Funding Program: Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set-Aside

Important Dates for FY17

October 13, 2016 – Deadline to submit project endorsement request form to RVTPO

November 1, 2016 – Deadline to submit TA applications to VDOT

For more information, deadlines and applications, please visit the VDOT Transportation Alternatives page here.

Program Background and History

The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) was authorized in the most recent federal transportation bill – Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21).  This legislation was signed into law on July 6, 2012.  The Transportation Alternatives Program redefines the former Transportation Enhancement (TE) Program and consolidates these eligibilities with the Safe Routes to School and Recreational Trails program eligibilities.

  • On and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities
  • Infrastructure for improving non-motorized access to public transportation
  • Recreational trails
  • Traffic calming
  • Projects to achieve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities

A complete list of the types of eligible projects that may be funded with TAP can be found at:

MAP-21 identifies four (4) categories of eligibilities for the Transportation Alternatives Program:

  • Transportation Alternatives
  • Safe Routes to School
  • Recreational Trails
  • Boulevards in former Interstate System Routes

In Virginia, the Transportation Alternatives Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), will focus on the Transportation Alternatives and Safe Routes to School eligibilities.  To be considered for this funding, a project must relate to surface transportation and qualify under one or more of the TA or SRTS activities.

Mission of the Transportation Alternatives Program

The program is intended to help local sponsors fund community based projects that expand travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by improving the cultural, historical and environmental aspects of the transportation infrastructure.  The program does not fund traditional roadway projects or provide maintenance for these facilities.  Instead it focuses on providing for pedestrian and bicycle facilities, community improvements and mitigating the negative impacts of the highway system.  TAP is part of the Federal-aid Highway program. It is not a grant program and funds are only available on a reimbursement basis.  This means the project sponsor must first incur project expenses and then request reimbursement.

Program Structure and Funding

Each State’s Transportation Alternatives Program funding includes: the ten (10) Transportation Alternatives (TA) eligibilities; the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) eligibilities; the “Boulevard” eligibilities; and the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).  MAP-21 clearly outlines how these funds are to be distributed.  First, there is a sub-apportionment for the Recreational Trails Program which is taken off the top of the State’s total TAP funding allocation.  Of the remaining balance, MAP-21 states that 50% can be allocated anywhere in the state, but the other 50% must be allocated based on population as set forth in the federal legislation.  The divisions for the population-based sub-allocations are:

  • Urbanized areas of the State with a population over 200,000 – also known as a Transportation Management Area (TMA)
  • Areas of the State with a population less than 200,000 but greater than 5,000
  • Areas of the State with a population less than 5,000

The Roanoke Valley Area Metropolitan Planning Organization was designated a TMA MPO in 2012.  Each MPO is involved in the solicitation and recommendation of TA applications to the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

TA Project Applications and Awards

On March 26, 2015, the TPO Policy Board endorsed and funded the following projects and amounts:

Applicant Project TA Funds Requested TA Funds Awarded by TPO
TA Funds Awarded by CTB Members* Total Allocation
City of Roanoke Virginian Railway Passenger Station Phase II:  Building Restoration $246,000 $123,000 $123,000 $246,000
Botetourt County Daleville Greenway $476,000 $126,042 $349,958 $476,000

*Denotes Commonwealth Transportation Board District and At-Large Member project selections.

There were two TA project applications received by VDOT on November 1, 2014, which are as follows:

Applicant Project Phase TA Funds Requested
City of Roanoke Virginian Railway Passenger Station Phase II:  Building Restoration Construction $246,000
Botetourt County Daleville Greenway Preliminary Engineering, Right-of-Way Acquisition $476,000


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