Office of Operations Freight Management and Operations

Talking Freight Seminar
July 1, 2010
TIGER II Planning Grants

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Community Challenge and TIGER II Planning Grants

Two photos, one of a subway car at an underground station, the other an aerial time-lapse photo of a landscaped roundabout in a redeveloped downtown area featuring well-lit shops, buildings, and parking and. Photo also incorporates the logos for the US Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

July 1, 2010

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  • Purpose of the program:
    • support metropolitan and multijurisdictional planning efforts that integrate housing, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation, infrastructure plans
    • empower jurisdictions to consider the interdependent challenges of economic growth and revitalization, social equity, access to opportunity, public health and environmental impact simultaneously
  • Available Funds:
    • up to $75 million, including $40 million for Community Challenge planning grants and up to $35 million for TIGER II Planning Grants.

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Eligible Applicants

  • State and local governments
  • Tribal governments
  • Transit agencies, Port authorities, Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs)
  • Other political subdivisions of State or local governments,
  • And multi-State or multijurisdictional groupings

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Eligibility and Grant Size

  • Individual awards can be up to $3 million
  • Grants can fund up to 80% of project costs
  • 100% of project costs are eligible for funding in rural areas
  • Grants will reflect the need to provide for an equitable distribution of the funds by funding projects in states, regions and communities of varying size

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Eligible Activities

  • TIGER II Planning Grants: Activities related to the planning, preparation, or design of surface transportation projects, including, but not limited to:
    • Highway or bridge projects;
    • Public transportation projects;
    • Passenger and freight rail transportation projects;
    • Port infrastructure; and
    • Bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
  • Community Challenge Planning Grant: Activities including, but not limited to:
    • Development of master plans or comprehensive plans that promote affordable housing co-located and/or well-connected with retail and business development;
    • Development and implementation of local, corridor or district plans and strategies that promote livability and sustainability (see Livability Principle in Section V); and
    • Revisions to zoning codes, ordinances, building standards, or other laws to remove barriers and promote sustainable and mixed-use development.

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Eligible Activities

  • Potential Combination of TIGER II and Community Challenge Planning Grant
    • Planning activities related to the development of a particular transportation corridor or regional transportation system, that promotes mixed-use, transit-oriented development with an affordable housing component.
    • Planning activities related to the development of a freight corridor that seeks to reduce conflicts with residential areas and with passenger and non-motorized traffic. In this type of project, DOT might fund the transportation planning activities along the corridor, and HUD may fund changes in the zoning code to support appropriate siting of freight facilities and route the freight traffic around town centers, residential areas, and schools.
    • Developing expanded public transportation options, including accessible public transportation and paratransit services for individuals with disabilities, to allow individuals to live in diverse, high opportunity neighborhoods and communities and to commute to areas with greater employment and educational opportunities.

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Ineligible Activities

  • Activities not eligible for assistance under OMB Circular A-102, A-110 , A-87 and A-122
  • Developing plans that would assist business or industry to relocate to an area to the detriment of communities where the business or industry is currently located
  • Assistance to subcontractors or vendors acquiring business customarily performed by other subcontractors unless through open competition or providing assistance to small, disadvantaged minority-owned, woman-owned or veteran-owned businesses
  • Detailed engineering or architectural specification drawings for specific housing, capital facilities, or public works projects
  • Substitution of Sustainable Communities funds for funding already pledged to support community development, housing, watershed, air and water quality, transportation planning, food production and distribution planning, and other planning activities

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Threshold Requirements

  • July 26, 2010 pre-application deadline
    • must be submitted electronically to USDOT, accessible through, which is accessible now.
    • HUD and USDOT will inform project sponsors if eligibility and funding assurances are not adequate and must be adjusted as part of the application
  • August 23, 2010 application deadline – must submit through
    • No more than 15 pages
    • Narrative and data to support assertions
    • Work plan, budget, project completion schedule
    • Evidence of support for match
  • Local leveraging, or matching funds of 20 percent of the costs of the project; not applicable to transportation planning projects located in rural areas.
  • Only one application per project will be accepted for review. An applicant that submits more than one application per project may have some or all of the submissions deemed ineligible.
  • Resolution of Outstanding Civil Rights Matters for Applicants for HUD Funding.

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Rating Factors

  • Rating Factor 1—Purpose and Outcomes (35 points): An applicant's score on this rating factor will be based on the projects alignment with the six "Livability Principles" agreed to by DOT, HUD and EPA to help implement joint housing and transportation initiatives:
    • Provide more transportation choices
    • Promote equitable, affordable housing
    • Enhance economic competitiveness
    • Support existing communities
    • Coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment.
    • Value communities and neighborhoods.
  • Rating Factor 2—Work Plan and Program Evaluation (35 points): An applicant's score on this rating factor will be based on how well the application addresses the quality and cost effectiveness of the proposed work plan. Applicants should develop a work plan that includes specific, measurable, and time phased objectives for each major activity.

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Rating Factors

  • Rating Factor 3—Leveraging (15 points): how well the application demonstrates the project's ability to obtain other community, local, State, private and federal resources that can be combined with DOT and HUD program resources to achieve program objectives.
  • Rating Factor 4—Capacity (15 points): how well the application demonstrates the applicant's capacity to successfully implement the proposed activities in a timely manner. DOT and HUD will give priority to applications that demonstrate the prior experience to bring the project(s) that is the subject of the planning activities to completion. And that demonstrate strong collaboration among a broad range of participants, including public, private and nonprofit entities.
  • HUD's Departmental Policy Priorities if applying to Funding Category 2 (5 points): how you will address the following HUD Departmental policy priorities (1) Capacity Building and Knowledge Sharing; and (2) Expand Cross-Cutting Policy Knowledge. 

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Evaluation Process

  • Evaluation Team with representatives from the Partnership for Sustainable Communities agencies.
  • Each application will be evaluated on how well it aligns with the "Rating Factors" and will be assigned a score on a scale of 1-100.
  • The scoring system will not determine the specific projects that will be selected for funding; rather, the scoring system will be used to generate a list of highly recommended projects.
  • Highly recommended projects will then be forwarded to a senior-level review team for review, and the senior level review team will make funding recommendations, based on each project's merits.
  • In selecting projects for funding, DOT and HUD will also take measures to ensure an equitable distribution of funds (including requirements for regional, rural/urban and modal equity) and enable achievement of the purposes and requirements of the two programs.
  • DOT and HUD reserve the right to fund less than the full amount requested in an application. Projects may be selected for a Community Challenge Grant, a TIGER II Planning Grant or both.

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Administration of Grants

  • Each TIGER II Planning Grant will be administered by one of USDOT's Modal Administrations.
  • Community Challenge Planning Grants will be administered by HUD
  • Grant recipients must comply with applicable Federal requirements, including, for Community Challenge Planning Grants, compliance with the Fair Housing and Civil Rights Laws
  • Grant agreements will include appropriate reporting requirements.
  • The period of performance shall not exceed 36 months. All funds awarded must be obligated by September 30, 2012.
  • Applicants should be prepared to initiate eligible activities and within 120 days of the effective date of the grant award

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Competitive Applications

  • Eligibility
  • Address criteria and outcomes
  • Clarity
  • Leverages investment
  • Innovative
  • Breaks down silos

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Additional Information



  • Pre-application site
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Fact Sheets
  • Side by Side Comparison
  • Tweets
  • Webinars for external stakeholders

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