The federal government is gearing up for another round of TIGER funding for transportation projects, and the emphasis this year, as in the previous two rounds, will be to foster competition among applicants.
“We believe in the power of competition,” Roy Kienitz, under secretary for policy at DOT, told the Association of Pacific Ports conference in Long Beach.
DOT this fall will accept TIGER III applications for the discretionary grants for transportation projects. The grants are not limited by transportation mode, geographical region or the size of ports, Kienitz said.
Unlike past government programs, in which funding often was awarded based on the political influence of members of Congress, projects funded under the TIGER program must stand on their own merit. DOT wants competition among project sponsors to be fierce.
“Our goal is for everyone to give us wonderful projects so picking winners is excruciatingly difficult,” he said.
The TIGER pot of money this year totals $530 million. DOT wants to spread the money around, so winners should expect most grants to be around $25 million to $30 million. The grants are intended to be leveraged by recipients so they can attract additional money from state, local or private sources.