TIGER applications demonstrate nationwide need for transportation investment
The deadline for submitting Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) 2014 grant applications recently passed, and--once again--the applications totaled far more than Congress set aside for these competitive awards. And, I'm not talking about a small difference.
DOT received $9.5 billion in applications for the $600 million available in our TIGER program--that's more than 15 times the amount we can award. The 797 eligible applications we received from 49 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia is also a big jump from the 585 submitted during last year's TIGER process.
These applicants confirm what I saw as I traveled through eight states and 13 cities as part of my Invest in America, Commit to the Future bus tour last month: America is hungry for infrastructure investment. And that's exactly why we sent our GROW AMERICA legislative proposal to Congress two weeks ago.
The continued overwhelming demand for these grants demonstrates that communities need the kind of long-term funding GROW AMERICA would provide to build transportation projects across the country. That includes $5 billion over four years for TIGER.
Demand for TIGER has been overwhelming since we launched it in 2009. During the previous five rounds, DOT received more than 5,300 applications requesting more than $115 billion for transportation projects across the country.
One of the great strengths of TIGER is that these grants are far from the end of the story for good transportation projects; they're catalysts that leverage federal funds to secure further investment from the private sector and other sources. From the $474 million awarded under TIGER 2013, projects were able to generate support totaling $1.8 billion.
TIGER also helps get projects off the ground that might otherwise fall through funding gaps, projects that support economic development and jobs, and projects sponsored by communities coordinating their efforts as unified regions.
Like the accelerated approach to permitting that President Obama talked about yesterday in New York, TIGER is just the kind of agile instrument we need to help keep our nation moving forward. And GROW AMERICA promises to keep that TIGER roaring for the next four years.