future of long-term federal funding continues, this round of TIGER will be a shot in the arm for these innovative, job-creating and quality of life-enhancing projects,” said Secretary Foxx. “TIGER will connect a corridor that’s home to 40 percent of all the jobs in Detroit – and attracts 15 million visitors year. It’s a project that, simply put, will fire up the economic engine of the ‘Motor City.’ However, for every project we select, we must turn dozens more away – projects that could be getting done if Congress passed the GROW AMERICA Act, which would double the funding available for TIGER and growing the number of projects we could support.”
The City of Detroit will receive $12.2 million in TIGER funds to help the M-1 Rail coalition to complete construction of the new streetcar line. The project will connect the city’s downtown business district to economic, cultural, and entertainment destinations along Woodward Avenue, spurring new development along the corridor and providing thousands of local residents with improved access to jobs, education, and other ladders of opportunity. M-1 Rail, a coalition of private-sector philanthropic and business leaders, has committed more than $88 million toward construction and operation of the $136 million project. The project received a $25 million TIGER grant in 2011.
“We congratulate the citizens of Detroit, who are the true winners in obtaining these highly competitive TIGER grant funds,” said Federal Transit Administration Acting Administrator Therese McMillan. “The Woodward Avenue Streetcar line will improve access to efficient, reliable public transportation for thousands of area residents, while encouraging economic development and the revitalization of downtown Detroit.”
The GROW AMERICA Act, the Administration’s surface transportation reauthorization proposal, would authorize $5 billion over four years for much-needed additional TIGER funding to help meet the overwhelming demand for significant infrastructure investments around the country and provide the certainty that states and local governments need to properly plan for investment. The $302 billion, four-year transportation reauthorization proposal would provide increased and stable funding for the nation’s highways, bridges, transit and rail systems without contributing to the deficit. The GROW AMERICA Act also includes several critical program reforms to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of federal highway, rail and transit programs.
The Department received 797 eligible applications from 49 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, an increase from the 585 applications received in 2013. Overall, applicants requested 15 times the $600 million available for the program, or $9.5 billion for needed transportation projects.
Since 2009, the TIGER program has provided nearly $4.1 billion to 342 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Demand for the program has been overwhelming, and during the previous five rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 6,000 applications requesting more than $124 billion for transportation projects across the country. Congress provided the most recent funding as part of the bipartisan Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, signed by President Obama on January 17, 2014.
Click here for additional information on individual TIGER grants.
Click here for additional information on the Department of Transportation’s 2014 TIGER Program.
Click here for additional information on the GROW AMERICA Act.