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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

TIFIA Credit Program Overview

The following information is a summary of the Bureau's credit programs. For more detailed information, please review the full Credit Programs Guide.

Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA)

Background on TIFIA

  • Strategic goal - to leverage limited Federal resources and stimulate capital market investment in transportation infrastructure by providing credit assistance in the form of direct loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit (rather than grants) to projects of national or regional significance.
  • Key objectives
    • Facilitate projects with significant public benefits
    • Encourage new revenue streams and private participation
    • Fill capital market gaps for secondary/subordinate capital
    • Be a flexible, "patient" investor willing to take on investor concerns about investment horizon, liquidity, predictability and risk
    • Limit Federal exposure by relying on market discipline
  • Major requirements
    • Minimum Anticipated Project Costs –
      • $10 million for Transit-Oriented Development, Local, and Rural Projects
      • $15 million for Intelligent Transportation System Projects
      • $50 million for all other eligible Surface Transportation Projects
    • TIFIA Credit Assistance Limit – Credit assistance limited to 33 percent of reasonably anticipated eligible project costs (unless the sponsor provides a compelling justification for up to 49 percent, the project meets certain rural, transit or transit-oriented development eligibility or is part of the Rural/INFRA/Mega grant Extra programs)
    • Investment Grade Rating – Senior debt and TIFIA loan must receive investment grade ratings from at least two nationally recognized credit rating agencies (only one rating required if less than $75 million)
    • Dedicated Repayment Source – The project must have a dedicated revenue source pledged to secure both the TIFIA and senior debt financing
    • Applicable Federal Requirements – Including, but not limited to: Civil Rights, NEPA, Uniform Relocation, Buy America, Titles 23 and 49
  • Rolling application process - Applicants must submit detailed letters of interest when a project is able to provide sufficient information to satisfy statutory eligibility requirements, such as creditworthiness  and readiness to proceed; after invitation from the TIFIA Joint Program Office, a formal application is required

Eligible TIFIA Applicants and Projects

TIFIA Credit Diagram



  • State Governments
  • State Infrastructure Banks
  • Private Firms
  • Special Authorities
  • Local Governments
  • Transportation Improvement Districts


  • Highways and Bridges
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • Intermodal Connectors
  • Transit Vehicles and Facilities
  • Intercity Buses and Facilities
  • Freight Transfer Facilities
  • Pedestrian Bicycle Infrastructure Networks
  • Transit-Oriented Development
  • Rural Infrastructure Projects
  • Passenger Rail Vehicles and Facilities
  • Surface Transportation Elements of Port Projects
  • Airports

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Creditworthiness:
    1. Ability to satisfy applicable creditworthiness standards
    2. Rate covenant, if applicable
    3. Adequate coverage requirements to ensure repayment
    4. Ability to obtain investment grade ratings on senior debt
  2. Foster partnerships that attract public and private investment for the project
  3. Ability to proceed at an earlier date or reduced lifecycle costs (including debt service costs)
  4. Reduces Contribution of Federal Grant Assistance for the Project
  5. Construction contracting process can commence no more than 90 days from execution of a TIFIA credit instrument

Program Implementation: Selection & Funding of a TIFIA Project

TIFIA Funding Flowchart

Text of Exhibit

  1. Project Sponsor Engages with Bureau Outreach Staff to Determine Project Needs and Offer Technical Assistance
  2. Project Sponsor Submits Letter of Interest/Draft Application on a Rolling Basis
  3. If Requested by DOT, Project Sponsor Provides Additional Information, Preliminary Rating Opinion Letter and the Advisors' Fees
  4. Upon Invitation from DOT, Project Sponsor Makes Oral Presentation to DOT
  5. Upon Invitation from DOT, Project Sponsor Submits Complete Application
  6. DOT Notifies Project Sponsor Regarding Completeness of Application No More Than 30 Days After Receiving Application
  7. DOT Staff Prepare Evaluation and Make Recommendation to DOT  Council on Credit and Finance
  8. DOT Council on Credit and Finance Offers Recommendation to the Secretary, who Makes Final Determination
  9. DOT Notifies Project Sponsor Regarding Project Approval No More Than 60 Days After Delivery of Notice Regarding Application Completeness
  10. DOT Issues Term Sheet, Executes Credit Agreement, and Obligates Funds
  11. DOT Disburses Funds Upon Satisfaction of Conditions set forth in Credit Agreement

TIFIA Documentation Requirements

TIFIA Documentation Requirements

Text of Exhibit

  • Major Requirements - Draft EIS circulated (or Categorical Exclusion of FONSI obtained)
  • Major Requirements - Project consistent with state transportation plan and, if applicable, included in metropolitan transportation plan
  • Applications, Approvals, and Funding - Project sponsor engages with Bureau Outreach
  • Applications, Approvals, and Funding - Letter of interest provided
  • Major Requirements - Preliminary rating opinion letter obtained
  • Major Requirements - Advisors' Fees Upfront Payment remitted
  • Major Requirements - Oral presentation
  • Major Requirements - ROD obtained
  • Major Requirements - Project included in STIP
  • Applications, Approvals, and Funding - Project sponsor invited to submit application
  • Applications, Approvals, and Funding - Application submitted
  • Applications, Approvals, and Funding - Project selection made
  • Applications, Approvals, and Funding - Term sheet issued
  • Applications, Approvals, and Funding - Funding obligated
  • Major Requirements - Investment-grade rating on senior debt submitted prior to anticipated closing date
  • Applications, Approvals, and Funding - Credit agreement executed
  • Applications, Approvals, and Funding - Funds disbursed according to terms

TIFIA Program Fees

  • Project sponsors must reimburse DOT for the costs of the outside advisors who advise TIFIA on the transaction.
  • This transaction fee generally ranges between $400,000 and $700,000.
  • Fee may vary significantly depending on the complexity of the project.

  • Borrowers must pay an annual Loan Servicing Fee, due by November 15, of approximately $13,000.
  • DOT may also charge a Monitoring Fee as defined in the credit agreement (to date this fee has not been charged).