The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER Discretionary Grant program, provides a unique opportunity for the DOT to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives. Since 2009, Congress has dedicated nearly $5.1 billion for eight rounds of TIGER to fund projects that have a significant impact on the Nation, a region or a metropolitan area.
In each round of TIGER, DOT receives hundreds of applications to build and repair critical pieces of our freight and passenger transportation networks. The TIGER program enables DOT to examine these projects on their merits to help ensure that taxpayers are getting the highest value for every dollar invested.
The eligibility requirements of TIGER allow project sponsors at the State and local levels to obtain funding for multi-modal, multi-jurisdictional projects that are more difficult to support through traditional DOT programs. TIGER can fund port and freight rail projects, for example, which play a critical role in our ability to move freight, but have limited sources of Federal funds. TIGER can provide capital funding directly to any public entity, including municipalities, counties, port authorities, tribal governments, MPOs, or others in contrast to traditional Federal programs which provide funding to very specific groups of applicants (mostly State DOTs and transit agencies). This flexibility allows TIGER and our traditional partners at the State and local levels to work directly with a host of entities that own, operate, and maintain much of our transportation infrastructure, but otherwise cannot turn to the Federal government for support.
By running a competitive process, DOT is able to reward applicants that exceed eligibility criteria and demonstrate significant non-Federal commitment. TIGER projects have historically achieved, on average, more than 3.6 matching dollars for every TIGER grant dollar, representing the shared responsibility for funding infrastructure.
Since 2009, TIGER's highly competitive process, galvanized by tremendous applicant interest, has provided a combined $5.1 billion to 421 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands: $1.5 billion for TIGER I, $600 million for TIGER II, $527 million for TIGER III, $500 million for TIGER IV, $474 million for TIGER V, $600 million for TIGER VI, $500 million for TIGER VII, $500 million for TIGER VIII, and $500 million for TIGER IX that has yet to be awarded.
This opportunity has allowed DOT to fund 51 innovative capital projects in TIGER I and an additional 42 capital projects in TIGER II. TIGER II also featured a new Planning Grant category through which 33 planning projects were also funded. In TIGER III, DOT awarded 46 capital projects in 33 states and Puerto Rico. In TIGER IV, DOT awarded 47 capital projects in 34 states and the District of Columbia. TIGER V saw 52 capital projects in 37 states, while TIGER VI awarded 41 capital projects and 31 planning projects in 46 states and the District of Columbia. TIGER VII awarded 39 capital projects in 33 states and last year, TIGER VIII awarded 40 capital projects to 32 states and two U.S. territories.
Additionally, the FY2017 TIGER program will give special consideration to projects which emphasize improved access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for communities in rural areas, such as project that improve infrastructure condition, address public health and safety, promote regional connectivity, or facilitate economic growth or competitiveness. Since 2009, the TIGER program has awarded $1.082 billion in Federal funding to 140 rural projects across the nation, leveraging a combined $1.884 billion in non-Federal funding.
The TIGER program enables DOT to use a rigorous merit-based process to select projects with exceptional benefits, explore ways to deliver projects faster and save on construction costs, and make needed investments in our Nation's infrastructure.