APTA Addresses Reduced TIGER Grants for Public Transportation
According to the association, the previous three cycles issued at least 20 percent of TIGER grants for public transportation projects. For FY 2017, 3.6 percent of the year's total funding went to public transit.
The American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) 1,500 public and private members call on the Administration to recognize the vital importance of public transportation to our national transportation system in future rounds of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants.
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced the FY 2017 TIGER grant awards, with only 3.6 percent going to public transit projects. This represents a significant decrease in public transit TIGER grants.
While we appreciate the fact that two of the 41 FY 2017 TIGER awards will go to public transit projects in Georgia and Wisconsin, APTA notes that more than 20 percent of funding awards during the previous three fiscal years went to public transportation. APTA urges the Administration to increase funding for public transit investments in future years.
The TIGER program is an important source of funding for projects across many transportation modes that increase mobility and support jobs in the national economy. Typically, a much greater share of TIGER awards has been awarded to public transit project sponsors, recognizing the critical impact these projects have for reducing congestion, improving safety, environmental sustainability, and economic competitiveness.
TIGER is an oversubscribed program, and there were numerous worthy public transportation proposals that did not receive funding this round. While we recognize that some of the grants beyond the two mentioned above may have some public transit components, it is indisputable that the Administration has dramatically reduced the share of funds that will support public transportation compared to previous years.
A strong federal investment in public transportation needs to be preserved and increased, not cut, as the President has proposed in his budget and we have seen in these TIGER announcements. APTA looks forward to continuing to work with Congress and the Administration to support public transportation programs in future appropriations and authorization legislation, and calls on the Administration to provide greater support for public transportation for future discretionary grants.