News and Upcoming Events:
The 2021 Application Cycle for TAP and RTP funding has now closed. No specific date for award announcements has been set, but it is anticipated to be in Fall 2021.
See below for the recording of the April 1, 2021 Information Session:
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act replaced the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) with a set-aside of Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program funding for transportation alternatives. These set-aside funds include all projects and activities that were previously eligible under TAP, encompassing a variety of smaller-scale transportation projects such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities, recreational trails, safe routes to school projects, community improvements such as historic preservation and vegetation management, and environmental mitigation related to stormwater and habitat connectivity.
The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) codified the TAP under sections 213(b) and 101(a)(29) of title 23, United States Code (U.S.C.). The FAST Act repealed section 213, removed the former 101(a)(29), and recodified the program (as a set-aside of STBG funding) under 23 U.S.C. 133(h). For administrative purposes, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is calling these funds the “Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside” or “TA Set-Aside.” ARDOT however, will still refer to this program as the TAP for consistency and so as not to confuse applicants.
The TAP provides funding for programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives, replacing the funding from per-MAP-21 programs including Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School (SRTS), wrapping them into a single funding source.
Project sponsors apply for TAP program funds through a competitive process with the applications being reviewed by the TAP Advisory Committee (TAPAC).
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is now a set aside of TAP funding but still retains its previous guidance. New RTP projects are also selected through a competitive process with those applications being reviewed by the Arkansas Recreational Trails Program Advisory Committee (ARTAC).
If an applicant feels that their project is qualified under both programs, they may apply to both the TAP and RTP in the same application cycle. However, if chosen for funding, the project would only receive funding from either the TAP or the RTP, not both.
The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is a reimbursement-type grant program. The program provides for an 80 percent federal share and a 20 percent match will be required from the eligible sponsor. Use of in-kind match will not be permitted for TAP projects. The 20 percent match must be in cash. In-kind match will be permitted for RTP projects.
Federal funds provided can only be used for project construction. Costs associated with preliminary engineering, environmental documentation, right-of-way and utility adjustments, and construction inspection will be the responsibility of the eligible sponsor.
Plans which include the design of structural components, such as pedestrian bridges, tunnels, or scenic overlooks, must be stamped by a Registered Professional Engineer. Plans which include the design of only non-structural components, such as concrete sidewalks or paved trails, must be stamped by a Registered Professional Engineer. Plans which include the design of only non-infrastructure components will not require either.
Funding limitations are as follows:
- There will be no minimum requested funding amount on projects containing only non-infrastructure components.
- Projects containing infrastructure components will have a minimum requested funding amount of $20,000.
- All TAP and RTP projects will have a maximum requested funding amount of $500,000.
TAP funds may be used for the following:
- Construction of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized forms of transportation.
- Construction of infrastructure-related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non-drivers, including children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs.
- Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other non-motorized transportation users.
- Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas
- Community improvement activities, including:
- inventory, control, or removal of outdoor advertising
- historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities
- vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species, and provide erosion control.
- archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of an eligible transportation project.
- Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to:
- address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff.
- reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats.
- Construction of boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways.
- Recreational Trails Program eligible activities
- Safe Routes to School eligible activities
Applications for TAP funds will be accepted from the following:
[23 U.S.C. 133(h)(4)(B)]
- local governments, including city and county governments
- regional transportation authorities
- transit agencies
- natural resource or public land agencies
- school districts, local education agencies, or schools
- tribal governments
- any other local or regional governmental entity with responsibility for oversight of transportation or recreational trails
Under TAP, nonprofits are not eligible as direct grant recipients of TAP funds. Nonprofits may partner with any eligible entity on an eligible TAP project.
For TAP and RTP projects, any eligible sponsor that is within the state will be allowed to apply for funds.
Safe Routes to School
Safe Routes to School program funding has been incorporated into the TAP program. More information regarding Safe Routes to School eligible projects can be located through the following link.
The Recreational Trails program is funded through a portion of TAP funds set aside specifically for recreational trails. [23 USC 213(f)-(g)] More information regarding Recreational Trails program funds and eligible projects and can be located through the following link.
Minghua Qiu Miller, P.E.
Program Management Division
Phone: (501) 569-2213
Fax: (501) 569-2623