[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 115 (Wednesday, June 17, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 28755-28767]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-14262]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Office of the Secretary of Transportation

[Docket No. OST-2009-0115]


Notice of Funding Availability for Supplemental Discretionary 
Grants for Capital Investments in Surface Transportation Infrastructure 
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary of Transportation (``OST'').

ACTION: Notice of Funding Availability.

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SUMMARY: On May 18, 2009, the Department of Transportation published an 
interim notice announcing the availability of funding for TIGER 
Discretionary Grants (as defined below), project selection criteria, 
application requirements and the deadline for submitting applications. 
Because this is a new program, the interim notice also requested 
comments on the proposed selection criteria and guidance for awarding 
TIGER Discretionary Grants. The Department considered the comments that 
were submitted in accordance with the interim notice and has decided to 
publish this notice revising some elements of the interim notice. Each 
of the substantive revisions made in this notice are described below in 
``Supplemental Information.'' In the event that this solicitation does 
not result in the award and obligation of all available funds, the 
Department may decide to publish an additional solicitation.

DATES: Complete applications for TIGER Discretionary Grants must be 
submitted by September 15, 2009 (the ``Application Deadline''). While 
applicants are encouraged to submit applications in advance of the 
Application Deadline, applications will not be evaluated, and awards 
will not be made, until after the Application Deadline. Due to the need 
to expedite the grant award process to meet the requirements and 
purposes of the Recovery Act (as defined below), the Department will 
evaluate all applications and announce the projects that have been 
selected to receive Grant Funds (as defined below) as soon as possible 
after the Application Deadline, but no later than February 17, 2010. In 
addition, in the event that this solicitation does not result in the 
award and obligation of all available funds, the Department may decide 
to publish an additional solicitation.

ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted to the TIGER Discretionary

[[Page 28756]]

Grants program manager electronically via e-mail at 
TIGERGrants@dot.gov. Applicants should receive a confirmation e-mail, 
but are advised to request a return receipt to confirm transmission. 
Only applications received via e-mail as provided above shall be deemed 
properly filed.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: For further information concerning this notice 
please contact the TIGER Discretionary Grants program manager via e-
mail at TIGERGrants@dot.gov. A TDD is available for individuals who are 
deaf or hard of hearing at 202-366-7687.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 18, 2009, the Department published an 
interim notice announcing funding availability, project selection 
criteria, application requirements and the deadline for submitting 
applications. Because this is a new program, the interim notice also 
requested comments on the proposed selection criteria and guidance for 
awarding TIGER Discretionary Grants. The Department considered the 
comments that were submitted in accordance with the interim notice and 
has decided to publish this notice revising some elements of the 
interim notice. Each of the substantive revisions made in this notice 
are described in the following paragraph. In the event that this 
solicitation does not result in the award and obligation of all 
available funds, the Department may decide to publish an additional 
solicitation.
    This notice revises the interim notice published on May 18, 2009, 
as follows:
    1. The notice is no longer an interim notice, and the Department is 
no longer considering comments on the proposed selection criteria and 
guidance for awarding TIGER Discretionary Grants. This notice is the 
operative notice of funding availability for the TIGER Discretionary 
Grants program.
    2. This notice provides additional guidance at the end of Section 
II(B)(1)(a) (Long-Term Outcomes) regarding the required evaluation of 
expected project costs and benefits. This notice (i) provides a 
discount rate for discounting future benefits and costs to present 
values, (ii) identifies guidance on the value of time and statistical 
lives, (iii) provides sources of information on the social benefits of 
reducing crash costs, pollutant emissions and other externalities, and 
(iv) provides economic values for various benefits, including the cost 
of a metric ton of carbon emissions. This notice also revises this 
section to clarify that the required evaluation of expected project 
costs and benefits for any applicant seeking a TIGER Discretionary 
Grant in excess of $100 million should present a robust assessment of a 
project's net benefits, in addition to the project's benefit-cost 
ratio.
    3. This notice revises the definition of ``Eligible Applicants'' to 
clarify that Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) are Eligible 
Applicants, and requests in Section II(B)(1)(b)(iv) (Job Creation & 
Economic Stimulus) that MPOs provide evidence that the owner of the 
project supports the application and will cooperate in carrying out the 
activities to be supported by the TIGER Discretionary Grant.
    4. This notice includes a footnote in Section II(A)(1)(b) (Job 
Creation & Economic Stimulus) regarding the Department's application of 
the definition of ``Economically Distressed Areas'' from section 301 of 
the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3161) 
as a matter of policy. While ``Economically Distressed Areas'' are 
typically identified under the Act at the county level, for the 
purposes of this program the Department will consider municipalities or 
other similar political subdivisions of a State to be Economically 
Distressed Areas if an applicant can demonstrate that any such area 
otherwise meets the requirements for an ``Economically Distressed 
Area'' as defined in section 301 of the Public Works and Economic 
Development Act of 1965.
    5. This notice includes a footnote in Section II(B)(1)(b)(iv) (Job 
Creation & Economic Stimulus) providing additional guidance about the 
requirements for a project's inclusion in State and local planning 
documents.
    6. This notice revises Section III(B) (Evaluation Process) to 
clarify that the Department will consider whether a project has a 
negative effect on any of the selection criteria, and that any such 
effect may negatively impact the project's likelihood of being selected 
for a TIGER Discretionary Grant.
    7. This notice revises Section II(B(1)(a)(ii) (Economic 
Competitiveness) to clarify that the Economic Competitiveness criterion 
is targeting investments that facilitate net new private sector 
expansion, hiring, or growth, rather than those that result only in 
moving existing jobs or economic activity to different locations.
    8. This notice revises the Section entitled ``Dates'' to clarify 
that while applications may be submitted prior to the Application 
Deadline, the Department will not evaluate applications or announce 
projects selected to receive TIGER Discretionary Grants until after the 
Application Deadline.
    9. This notice revises Section VII (Contents of Application) to (i) 
request that applicants include certain information on the first page 
of their applications, and (ii) clarify that recipients of TIGER 
Discretionary Grants and their first-tier sub-awardees are required to 
have a DUNS number (http://www.dnb.com) and a current registration in 
the Central Contractor Registration (http://www.ccr.gov) prior to award 
of a TIGER Discretionary Grant.
    10. This notice revises Section III(A) (Ensuring Responsible 
Spending of Recovery Act Funds) to include requirements guiding the 
Department's communications with registered lobbyists which were 
promulgated by the memorandum from the President of the United States 
dated March 20, 2009.
    11. This notice revises the Section entitled ``For Further 
Information'' to clarify that the TDD number is provided for 
individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
    12. In Section II(C)(1) (Program-Specific Criteria), this notice 
corrects the citation to the Code of Federal Regulations from ``23 CFR 
707'' to ``23 CFR 650.707.''
    13. In the first cell of the last row of the table in Section 
III(B) (Evaluation Process), this notice replaces the words ``Project-
Specific Criteria'' with the words ``Program-Specific Criteria.''
    14. Section X (Certifications) was amended to delete Section 
1201(a) and Section 1607 Certification requirements because submissions 
of such Certifications are not direct requirements for potential 
grantees under the TIGER Discretionary Grants program.
    These substantive changes to the interim notice published on May 
18, 2009, have been included in this notice. All comments received 
prior to the June 1, 2009, deadline were received and considered by the 
Department.

Table of Contents

I. Background
II. Selection Criteria and Guidance on Application of Selection 
Criteria
III. Evaluation and Selection Process
IV. Grant Administration
V. Waiver of Minimum Grant Size Requirement
VI. TIGER TIFIA Payments
VII. Contents of Application
VIII. Project Benefits
IX. Reporting Requirements
X. Certification Requirements
XI. Questions and Clarifications

I. Background

    On February 17, 2009, the President of the United States signed the 
American Recovery and Reinvestment

[[Page 28757]]

Act of 2009 (the ``Recovery Act'') to, among other purposes, (1) 
preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery, (2) invest in 
transportation infrastructure that will provide long-term economic 
benefits, and (3) assist those most affected by the current economic 
downturn. The Recovery Act appropriated $1.5 billion of discretionary 
grant funds to be awarded by the Department of Transportation for 
capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure. The 
Department is referring to these grants as ``Grants for Transportation 
Investment Generating Economic Recovery'' or ``TIGER Discretionary 
Grants.'' This notice requests that applications for TIGER 
Discretionary Grants be submitted by September 15, 2009, from State and 
local governments, including U.S. territories, tribal governments, 
transit agencies, port authorities, metropolitan planning organizations 
(MPOs), other political subdivisions of State or local governments, and 
multi-State or multi-jurisdictional applicants (``Eligible 
Applicants''). The funds provided by TIGER Discretionary Grants 
(``Grant Funds'') are available for obligation until September 30, 
2011, and will be awarded on a competitive basis to projects that have 
a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area, or a region.
    Projects that are eligible for TIGER Discretionary Grants under the 
Recovery Act (``Eligible Projects'') include, but are not limited to: 
(1) Highway or bridge projects eligible under title 23, United States 
Code, including interstate rehabilitation, improvements to the rural 
collector road system, the reconstruction of overpasses and 
interchanges, bridge replacements, seismic retrofit projects for 
bridges, and road realignments; (2) public transportation projects 
eligible under chapter 53 of title 49, United States Code, including 
investments in projects participating in the New Starts or Small Starts 
programs that will expedite the completion of those projects and their 
entry into revenue service; (3) passenger and freight rail 
transportation projects; and (4) port infrastructure investments, 
including projects that connect ports to other modes of transportation 
and improve the efficiency of freight movement. Federal wage rate 
requirements included in subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, 
United States Code, apply to all projects receiving funds.
    The Recovery Act specifies that grants funded under the program may 
be no less than $20 million and no greater than $300 million. However, 
the Recovery Act gives the Department discretion to waive the $20 
million minimum grant size for the purpose of funding significant 
projects in smaller cities, regions, or States (``Smaller Projects''). 
The term ``grant'' in this provision of the Recovery Act does not 
include TIGER TIFIA Payments.
    Pursuant to the Recovery Act, no more than 20 percent of the funds 
made available under this program may be awarded to projects in a 
single State. The Department must take measures to ensure an equitable 
geographic distribution of funds and an appropriate balance in 
addressing the needs of urban and rural communities. TIGER 
Discretionary Grants may be used for up to 100 percent of project 
costs, but priority must be given to projects for which Federal funding 
is required to complete an overall financing package that includes non-
Federal sources of funds. Priority must also be given to projects that 
can be completed by February 17, 2012.
    The Recovery Act allows for up to $200 million of the $1.5 billion 
to be used to pay the subsidy and administrative costs of the 
Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998 
(``TIFIA'') program, a Federal credit assistance program, if it would 
further the purposes of the TIGER Discretionary Grants program. The 
Department is referring to these payments as ``TIGER TIFIA Payments.'' 
The Department estimates that $200 million of TIGER TIFIA Payments 
could support approximately $2 billion in TIFIA credit assistance. 
Applicants for TIGER TIFIA Payments will be required to submit an 
application pursuant to this notice and a separate TIFIA loan 
application. Additional details are included below in Section VI (TIGER 
TIFIA Payments). Unless otherwise noted, or the context requires 
otherwise, references in this notice to TIGER Discretionary Grants 
includes TIGER TIFIA Payments.
    On March 20, 2009, the President of the United States signed a 
memorandum for the heads of executive departments and agencies on 
ensuring responsible spending of Recovery Act funds. The memorandum 
directs all Federal agencies responsible for administering Recovery Act 
funds, including the Department, to develop transparent, merit-based 
selection criteria to guide the commitment, obligation and expenditure 
of the Recovery Act funds for which they are responsible, including 
TIGER Discretionary Grant funds.
    The memorandum directs the Department to award all Recovery Act 
funds, including TIGER Discretionary Grants, to projects with a 
demonstrated or potential ability to: ``(i) deliver programmatic 
results; (ii) achieve economic stimulus by optimizing economic activity 
and the number of jobs created or saved in relation to the Federal 
dollars obligated; (iii) achieve long-term public benefits by, for 
example, investing in technological advances in science and health to 
increase economic efficiency and improve quality of life; investing in 
transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that 
will provide long-term economic benefits; fostering energy 
independence; or improving educational quality; and (iv) satisfy the 
Recovery Act's transparency and accountability objectives.''
    The memorandum also directs Department officials not to consider 
the views of a registered lobbyist concerning particular projects, 
applications, or applicants for funding under the Recovery Act unless 
such views are in writing and made publicly available. For additional 
guidance on the lobbying disclosure requirements of the memorandum, 
please see the Office of Management and Budget's Interim Guidance 
Regarding Communications with Registered Lobbyists about Recovery Act 
Funds (available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/memoranda_fy2009/m-09-16.pdf) and any subsequent guidance issued by OMB.
    The purpose of this notice is to solicit applications from Eligible 
Applicants interested in receiving funds under this program.

II. Selection Criteria and Guidance on Application of Selection 
Criteria

    This section specifies the criteria that the Department will use to 
evaluate applications. The criteria incorporate the limited statutory 
eligibility requirements for this program, which are specified in this 
notice as relevant. This section is split into three parts. Section A 
(Selection Criteria) specifies the criteria that the Department will 
use to rate projects. Additional guidance about how the Department will 
apply these criteria, including illustrative metrics and examples, is 
provided in Section B (Additional Guidance on Selection Criteria). 
Section C (Program-Specific Criteria) explains how the Department is 
going to use certain program-specific criteria to help differentiate 
between similar projects (for example, multiple bridge replacement 
projects, or multiple New Starts projects). The program-specific 
criteria will not be rated as the selection criteria are rated, but 
rather will be used

[[Page 28758]]

to assign priority among similar projects during the evaluation and 
selection process. As stated below in Section VII(F) (Contents of 
Application, Selection Criteria), applicants should address both the 
selection criteria and the program-specific criteria in their 
applications.

A. Selection Criteria

    TIGER Discretionary Grants will be awarded based on the selection 
criteria as outlined below. There are two categories of selection 
criteria, ``Primary Selection Criteria'' and ``Secondary Selection 
Criteria.''
    The Primary Selection Criteria include (1) Long-Term Outcomes and 
(2) Jobs Creation & Economic Stimulus. The Secondary Selection Criteria 
include (1) Innovation and (2) Partnership. The Primary Selection 
Criteria are intended to capture the primary objectives of the TIGER 
Discretionary Grants provision of the Recovery Act, which include near-
term economic recovery and job creation, maximization of long-term 
economic benefits and impacts on the Nation, a region, or a 
metropolitan area, and assistance for those most affected by the 
current economic downturn. The Secondary Selection Criteria are 
intended to capture the benefits of new and/or innovative approaches to 
achieving programmatic objectives.
1. Primary Selection Criteria
    (a) Long-Term Outcomes.
    The Department will give priority to projects that have a 
significant impact on desirable long-term outcomes for the Nation, a 
metropolitan area, or a region. Applications that do not demonstrate a 
likelihood of significant long-term benefits in this criterion will not 
proceed in the evaluation process. The following types of long-term 
outcomes will be given priority:
    (i) State of Good Repair: Improving the condition of existing 
transportation facilities and systems, with particular emphasis on 
projects that minimize life-cycle costs.
    (ii) Economic Competitiveness: Contributing to the economic 
competitiveness of the United States over the medium- to long-term.
    (iii) Livability: Improving the quality of living and working 
environments and the experience for people in communities across the 
United States.
    (iv) Sustainability: Improving energy efficiency, reducing 
dependence on oil, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and benefitting 
the environment.
    (v) Safety: Improving the safety of U.S. transportation facilities 
and systems.
    (b) Job Creation & Economic Stimulus.
    Consistent with the purposes of the Recovery Act, the Department 
will give priority to projects that are expected to quickly create and 
preserve jobs and stimulate rapid increases in economic activity, 
particularly jobs and activity that benefit economically distressed 
areas as defined by section 301 of the Public Works and Economic 
Development Act of 1965, as amended (42 U.S.C. 3161) (``Economically 
Distressed Areas'').\1\
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    \1\ While Economically Distressed Areas are typically identified 
under the Act at the county level, for the purposes of this program 
the Department will consider municipalities or other similar 
political subdivisions of a State to be Economically Distressed 
Areas if an applicant can demonstrate that any such area otherwise 
meets the requirements of an Economically Distressed Area as defined 
in section 301 of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 
1965.
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2. Secondary Selection Criteria
    (a) Innovation.
    The Department will give priority to projects that use innovative 
strategies to pursue the long-term outcomes outlined above.
    (b) Partnership.
    The Department will give priority to projects that demonstrate 
strong collaboration among a broad range of participants and/or 
integration of transportation with other public service efforts.

B. Additional Guidance on Selection Criteria

    The following additional guidance explains how the Department will 
evaluate each of the selection criteria identified above in Section 
II(A) (Selection Criteria). Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate 
the responsiveness of a project to any and all of the selection 
criteria with the most relevant information that applicants can 
provide, regardless of whether such information has been specifically 
requested, or identified, in this notice. Any such information shall be 
considered part of the application, not supplemental, for purposes of 
the application size limits specified below in Section VII(A) (Length 
of Application).
1. Primary Selection Criteria
    (a) Long-Term Outcomes.
    In order to measure a project's alignment with this criterion, the 
Department will assess the public benefits generated by the project, as 
measured by the extent to which a project produces one or more of the 
following outcomes.
    (i) State of Good Repair: In order to determine whether the project 
will improve the condition of existing transportation facilities or 
systems, including whether life-cycle costs will be minimized, the 
Department will assess (i) whether the project is part of, or 
consistent with, relevant State, local or regional efforts to maintain 
transportation facilities or systems in a state of good repair, (ii) 
whether an important aim of the project is to rehabilitate, reconstruct 
or upgrade surface transportation projects that threaten future 
economic growth and stability due to their poor condition, (iii) 
whether the project is appropriately capitalized up front and uses 
asset management approaches that optimize its long-term cost structure, 
and (iv) the extent to which a sustainable source of revenue is 
available for long-term operations and maintenance of the project. The 
application should include any quantifiable metrics of the facility or 
system's current condition and performance and, to the extent possible, 
projected condition and performance, with an explanation of how the 
project will improve the facility or system's condition, performance 
and/or long-term cost structure.
    (ii) Economic Competitiveness: In order to determine whether a 
project promotes the economic competitiveness of the United States, the 
Department will assess whether the project will measurably contribute 
over the long-term to growth in employment, production or other high 
value economic activity. For purposes of aligning a project with this 
outcome, applicants should provide evidence of the long-term economic 
benefits that are provided by the completed project, not the near-term 
economic benefits of construction that are captured in the Jobs 
Creation & Economic Stimulus criterion. In weighing long-term 
employment benefits, the quality of jobs supported will be considered 
as well as number of jobs and whether these jobs are expected to 
provide employment in Economically Distressed Areas. Priority 
consideration will be given to projects that: (i) Improve long-term 
efficiency, reliability or cost-competitiveness in the movement of 
workers or goods, or (ii) make improvements that allow for net new 
investments in expansion, hiring, or other growth of private sector 
production at specific locations, particularly Economically Distressed 
Areas. Applicants may propose other methods of demonstrating a 
project's contribution to the economic competitiveness of the country 
and such methods will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
    Economic competitiveness may be demonstrated by the project's 
ability to

[[Page 28759]]

increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the transportation system 
through integration or better use of all existing transportation 
infrastructure (which may be evidenced by the project's involvement 
with or benefits to more than one mode and/or its compatibility with 
and preferably augmentation of the capacities of connecting modes and 
facilities), but only to the extent that these enhancements lead to the 
economic benefits that are identified in the preceding paragraph.
    (iii) Livability: Livability investments are projects that not only 
deliver transportation benefits, but are also designed and planned in 
such a way that they have a positive impact on qualitative measures of 
community life. This element of long-term outcomes delivers benefits 
that are inherently difficult to measure. However, it is implicit to 
livability that its benefits are shared and therefore magnified by the 
number of potential users in the affected community. Therefore, 
descriptions of how projects enhance livability should include a 
description of the affected community and the scale of the project's 
impact. In order to determine whether a project improves the quality of 
the living and working environment of a community, the Department will 
qualitatively assess whether the project:
    (1) Will significantly enhance user mobility through the creation 
of more convenient transportation options for travelers;
    (2) will improve existing transportation choices by enhancing 
points of modal connectivity or by reducing congestion on existing 
modal assets;
    (3) will improve accessibility and transport services for 
economically disadvantaged populations, non-drivers, senior citizens, 
and persons with disabilities, or to make goods, commodities, and 
services more readily available to these groups; and/or
    (4) is the result of a planning process which coordinated 
transportation and land-use planning decisions and encouraged community 
participation in the process.
    Livability improvements may include projects for new or improved 
biking and walking infrastructure. Particular attention will be paid to 
the degree to which such projects contribute significantly to broader 
traveler mobility through intermodal connections, or improved 
connections between residential and commercial areas.
    (iv) Sustainability: In order to determine whether a project 
promotes a more environmentally sustainable transportation system, the 
Department will assess its ability to:
    (1) Improve energy efficiency, reduce dependence on oil and/or 
reduce greenhouse gas emissions; applicants are encouraged to provide 
quantitative information regarding expected reductions in emissions of 
CO2 or fuel consumption as a result of the project, or 
expected use of clean or alternative sources of energy; projects that 
demonstrate a projected decrease in the movement of people or goods by 
less energy-efficient vehicles or systems will be given priority under 
this factor; and
    (2) Maintain, protect or enhance the environment, as evidenced by 
its avoidance of adverse environmental impacts (for example, adverse 
impacts related to air quality, wetlands, and endangered species) and/
or by its environmental benefits (for example, improved air quality, 
wetlands creation or improved habitat connectivity).
    Applicants are encouraged to provide quantitative information that 
validates the existence of substantial transportation-related costs 
related to energy consumption and adverse environmental effects and 
evidence of the extent to which the project will reduce or mitigate 
those costs.
    (v) Safety.
    In order to determine whether the project improves safety, the 
Department will assess the project's ability to reduce the number, rate 
and consequences of surface transportation-related crashes, and 
injuries and fatalities among drivers and/or non-drivers in the United 
States or in the affected metropolitan area or region, and/or its 
contribution to the elimination of highway/rail grade crossings, the 
protection of pipelines, or the prevention of unintended release of 
hazardous materials.
    Evaluation of Expected Project Costs and Benefits: The Department 
believes that benefit-cost analysis (``BCA''), including the 
monetization and discounting of costs and benefits to a common unit of 
measurement in present-day dollars, is an important discipline. For BCA 
to yield useful results, full consideration of costs and benefits is 
necessary. These include traditionally quantified fuel and travel time 
savings as well as greenhouse gas emissions, water quality impacts, 
public health effects, and other costs and benefits that are more 
remotely connected to vehicle-miles or are harder to measure. In 
addition, BCA should attempt to capture the dynamic effects of 
transportation investments on land use and household budgets. The 
systematic process of comparing expected benefits and costs helps 
decision-makers organize information about, and evaluate trade-offs 
between, alternative transportation investments. The Department has a 
responsibility under Executive Order 12893, Principles for Federal 
Infrastructure Investments, 59 FR 4233, to base infrastructure 
investments on systematic analysis of expected benefits and costs, 
including both quantitative and qualitative measures.
    Therefore, applicants for TIGER Discretionary Grants are generally 
required to identify, quantify, and compare expected benefits and 
costs, subject to the following qualifications:
    This requirement will be waived for applicants seeking waivers of 
the $20 million minimum grant size requirement for Smaller Projects.
    Any applicant seeking a TIGER Discretionary Grant of more than $20 
million but less than $100 million must include in its application 
estimates of the project's expected benefits in the five long-term 
outcomes identified in this Section II(A)(1)(a). The lack of a useful 
analysis of expected project benefits may be ground for denying award 
of a TIGER Discretionary Grant to any such applicant.
    Any applicant seeking a TIGER Discretionary Grant in excess of $100 
million must provide a well-developed analysis of expected benefits and 
costs, including a calculation of net benefits and a description of 
input data and methodological standards used for the analysis. The 
analysis should indicate the values that were assigned for qualitative 
measures, in addition to quantitative measures. Where information on 
costs and benefits, including consideration of externalities, is of 
sufficient quality and completeness to allow for a robust assessment of 
a project's net benefits and benefit-cost ratio, these analyses should 
be presented. Applicants should discount future benefits and costs to 
present values using a discount rate of 7 percent, following guidance 
provided by OMB in Circulars A-4 and A-94 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/). Applicants may also provide an alternative analysis 
using a discount rate of 3 percent. Applicants should follow the 
Department's guidance on the values of time and statistical lives 
(http://ostpxweb.dot.gov/policy/reports.htm). Sources of information on 
the social benefits of reducing crash costs, pollutant emissions, and 
other externalities are discussed in Chapter VIII of the Final 
Regulatory Impact Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration's rulemaking on Corporate Average Fuel Economy for MY 
2011 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/portal/
site/nhtsa/menuitem.d0b5a45b55

[[Page 28760]]

bfbe582f57529cdba046a0/). The economic values of various benefits are 
summarized in Table VIII-5 on page VIII-60.
    The estimate of $33 per metric ton of carbon cited on page VIII-45 
of NHTSA's analysis may be used as a placeholder to measure the global 
benefits of reducing U.S. CO2 emissions. The Administration 
is currently developing interim guidance on the social cost of carbon 
that may result in a different determination of the appropriate 
assumption for per metric ton global benefits achieved by emissions 
reductions. Following this determination, the Department may adjust the 
level of economic benefits of anticipated emissions reductions for 
applications that cite such benefits. As such, applicants should 
clearly indicate how and to what degree calculations of benefits in 
their analyses are based on this assumed value of CO2 
emissions reduction.
    The Department recognizes that some costs and benefits are more 
difficult to quantify or monetize than others. In presenting benefit-
cost analyses, applicants may include qualitative discussion of the 
likely effects of better or more complete information on the net 
benefits presented and the reasons such information was not available 
for analysis. Where quality or completeness of data are not sufficient 
to allow a meaningful assessment of whether a project's net benefits 
are positive or negative, applicants should discuss the data 
limitations that lead to this conclusion and present a qualitative 
comparison of costs and benefits. Should the Department agree that 
quantitative measures of the values of significant costs and benefits 
are not available or not reliable, the Department will do its best to 
weight qualitative assessments of the costs and benefits provided by 
the applicant. However, in the event of an unreasonable absence of data 
and analysis or poor applicant effort to put forth a robust 
quantification of net benefits, the application is unlikely to receive 
further consideration. In general, the lack of a useful analysis 
comparing expected benefits and costs for any such project is ground 
for denying award of a TIGER Discretionary Grant.
    In all cases, if it is clear to the Department that the total 
benefits of a project are not reasonably likely to outweigh the 
project's costs, the Department will not award a TIGER Discretionary 
Grant to the project. Consistent with the broader goals of the Recovery 
Act and the specific appropriation for the TIGER Discretionary Grants 
program, the Department can consider some factors that do not readily 
lend themselves to quantification or monetization, including 
distributional and geographic equity.
    Evaluation of Project Performance: The Department also encourages 
applicants with the requisite wherewithal to provide a plan for 
evaluating the success of the project (or a program of projects) and 
measuring short- and long-term performance, specifically with respect 
to the economic recovery measures and long-term outcomes specified in 
this notice.
    (b) Job Creation & Economic Stimulus.
    In order to measure a project's alignment with this criterion, the 
Department will assess whether the project promotes the short- or long-
term creation or preservation of jobs and whether the project rapidly 
promotes new or expanded business opportunities during construction of 
the project or thereafter. Demonstration of a project's rapid economic 
impact is critical to a project's alignment with this criterion. 
Applicants are encouraged to provide information to assist the 
Department in making these assessments, including the total amount of 
funds that will be expended on construction and construction-related 
activities by all of the entities participating in the project and, to 
the extent measurable, the number and type of jobs to be created and/or 
preserved by the project during construction and thereafter. Applicants 
should also identify any business enterprises to be created or 
benefited by the project during its construction and once it becomes 
operational.
    Consistent with the Recovery Act, the Updated Implementing Guidance 
for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 issued by the 
Office of Management and Budget (``OMB'') on April 3, 2009 (the ``OMB 
Guidance''), and Federal laws guaranteeing equal opportunity, 
applicants are encouraged to provide information to assist the 
Department in assessing (1) whether the project will promote the 
creation of job opportunities for low-income workers through the use of 
best practice hiring programs and utilization of apprenticeship 
(including pre-apprenticeship) programs; (2) whether the project will 
provide maximum practicable opportunities for small businesses and 
disadvantaged business enterprises, including veteran-owned small 
businesses and service disabled veteran-owned small businesses; (3) 
whether the project will make effective use of community-based 
organizations in connecting disadvantaged workers with economic 
opportunities; (4) whether the project will support entities that have 
a sound track record on labor practices and compliance with Federal 
laws ensuring that American workers are safe and treated fairly; and 
(5) whether the project implements best practices, consistent with our 
nation's civil rights and equal opportunity laws, for ensuring that all 
individuals--regardless of race, gender, age, disability, and national 
origin--benefit from the Recovery Act.
    To the extent possible, applicants should indicate whether the 
populations most likely to benefit from the creation or preservation of 
jobs or new or expanded business opportunities are from Economically 
Distressed Areas. In addition, to the extent possible, applicants 
should indicate whether the project's procurement plan is likely to 
create follow-on jobs and economic stimulus for manufacturers and 
suppliers that support the construction industry. A key consideration 
in assessing projects under this criterion will be how quickly jobs are 
created.
    Consistent with Section 1602 of the Recovery Act (Preference for 
Quick-Start Activities), the Department will assess whether a project 
is ready to proceed rapidly upon receipt of a TIGER Discretionary 
Grant, as evidenced by:
    (i) Project Schedule: A feasible and sufficiently detailed project 
schedule demonstrating that the project can begin construction quickly 
upon receipt of a TIGER Discretionary Grant and that the Grant Funds 
will be spent steadily and expeditiously once construction starts; the 
schedule should show how many direct, on-project jobs are expected to 
be created or sustained during each calendar quarter after the project 
is underway;
    (ii) Environmental Approvals: Receipt (or reasonably anticipated 
receipt) of all environmental approvals necessary for the project to 
proceed to construction on the timeline specified in the project 
schedule, including satisfaction of all Federal, State and local 
requirements and completion of the National Environmental Policy Act 
process;
    (iii) Legislative Approvals: Receipt of all necessary legislative 
approvals (for example, legislative authority to charge user fees or 
set toll rates), and evidence of support from State and local 
officials, including relevant governor(s) and/or mayors. Evidence of 
support from all relevant State and local officials is not required, 
however, the evidence should demonstrate that the project is broadly 
supported;
    (iv) State and Local Planning: The inclusion of the project in the 
relevant State, metropolitan, and local planning documents, or a 
certification from the appropriate agency that the project will

[[Page 28761]]

be included in the relevant planning document prior to award of a TIGER 
Discretionary Grant; \2\ any MPO that is applying for a TIGER 
Discretionary Grant should provide evidence that the owner of the 
project supports the application and will cooperate in carrying out the 
activities to be supported by the TIGER Discretionary Grant;
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ All regionally significant projects requiring an action by 
the FHWA or the FTA must be in the metropolitan transportation plan, 
TIP and STIP. Further, in air quality non-attainment and maintenance 
areas, all regionally significant projects, regardless of the 
funding source, must be included in the conforming metropolitan 
transportation plan and TIP. To the extent a project is required to 
be on a metropolitan transportation plan, TIP and/or STIP it will 
not receive a TIGER Discretionary Grant until it is included in such 
plans. Projects that are not required to be in long range 
transportation plans, STIPs and TIPs will not need to be included in 
such plans in order to receive a TIGER Discretionary Grant. Freight 
and passenger rail projects are not required to be on the State Rail 
Plans called for in the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement 
Act of 2008. This is consistent with the exemption for high speed 
and intercity passenger rail projects under the Recovery Act. 
However, applicants seeking funding for freight and passenger rail 
projects are encouraged to demonstrate that they have done 
sufficient planning to ensure that projects fit into a prioritized 
list of capital needs and are consistent with long-range goals.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (v) Technical Feasibility: The technical feasibility of the 
project, including completion of substantial preliminary engineering 
work; and
    (vi) Financial Feasibility: The viability and completeness of the 
project's financing package (assuming the availability of the requested 
TIGER Discretionary Grant funds), including evidence of stable and 
reliable financial commitments and contingency reserves, as 
appropriate, and evidence of the grant recipient's ability to manage 
grants.
    The Department reserves the right to revoke any award of TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funds and to award such funds to another project to 
the extent that such funds are not timely expended and/or construction 
does not begin in accordance with the project schedule. Because 
projects have different schedules the Department will consider on a 
case-by-case basis how much time after award of a TIGER Discretionary 
Grant each project has before funds must be expended and construction 
started. This deadline will be specified for each TIGER Discretionary 
Grant in the project-specific grant agreements signed by the grant 
recipients and will be based on critical path items identified by 
applicants in response to items (i) through (vi) above. For example, if 
an applicant reasonably anticipates that National Environmental Policy 
Act requirements will be completed and final documentation received 
within 30 to 60 days of award of a TIGER Discretionary Grant, this 
timeframe will be taken into account in evaluating the application, but 
also in establishing a deadline for expenditure of funds and 
commencement of construction. The Department's ability to obligate 
funds for TIGER Discretionary Grants expires on September 30, 2011.
    In compliance with the Recovery Act, the Department will give 
priority to projects that are expected to be completed on or before 
February 17, 2012. For purposes of this solicitation, ``completed'' 
means that all of the TIGER Discretionary Grant funds awarded to the 
project have been obligated and expended and construction of the 
project is substantially complete.
    The ability of the grant recipient to complete the project by this 
date must be clearly demonstrated in the project schedule. The 
Department will give priority to projects that utilize innovative 
contracting approaches that encourage accelerated project delivery. The 
Department will consider projects that are not expected to be completed 
by February 17, 2012, but these projects will not be rated as highly 
under this criterion.
2. Secondary Selection Criteria
    (a) Innovation.
    In order to measure a project's alignment with this criterion, the 
Department will assess the extent to which the project uses innovative 
technology (including, for example, intelligent transportation systems, 
dynamic pricing, rail wayside or on-board energy recovery, smart cards, 
real-time dispatching, active traffic management, radio frequency 
identification (RFID), or others) to pursue one or more of the long-
term outcomes outlined above and/or to significantly enhance the 
operational performance of the transportation system. The Department 
will also assess the extent to which the project incorporates 
innovations that demonstrate the value of new approaches to, among 
other things, transportation funding and finance, contracting, project 
delivery, congestion management, safety management, asset management, 
or long-term operations and maintenance. The applicant should clearly 
demonstrate that the innovation is designed to pursue one or more of 
the long-term outcomes outlined above and/or significantly enhance the 
transportation system.
    (b) Partnership.
    (i) Jurisdictional & Stakeholder Collaboration: In order to measure 
a project's alignment with this criterion, the Department will assess 
the project's involvement of non-Federal entities and the use of non-
Federal funds, including the scope of involvement and share of total 
funding. The Department will give priority to projects that receive 
financial commitments from, or otherwise involve, State and local 
governments, other public entities, or private or nonprofit entities, 
including projects that engage parties that are not traditionally 
involved in transportation projects, such as nonprofit community 
groups. Pursuant to the OMB Guidance, the Department will give priority 
to projects that make effective use of community-based organizations in 
connecting disadvantaged people with economic opportunities.
    In compliance with the Recovery Act, the Department will give 
priority to projects for which a TIGER Discretionary Grant will help to 
complete an overall financing package. An applicant should clearly 
demonstrate the extent to which the project cannot be readily and 
efficiently completed without Federal assistance, and the extent to 
which other sources of Federal assistance are or are not readily 
available for the project, including other funds made available 
pursuant to the Recovery Act. The Department will assess the amount of 
private debt and equity to be invested in the project or the amount of 
co-investment from State, local or other non-profit sources.
    The Department will also assess the extent to which the project 
demonstrates collaboration among neighboring or regional jurisdictions 
to achieve National, regional or metropolitan benefits. Multiple States 
or jurisdictions may submit a joint application and should identify a 
lead State or jurisdiction as the primary point of contact. Where 
multiple States are submitting a joint application, the application 
should demonstrate how the project costs are apportioned between the 
States to assist the Department in making the distributional 
determinations described below in Section III(C) (Distribution of 
Funds).
    (ii) Disciplinary Integration: In order to demonstrate the value of 
partnerships across government agencies that serve the various public 
service missions forwarded by the Recovery Act and to promote 
collaboration on the objectives outlined in this notice, the Department 
will give priority to projects that are supported, financially or 
otherwise, by non-transportation public agencies that are pursuing 
similar objectives. For example, the Department will give

[[Page 28762]]

priority to transportation projects that create more livable 
communities and are supported by relevant public housing agencies, or 
transportation projects that encourage energy efficiency or improve the 
environment and are supported by relevant public agencies with energy 
or environmental missions.

C. Program-Specific Criteria

    The Department will use certain program-specific criteria in the 
evaluation and selection process to help differentiate between similar 
projects. Similar projects are those that have similar characteristics 
and satisfy the eligibility requirements of existing programmatic 
structures (for example, two urban light rail projects eligible to 
participate in the New Starts program). To the extent two or more 
similar projects have similar ratings based on the selection criteria 
outlined in Section II(A) (Selection Criteria) the program-specific 
criteria will be used to assign priority among these projects.
    Projects will not be given specific ratings of ``highly 
recommended,'' ``recommended'' or ``not recommended'' for applicable 
program-specific criteria; rather, the Department will use the program-
specific criteria to rank similar projects. To the extent otherwise 
similar projects can be differentiated based on the selection criteria, 
program-specific criteria will not be given any weight.
    The program-specific criteria are not intended to limit the number 
of similar projects that can receive TIGER Discretionary Grants.
    Program-specific criteria will only be applied to the types of 
projects identified below. Any other type of project will be 
differentiated from other similar projects solely based on the 
selection criteria outlined in Section II(A) (Selection Criteria). The 
Department will use the following program-specific criteria, where 
applicable, to assign priority among similar projects:
    1. For bridge replacement projects, program-specific criteria are 
the following criteria found in 23 CFR 650.707: total daily truck and 
non-truck traffic, bridge sufficiency ratings, and bridges with load or 
geometric restrictions.
    2. For transit projects, program-specific criteria are as follows: 
bus and rail fleet purchases that are within established FTA spare 
ratio policies, rehabilitation and replacement of assets that have 
exceeded the useful life span as identified in FTA policy, and/or the 
proposed project's rating under the New Starts and Small Starts program 
criteria, as applicable (a copy of the criteria used for this program 
is available at http://www.fta.dot.gov/planning/newstarts/planning_environment_5615.html).
    3. For projects involving port infrastructure investments, program-
specific criteria are, for both current state and post-project 
completion, the port or system's:
    (a) Passenger and/or freight throughput, storage or processing 
capacity, including but not limited to, capacity movement (in tonnage, 
TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), barrels, etc.) across the dock, 
storage capacity on the terminal, and gate throughput;
    (b) Demand for services or demand for capacity (in the case of 
post-project completion, projections or estimates);
    (c) Efficiency (e.g. time savings, including vessel turnaround, 
gate and dwell times, and/or cost savings);
    (d) Reliability and/or resiliency, including but not limited to, 
ability of the facility or system to recover from natural or man-made 
disasters and provide necessary services;
    (e) National security or National interest aspects of items (a) 
through (d) above including but not limited to movement of Department 
of Defense assets and strategic location; and
    (f) External factors that may influence or limit items (a) through 
(e) above (channel or berth maintenance or deepening and other 
navigation issues, road, rail or waterway factors that could represent 
bottlenecks and backups, etc.).
    4. For TIGER TIFIA Payments, program-specific criteria are the 
eight statutory selection criteria used by the Department's TIFIA Joint 
Program Office to evaluate and select projects (these criteria have 
been assigned weights through regulation, as indicated below):
    (a) The extent to which the project is nationally or regionally 
significant, in terms of generating economic benefits, supporting 
international commerce, or otherwise enhancing the national 
transportation system (20 percent);
    (b) The extent to which the project helps maintain or protect the 
environment (20 percent);
    (c) The extent to which TIFIA assistance would foster innovative 
public-private partnerships and attract private debt or equity 
investment (20 percent);
    (d) The creditworthiness of the project, including a determination 
by the Secretary that any financing for the project has appropriate 
security features, such as a rate covenant, to ensure repayment (12.5 
percent);
    (e) The likelihood that TIFIA assistance would enable the project 
to proceed at an earlier date than the project would otherwise be able 
to proceed (12.5 percent);
    (f) The extent to which the project uses new technologies, 
including Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), that enhance the 
efficiency of the project (5 percent);
    (g) The amount of budget authority required to fund the Federal 
credit instrument made available (5 percent); and
    (h) The extent to which TIFIA assistance would reduce the 
contribution of Federal grant assistance to the project (5 percent).
    In addition, approval for TIFIA credit assistance requires the 
receipt of a preliminary rating opinion letter indicating that the 
project's senior debt obligations have the potential to attain an 
investment-grade rating. Complete details regarding the TIFIA selection 
process can be found in the program guide, which can be downloaded from 
http://tifia.fhwa.dot.gov/.

III. Evaluation and Selection Process

A. Ensuring Responsible Spending of Recovery Act Funds

    On March 20, 2009, the President of the United States signed a 
memorandum for the heads of executive departments and agencies on 
ensuring responsible spending of Recovery Act funds. The memorandum 
directs all Federal agencies responsible for administering Recovery Act 
funds, including the Department, to develop transparent, merit-based 
selection criteria to guide the commitment, obligation and expenditure 
of the Recovery Act funds for which they are responsible, including 
TIGER Discretionary Grant funds.
    In accordance with the memorandum, the criteria specified in this 
notice help ensure that TIGER Discretionary Grants will be awarded to 
projects with a demonstrated or potential ability to: ``(i) Deliver 
programmatic results; (ii) achieve economic stimulus by optimizing 
economic activity and the number of jobs created or saved in relation 
to the Federal dollars obligated; (iii) achieve long-term public 
benefits by, for example, investing in technological advances in 
science and health to increase economic efficiency and improve quality 
of life; investing in transportation, environmental protection, and 
other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits; 
fostering energy independence; or improving educational quality; and 
(iv) satisfy the Recovery Act's transparency and accountability 
objectives.''
    In accordance with the memorandum, the Department will not award 
TIGER Discretionary Grants to any project that

[[Page 28763]]

is imprudent or does not further the job creation, economic recovery 
and other purposes of the Recovery Act. In addition, Department 
officials will not consider the views of a registered lobbyist 
concerning particular projects, applications, or applicants for funding 
under the Recovery Act unless such views are in writing and made 
publicly available. For additional guidance on the lobbying disclosure 
requirements of the President's Memorandum, please see the Office of 
Management and Budget's Interim Guidance Regarding Communications with 
Registered Lobbyists about Recovery Act Funds (available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/memoranda_fy2009/m-09-16.pdf) and any 
subsequent guidance issued by OMB.

B. Evaluation Process

    The Department will establish an evaluation team to review each 
application that is received by the Department prior to the Application 
Deadline. The evaluation team will be organized and led by the Office 
of the Secretary and will include members from each of the Cognizant 
Modal Administrations (as defined below). These representatives will 
include technical and professional staff with relevant experience and/
or expertise. The evaluation team will be responsible for evaluating 
and rating all of the projects and making funding recommendations to 
the Secretary. The evaluation process will require team members to 
evaluate and rate applications individually before convening with other 
members to discuss ratings. The composition of the evaluation team will 
be finalized after the Application Deadline, based on the number and 
nature of applications received.
    The Department will not assign specific numerical scores to 
projects based on the selection criteria outlined above in Section 
II(A) (Selection Criteria). Rather, ratings of ``highly recommended,'' 
``recommended,'' or ``not recommended'' will be assigned to projects 
for each of the selection criteria. The Department will award TIGER 
Discretionary Grants to projects that are ``highly recommended'' in one 
or more of the selection criteria, with projects that are ``highly 
recommended'' in multiple selection criteria being more likely to 
receive TIGER Discretionary Grants. In addition, the Department will 
consider whether a project has a negative effect on any of the 
selection criteria, and any such negative effect may reduce the 
likelihood that the project will receive a TIGER Discretionary Grant. 
To the extent the initial evaluation process does not sufficiently 
differentiate among highly rated projects, the Department will use a 
similar three-tiered rating process to re-assess the projects that were 
highly rated and identify those that should be most highly rated.
    The Department will give more weight to the two Primary Selection 
Criteria (Long-Term Outcomes and Jobs Creation & Economic Stimulus) 
than to the two Secondary Selection Criteria (Innovation and 
Partnership). Projects that are unable to demonstrate a likelihood of 
significant long-term benefits in any of the five long-term outcomes 
identified in Section II(A)(1)(a) (Long-Term Outcomes) will not proceed 
in the evaluation process. A project need not be well aligned with each 
of the long-term outcomes in order to be successful in the long-term 
outcomes criterion overall. However, to be successful in the long-term 
outcomes criterion a project must be ``highly recommended'' for at 
least one of the long-term outcomes or ``recommended'' for multiple 
long-term outcomes. Projects that are strongly aligned with multiple 
long-term outcomes will be the most successful in this criterion.
    For the Jobs Creation & Economic Stimulus criterion, projects need 
not receive a rating of ``highly recommended'' in order to be 
recommended for funding, although a project that is not ready to 
proceed quickly, as evidenced by the items requested in Section 
II(B)(1)(b)(i)-(vi) (Project Schedule, Environmental Approvals, 
Legislative Approvals, State and Local Planning, Technical Feasibility, 
and Financial Feasibility), is less likely to be successful in this 
criterion.
    The Department will give less weight to the two Secondary Selection 
Criteria (Innovation and Partnership) than to the two Primary Selection 
Criteria (Long-Term Outcomes and Jobs Creation & Economic Stimulus). 
The two Secondary Selection Criteria will be rated equally.
    As noted above in Section II(C) (Program-Specific Criteria), the 
Program-Specific Criteria will not be given ratings and will only be 
used to the extent the Department needs to differentiate and assign 
priority among similar projects that have similar ratings based on the 
selection criteria outlined above in Section II(A) (Selection 
Criteria).
    The following table summarizes the weighting of the selection 
criteria, as described in the preceding paragraphs:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Long-Term Outcomes...........  The Department will give more weight to
                                this criterion than to either of the
                                Secondary Selection Criteria. In
                                addition, this criterion has a minimum
                                threshold requirement. Projects that are
                                unable to demonstrate a likelihood of
                                significant long-term benefits in any of
                                the five long-term outcomes identified
                                in this criterion will not proceed in
                                the evaluation process.
Jobs Creation & Economic       The Department will give more weight to
 Stimulus.                      this criterion than to either of the
                                Secondary Selection Criteria. This
                                criterion will be considered after it is
                                determined that a project demonstrates a
                                likelihood of significant long-term
                                benefits in at least one of the five
                                long-term outcomes identified in the
                                long-term outcomes criterion.
Innovation & Partnership.....  The Department will give less weight to
                                these criteria than to the Primary
                                Selection Criteria.
Program-Specific Criteria....  The Department will only give weight to
                                these criteria to the extent the
                                Department needs to differentiate
                                multiple similar projects that are rated
                                similarly based on the Primary and
                                Secondary Selection Criteria.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To be selected for a TIGER Discretionary Grant, a project must be 
an Eligible Project and the applicant must be an Eligible Applicant. 
The Department may consider one or more components of a large project 
to be an Eligible Project, but only to the extent that the components 
themselves, not the project of which they are a part, are Eligible 
Projects and satisfy the selection criteria specified in this notice. 
For these projects, the benefits described in an application must be 
related to the components of the project for which funding is 
requested, not the full project of which they are a part.

C. Distribution of Funds

    As noted above in Section I (Background), the Recovery Act 
prohibits the award of more than 20

[[Page 28764]]

percent of the funds made available under this program to projects in 
any one State. The Recovery Act also requires that the Department take 
measures to ensure an equitable geographic distribution of funds and an 
appropriate balance in addressing the needs of urban and rural 
communities. The Department will apply an initial unconstrained 
competitive rating process based on the selection criteria and program-
specific criteria identified above in Section II(A) (Selection 
Criteria) and Section II(C) (Program-Specific Criteria) to determine a 
preliminary list of projects recommended for TIGER Discretionary 
Grants. The Department will then analyze the preliminary list and 
determine whether the purely competitive ratings are consistent with 
distributional requirements of the Recovery Act. If necessary, the 
Department will adjust the list of recommended projects to satisfy the 
statutory distributional requirements while remaining as consistent as 
possible with the competitive ratings.
    As noted above in Section II(B)(2)(b)(i) (Jurisdictional & 
Stakeholder Collaboration), applications submitted jointly by multiple 
States should include an allocation of project costs to assist the 
Department in making these determinations. In addition, the Department 
will use the subsidy and administrative cost estimate, not the 
principal amount of credit assistance, to determine any TIGER TIFIA 
Payment's effect on these distributional requirements.

D. Transparency of Process

    In the interest of transparency, the Department will disclose as 
much of the information related to its evaluation process as is 
practical. The Department expects that the TIGER Discretionary Grants 
program may be reviewed and/or audited by Congress, the U.S. Government 
Accountability Office, the Department's Inspector General, or others, 
and has and will continue to take steps to document its decision making 
process.

IV. Grant Administration

    The Department expects that each TIGER Discretionary Grant will be 
administered by the modal administration in the Department with the 
most experience and/or expertise in the relevant project area (the 
``Cognizant Modal Administration''), pursuant to a grant agreement 
between the TIGER Discretionary Grant recipient and the Cognizant Modal 
Administration. In accordance with the Recovery Act, the Secretary has 
the discretion to delegate such responsibilities.
    Applicable Federal laws, rules and regulations will apply to 
projects that receive TIGER Discretionary Grants, including all of the 
requirements included in the Recovery Act.
    As noted above in Section II(B)(1)(b) (Jobs Creation & Economic 
Stimulus), how soon after award a project is expected to expend Grant 
Funds and start construction will be considered on a case-by-case basis 
and will be specified in the project-specific grant agreements. The 
Department reserves the right to revoke any award of TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funds and to award such funds to another project to 
the extent that such funds are not timely expended and/or construction 
does not begin in accordance with the project schedule. The 
Department's ability to obligate funds for TIGER Discretionary Grants 
expires on September 30, 2011.

V. Waiver of Minimum Grant Size Requirement

    The Department has discretion under the Recovery Act to waive the 
$20 million minimum grant size requirement for Smaller Projects. 
Applicants for TIGER Discretionary Grants of less than $20 million for 
Smaller Projects are encouraged to apply and should address the same 
criteria as applicants for TIGER Discretionary Grants in excess of $20 
million. The term ``grant'' in this provision of the Recovery Act does 
not include TIGER TIFIA Payments.

VI. TIGER TIFIA Payments

    Up to $200 million of the $1.5 billion available for TIGER 
Discretionary Grants may be used for TIGER TIFIA Payments. Given the 
average subsidy cost of the existing TIFIA portfolio, $200 million in 
TIGER TIFIA Payments could support approximately $2 billion in Federal 
credit assistance. Applicants seeking TIGER TIFIA Payments should apply 
in accordance with all of the criteria and guidance specified in this 
notice for TIGER Discretionary Grant applicants and will be evaluated 
concurrently with all other applications. Any applicant seeking a TIGER 
TIFIA Payment is required to comply with all of the TIFIA program's 
standard application and approval requirements, including submission of 
a Letter of Interest prior to submission of a TIFIA application (the 
TIFIA program guide can be downloaded from http://tifia.fhwa.dot.gov/). 
The Letter of Interest must be submitted at least six weeks prior to 
the Application Deadline.
    The Department does not expect applicants for TIGER TIFIA Payments 
to have received an instrument from TIFIA obligating Federal credit 
assistance for the project before the application is submitted; 
however, applicants should demonstrate that they are ready to proceed 
rapidly upon receipt of a TIGER TIFIA Payment in accordance with the 
guidance specified above in Section II(B)(1)(b) (Job Creation & 
Economic Stimulus). The Department's TIFIA Joint Program Office will 
assist the Department in determining a project's readiness to proceed 
rapidly upon receipt of a TIGER TIFIA Payment.
    Applicants seeking TIGER TIFIA Payments may also apply for a TIGER 
Discretionary Grant for the same project and must indicate the type(s) 
of funding for which they are applying clearly on the face of their 
applications. An applicant for a TIGER TIFIA Payment must submit an 
application pursuant to this notice for a TIGER TIFIA Payment even if 
it does not wish to apply for a TIGER Discretionary Grant.
    Unless otherwise expressly noted herein, any and all requirements 
that apply to TIGER Discretionary Grants pursuant to the Recovery Act, 
this notice, or otherwise, including all reporting and Recovery Act 
related requirements, apply to TIGER TIFIA Payments. TIFIA applicants 
that do not receive TIGER TIFIA Payments will not be required to comply 
with any of these requirements.

VII. Contents of Application

    An applicant for a TIGER Discretionary Grant should include all of 
the information requested below in its application. The Department 
reserves the right to ask any applicant to supplement the data in its 
application, but expects applications to be complete upon submission. 
To the extent practical, the Department encourages applicants to 
provide data and evidence of project merits in a form that is publicly 
available or verifiable. For TIGER TIFIA Payments, these requirements 
apply only to the applications required under this notice; the standard 
TIFIA loan application requirements, including the standard $30,000.00 
application fee, are separately described in the Program Guide and 
Application Form found at http://tifia.fhwa.dot.gov/.

A. Length of Applications

    The narrative portion of an application should not exceed 25 pages 
in length. Documentation supporting the assertions made in the 
narrative portion may also be provided, but should be limited to 
relevant

[[Page 28765]]

information. If possible, Web site links to supporting documentation 
should be provided rather than copies of these materials. At the 
applicant's discretion, relevant materials provided previously to a 
Cognizant Modal Administration (as defined below) in support of a 
different DOT discretionary program (for example, New Starts or TIFIA) 
may be referenced and described as unchanged. To the extent referenced, 
this information need not be resubmitted for the TIGER Discretionary 
Grant application.

B. Contact Information

    An application should include the name, phone number, e-mail 
address and organization address of the primary point of contact for 
the applicant. The Department will use this information to inform 
parties of the Department's decision regarding selection of projects, 
as well as to contact parties in the event that the Department needs 
additional information about an application.

C. Project Description

    An application should include a detailed description of the 
proposed project and geospatial data for the project, including a map 
of the project's location and its connections to existing 
transportation infrastructure. An application should also include a 
description of how the project addresses the needs of an urban and/or 
rural area. An application should clearly describe the transportation 
challenges that the project aims to address, and how the project will 
address these challenges. This description should include relevant data 
such as, for example, passenger or freight volumes, congestion levels, 
infrastructure condition, or safety experience.

D. Project Parties

    An application should include information about the grant recipient 
and other project parties.

E. Grant Funds and Sources and Uses of Project Funds

    An application should include information about the amount of grant 
funding requested, sources and uses of all project funds, total project 
costs, percentage of project costs that would be paid for with TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funds, and the identity and percentage shares of 
all parties providing funds for the project (including Federal funds 
provided under other programs).

F. Selection Criteria

    An application must include information required for the Department 
to assess each of the criteria specified in Section II(A) (Selection 
Criteria), as such criteria are explained in Section II(B) (Additional 
Guidance on Selection Criteria), and each of the relevant criteria 
specified in Section II(C) (Program-Specific Criteria). Applicants are 
encouraged to demonstrate the responsiveness of a project to any and 
all of the selection criteria with the most relevant information that 
applicants can provide, regardless of whether such information has been 
specifically requested, or identified, in this notice. Any such 
information shall be considered part of the application, not 
supplemental, for purposes of the application size limits identified 
above in item A (Length of Applications). If an applicant is unsure 
whether any of the program-specific criteria apply to its project and 
should be addressed in its application the applicant should contact the 
Department pursuant to the procedures specified below in Section X 
(Questions and Clarifications). Information provided pursuant to this 
paragraph must be quantified, to the extent possible, to describe the 
project's impacts on the Nation, a metropolitan area, or a region. 
Information provided pursuant to this paragraph should include 
projections for both the build and no-build scenarios for the project 
for a point in time at least 20 years beyond the project's completion 
date or the lifespan of the project, whichever is closest to the 
present.

G. Federal Wage Rate Requirement

    An application must include a certification, signed by the 
applicant, stating that it will comply with the requirements of 
subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code (Federal 
wage rate requirements), as required by the Recovery Act.

H. National Environmental Policy Act Requirement

    An application must detail whether the project will significantly 
impact the natural, social and/or economic environment. If the NEPA 
process is completed, an applicant must indicate the date of, and 
provide a Web site link or other reference to, the final Categorical 
Exclusion, Finding of No Significant Impact or Record of Decision. If 
the NEPA process is underway but not complete, the application must 
detail where the project is in the process, indicate the anticipated 
date of completion and provide a Web site link or other reference to 
copies of any NEPA documents prepared.

I. Environmentally Related Federal, State and Local Actions

    An application must indicate whether the proposed project is likely 
to require actions by other agencies (e.g., permits), indicate the 
status of such actions and provide a Web site link or other reference 
to materials submitted to the other agencies, and/or demonstrate 
compliance with other Federal, State and local regulations as 
applicable, including, but not limited to, Section 4(f) Parklands, 
Recreation Areas, Refuges, & Historic Properties; Section 106 Historic 
and Culturally Significant Properties; Clean Water Act Wetlands and 
Water; Executive Orders Wetlands, Floodplains, Environmental Justice; 
Clean Air Act Air Quality (specifically note if the project is located 
in a nonattainment area); Endangered Species Act Threatened and 
Endangered Biological Resources; Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act Essential Fish Habitat; The Bald and Golden Eagle 
Protection Act; and/or any State and local requirements.

J. Protection of Confidential Business Information

    All information submitted as part of or in support of an 
application shall use publicly available data or data that can be made 
public and methodologies that are accepted by industry practice and 
standards, to the extent possible. If the application includes 
information that the applicant considers to be a trade secret or 
confidential commercial or financial information, the applicant should 
do the following: (1) Note on the front cover that the submission 
``Contains Confidential Business Information (CBI);'' (2) mark each 
affected page ``CBI;'' and (3) highlight or otherwise denote the CBI 
portions. The Department protects such information from disclosure to 
the extent allowed under applicable law. In the event the Department 
receives a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the 
information, the Department will follow the procedures described in its 
FOIA regulations at 49 CFR Sec.  7.17. Only information that is 
ultimately determined to be confidential under that procedure will be 
exempt from disclosure under FOIA.

K. First Page of Application

    The first page of an application should clearly identify (i) what 
type of project is the proposed project (highway, transit, rail, port 
or other), (ii) information about the location of the project, 
including State, city, county and congressional district, (iii) whether

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the project is in an urban or rural area, and (iv) the amount in 
dollars of Grant Funds that the applicant is seeking.
    Recipients of TIGER Discretionary Grants and their first-tier sub-
awardees will be required to have a DUNS number (http://www.dnb.com) 
and a current registration in the Central Contractor Registration 
(http://www.ccr.gov). While these items do not need to be provided as 
part of the application, a TIGER Discretionary Grant will not be 
awarded if a recipient or first-tier sub-awardee does not have these 
items.

VIII. Project Benefits

    The Department expects to identify and report on the benefits of 
the projects that it funds with TIGER Discretionary Grants. To this 
end, the Department may request that recipients of TIGER Discretionary 
Grants cooperate in Departmental efforts to collect and report on 
information related to the benefits produced by the projects that 
receive TIGER Discretionary Grants.
    In addition to the creation and preservation of jobs and other 
benefits that the Department is required to track and report pursuant 
to the Recovery Act, the benefits that the Department reports on may 
include the following: (1) Improved condition of existing 
transportation facilities and systems; (2) long-term growth in 
employment, production or other high-value economic activity; (3) 
improved livability of communities across the United States; (4) 
improved energy efficiency, reduced dependence on oil and reduced 
greenhouse gas emissions; (5) reduced adverse impacts of transportation 
on the natural environment; (6) reduced number, rate and consequences 
of surface transportation-related crashes, injuries and fatalities; (7) 
greater use of innovative technology and innovative approaches to 
transportation funding and project delivery; (8) greater collaboration 
with State and local governments, other public entities, private 
entities, nonprofit entities, or other non-traditional partners; or (9) 
greater integration of transportation decision making with decision 
making by other public agencies with similar public service objectives.
    Because of the limited nature of this program, these benefits are 
likely to be reported on a project-by-project basis and trends across 
projects that were selected for TIGER Discretionary Grants may not be 
readily available. In addition, because many of these benefits are 
long-term outcomes, it may be years before the value of the investments 
can be quantified and fully reported. The Department is considering the 
most appropriate way to collect and report information about these 
potential project benefits.

IX. Reporting Requirements

A. Section 1201(c): Maintenance of Effort: Reporting Requirements

    Pursuant to the Recovery Act, entities receiving TIGER 
Discretionary Grants will be required to report on grant activities on 
a routine basis. Section 1201(c) of the Recovery Act (Maintenance of 
Effort: Reporting Requirements), under General Provision--Department of 
Transportation--imposes an obligation on entities receiving TIGER 
Discretionary Grants, along with other Department grantees receiving 
funds from the Department's Covered Programs, to submit periodic 
reports to the agency from which funds were received. Section 
1201(c)(2) requires that such reports include, for each Covered Program 
(which includes the TIGER Discretionary Grant program) the following 
information: the amount of Grant Funds appropriated, allocated, 
obligated, and outlayed under the appropriation; the number of projects 
put out to bid under the appropriation and the amount of Grant Funds 
associated with these contracts; the number of projects for which 
contracts have been awarded under the appropriation and the amount of 
Grant Funds associated with these contracts; the number of projects for 
which work has begun under these contracts and the associated amount of 
Grant Funds; the number of projects for which work has been completed 
and the associated amount of Grant Funds; the number of direct, on-
project jobs created or sustained by the Grant Funds for projects under 
the appropriation and, to the extent possible, the estimated indirect 
jobs created or sustained in associated supplying industries, including 
the number of job-years created and total increase in employment since 
February 17, 2009; and the actual aggregate expenditures by each 
recipient from State sources for projects eligible for funding under 
the program between February 17, 2009, and September 30, 2010, compared 
to the level of such expenditures planned to occur during this period 
as of February 17, 2009.
    According to the statute, grant recipients must submit the first of 
these reports not later than 90 days from February 17, 2009, and must 
submit updated reports not later than 180 days, 1 year, 2 years, and 3 
years after that date. Due to the unique timeframe for TIGER 
Discretionary Grant awards, TIGER Discretionary Grant recipients should 
submit the first of such reports on the first due date following the 
award of Grant Funds and on each subsequent due date thereafter.

B. Section 1512: Reports on Use of Funds

    Section 1512 of the Recovery Act (Reports on Use of Funds) requires 
any entity that received TIGER Discretionary Grants to submit a report 
not later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter as a 
condition of receiving funding under the Recovery Act. Pursuant to the 
OMB Guidance (which is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/memoranda_fy2009/m09-15.pdf), recipients must report to OMB 
beginning 10 days after the end of the first calendar quarter after 
funds are awarded. Recipients should refer to the OMB Guidance for more 
detailed instructions on such reports. OMB is currently developing a 
government-wide central reporting system. Detailed instructions for 
centrally reporting the required information will be made available at 
http://www.FederalReporting.gov.

C. Section 1609: Environmental Reporting

    Section 1609(c) of the Recovery Act requires that Federal agencies 
report via the President (specifically, to the White House Council on 
Environmental Quality) every 90 days following enactment of the 
Recovery Act on the status of projects funded under the Recovery Act 
with respect to compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
    To satisfy the purposes of the Recovery Act, grant recipients may 
be required to provide additional information in response to requests 
from OMB, the Congressional Budget Office, the Government 
Accountability Office, or the Department's Inspector General. The 
Department will inform grant recipients if and when such additional 
reports are required.
    Further information about how grant recipients will be expected to 
comply with the reporting requirements of the Recovery Act will be 
provided in the individual grant agreements signed by recipients of 
TIGER Discretionary Grants.

X. Certification Requirements

    To the extent applicable, grantees must comply with the 
Certification requirements of the Recovery Act. These include the 
Certification requirement in Section 1511 (Transparency and

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Oversight), requiring the Governor, mayor, or other chief executive, as 
appropriate, to certify that the infrastructure investment has received 
the full review and vetting required by law and accepting 
responsibility that the infrastructure investment is an appropriate use 
of taxpayer dollars. Certification under Section 1511 is a condition 
for award of TIGER Discretionary Grants to State or local agencies. On 
February 27, 2009, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood sent a letter 
to the Governors of each State providing guidance and a template for 
the Certifications required by the Recovery Act, a copy of which is 
available on the Department's Recovery Act Web site, at http://www.dot.gov/recovery/.
    Pursuant to Section 1511, for funds made available to State or 
local governments for transportation infrastructure investments, 
including Grant Funds under the TIGER Discretionary Grants program, the 
Governor, mayor, or other chief executive, as appropriate, must certify 
that the infrastructure investment (1) received the full review and 
vetting required by law; and (2) that the chief executive accepts 
responsibility that it is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars. This 
Certification must be executed and posted on a Web site and linked to 
Recovery.gov prior to the recipient of a TIGER Discretionary Grant 
receiving Grant Funds. If the potential project is a highway or transit 
project and it is included in the Statewide Transportation Improvement 
Program (STIP) with the specific information required by Section 1511 
(a description of the investment, the estimated total cost, and the 
amount of ARRA funds to be used), it may be included in the Governor's 
Section 1511 Certification covering highway and transit projects in a 
State. One way for the Governor's Certification to satisfy the Section 
1511 requirement, is for the Certification to state that the project is 
included in the STIP and therefore has completed the TIP/STIP planning 
process. In this case, the Governor's Certification must also provide a 
link to the public web posting of the STIP that includes (or will 
include) any highway and transit project designated to receive Recovery 
Act funding. If the project is not included in the STIP, a separate 
Certification for the potential TIGER Discretionary Grant project must 
be executed, attaching the relevant information or linking to a public 
Web site where the information may be obtained. This Certification must 
include a description of the investment, the estimated total cost, and 
the amount of covered funds to be used, and must be posted online and 
linked to the Web site Recovery.gov. The Certification must also state 
that the projects have been properly reviewed and vetted and are an 
appropriate use of taxpayer dollars.
    All Certifications, once executed, shall be submitted to the 
Secretary of Transportation, c/o Joel Szabat, Deputy Assistant 
Secretary for Transportation Policy, at TigerTeam.Leads@dot.gov. 
Certifications may be submitted via e-mail as electronic, scanned 
copies, with original signed versions to follow via U.S. mail. As 
required by the Recovery Act, Certifications under Section 1511 shall 
be immediately posted on a Web site and linked to the Web site 
Recovery.gov.

XI. Questions and Clarifications

    Questions about this notice should be submitted to the TIGER 
Discretionary Grants program manager via e-mail at TIGERGrants@dot.gov. 
The Department will regularly post answers to these questions and other 
important clarifications on the Department's Web site at http://www.dot.gov/recovery/ost/.

    Issued On: June 12, 2009.
Ray LaHood,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. E9-14262 Filed 6-16-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P