Any type of project that is eligible for Federal assistance through existing surface transportation programs (highway projects and transit capital projects) is eligible for the TIFIA credit program, including intelligent transportation systems (ITS). In addition, the following types of projects are eligible: international bridges and tunnels; intercity passenger bus and rail facilities and vehicles; publicly owned freight rail facilities; private facilities providing public benefit for highway users; intermodal freight transfer facilities; projects that provide access to such facilities; service improvements on or adjacent to the National Highway System; and projects located within the boundary of a port terminal under certain conditions.
An eligible project must be included in the applicable State Transportation Improvement Program. Major requirements include a capital cost of at least $50 million (or 33.3 percent of a state's annual apportionment of Federal-aid funds, whichever is less) or $15 million in the case of ITS. TIFIA credit assistance is limited to a maximum of 33 percent of the total eligible project costs. Senior debt must be rated investment grade. The project also must be supported in whole or in part from user charges or other non-Federal dedicated funding sources and be included in the state's transportation plan. Applicable Federal requirements include, but are not limited to Titles 23 and 49 of the U.S. Code, NEPA, Buy America provisions, and the Civil Rights and Uniform Relocation Acts.
Qualified projects are evaluated by the Secretary against eight statutory criteria, including among others, impact on the environment, significance to the national transportation system, and the extent to which they generate economic benefits, leverage private capital, and promote innovative technologies.
Further information on project and applicant eligibility is available in Chapter 3 of the TIFIA Program Guide.
The TIFIA Program Guide also contains more detailed information on:
The TIFIA application process
The project evaluation and selection process
Contractual documents, closing activities, and ongoing oversight and monitoring activities
Special issues related to loan guarantees