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TIGER III to come this summer

The Metropolitan Washington Transportation Planning Board reported Wednesday that there will be a third round of the federal government's TIGER transportation grant program.

Photo by iyoupapa on Flickr.

The popular and extremely competitive grants can be used for almost any transportation idea, provided applicants make the case that their projects deserve funding.

The recently-passed federal budget deal includes $528 million for a new installment of the program, which is expected to be announced formally along with a solicitation for applications some time in early summer. Submissions would most likely be due in late summer, with funding decisions probably coming in winter.

It's expected that the new program will very closely mirror last year's $600 million version, including the 80-20 federal-local match requirement and the merit-based project scoring. One expected difference will be that the new program may exclude planning and design projects in order to focus exclusively on construction and implementation.

The Washington region was awarded a grant for bus improvements in round one, and applied for but didn't receive a grant for bikesharing in round two. However, the TIGER II bikesharing application was apparently one of the highest-scoring nationally not to receive funding, so it might be prudent to simply try the same thing again.

In any event, this will be a major program to watch. The TPB will almost certainly put forth a regional application, and most of the local jurisdictions will probably apply for projects separately as well.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.

Dan Malouff is a transportation planner for Arlington and professor of geography at George Washington University, but blogs to express personal views. He has a degree in urban planning from the University of Colorado, and lives in NE DC. He runs BeyondDC and contributes to the Washington Post


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How about resubmitting the proposal for the K Street redesign?

by Shipsa01 on Apr 21, 2011 11:21 am • linkreport

There have been a lot of good projects funded by TIGER grants. Hopefully the RepuB(P)licans don't try to rescind this like they tried to do with the current funding.,%20T%26I%20Funding%20Cuts.pdf

by No more GO(B)P on Apr 21, 2011 11:27 am • linkreport

I thought the regional bikshare plan was too over the top when it was submitted. Far too spread out.

Can we consider the Crystal City "pod" a success? About 21,000 rides. Compare that to E-O-T-R -- less than 800.

Reworking the plan so Arlington, DC and Bethesda get more bikes might work -- but takes away from the regional approach. Putting bikes in Reston, Falls Church, PG County etc is a waste.

by charlie on Apr 21, 2011 11:32 am • linkreport

@charlie -- I agree with the general thrust of your idea (that closer-in spots should get the bulk of the funding), but that's precisely what the regional plan looked like for the most part, with 75% of all bikes/stations going into DC and Arlington.

The proposed plan would nearly double the number of DC stations (allowing for both significant density increases in the core and adding new neighborhoods) and triple the number of Arlington Stations, with small (Crystal City-sized) grants to start things up in Bethesda, Silver Spring and Alexandria, which are within easy connectivity distance to existing/planned stations in DC/Arlington.

While it also includes small numbers of bikes (~100 each) for College Park and Reston, I think the relative lack of connectivity between those sites and the larger system would be offset to a large degree by the extra clout the grant gets from adding the support of more municipalities.

by Jacques on Apr 21, 2011 11:51 am • linkreport

Technically, it's the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, not "Metropolitan Washington".

Thanks for sharing the good news. How did you hear that our Tiger II bike sharing application scored so highly?

by MDE on Apr 21, 2011 11:55 am • linkreport

@Jacques; fair point. To quibble a bit more, I'm not sure doubling down on DC is really going to work. And Arlington is going to be an interesting test case. 30 stations on R-B is nice, but very curious to see how it will work.

Looking at the linked files, we are talking about $12M in Tiger money.

A few ideas: link it more to Pentagon/BRAC moves, and find ways to identify new corridors.

by charlie on Apr 21, 2011 12:40 pm • linkreport

Has the Baltimore red line been federally funded yet or is it also trying for TIGER III ?

by Tom Coumaris on Apr 21, 2011 1:44 pm • linkreport

Anyone we can bribe so we get ALL the grant money and get moving on the streetcar project? If we had the financialy resources, there's no reason the entire project should take more than two years. At this rate, the streetcar system might be done by the time I retire (and that's a long time from now!)

I'm generally opposed to these grants...a little here, a little there. I'd rather see it all go to a big project that can serve as a model and bellweather for other projects around the country. A similar and disastrous approach was used when allocating stimulus money in 2009.

by MJ on Apr 21, 2011 2:17 pm • linkreport


I'm pretty sure the red line in Baltimore would be funded under the New Starts program, as large fixed-rail transit projects usually are.

by Ben on Apr 21, 2011 2:17 pm • linkreport


Why would you call previous TIGER programs "disastrous"? Most people would call them extremely successful.

by MLD on Apr 21, 2011 2:31 pm • linkreport

Too bad after yesterday's priorities task force meeting it appears the transportation planning board is not even close to developing a process for regional transportation priorities. Thus this TIGER III round will probably be an ad hoc stapling effort putting our region at a competitive disadvantage.

by anne on Apr 21, 2011 2:50 pm • linkreport

Is it possible for this to be awarded to the streetcars? Just imagining hopping on a street car at Washington Circle (Foggy Bottom) and being at H Street just a few minutes later gets me all tingly.

by Jared on Apr 21, 2011 8:51 pm • linkreport

Just imagining hopping on a street car at Washington Circle (Foggy Bottom) and being at H Street just a few minutes later gets me all tingly.

You watch it with the tingling on the streetcar seats!

by Mister Goat on Apr 21, 2011 11:50 pm • linkreport

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