The Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau provides loans in support of a variety of transportation projects across the nation. Traditionally, these loans have been used for larger projects in urbanized, metropolitan areas. In 2018 the Bureau took steps to make Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) financing more accessible to small communities through the Rural Project Initiative. This initiative places an emphasis on rural America’s transportation needs and offers substantial benefits and savings for projects in rural areas. Eligible projects are able to borrow up to 49% of a project's cost at 1/2 of the U.S. Treasury rate, both of which are unique benefits to this program.
- Standing Committee on Transportation Planning Analysis and Application (AEP15) - January 7, 2021
- Standing Committee on Rural, Intercity Bus, and Specialized Transportation (APO55) - January 11, 2021
- Standing Committee on Equity in Transportation (AME10) - January 21, 2021
- Rural Transportation Issues Coordinating Council (A0040C) - January 27, 2021
Benefit Cost Analyses (BCAs) are required for most discretionary grants at USDOT, and can be one of the most challenging parts of the application. BCA is a systematic process for identifying, quantifying, and comparing expected benefits and costs of a potential infrastructure project. The information provided in the applicants’ BCAs will be evaluated by USDOT and used to help ensure that the available funding under the programs is devoted to projects that provide substantial economic benefits to users and the nation as a whole, relative to the resources required to implement those projects. This webinar will provide an overview of what BCAs are and what USDOT is looking for in grant applications, data resources that applicants can use to develop BCAs for their projects, and examples of how a BCA can be approached. It is geared towards potential applicants who are less familiar with the BCA process, but all are welcome.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) recently developed an applicant toolkit as part of the Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) Initiative, which aims to address rural transportation infrastructure disparities. The ROUTES applicant toolkit helps rural communities better identify and navigate U.S. DOT discretionary grant funding opportunities. It provides user-friendly information to build understanding of various discretionary grant programs and application processes, including a matrix of funding opportunities, key applicant activities during the funding life cycle, featured rural transportation projects, and other resources to maximize award success. The ROUTES Initiative was launched in October 2019 by Secretary Elaine L. Chao, and focuses on making discretionary funding more accessible to rural transportation providers, centralizing DOT rural resources, and collecting data to help prioritize rural needs.
The Center for Local-aid Support (CLAS) team is the conduit for connecting Local agencies, Tribes and Federal Land Management Agencies to innovative market-ready deployment opportunities that can be used on our nation's highways to save lives, project delivery time, and money. Through Innovation Exchange webinars, we are bringing cutting-edge transportation leaders to the table to share ideas and out of the box innovative practices that have proven results. Innovation Exchange webinars are given by subject-matter experts and thought leaders to spread new ideas, spark conversation, and promote innovative leadership for the issues confronting our nation's transportation system now and in the future. The goal of Innovation Exchange webinars is to allow participants to (1) gain best practices of innovation deployment from subject matter experts (2) have a venue to discuss transportation related ideas and issues with other transportation partners around the country, and (3) learn and share successful practices.
Rural travelers may encounter mobility challenges specific to their communities, including limited pedestrian or biking infrastructure, lack of exposure to alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies, increased trip mileage, increased rate of mortality in transportation collisions, and more. How can sustainable transportation projects help address these challenges? The STF&E panelists will discuss these considerations and how rural sustainable transportation initiatives can succeed in Tennessee.
As a rural safety advocate, the Rural Safety Center uses its voice to raise national awareness of rural safety, share and disseminate critical information, and build coalitions of changemakers. To further our impact, we are proud to announce the inaugural Rural Road Safety Awareness Week (RRSAW) to be held on September 28 - October 2, 2020. The purpose of RRSAW will be to promote rural road safety to the public, community leaders, and potential partners by telling the “rural story.” We plan to shine a light on the unique safety risks faced by rural road users, progress towards addressing these challenges, and solutions that are making a difference on the Rural Road to Zero fatalities and serious injuries.
The Rebuild Rural Infrastructure Coalition is comprised of more than 250 organizations from across the country focused on rural communities, U.S. agricultural producers, rural businesses, and rural families. This virtual session will provide an overview of DOT’s new Applicant Toolkit for Competitive Funding Programs at USDOT. The Toolkit will help potential transportation project sponsors in identifying and navigating USDOT discretionary grant funding opportunities for rural transportation projects. The toolkit provides user-friendly information and resources to support rural applicants’ understanding of USDOT discretionary grant programs and the funding process. In this session, the presenters will explain the key features of the Toolkit and how it can help grant applicants at all levels of experience in accessing USDOT resources.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) brings together county officials from across the country to discuss issues facing their communities. This virtual session will provide an overview of DOT’s new Applicant Toolkit for Competitive Funding Programs at USDOT. The Toolkit will help potential transportation project sponsors in identifying and navigating USDOT discretionary grant funding opportunities for rural transportation projects. The toolkit provides user-friendly information and resources to support rural applicants’ understanding of USDOT discretionary grant programs and the funding process. In this session, the presenters will explain the key features of the Toolkit and how it can help grant applicants at all levels of experience in accessing USDOT resources.
- ROUTES - The presentation provides an overview of the Department of Transportation’s ROUTES Initiative along with rural transportation statistics.
- BUILD & INFRA - This presentation reviews the Department’s BUILD and INFRA surface transportation discretionary grant programs’ eligibility, program requirements, selection criteria, and award project examples.
- Reimagining “Innovative” Finance & Procurement for the Future - The presentation provides an overview of the Build America Bureau’s financing mechanisms, including Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program, the TIFIA Rural Project Initiative, State Infrastructure Banks, Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF), and private activity bonds.
- FTA Rural Public Transportation Programs - This presentation provides a review of FTA's rural public transportation programs, competitive program evaluation criteria, FTA's efforts to assist rural areas applying for funding, and FTA's Technical Assistance Centers.
- DOT Infrastructure Permitting Improvement Center - This presentation provides an overview of the Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure Permitting Improvement Center (IPIC), the environmental review and permitting process, and tools that the Department offers to assist in that process.