[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 20 (Tuesday, January 31, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4863-4880]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-1996]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Office of the Secretary of Transportation

[Docket No. DOT-OST-2012-0012]


Notice of Funding Availability for the Department of 
Transportation's National Infrastructure Investments Under the Full-
Year Continuing Appropriations, 2012; and Request for Comments

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary of Transportation, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Funding Availability, Request for Comments.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of funding and requests 
proposals for the Department of Transportation's National 
Infrastructure Investments. In addition, this notice announces 
selection criteria and pre-application and application requirements for 
the National Infrastructure Investments.
    The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012 
(Pub. L. 112-055, Nov. 18, 2011) (``FY 2012 Appropriations Act'') 
appropriated $500 million to be awarded by the Department of 
Transportation (``DOT'') for National Infrastructure Investments. This 
appropriation is similar, but not identical to the appropriation for 
the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or ``TIGER 
Discretionary Grant'', program authorized and implemented pursuant to 
the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the ``Recovery 
Act''). Because of the similarity in program structure, DOT will 
continue to refer to the program as ``TIGER Discretionary Grants.'' As 
with previous rounds of TIGER, funds for the FY 2012 TIGER program are 
to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a 
significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area or a region.
    Through this notice, DOT is soliciting applications for TIGER 
Discretionary Grants. In the event that this solicitation does not 
result in the award and obligation of all available funds, DOT may 
decide to publish an additional solicitation(s).

DATES: Pre-applications must be submitted by February 20, 2012, at 5 
p.m. EST (the ``Pre-Application Deadline''). Final applications must be 
submitted through Grants.gov by March 19, 2012, at 5 p.m. EDT (the 
``Application Deadline''). The DOT pre-application system will open on 
or before February 13, 2012, to allow prospective applicants to submit 
pre-applications. Subsequently, the Grants.gov ``Apply'' function will 
open on February 22, 2012, allowing applicants to submit applications. 
Applicants are encouraged to submit pre-applications and applications 
in advance of the deadlines.

ADDRESSES: Pre-applications must be submitted electronically to DOT and 
applications must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov. Only 
pre-applications received by DOT and applications received 
electronically through Grants.gov will be deemed properly filed. 
Instructions for submitting pre-applications to DOT and applications 
through Grants.gov are included in Section VII (Pre-Application and 
Application Cycle).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information concerning 
this notice please contact the TIGER Discretionary Grant program staff 
via

[[Page 4864]]

email at TIGERGrants@dot.gov, or call Howard Hill at (202) 366-0301. A 
TDD is available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 
(202) 366-3993. In addition, DOT will regularly post answers to 
questions and requests for clarifications on DOT's Web site at 
www.dot.gov/TIGER. Applicants are encouraged to contact DOT directly 
and rather than rely on third parties to receive information about 
TIGER Discretionary Grants.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice is substantially similar to the 
Final notice published for the TIGER Discretionary Grant program in the 
Federal Register on August 12, 2011. However, there are a few 
significant differences:
    1. To ensure applicants receive the most accurate information 
possible, Eligible Applicants must contact DOT directly, rather than 
through intermediaries, to get questions answered, set up briefings on 
the TIGER Discretionary Grants selection and award process, or receive 
other assistance.
    2. As in previous rounds of TIGER, high speed and intercity 
passenger rail projects remain eligible for funding under this program 
and a high priority of this Administration. DOT would like to encourage 
those seeking funding for passenger rail projects to consider TIGER and 
will, therefore, make up to $100 million in TIGER funds available to 
high speed and intercity passenger rail projects.
    3. Applications must include a detailed statement of work, detailed 
project schedule, and detailed project budget in the project narrative. 
Due to the shorter timeframe allowed for the obligation of TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funds in this round of funding in comparison to 
previous rounds, applicants must include this detailed information in 
their application in order to demonstrate that their projects are ready 
to proceed within this shortened timeframe.
    4. The discussion on Benefit-Cost Analysis (Appendix A: Additional 
Information on Benefit-Cost Analysis) has been streamlined and includes 
tools to aid applicants in preparing their analyses.
    Other than these differences, and minor edits for clarification and 
those made to conform the notice to the statutory circumstances of this 
round of TIGER Discretionary Grants funding, there have been no 
material changes made to the notice. Each section of this notice 
contains information and instructions relevant to the application 
process for these TIGER Discretionary Grants and prospective applicants 
should read this notice in its entirety so that they have the 
information they need to submit eligible and competitive applications.

Table of Contents

I. Background
TIGER Discretionary Grants
II. Selection Criteria and Guidance on Application of Selection 
Criteria
III. Evaluation and Selection Process
IV. Grant Administration
V. Projects in Rural Areas
VI. TIGER TIFIA Payments
Application Requirements
VII. Pre-Application and Application Cycle
VIII. Project Benefits
IX. Questions and Clarifications
Appendix A: Additional Information on Benefit-Cost Analysis
Appendix B: Additional Information on Applying Through Grants.gov
Appendix C: Additional Information on Guidelines for Project 
Readiness

I. Background

    On November 18, 2011, the President signed the FY 2012 
Appropriations Act. This Act appropriated $500 million to DOT for 
National Infrastructure Investments, using language that is similar, 
but not identical to the language in appropriations bills from FY 2010 
and FY 2011 and the Recovery Act.
    This program was first created in the 2009 Recovery Act, since 
which time DOT has referred to these grants as Transportation 
Investment Generating Economic Recovery or ``TIGER Discretionary 
Grants.'' Through the Recovery Act and continuing through the FY 2010 
and 2011 appropriations processes, Congress has provided DOT with three 
rounds of competitive grants totaling just over $2.6 billion for 
capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure. See DOT's 
Web site at http://www.dot.gov/tiger/index.html for further background 
on the disbursement of past rounds of TIGER Discretionary Grants.
    DOT's most recent solicitation for TIGER Discretionary Grants 
occurred through a notice of funding availability published in the 
Federal Register on August 12, 2011 (an interim notice was published on 
July 1, 2011). Applications for TIGER Discretionary Grants were due on 
October 31, 2011 and 848 applications were received with funding 
requests totaling approximately $14.29 billion. Awards for 46 capital 
projects totaling $511 million were announced on December 15, 2011. 
Grant awards ranged from $1 million to $13.5 million for projects in 
rural areas and $10 million to $20 million for projects in urban areas. 
Projects were selected for funding based on their alignment with the 
selection criteria specified in the August 12, 2011, Federal Register 
notice.

FY 2012 TIGER Discretionary Grants

    Like the previous rounds, this year's TIGER Discretionary Grants 
are for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure 
and are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will 
have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area, or a 
region.
    ``Eligible Applicants'' for TIGER Discretionary Grants are State, 
local, and tribal governments, including U.S. territories, transit 
agencies, port authorities, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), 
other political subdivisions of State or local governments, and multi-
State or multi-jurisdictional groups applying through a single lead 
applicant (for multi-jurisdictional groups, each member of the group, 
including the lead applicant, must be an otherwise Eligible Applicant 
as defined in this paragraph).
    To ensure applicants receive the most accurate information 
possible, Eligible Applicants must contact DOT directly, rather than 
through intermediaries, to get questions answered, set up briefings on 
the TIGER Discretionary Grants selection and award process, or receive 
other assistance. Assistance can be obtained by simply calling or 
emailing the TIGER Discretionary Grant program staff via email at 
TIGERGrants@dot.gov, or by calling Howard Hill at (202) 366-0301.
    Projects that are eligible for TIGER Discretionary Grants 
(``Eligible Projects'') include, but are not limited to: (1) Highway or 
bridge projects eligible under title 23, United States Code; (2) public 
transportation projects eligible under chapter 53 of title 49, United 
States Code; (3) passenger and freight rail transportation projects; 
and (4) marine port infrastructure investments. Federal wage rate 
requirements included in subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, 
United States Code, apply to all projects receiving funds, and apply to 
all parts of the project, whether funded with TIGER Discretionary Grant 
funds, other federal funds, or non-federal funds. This description of 
Eligible Projects is identical to the description of eligible projects 
under earlier rounds of the TIGER Discretionary Grant program.\1\
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    \1\ Consistent with the FY 2012 Appropriations Act, DOT will 
apply the following principles in determining whether a project is 
eligible as a capital investment in surface transportation: (1) 
surface transportation facilities generally include roads, highways 
and bridges, marine ports, freight and passenger railroads, transit 
systems, and projects that connect transportation facilities to 
other modes of transportation; and (2) surface transportation 
facilities also include any highway or bridge project eligible under 
title 23, U.S.C., or public transportation project eligible under 
chapter 53 of title 49, U.S.C. Please note that the Department may 
use a TIGER Discretionary Grant to pay for the surface 
transportation components of a broader project that has non-surface 
transportation components, and applicants are encouraged to apply 
for TIGER Discretionary Grants to pay for the surface transportation 
components of these projects.

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[[Page 4865]]

    As was the case in earlier rounds of the TIGER Discretionary Grant 
program, Eligible Projects do not include research, demonstration, or 
pilot projects that do not result in publically accessible surface 
transportation infrastructure. To be funded, projects or elements of a 
project must demonstrate independent utility, which means that the 
project provides transportation benefits and is ready for broad public 
use upon completion of project construction.
    Each applicant may submit no more than three applications for 
consideration to the TIGER Discretionary Grant Program to focus 
submissions on those applications that are most likely to align well 
with DOT's selection criteria. While applications may include requests 
to fund more than one project, applicants may not bundle together 
unrelated projects in the same application for purposes of avoiding the 
three application limit that applies to each applicant. Please note 
that the three application limit applies only to applications where the 
applicant is the lead applicant, and there is no limit on applications 
for which an applicant can be listed as a partnering agency. Also, DOT 
will not count any application for a multistate project against the 
three application limit to the extent multiple states are partnering to 
submit the application. Furthermore, jurisdictions that collaborate 
with regional partners on a priority application are more likely to be 
successful than those that choose separate priorities and apply 
separately because DOT will give priority to applications that 
demonstrate a high degree of Jurisdictional & Stakeholder Collaboration 
(see Section II. Selection Criteria and Guidance on Application of 
Selection Criteria). If any lead applicant submits more than three 
applications, only the first three received will be considered.
    The FY 2012 Appropriations Act requires a new solicitation of 
applications and, therefore, any unsuccessful applicant for earlier 
rounds of TIGER Discretionary Grants that wishes to be considered for a 
TIGER Discretionary Grant this year must reapply according to the 
procedures in this notice.
    The FY 2012 Appropriations Act specifies that TIGER Discretionary 
Grants may be not less than $10 million (except in rural areas) and not 
greater than $200 million. The FY 2012 Appropriations Act does not 
provide authority to waive the minimum $10 million grant size for 
projects located in urbanized areas. For projects located in rural 
areas (as defined in Section V (Projects in Rural Areas)), the minimum 
TIGER Discretionary Grant size is $1 million. The term ``grant'' in the 
provision of the FY 2012 Appropriations Act specifying a minimum grant 
size does not include TIGER TIFIA Payments, as described below.
    DOT reserves the right to award funds for a part of the project, 
not the full project, if a part of the project has independent utility 
and aligns well with the selection criteria specified in this notice.
    Pursuant to the FY 2012 Appropriations Act, no more than 25 percent 
of the funds made available for TIGER Discretionary Grants (or $125 
million) may be awarded to projects in a single State.
    The FY 2012 Appropriations Act directs that not less than $120 
million of the funds provided for TIGER Discretionary Grants be used 
for projects located in rural areas. Further, in awarding TIGER 
Discretionary Grants pursuant to the FY 2012 Appropriations Act, DOT 
must take measures to ensure an equitable geographic distribution of 
grant funds, an appropriate balance in addressing the needs of urban 
and rural areas and the investment in a variety of transportation 
modes. As in previous rounds of TIGER, high speed and intercity 
passenger rail projects remain eligible for funding under this program 
and a high priority of this Administration. DOT would like to encourage 
those seeking funding for passenger rail projects to consider TIGER and 
will, therefore, make up to $100 million in TIGER funds available to 
high speed and intercity passenger rail projects.
    TIGER Discretionary Grants may be used for up to 80 percent of the 
costs of a project, but priority must be given to projects for which 
Federal funding is required to complete an overall financing package 
and projects can increase their competitiveness by demonstrating 
significant non-Federal contributions. DOT may increase the Federal 
share above 80 percent only for projects located in rural areas, in 
which case DOT may fund up to 100 percent of the costs of a project. 
Therefore, for projects located in urban areas, based on the statutory 
requirements of at least 20 percent non-Federal cost share and a 
minimum grant size of $10 million, the minimum total project size for 
an eligible project is $12.5 million (where the minimum $10 million 
TIGER Discretionary Grant request represents 80 percent of the total 
project cost). The minimum total project size for an eligible project 
in a rural area is $1 million (where the entire project cost is funded 
with a TIGER Discretionary Grant). However, the statutory requirement 
to give priority to projects that use Federal funds to complete an 
overall financing package applies to projects located in rural areas as 
well, and projects located in rural areas can increase their 
competitiveness for purposes of the TIGER program by demonstrating 
significant non-Federal financial contributions. In the FY2011 
competition, on average, urban projects pledged 65% non-Federal funds 
while rural projects featured more than 46% non-Federal funds. Three 
TIGER-TIFIA projects will use only 2% TIGER funds but leverage more 
than $1.8 billion in non-Federal investment. DOT will consider any non-
Federal funds as well as funds from the Indian Reservation Roads 
Program as a local match for purposes of this program, whether such 
funds are contributed by the public sector (State or local) or the 
private sector. However, DOT cannot consider funds already expended as 
a local match.
    The 2012 Appropriations Act requires that TIGER funds are only 
available for obligation through September 30, 2013. The limited amount 
of time for which the funds will be made available means that DOT will 
focus on the extent to which a project is ready to proceed with 
obligation of grant funds when evaluating applications, and give 
priority to those projects that are ready to proceed sooner than other 
competitive projects.
    The FY 2012 Appropriations Act allows for an amount not to exceed 
$175 million of the $500 million to be used to pay the subsidy and 
administrative costs for a project receiving credit assistance under 
the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998 
(``TIFIA'') program, if it would further the purposes of the TIGER 
Discretionary Grant program. DOT is referring to these payments as 
``TIGER TIFIA Payments.'' The amount of budget authority required to 
support TIFIA credit assistance is calculated on a project-by-project 
basis. Applicants for TIGER TIFIA Payments should submit an application 
pursuant to this notice and a separate TIFIA letter of interest, as 
described below in Section VI (TIGER TIFIA Payments). Unless otherwise

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noted, or the context requires otherwise, references in this notice to 
TIGER Discretionary Grants include TIGER TIFIA Payments.
    Due to the limited funding available under this program, applicants 
that require a substantial amount of funds to complete a financing 
package should consider whether a TIGER TIFIA Payment may provide more 
value for their project than a comparable award of grant funds. DOT 
reserves the right to offer a TIGER TIFIA Payment to an applicant that 
applied for a TIGER Discretionary Grant even if DOT does not choose to 
fund the requested TIGER Discretionary Grant and the applicant did not 
specifically request a TIGER TIFIA Payment.
    While TIFIA support has most often been sought for road and bridge 
projects (including multiple TIGER TIFIA payments for managed lanes 
projects), TIFIA is a multimodal program. DOT encourages applicants 
seeking support for large multimodal projects that meet TIFIA 
eligibility criteria, including major transit projects, to consider 
TIGER TIFIA Payments as a means for federal support of these projects. 
In the past two rounds of TIGER Discretionary Grants, two TIGER TIFIA 
Payments were awarded to transit agencies for the expansion of fixed 
guideway transit systems.
    TIGER grant recipients may apply for funding to support additional 
phases of a project awarded funds in earlier rounds of this program. 
However, to be competitive, any phase awarded funding in the past 
should be at or near completion, and the applicant should provide data 
about how the project is performing based on the benefits expected in 
the original application.
    The FY 2012 Appropriations Act provides that the Secretary of 
Transportation may retain up to $20 million of the $500 million to fund 
the award and oversight of TIGER Discretionary Grants. Portions of the 
$20 million may be transferred for these purposes to the Administrators 
of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit 
Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Federal 
Maritime Administration.
    The purpose of this notice is to solicit applications for TIGER 
Discretionary Grants. This is a final notice.

TIGER Discretionary Grants

II. Selection Criteria and Guidance on Application of Selection 
Criteria

    This section specifies the criteria that DOT will use to evaluate 
applications for TIGER Discretionary Grants. The criteria incorporate 
the statutory eligibility requirements for this program, which are 
specified in this notice as relevant. This section is divided into two 
parts. Part A (Selection Criteria) specifies the criteria that DOT will 
use to rate projects. Additional guidance about how DOT will apply 
these criteria, including illustrative metrics and examples, is 
provided in Part B (Additional Guidance on Selection Criteria).

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.''
1. Primary Selection Criteria
(a) Long-Term Outcomes
    DOT 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: Fostering livable communities through policies 
and investments that increase transportation choices and access to 
transportation services for people in communities across the United 
States.
    (iv) Environmental 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 and Near-Term Economic Activity
    Job creation and near-term economic activity remain a top priority 
of this Administration; therefore, DOT will give priority to projects 
that are expected to quickly create and preserve jobs and promote 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'').\2\
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    \2\ While Economically Distressed Areas are typically identified 
under the Public Works and Economic Development Act at the county 
level, for the purposes of this program DOT will consider regions, 
municipalities, smaller areas within larger communities, or other 
geographic areas 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
    DOT will give priority to projects that use innovative strategies 
to pursue the long-term outcomes outlined above.
(b) Partnership
    DOT will give priority to projects that demonstrate strong 
collaboration among a broad range of participants, integration of 
transportation with other public service efforts, and/or are the 
product of a robust planning process.

B. Additional Guidance on Selection Criteria

    The following additional guidance explains how DOT 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(D) (Length of 
Application).
1. Primary Selection Criteria
(a) Long-Term Outcomes
    In order to measure a project's alignment with this criterion, DOT 
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, DOT will 
assess (i) whether the project is part of, or consistent with, relevant 
State, local or regional efforts and plans 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

[[Page 4867]]

surface transportation assets that, if left unimproved, threaten future 
transportation network efficiency, mobility of goods or accessibility 
of people, or economic growth 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, including calculations of avoided 
operations and maintenance costs and associated delays.
    (ii) Economic Competitiveness: In order to determine whether a 
project promotes the economic competitiveness of the United States, DOT 
will assess whether the project will measurably contribute over the 
long term to growth in the productivity of the American economy. For 
purposes of aligning a project with this outcome, applicants should 
provide evidence of how improvements in transportation outcomes (such 
as time savings and operating cost savings) translate into long-term 
economic productivity benefits. These long-term economic benefits that 
are provided by the completed project are different from the near-term 
economic benefits of construction that are captured in the Job Creation 
& Near-Term Economic Activity criterion. In weighing long-term economic 
competitiveness benefits, applicants should describe how the project 
supports increased long-term efficiency and productivity.
    Priority consideration will be given to projects that: (i) Improve 
long-term efficiency, reliability or cost-competitiveness in the 
movement of workers or goods, with a particular focus on projects that 
have a significant effect on reducing the costs of transporting export 
cargoes, or (ii) make improvements that increase the economic 
productivity of land, capital or labor 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 increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the 
transportation system through integration or better use of all existing 
transportation infrastructure. This may be evidenced by the project's 
involvement with or benefits to more than one mode and/or its 
compatibility with and its connection to other modes and facilities. 
Applications that demonstrate increases in efficiency for exports will 
be given priority in the evaluation process.
    For purposes of demonstrating economic benefits, applicants should 
estimate National-level or region-wide economic benefits on 
productivity and production (e.g., reduced shipping costs or travel 
times for U.S. exports originating both inside and outside of the 
region), and should take care not to include economic benefits that are 
being shifted from one location in the United States to another 
location. Highly localized benefits will receive the most consideration 
under circumstances where such benefits are most likely to improve an 
Economically Distressed Area (as defined herein) or otherwise improve 
access to more productive employment opportunities for under-employed 
and disadvantaged populations.
    (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 as measured in person-miles traveled or number of trips 
affected. In order to determine whether a project improves the quality 
of the living and working environment of a community, DOT will consider 
whether the project furthers the six livability principles developed by 
DOT with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of the Partnership for 
Sustainable Communities, which are listed fully at http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2009/dot8009.htm. For this criterion, the Department will give 
particular consideration to the first principle, which prioritizes the 
creation of affordable and convenient transportation choices.\3\ 
Specifically, DOT will qualitatively assess whether the project:
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    \3\ In full, this principle reads: ``Provide more transportation 
choices. Develop safe, reliable and economical transportation 
choices to decrease household transportation costs, reduce our 
nations' dependence on foreign oil, improve air quality, reduce 
greenhouse gas emissions and promote public health.''
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    (1) Will significantly enhance or reduce the average cost of user 
mobility through the creation of more convenient transportation options 
for travelers;
    (2) Will improve existing transportation choices by enhancing 
points of modal connectivity, increasing the number of modes 
accommodated on existing assets, or 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 will 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, such as planning conducted with TIGER II 
Planning Grants, the Department of Housing and Urban Development's 
Regional Planning Grants, or the Environmental Protection Agency's 
Brownfield Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program as well as technical 
assistance programs focused on livability or economic development 
planning.
    Livability improvements may include projects for new or improved 
biking and walking infrastructure. However, particular attention will 
be paid to the degree to which such projects contribute significantly 
to broader traveler mobility, including for people with disabilities, 
through intermodal connections, enhanced job commuting options, or 
improved connections between residential and commercial areas. Projects 
that appear designed primarily as recreational facilities and do not 
enhance traveler mobility as described above will not be funded.
    (iv) Environmental Sustainability: In order to determine whether a 
project promotes a more environmentally sustainable transportation 
system, DOT will assess the project's 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

[[Page 4868]]

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 or water 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, DOT will assess the project's ability to reduce the number, 
rate and consequences of surface transportation-related crashes, 
injuries, and fatalities among drivers and/or non-drivers in the United 
States or in the affected metropolitan area or region, and/or the 
project's 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: DOT believes 
that benefit-cost analysis (``BCA'') is an important discipline. For 
BCA to yield useful results, a robust consideration of costs and 
benefits is necessary. These include quantified fuel and travel time 
savings as well as reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, water 
quality impacts, and public health effects as well as quantification of 
other costs and benefits that are more indirectly related to vehicle-
miles or that are harder to measure. In addition, BCA should attempt to 
measure the indirect effects of transportation investments on land use 
and on the portions of household budgets spent on transportation. The 
systematic process of comparing expected benefits and costs helps 
decision-makers organize information about, and evaluate trade-offs 
between, alternative transportation investments.\4\
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    \4\ DOT 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.
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    Therefore, applicants for TIGER Discretionary Grants are generally 
required to identify, quantify, and compare expected benefits and 
costs, subject to the following qualifications:
    All applicants will be expected to prepare an analysis of benefits 
and costs; however, DOT understands that the detail of analysis that 
should be expected (for items such as surveys, travel demand forecasts, 
market forecasts, statistical analyses) is less for smaller projects 
than for larger projects. The level of resources devoted to preparing 
the benefit-cost analysis should be reasonably related to the size of 
the overall project and the amount of grant funds requested in the 
application. Any subjective estimates of benefits and costs should 
still be quantified, and applicants should provide whatever evidence 
they have available to lend credence to their subjective estimates. 
Estimates of benefits should be presented in monetary terms whenever 
possible; if a monetary estimate is not possible, then at least a 
quantitative estimate (in physical, non-monetary terms, such as crash 
rates, ridership estimates, emissions levels, etc.) should be provided.
    The lack of a useful analysis of expected project benefits and 
costs may be the basis for not selecting a project for award of a TIGER 
Discretionary Grant to an applicant. If it is clear to DOT that the 
total benefits of a project are not reasonably likely to justify the 
project's costs, DOT will not award a TIGER Discretionary Grant to the 
project.
    Detailed guidance for the preparation of benefit-cost analyses is 
provided in Appendix A. Benefits should be presented, whenever 
possible, in a tabular form showing benefits and costs in each year for 
the useful life of the project. Benefits and costs should both be 
discounted to the year 2012, and present discounted values of both the 
stream of benefits and the stream of costs should be calculated. If the 
project has multiple parts, each of which has independent utility, the 
benefits and costs of each part should be estimated and presented 
separately. The results of the benefit-cost analysis should be 
summarized in the Project Narrative section of the application itself, 
but the details may be presented in an attachment to the application if 
the full analysis cannot be included within the page limit for the 
project narrative.
    Evaluation of Project Performance: Each applicant selected for 
TIGER Discretionary Grant funding will be required to work with DOT on 
the development and implementation of a plan to collect information and 
report on the project's performance with respect to the relevant long-
term outcomes that are expected to be achieved through construction of 
the project.
    (b) Job Creation and Near-Term Economic Activity
    In order to measure a project's alignment with this criterion, DOT 
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. Applicants are encouraged to provide 
information to assist DOT 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 by calendar quarters 
during construction and annually thereafter. Applicants should also 
identify any business enterprises to be created or benefited by the 
project during its construction and once it becomes operational.\5\
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    \5\ The Executive Office of the President, Council of Economic 
Advisers, (CEA), issued a memorandum in May 2009 on ``Estimates of 
Job Creation from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 
2009.'' That memorandum provides a simple rule for estimating job-
years created by government spending, which is that $92,000 of 
government spending creates one job-year (or 10,870 job-years per 
billion dollars of spending). More recently, in September 2011, 
based on further analysis both of actual job-creation experience 
from transportation projects under the Recovery Act and on further 
macroeconomic analysis, the CEA determined that a job-year is 
created by every $76,923 in transportation infrastructure spending 
(or 13,000 job-years per billion dollars of transportation 
infrastructure spending). This figure can now be used in place of 
the earlier $92,000/job-year estimate. Applicants can use this 
estimate as an appropriate indicator of direct, indirect and induced 
job-years created by TIGER Discretionary Grant spending, but are 
encouraged to supplement or modify this estimate to the extent they 
can demonstrate that such modifications are justified. However, 
since this guidance makes job creation purely a function of the 
level of expenditure, applicants should also demonstrate how quickly 
jobs will be created under the proposed project. Projects that 
generate a given number of jobs more quickly will have a more 
favorable impact on economic recovery. A quarter-by-quarter 
projection of the number of direct job-hours expected to be created 
by the project is useful in assessing the impacts of a project on 
economic recovery. Furthermore, applicants should be aware that 
certain types of expenditures are less likely to align well with the 
Job Creation & Near-Term Economic Activity criterion. These types of 
expenditures include, among other things, engineering or design work 
and purchasing existing facilities or right-of-way.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOT will continue to apply 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'') to the TIGER Discretionary Grants program

[[Page 4869]]

as a matter of policy, and consistent with applicable Federal laws. 
Applicants are encouraged to provide information to assist DOT 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 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 TIGER grant funding.
    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 near-term economic activity for manufacturers 
and suppliers that support the construction industry.
    In evaluating a project's alignment with this criterion, DOT will 
assess whether a project is ready to proceed rapidly upon receipt of a 
TIGER Discretionary Grant (see Appendix C: Additional Information on 
Project Readiness Guidelines for further details), as evidenced by:

    (i) Project Schedule: Applicants must include a detailed project 
schedule in this section of their application, which should include 
major and minor project milestones. If the project will be completed 
in individual segments or phases, these segments or phases must be 
described individually. A feasible and sufficiently detailed project 
schedule demonstrating that the project can begin construction 
quickly upon receipt of a TIGER Discretionary Grant,\6\ 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. Any applicant that 
is applying for a TIGER Discretionary Grant and does not own all of 
the property or right-of-way required to complete the project should 
provide evidence that the property and/or right-of-way owner whose 
permission is required to complete the project supports the 
application and will cooperate in carrying out the activities to be 
supported by the TIGER Discretionary Grant;
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    \6\ Each applicant should demonstrate that any potential grant 
funding awarded to their project can be obligated no later than June 
30, 2013, in order to give DOT comfort that the TIGER Discretionary 
Grant funds are likely to be obligated in advance of the September 
30, 2013, statutory deadline, and that any unexpected delays will 
not put TIGER Discretionary Grant funds at risk of expiring before 
they are obligated.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (ii) Environmental Approvals: Receipt (or reasonably anticipated 
receipt) of all environmental approvals and permits necessary for 
the project to proceed to construction on the timeline specified in 
the project schedule and necessary to meet the statutory obligation 
deadline, including satisfaction of all Federal, State and local 
requirements and completion of the National Environmental Policy Act 
(``NEPA'') process;
    To demonstrate satisfaction of this requirement, applicants will 
be asked to provide assurances with their pre-applications and 
evidence with their applications that NEPA review is complete or 
substantially complete and submit relevant draft or final NEPA 
documentation--preferably by way of a Web site link--for DOT review.
    DOT is unlikely to select a project for TIGER Discretionary 
Grant funding if it involves, or potentially involves, significant 
environmental impacts and/or is not clearly likely to complete 
required environmental and regulatory reviews in time to meet the 
obligation deadline of September 30, 2013.
    If an applicant has not substantially completed the NEPA process 
the applicant should provide information on the project's current 
status in the NEPA process and an estimate of the latest date that 
the NEPA process is reasonably expected to be completed. If an 
applicant has not initiated the NEPA process, the applicant must 
provide a reasonable justification for why the NEPA process has not 
yet been initiated as of the date of this notice and an assurance 
that the necessary environmental reviews can be completed with 
enough time for any post-NEPA, pre-obligation activities to be 
completed by June 30, 2013, in order to give DOT comfort that all of 
the TIGER Discretionary Grant funds are likely to be obligated in 
advance of the September 30, 2013, statutory deadline. An example of 
a reasonable justification for why an applicant has not initiated 
NEPA review would be if, prior to the availability of TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funds, there was no reasonable expectation of 
receiving Federal funding for the project. A project selected for 
award that has not completed the NEPA process may not be permitted 
to use grant funds for construction and related activities until 
NEPA is complete and all other necessary environmental approvals 
have been received.
    An applicant seeking to demonstrate timely environmental review 
and permitting should submit the information listed below with its 
application:
    a. The information required under Sections VII(C)(2)(V) and 
VII(F)-(G) (Contents of Applications) of this notice;
    b. Environmental studies or other documents--preferably by way 
of a Web site link--that describe in detail known potential project 
impacts, and possible mitigation for those impacts;
    c. A description of completed, or planned and anticipated 
coordination with Federal and State regulatory agencies for permits 
and approvals;
    d. An estimate of the time required for completion of NEPA and 
all other required Federal, State or local environmental approvals; 
and
    e. An identification of the proposed NEPA class of action (i.e., 
Categorical Exclusion, Environmental Assessment, or Environmental 
Impact Statement).
    (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 elected officials; 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 planning requirements of the 
operating administration administering the TIGER project will 
apply.\7\ Where required by an operating administration, applicants 
should demonstrate that a project that is required to be included in 
the relevant State, metropolitan, and local planning documents, has 
been or will be included. One way applicants may do this is by 
providing a link to a Web site showing the planning documents. If 
the project is not included in the relevant planning documents at 
the time the application is submitted, applicants should submit a 
certification from the appropriate planning agency that actions are 
underway at the time of the application to

[[Page 4870]]

include the project in the relevant planning document;
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ 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 not currently included in these plans can be amended 
in by the State and MPO. 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 should be demonstrated by previously performed and/or 
ongoing engineering and design studies and activities; the 
development of design criteria and/or a basis of design; the basis 
for the cost estimate presented in the TIGER application, including 
the identification of contingency levels appropriate to its level of 
design; and any scope, schedule, and budget risk-mitigation 
measures. Applicants must include a detailed statement of work that 
focuses on the technical and engineering aspects of the project. If 
the project will be completed in individual segments or phases, 
these segments or phases must be described individually. For 
projects generating ongoing operating expenses, an estimate of those 
expenses and a basis for the estimate must be included. Technical 
feasibility also includes the technical capacity of the project 
sponsor, including a staffing and management plan, demonstrated 
experience in successfully implementing (on-time and on-budget) 
similar capital investments, and other indications of sponsor and 
partner technical capacity to construct the project; 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 capital and (as appropriate) operating revenue 
commitments sufficient to cover estimated costs; the availability of 
contingency reserves should planned capital or operating revenue 
sources not materialize; evidence of the financial condition of the 
project sponsor; and evidence of the grant recipient's ability to 
manage grants. Applicants must demonstrate financial feasibility by 
including a detailed project budget in this section of their 
application, which should include a detailed breakdown of how the 
funds will be spent that provides estimates--both dollar amount and 
percentage of cost--of how much each activity would cost--e.g. 
preparation, grading, asphalt, etc. If the project will be completed 
in individual segments or phases, a budget for each individual 
segment or phase must be included.

    DOT 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 cannot be timely expended and/or construction does not 
begin in accordance with the project schedule. Because projects have 
different schedules DOT will consider on a case-by-case basis how much 
time after selection for award of a TIGER Discretionary Grant each 
project has before funds must be obligated (consistent with law) and 
construction started through an executed grant agreement between the 
selected applicant and Cognizant Modal Administration. 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. DOT expects that pre-conditions be 
complete and TIGER Discretionary Grants funds obligated on or before 
June 30, 2013, in order to give DOT comfort that all TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funds will be obligated before the statutory 
deadline of September 30, 2013. By statute, DOT's ability to obligate 
funds for TIGER Discretionary Grants expires on September 30, 2013, and 
DOT has no authority to extend the deadline.
2. Secondary Selection Criteria
(a) Innovation
    In order to measure a project's alignment with this criterion, DOT 
will assess the extent to which the project uses innovative technology 
(including, for example, intelligent transportation systems, dynamic 
pricing, value capture, 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. DOT 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.
    DOT will consider the extent to which innovative, multi-modal 
projects might be difficult to fund under other programs and will give 
priority to projects that align well with the Primary Selection 
Criteria but are unlikely to receive funding under traditional 
programs.
(b) Partnership
    (i) Jurisdictional & Stakeholder Collaboration: In order to measure 
a project's alignment with this criterion, DOT 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. DOT 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, DOT will give priority to projects that make 
effective use of community-based organizations in connecting 
disadvantaged people with economic opportunities. Letters of commitment 
and other supporting documentation showing existing or confirmed 
collaboration, partnerships, etc., should be provided (preferably 
through a Web site link) to demonstrate alignment with this criterion.
    In compliance with the FY 2012 Appropriations Act, DOT will give 
priority to projects for which a TIGER Discretionary Grant will help to 
complete an overall financing package. An applicant should clearly 
demonstrate in the application 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. DOT 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.
    DOT will also assess the extent to which the project application 
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 or jurisdictions are submitting a joint application, 
the application should demonstrate how the project costs are 
apportioned between the States or jurisdictions to assist DOT 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 various public 
service missions and to promote collaboration on the objectives 
outlined in this notice, DOT will give priority to projects that are 
supported, financially or otherwise, by non-transportation public 
agencies that are pursuing similar objectives. For example, DOT will 
give priority to transportation projects that are coordinated with 
economic development, housing, water infrastructure and land use plans 
and policies; similarly, DOT will give priority to transportation 
projects that

[[Page 4871]]

encourage energy efficiency or improve the environment and are 
supported by relevant public agencies with energy or environmental 
missions. Projects that grow out of a robust planning process--such as 
those conducted with TIGER II Planning Grants, the Department of 
Housing and Urban Development's Regional Planning Grants, or the 
Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfield Area-Wide Planning Pilot 
Program as well as technical assistance programs focused on livability 
or economic development planning--will also be given priority.

III. Evaluation and Selection Process

A. Evaluation Process

    TIGER Discretionary Grant applications will be evaluated in 
accordance with the below discussed evaluation process. DOT will 
establish a pre-application evaluation team to review each pre-
application that is received by DOT on or prior to the Pre-Application 
Deadline. This evaluation team will be organized and led by the Office 
of the Secretary and will include members from the relevant modal 
administrations in DOT with the most experience and/or expertise in the 
relevant project areas (the ``Cognizant Modal Administrations''). This 
evaluation team will be responsible for analyzing whether the pre-
application satisfies the following key threshold requirements:
    1. The project is an Eligible Project;
    2. NEPA has been addressed, as described above in Section 
II(B)(2)(b)(ii) (Environmental Approvals);
    3. The project is included in the relevant State, metropolitan, and 
local planning documents, or will be included, if applicable;
    4. The project expects to be ready to obligate all of the TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funds no later than June 30, 2013;\8\ and
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    \8\ See footnote 7, above.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    5. Local matching funds to support 20 percent or more of the costs 
for the project are identified and committed in applications for 
projects in urban areas.\9\
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    \9\ For FHWA and FTA committed funds are defined as: ``Funds 
that have been dedicated or obligated for transportation purposes'' 
as described in 23 CFR 450.104.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To the extent the pre-application evaluation team determines that a 
pre-application does not satisfy these key threshold requirements, DOT 
will inform the project sponsor that an application for the project 
will not be reviewed unless the application submitted on or prior to 
the Application Deadline can demonstrate that the requirement has been 
addressed.
    DOT will establish application evaluation teams to review each 
application that is received by DOT prior to the Application Deadline. 
These evaluation teams will be organized and led by the Office of the 
Secretary and will include members from each of the Cognizant Modal 
Administrations. These representatives will include technical and 
professional staff with relevant experience and/or expertise. The 
evaluation teams 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.
    DOT 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,'' 
``acceptable,'' or ``not recommended'' will be assigned to projects for 
each of the selection criteria. DOT will award TIGER Discretionary 
Grants to projects that are well-aligned with one or more of the 
selection criteria. In addition, DOT 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, DOT will use a similar rating process to re-assess the 
projects that were highly rated and identify those that should be most 
highly rated.
    DOT will give more weight to the two Primary Selection Criteria 
(Long-Term Outcomes and Job Creation & Near-Term Economic Activity), 
which will be weighted equally, than to the two Secondary Selection 
Criteria (Innovation and Partnership) which will also be weighted 
equally. The following table summarizes the weighting of the selection 
criteria, as described in the preceding paragraphs:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Primary Selection Criteria
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Long-Term Outcomes................  DOT 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.
Job Creation & Near-Term Economic   DOT will give more weight to this
 Activity.                           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.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Secondary Selection Criteria
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Innovation & Partnership..........  DOT will give less weight to these
                                     criteria than to the Primary
                                     Selection Criteria. These criteria
                                     will be weighted equally.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As noted below in Section III(C) (Distribution of Funds), upon 
completion of this competitive rating process DOT will analyze the 
preliminary list and determine whether the purely competitive ratings 
are consistent with the distributional requirements of the FY 2012 
Appropriations Act. If necessary, DOT will adjust the list of 
recommended projects to satisfy the statutory distributional 
requirements while remaining as consistent as possible with the 
competitive ratings. The Secretary of Transportation will make the 
final project selections.

B. Evaluation of Eligibility

    To be selected for a TIGER Discretionary Grant, a project must be 
an Eligible Project and the applicant must be an Eligible Applicant. 
DOT may consider one or more components of a large project to be an 
Eligible Project, but only to the extent that the components have 
independent utility,

[[Page 4872]]

meaning the components themselves, not the project of which they are a 
part, are Eligible Projects and satisfy the selection criteria 
identified above in Section II(A) (Selection Criteria). 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. DOT will not fund individual 
phases of a project if the benefits of completing only these phases 
would not align well with the selection criteria specified in this 
Notice because the overall project would still be incomplete.

C. Transparency of Process

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

IV. Grant Administration

    DOT expects that each TIGER Discretionary Grant will be 
administered by one of the Cognizant Modal Administration, pursuant to 
a grant agreement between the TIGER Discretionary Grant recipient and 
the Cognizant Modal Administration. Service Outcome Agreements and 
Stakeholder Agreements will be incorporated into the TIGER grant 
agreements, where appropriate. In accordance with the FY 2012 
Appropriations Act, the Secretary has the discretion to delegate such 
responsibilities to the appropriate operating administration.
    Applicable Federal laws, rules and regulations of the Cognizant 
Modal Administration administering the project will apply to projects 
that receive TIGER Discretionary Grants.

V. Projects in Rural Areas

    The FY 2012 Appropriations Act directs that not less than $120 
million of the funds provided for TIGER Discretionary Grants are to be 
used for projects in rural areas. For purposes of this notice, DOT is 
defining ``rural area'' as any area not in an Urbanized Area, as such 
term is defined by the Census Bureau,\10\ and will consider a project 
to be in a rural area if all or the majority of a project (determined 
by geographic location(s) where majority of project money is to be 
spent) is located in a rural area. Therefore, if all or the majority of 
a project is located in a rural area, such a project is eligible to 
apply for less than $10 million, but at least $1 million in TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funds, and up to 100% of the project's costs may be 
paid for with federal funds. To the extent more than a de minimis 
portion of a project is located in an Urbanized Area, applicants should 
identify the estimated percentage of project costs that will be spent 
in Urbanized Areas and the estimated percentage that will be spent in 
rural areas.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ For Census 2000, the Census Bureau defined an Urbanized 
Area (UA) as an area that consists of densely settled territory that 
contains 50,000 or more people. Updated lists of UAs are available 
on the Census Bureau Web site. Urban Clusters (UCs) will be 
considered rural areas for purposes of the TIGER Discretionary Grant 
program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

VI. TIGER TIFIA Payments

    Up to $175 million of the $500 million available for TIGER 
Discretionary Grants may be used for TIGER TIFIA Payments. Applicants 
seeking TIGER TIFIA Payments should apply in accordance with all of the 
criteria and guidance specified in this notice for TIGER Discretionary 
Grant applications and will be evaluated concurrently with all other 
applicants. Any applicant seeking a TIGER TIFIA Payment is also 
required to submit a TIFIA letter of interest concurrent with the TIGER 
TIFIA Payment application. If selected for a TIGER TIFIA Payment, the 
applicant must comply with all of the TIFIA program's standard 
application and approval requirements including submission of a 
complete TIFIA application and $50,000 application fee (the TIFIA 
program guide can be downloaded from http://tifia.fhwa.dot.gov/).
    Applicants should demonstrate that the TIFIA loan will be ready to 
close on or before June 30, 2013, in accordance with the guidance 
specified above in Section II(B)(1)(b) (Job Creation & Near-Term 
Economic Activity). DOT's TIFIA Joint Program Office will assist DOT 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 FY 2012 
Appropriations Act, this notice, or otherwise, apply to TIGER TIFIA 
Payments.

Pre-Application and Application Cycle

VII. Pre-Application and Application Cycle

A. Two Stages of Application Cycle

    The application cycle for TIGER Discretionary Grants has two 
stages:
    1. Pre-Application: In Stage 1, applicants must submit a pre-
application form to the DOT. This step qualifies applicants to submit 
an application in Stage 2. No application submitted during Stage 2 that 
does not correlate with a properly completed Stage 1 pre-application 
will be considered.
    2. Application: In Stage 2, applicants must submit a complete 
application package through Grants.gov. If an applicant is seeking a 
TIGER TIFIA payment, applicants must also submit electronically a TIFIA 
letter of interest to the TIFIA office at TIFIACredit@dot.gov. TIFIA 
letters of interest must comply with all of the program's standard 
requirements (the TIFIA program guide can be downloaded from http://tifia.fhwa.dot.gov/).
    Pre-applications must be submitted to DOT by the Pre-Application 
Deadline, which is February 20, 2012, at 5 p.m. EST. Final applications 
must be submitted through Grants.gov by the Application Deadline, which 
is March 19, 2012, at 5 p.m. EDT. The DOT pre-application system will 
open on or before February 13, 2012, to allow prospective applicants to 
submit pre-applications. Subsequently, the Grants.gov ``Apply'' 
function will open on February 22, 2012, allowing applicants to submit 
applications. While applicants are encouraged to submit pre-
applications in advance of the Pre-Application Deadline, pre-
applications will not be reviewed until after the Pre-Application 
Deadline. Similarly, while applicants are encouraged to submit 
applications in advance of the Application Deadline, applications will 
not be evaluated, and selections for awards will not be made, until 
after the Application Deadline.
    Pre-applications (stage 1) must be submitted to the DOT. The pre-
application form will be available on the DOT Web site at www.dot.gov/TIGER by January 30, 2012, together with instructions for submitting 
the pre-application form electronically to DOT.

[[Page 4873]]

    Applications (Stage 2) must be submitted through Grants.gov. To 
apply for funding through Grants.gov, applicants must be properly 
registered. Complete instructions on how to register and submit 
applications can be found at www.grants.gov. Please be aware that the 
registration process usually takes 2-4 weeks and must be completed 
before an application can be submitted. If interested parties 
experience difficulties at any point during the registration or 
application process, please call the Grants.gov Customer Support 
Hotline at 1-(800) 518-4726, Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST. 
Additional information on applying through Grants.gov is available in 
Appendix B.

B. Contents of Pre-Applications

    An applicant for a TIGER Discretionary Grant should provide all of 
the information requested below in its pre-application form. DOT 
reserves the right to ask any applicant to supplement the data in its 
pre-application, but expects pre-applications to be complete upon 
submission. Applicants must complete the pre-application form and send 
it to DOT electronically on or prior to the Pre-Application Deadline, 
in accordance with the instructions specified at www.dot.gov/TIGER. The 
pre-application form must include the following information:
    i. Name of applicant (if the application is to be submitted by more 
than one entity, a lead applicant must be identified);
    ii. Applicant's DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number;
    iii. Type of applicant (State government, local government, U.S. 
territory, Tribal government, transit agency, port authority, 
metropolitan planning organization, or other unit of government);
    iv. State(s) where the project is located;
    v. County(s) where the project is located;
    vi. City(s) where the project is located;
    vii. Information about the geographic location of the project for 
mapping purposes using one of the following methods:
    1. A geographic information system (GIS) file that indicates the 
location of the project;
    2. For locating point specific projects, latitude and longitude in 
decimal degrees to an accuracy of 5 decimal places (e.g. 0.12345) using 
the WGS 84 datum (the default datum used by Global Positioning System 
(GPS) equipment; or
    3. For linear projects on existing roads, route number (Interstate, 
U.S. Route, or State Route) or road name and the latitude and longitude 
in decimal degrees to an accuracy of 5 decimal places (e.g. 0.12345) of 
the beginning and ending points of the project;
    viii. Project title (descriptive);
    ix. Project type: highway, transit, freight rail, intercity 
passenger rail, marine port, multimodal, or bicycle and pedestrian 
activity (if the project is a multimodal project, the pre-application 
form will require that applicants provide additional information 
identifying the affected modes);
    x. Whether the project is requesting a TIGER TIFIA Payment;
    xi. Project description (describe the project in plain English, 
using no more than 50 words (e.g. ``the project will replace the 
existing bridge over the W river on interstate-X between the cities of 
Y and Z'') do not describe the project's benefits, background, or 
alignment with the selection criteria here);
    xii. Total cost of the project;
    xiii. Total amount of TIGER Discretionary Grant funds requested;
    xiv. Contact name, phone number, email address, and physical 
address for applicant;
    xv. Congressional districts affected by the project;
    xvi. Type of jurisdiction where the project is located (urban or 
rural, as defined above in Section V (Projects in Rural Areas));
    xvii. Whether or not the project is in an Economically Distressed 
Area, as defined in Section II(A) (Selection Criteria);
    xviii. An assurance that the NEPA and/or environmental review 
process is complete, substantially complete, or in progress (and the 
expected outcome of the process) and is expected to be completed in 
time to meet the obligation deadline of September 30, 2013;
    xix. The schedule for completing right-of-way acquisition and final 
design; approval of plans, specifications, and estimates;
    xx. The date that the project is expected to be ready for 
obligation of grant funds, which should be no later than June 30, 2013, 
in order to give DOT comfort that the funds will be obligated before 
they expire on September 30, 2013; and
    xxi. An assurance that non-Federal matching funds to support 20 
percent or more of the costs of the project are identified and 
committed (as noted in Section I (Background), this requirement does 
not apply to projects located in rural areas, as defined above in 
Section V (Projects in Rural Areas)).
    To the extent the pre-application does not provide adequate 
assurances for items xvii through xxii, DOT will inform the project 
sponsor that an application for the project will not be reviewed unless 
the application submitted on or prior to the Application Deadline can 
demonstrate that each requirement has been addressed.

C. Contents of Applications

    An applicant for a TIGER Discretionary Grant must include all of 
the information requested below in its application. DOT 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, DOT 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 letter of interest and 
loan application requirements, including the standard $50,000.00 
application fee, are separately described in the Program Guide and 
Application Form found at http://tifia.fhwa.dot.gov/.
1. Standard Form 424, Application for Federal Assistance
    Please see www07.grants.gov/assets/SF424Instructions.pdf for 
instructions on how to complete the SF 424, which is part of the 
standard Grants.gov submission. Additional clarifying guidance and FAQs 
to assist applicants in completing the SF-424 will be available at 
www.dot.gov/TIGER by February 23, 2012, when the ``Apply'' function 
within Grants.gov opens to accept applications under this notice.
2. Project Narrative (Attachment to SF 424)
    The project narrative must respond to the application requirements 
outlined below. DOT recommends that the project narrative be prepared 
with standard formatting preferences (e.g. a single-spaced document, 
using a standard 12-point font, such as Times New Roman, with 1-inch 
margins).
    A TIGER Discretionary Grant application must include information 
required for DOT 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). Applicants must 
demonstrate the responsiveness of a project to any pertinent selection 
criteria with the most relevant information that applicants can 
provide, regardless of

[[Page 4874]]

whether such information has been specifically requested, or 
identified, in this notice. Applicants should provide concrete evidence 
of project milestones, financial capacity and commitment in order to 
support project readiness. Any such information shall be considered 
part of the application, not supplemental, for purposes of the 
application size limits identified below in Part D (Length of 
Applications). Information provided pursuant to this paragraph must be 
quantified, to the extent possible, to describe the project's benefits 
to 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.
    All applications 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. The description should include relevant data 
such as, for example, passenger or freight volumes, congestion levels, 
infrastructure condition, or safety experience.
    DOT recommends that the project narrative generally adhere to the 
following basic outline, and include a table of contents, maps and 
graphics that make the information easier to review:

    I. Project Description (including information on the expected 
users of the project, a description of the transportation challenges 
that the project aims to address, and how the project will address 
these challenges);
    II. Project Parties (information about the grant recipient and 
other project parties);
    III. Grant Funds and Sources/Uses of Project Funds (information 
about the amount of grant funding requested, availability/commitment 
of funds 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));
    IV. Selection Criteria (information about how the project aligns 
with each of the primary and secondary selection criteria and a 
description of the results of the benefit-cost analysis):
    a. Long-Term Outcomes
    i. State of Good Repair
    ii. Economic Competitiveness
    iii. Livability
    iv. Sustainability
    v. Safety
    b. Job Creation & Near-Term Economic Activity
    c. Innovation
    d. Partnership
    e. Results of Benefit-Cost Analysis
    V. Project Readiness and NEPA (information about how ready the 
project is to move forward quickly, including information about the 
project schedule, environmental approvals, legislative approvals, 
state and local planning, technical feasibility, financial 
feasibility, and stakeholder partnerships and implementation 
agreements);
    VI. Federal Wage Rate Certification (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 FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act); and
    VII. To the extent relevant, the final page of the application 
should describe (in one page or less) any material changes that were 
made to the pre-application form.

    The purpose of this recommended format is to ensure that 
applications are provided in a format that clearly addresses the 
application requirements and makes critical information readily 
apparent and easy to locate.

D. Length of Applications

    The project narrative may not exceed 30 pages in length. 
Documentation supporting the assertions made in the narrative portion 
may also be provided, but should be limited to relevant information. If 
possible, Web site links to supporting documentation (including a more 
detailed discussion of the benefit-cost analysis) should be provided 
rather than copies of these materials. At the applicant's discretion, 
relevant materials provided previously to a Cognizant Modal 
Administration 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 (although 
provision of a Web site link would facilitate DOT's consideration of 
the information). DOT recommends use of appropriately descriptive file 
names (e.g., ``Project Narrative,'' ``Maps,'' ``Memoranda of 
Understanding and Letters of Support,'' etc.) for all attachments. 
Cover pages and tables of contents do not count towards the 30-page 
limit for the narrative portion of the application, and the Federal 
wage rate certification and one-page update of the pre-application form 
(if necessary) may also be outside of the 30-page narrative. Otherwise, 
the only substantive portions of the application that should exceed the 
30-page limit are any supporting documents (including a more detailed 
discussion of the benefit-cost analysis) provided to support assertions 
or conclusions made in the 30-page narrative section.

E. Contact Information

    Contact information is requested as part of the SF-424. DOT will 
use this information to inform parties of DOT's decision regarding 
selection of projects, as well as to contact parties in the event that 
DOT needs additional information about an application. Contact 
information must be provided for a direct employee of the lead 
applicant organization. Contact information for a contractor, agent, or 
consultant of the lead applicant organization is insufficient for DOT's 
purposes.

F. National Environmental Policy Act Requirement

    An application for a TIGER Discretionary Grant 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.

G. Environmentally Related Federal, State and Local Actions

    An application for a TIGER Discretionary Grant must indicate 
whether the proposed project requires 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

[[Page 4875]]

Species Act Threatened and Endangered Biological Resources; Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Essential Fish Habitat; 
and/or any State and local requirements.

H. Protection of Confidential Business Information

    All information submitted as part of or in support of any 
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. DOT protects such information from disclosure to the extent 
allowed under applicable law. In the event DOT receives a Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) request for the information, DOT 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.

VIII. Project Benefits

    DOT expects to identify and report on the benefits of the projects 
that it funds with TIGER Discretionary Grants. To this end, DOT will 
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.
    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. DOT is considering the most 
appropriate way to collect and report information about these potential 
and actual project benefits.

IX. Questions and Clarifications

    For further information concerning this notice please contact the 
TIGER Discretionary Grant program staff via email at 
TIGERGrants@dot.gov, or call Howard Hill at (202) 366-0301. A TDD is 
available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at (202) 366-
3993. DOT will regularly post answers to these questions and other 
important clarifications on DOT's Web site at www.dot.gov/TIGER.

Appendix A: Additional Information on Benefit-Cost Analysis

    Each applicant should provide evidence that the expected 
benefits of the project justify the costs (recognizing that some 
costs and benefits are difficult to quantify). If it is clear that 
the benefits do not justify the costs, the Department will not award 
a TIGER Discretionary Grant to the project. Benefits include the 
extent to which residents of the United States as a whole are made 
better off as a result of the project.
    The best applications are often prepared by transportation 
agencies that have used in-house economic expertise and cost/benefit 
analysis to influence the design of the project from the beginning. 
All Applicants should also consult the BCA Resource Page available 
on the USDOT TIGER Web site (http://www.dot.gov/TIGER) that will 
provide supplemental information, standard monetized values (where 
available), and updates for preparing a BCA. If after reading this 
appendix applicants need additional help, DOT staff are available to 
answer questions and offer technical assistance until the final 
application deadline has passed.
    This appendix provides general information and guidance on 
conducting an analysis. In addition to this guidance, applicants 
should refer to OMB Circulars A-4 and A-94 in preparing their 
analysis (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/). Circular A-4 
also cites textbooks on cost-benefit analysis (e.g., Mishan and Quah 
\11\) if an applicant wants to review additional background 
material.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ E.J. Mishan and Euston Quah, Cost-Benefit Analysis, 5th 
edition (New York: Routledge, 2007).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the Executive Summary for any benefit-cost analysis, 
applicants should provide a project matrix describing the project 
and what it changes (see below). This can either be in Word or in 
Excel. The first column provides a description of the current 
infrastructure baseline (including anticipated changes over the 
analysis period) and identifies the problem that the project will 
address. The second column describes how the project would change 
the current infrastructure baseline. The third and fourth columns 
describe the impact of that change and the corresponding population 
that it affects. The fifth column identifies the corresponding 
societal benefit. The last columns summarize the results and 
reference where in the analysis they calculate the benefits. The 
matrix below provides an example of a completed matrix.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JA12.000

    If an application contains multiple separate projects (but that 
are linked together in a common objective), each of which has 
independent utility, the applicant should provide a separate matrix 
(and analysis) for each project. The Executive Summary should also 
include the full cost of a project, including Federal, State, local, 
and private funding, as well as expected operations and maintenance 
costs, and not simply the requested grant amount or the local 
amount.
    In addition to the matrix, the applicant should summarize all 
pertinent data and quantifiable cost and benefit calculations in a 
single spreadsheet tab (or table in Word). It should also summarize 
all other benefits that are difficult to quantify, and the applicant 
would also present this at the beginning of the BCA. The following 
provides a simplified example for expository purposes of discounted 
benefits from a road project providing travel time savings to local 
travelers only over the course of five years. In practice, 
applicants must estimate both benefits and costs for each year after 
the project's start date and for a period of time of at least 20 
years in the future (or the project's useful life if it is shorter). 
If the project will continue to have benefits beyond the end of the 
analysis period, applicants can include a residual value of the 
project at the end of the analysis period, and treat that as

[[Page 4876]]

an additional benefit, discounted from the end of the analysis 
period.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JA12.001

    The following sections will help guide applicants through the 
matrix. This is useful both to fill out the matrix (and in the 
process to adequately scope and outline the analysis) and to 
actually carry out the analysis.

Baselines

    Applicants should measure costs and benefits of a proposed 
project against a baseline (also called a ``base case'' or a ``no 
build'' case). The baseline should be an assessment of the way the 
world would look if the project did not receive the requested TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funding. Sometimes, it is reasonable to forecast 
that that baseline world resembles the present state. However, it is 
important to factor in any projected changes (e.g., baseline 
economic growth, increased traffic volumes, or completion of already 
planned and funded projects) that would occur even in the absence of 
the requested project.
    Baseline assumptions need to incorporate the transportation 
options with the highest net benefits that would be available in the 
absence of the project. Baselines should incorporate accurate 
descriptions of current traffic/shipping patterns. It is also 
important that the applicant assume the continuation of reasonable 
and sound management practices in establishing a baseline. Assuming 
a baseline scenario in which the owner of the facility does no 
maintenance on the facility and ignores traffic problems and 
maintenance is not realistic and will lead to the overstatement of 
project benefits and will affect the rating of the BCA.
    Applicants must demonstrate that the proposed project has 
independent utility. Sub-components of a larger project may have 
little or no transportation value in the absence of the other 
components. For example, a ramp to an undeveloped site does not have 
much utility if the site does not get developed. The correct 
baseline is then the current level of traffic and not the projected 
traffic if the site is developed.
    Baselines also need to be realistic in the transportation 
assumptions that they make. If a project would construct a short 
freight rail spur from a railroad mainline to a particular facility, 
it is unrealistic to assume that, in the absence of the project, 
individuals would ship cargo by truck for thousands of miles, 
whereas they would ship the same cargo by rail with the project. A 
realistic description of current traffic would have current cargo 
traffic going by rail for most of the distance, and then by truck 
for the relatively short distance over which rail transportation is 
not available.
    The applicant must make clear exactly what portions of the 
project form the basis of the estimates of benefits and costs. It is 
incorrect to claim benefits for the entire project but only count as 
costs the costs of the portion of the project funded by the TIGER 
Discretionary Grant. Thus, it would be incorrect to attribute all 
the benefits from a new port facility to a TIGER Discretionary Grant 
when the costs that are counted only cover the portion of the 
project funded by the TIGER Discretionary Grant, for example, paving 
a loading area.
    There are cases where a grant may accelerate completion of the 
project that an applicant already was going to build. The benefits 
and costs in this case should thus be limited to the marginal 
benefits (and marginal costs) of completing the project in a shorter 
period of time and including the cost of expending resources on the 
project sooner than otherwise planned (i.e., a ``now versus later'' 
comparison).

Alternatives

    An applicant should present and consider reasonable alternatives 
in the analysis. Applicants should evaluate smaller-scale and more 
focused projects for comparison purposes. For example, if an 
applicant is requesting funds to replace a pier, it should also 
analyze the alternative of rehabilitating the current pier. 
Similarly, if an applicant seeks funds to establish a relatively 
large streetcar project, it should also evaluate a more focused 
project serving only the more densely populated corridors of an 
area. A careful evaluation of the baseline will yield several 
alternative actions. The analysis should demonstrate that the 
proposed project is the most cost-effective option of all the 
alternatives considered.

Affected Population & Types of Impacts

    Applicants need to carefully identify the different impacts a 
project will have. For example, the rationale for many highway 
projects is to relieve peak-hour congestion which in turn reduces 
travel times and vehicle emissions. Other highway projects can 
improve road safety and in turn reduce accidents and corresponding 
property damage, injuries, and fatalities. It is important that 
applicants then match the types of impacts to the corresponding 
affected population (group and number of affected entities). For 
example, for a passenger project applicants should measure the 
number of passengers and for a freight project the amount of freight 
affected.
    Applicants should measure affected passenger and freight traffic 
in passenger-miles and freight ton-miles (and possibly value of 
freight). If, as is often the case (e.g., projected growth in 
highway traffic), the affected population is not the same for all 
years, then the applicant needs to break out affected population 
annually. Measures of freight traffic might include growing levels 
of port calls. In some cases, the relevant population is the volume 
of traffic that the project diverts from one mode to another. 
Applicants should be realistic as to how the project affects these 
populations.

Benefits--Long Term Outcomes

    Each application must include in its analysis estimates of the 
project's expected benefits with respect to each of the five long-
term outcomes that DOT specified in Section II(A) (Selection 
Criteria). We recognize that it may in some cases be unclear in 
which of these categories of outcomes an applicant should list a 
benefit. In these cases, it is less important in which category an 
applicant lists a benefit than to make sure that they list and 
measure it (but only once). The following table maps some of the 
types of benefits to a long-term outcome. These are some of the 
primary benefit categories, but this is not an exhaustive list. We 
describe these categories later.

[[Page 4877]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JA12.002

Types of Societal Benefits

    Travel time savings can result from transportation improvements 
whose purpose is to expand capacity or improve state of good repair. 
Where this is the case, applicants should clearly demonstrate the 
derivation of the travel time savings to the affected population. If 
travel time savings vary over time, the applicant must clearly show 
savings by year. The applicant must also be careful to estimate 
savings solely from the project funded by the requested grant, and 
not from other related projects not funded by the requested grant. 
Once the applicant generates its estimate of hours saved, it should 
apply the Department's guidance on the value of time to those 
estimates (http://ostpxweb.dot.gov/policy/reports.htm) to monetize 
them for both business and non-business travelers.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JA12.003

    Operating cost savings frequently occur from both freight-
related and passenger-related projects. Freight-related projects 
that improve roads, rails, and ports frequently generate savings to 
carriers (e.g., fuel savings and other operating cost savings) that 
they may pass on in whole or in part to shippers by way of lower 
freight rates. Shippers may, in turn, pass on, in whole or in part, 
these savings to consumers. Passenger-related projects can also 
reduce operating costs for passengers by providing lower-cost 
alternatives to the use of private vehicles or by reducing the 
operating costs of those vehicles. If applicants are projecting 
these savings as benefits, they need to carefully demonstrate how 
the proposed project would generate such benefits. However, 
applicants must be careful to count the value of the fuel and other 
operating cost savings (however allocated among carriers, shippers, 
and consumers) only once in the benefit-cost analysis; it cannot be 
re-counted in full each time it transfers from one group to the 
other as this would entail double-counting of the same benefit.
    Transportation can generate environmental costs in the form of 
emissions of ``criteria pollutants'' (e.g., SOx, 
NOx, and particulates) and from the emission of 
greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2). Increased 
traffic congestion results in increased levels of these emissions. 
Transportation projects that reduce congestion can reduce these 
emissions and produce Environmental Benefits given reduced idling 
and otherwise constant vehicle-miles travelled. Also, transportation 
projects that encourage transportation users to shift from more-
polluting modes to less-polluting modes can similarly reduce 
emissions. Applicants claiming these types of benefits must clearly 
demonstrate and quantify how the project will reduce emissions. Once 
an applicant has adequately quantified levels of emission 
reductions, it should estimate the dollar value of these benefits. 
For sources of information on the social benefits of reducing 
criteria pollutant emissions, applicants should refer to the online 
BCA Resource Page (http://www.dot.gov/TIGER).
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JA12.004

    Many infrastructure projects that improve the state of good 
repair of transportation infrastructure can reduce long-term 
maintenance and repair costs. These benefits are in addition to the 
benefits of reductions in travel time, shipping costs, and crashes 
which the applicant should account for separately. Applicants should 
include these maintenance and repair savings as benefits. Improving 
state of good repair may also reduce operating costs and congestion 
by reducing the amount of time that the infrastructure is out of 
service due to maintenance and repairs, or may prevent a facility 
(such as a bridge) from being removed from service entirely. The 
application should also consider differences in maintenance and 
repair costs when comparing different project alternatives. For 
example, an applicant can compare the maintenance costs that would 
be required after rehabilitating an existing pier with those that 
would be required after building a new one. As part of the data that 
go into estimating the benefits of improving the state of good 
repair, applicants should provide accepted measures for assessing an 
asset's current condition. For example, applicants can use Present 
Serviceability Ratings (PSR) or the International Roughness Index to 
discuss pavement condition and bridge sufficiency ratings to discuss 
the condition of a bridge. As discussed in the section on costs, the 
Department expects applicants to consider the life-cycle costs of 
the project when making these comparisons.

[[Page 4878]]

    Projects can also improve the Safety of transportation. A well-
designed project can reduce fatalities and injuries as well as 
reduce other crash costs. The applicant should clearly demonstrate 
how the project will improve safety. For example, to claim a 
reduction in fatalities, an applicant must clearly demonstrate how 
the existence of the project would have prevented the types of 
fatalities that commonly occur in that area. Applicants should use 
crash causation factors or similar analyses of causes of crashes to 
show the extent to which the type of improvements proposed would 
actually reduce the likelihood of the kinds of crashes that actually 
had occurred. Alternatively, when only a few cases are involved, the 
applicant should provide a description of the incidents and 
demonstrate the linkage between the proposed project and crash 
reduction. In some cases, safety benefits may occur because of modal 
diversion from a less safe mode to a safer mode. When applicants 
claim this type of benefit, they should provide a clear analysis of 
why the forecasted modal diversion will take place. Once the 
applicant has established a reasonable count of the incidents that 
the project will likely prevent, it should apply the Department's 
guidance on value of life and injuries (http://ostpxweb.dot.gov/policy/reports.htm) to monetize them. This and other relevant 
information on Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) are available at the 
BCA Resource Page (http://www.dot.gov/TIGER).
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN31JA12.005

    Applicants must carefully net out other effects before taking 
benefits from Property Value Increases (e.g. from a transit 
station). For example, if the property value goes up by the exact 
same value as the developer's investment then this is not a benefit. 
Property value increases over and above the developer's investment 
may potentially be a benefit from the project. The analysis should 
also consider to what extent an increase in land values induced by 
the project in one area causes a reduction in land values in some 
other area. Applicants must also net out any property value 
increases that result from time savings or other benefits that have 
already been counted. Applicants can only count the net increase in 
land value as a benefit. Simply asserting that there is a property 
tax increase net of time savings is inadequate. The Department 
expects any applicant claiming these types of benefits to provide a 
rigorous justification of the benefit. Applicants should note that 
any claimed societal benefit from a property value increase is only 
a one-time stock benefit. Applicants can not treat it as a stream of 
benefits accruing annually. To the extent possible, applicant should 
use survey methods to estimate the value of the estimate the value 
of the expected property value increase from transit or other 
transportation improvements.
    Transit and bicycle paths may provide greater accessibility to 
alternative transportation modes, but they will not actually enhance 
livability unless people use them, and the desire to use them will 
depend in part on where these modes go and on the amenities provided 
with them. One useful source of guidance on measuring benefits of 
bicycle facilities (particularly for understanding demand 
estimation) is the Transportation Research Board's National 
Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 552, Guidelines for 
Analysis of Investments in Bicycle Facilities (Washington: TRB, 
2006)
    (Available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_552.pdf). Transit and bicycle paths can also induce land use 
changes that result in greater density of development and more 
mixed-use development, thus reducing the number of passenger-miles 
of transportation needed to access jobs, schools, shopping, and 
recreational opportunities.

Other

    Transfers are not benefits. Analysis should distinguish between 
real benefits and transfer payments. Benefits reflect real resource 
usage and overall benefits to society, while transfers represent 
payments by one group to another and do not represent a net increase 
in societal benefits. In the case of job creation, for example, 
every job represents both a cost to the employer (paying a wage) and 
a benefit to the employee (receiving a wage), so it is a transfer 
payment, rather than a net benefit. While wages are a transfer 
payment, increases in the productivity of the labor force, measured 
by increases in how much workers produce per hour, can be included 
as a benefit of the project, but these benefits must be carefully 
measured and justified to be included. With respect to economic 
development, providing estimates of capital investments or property 
tax revenues are not legitimate benefits in a benefit-cost analysis. 
For example, while the tax is a benefit to the tax assessor it is a 
cost to the taxpayer. These transfers are commonly included in 
``economic impact analyses;'' an economic impact analysis is not 
acceptable as a substitute for a benefit-cost analysis. Other 
examples of transfers include port/rail projects whose purpose is to 
take away business from competitors. However, the transportation 
cost savings (if any) and the like from shifting traffic to a more 
convenient location would be a benefit. Applicants should not 
include employment or output multipliers that purport to measure 
secondary effects as societal benefits because these secondary 
effects are generally the same (per dollar spent) regardless of what 
kind of project is funded.
    As noted above, the estimate of Costs must pertain to the same 
project as the estimate of benefits. If the TIGER Discretionary 
Grant is to pay for only part of the project, but the project is 
indivisible (i.e., no one part of the project would have independent 
utility), then the applicant should compare the benefits of the 
whole project to the costs of the whole project, including costs 
paid for by State, local, and private partners other than the 
Federal government. In general, applicants should use a life-cycle 
cost analysis approach in estimating the costs of the project. The 
Department expects applicants to include operating, maintenance, and 
other life-cycle costs of the project, along with capital costs. In 
addition to construction costs, other direct costs may include 
design and land acquisition. If the time period considered in the 
analysis is long enough to require the rehabilitation of the 
facility during the period of analysis, then the costs of that 
rehabilitation should be included. Applicants should consider 
external costs, such as noise, increased congestion, and 
environmental pollutants resulting from the use of the facility or 
related changes in usage on other facilities in the same network in 
the analysis. Additionally, applicants should include, to the extent 
possible, costs to users during construction, such as delays and 
increased vehicle operating costs associated with work zones or 
detours. The applicant should correctly discount annual costs to 
arrive at a present value of the project's cost.
    Applicants should discount future benefits and costs to present 
values using a real discount rate (i.e., a discount rate that 
reflects the opportunity cost of money net of the rate of inflation) 
of 7 percent, following guidance provided by OMB in Circulars A-4 
and A-94 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_default/). 
Applicants may also provide an alternative analysis using a real 
discount rate of 3 percent. They should use the latter approach when 
the alternative use of funds currently dedicated to the project 
would be for other public expenditures, rather than private 
investment. In presenting these year-by-year streams, applicants 
should measure them in constant (or ``real'') dollars prior to 
discounting. Applicants should not add in the effects of inflation 
to the estimates of future benefits and costs prior to discounting.
    Benefit-cost analyses of transportation projects almost always 
depend on forecasts of projected levels of usage (road traffic, port 
calls, etc.). When an applicant is using such forecasts to generate 
benefit estimates, it must assess the reliability of these 
forecasts. If the applicant is using outside forecasts, it must 
provide a citation and an appropriate page number for the forecasts. 
Applicants should incorporate indirect effects into their forecasts 
where possible (e.g., induced demand). Applicants should also take 
great care to match forecasts of usage levels to the corresponding 
year. For example, using projected traffic levels for 2030 to 
generate

[[Page 4879]]

benefits for all the earlier years is incorrect. For more 
information on forecasting, applicants can refer to the forecasting 
section of FHWA's Economic Analysis Primer (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/asstmgmt/primer06.cfm). While produced for analysis 
of highway projects, the primer is a good source of information on 
issues related to all transportation forecasting.
    Applicants should make every effort to make the results of their 
analyses as transparent and reproducible as possible. A Department 
reviewer reading the analysis should be able to understand the basic 
elements of the analysis and the way in which the applicant derived 
the estimates. It is inadequate for the applicant only to provide 
links to large documents or spreadsheets as sources. The Department 
expects applicants to clearly cite all outside data sources with the 
corresponding page number (or cell number, for a spreadsheet). For 
more detailed documentation, applicants must include a thorough 
verbal description of how they did the calculation. This should 
include references to tabs and cells in the spreadsheet. This verbal 
description should include specific sources for all the numbers in 
the spreadsheet (i.e. those that the spreadsheet itself does not 
calculate). If an applicant uses a ``pre-packaged'' economic model 
to calculate net benefits, the applicant should provide annual 
benefits and costs by benefit and cost type for the entire analysis 
period (including forecast year traffic volumes). In any case, 
applicants must provide a detailed explanation of the assumptions 
used to run the model (e.g., peak traffic hours and traffic volume 
during peak hours, mix of traffic by cars, buses, and trucks, etc.). 
The applicant must provide enough information so that a Department 
reviewer can follow the general logic of the estimates (and, in the 
case of spreadsheet models, reproduce them).

Appendix B: Additional Information on Applying Through Grants.gov

    Applications (Stage 2) for TIGER Discretionary Grants must be 
submitted through Grants.gov. To apply for funding through 
Grants.gov, applicants must be properly registered. Complete 
instructions on how to register and apply can be found at 
www.grants.gov. If interested parties experience difficulties at any 
point during registration or application process, please call the 
Grants.gov Customer Support Hotline at 1 (800) 518-4726, Monday-
Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST.
    Registering with Grants.gov is a one-time process; however, 
processing delays may occur and it can take up to several weeks for 
first-time registrants to receive confirmation and a user password. 
It is highly recommended that applicants start the registration 
process as early as possible to prevent delays that may preclude 
submitting an application by the deadlines specified. Applications 
will not be accepted after the relevant due date; delayed 
registration is not an acceptable reason for extensions. In order to 
apply for TIGER Discretionary Grant funding under this announcement 
and to apply for funding through Grants.gov, all applicants are 
required to complete the following:
    1. Acquire a DUNS Number. A DUNS number is required for 
Grants.gov registration. The Office of Management and Budget 
requires that all businesses and nonprofit applicants for Federal 
funds include a DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number in 
their applications for a new award or renewal of an existing award. 
A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit sequence recognized as the 
universal standard for identifying and keeping track of entities 
receiving Federal funds. The identifier is used for tracking 
purposes and to validate address and point of contact information 
for Federal assistance applicants, recipients, and sub-recipients. 
The DUNS number will be used throughout the grant life cycle. 
Obtaining a DUNS number is a free, one-time activity. Obtain a DUNS 
number by calling 1-(866) 705-5711 or by applying online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.
    2. Acquire or Renew Registration with the Central Contractor 
Registration (CCR) Database. All applicants for Federal financial 
assistance maintain current registrations in the Central Contractor 
Registration (CCR) database. An applicant must be registered in the 
CCR to successfully register in Grants.gov. The CCR database is the 
repository for standard information about Federal financial 
assistance applicants, recipients, and sub-recipients. Organizations 
that have previously submitted applications via Grants.gov are 
already registered with CCR, as it is a requirement for Grants.gov 
registration. Please note, however, that applicants must update or 
renew their CCR registration at least once per year to maintain an 
active status, so it is critical to check registration status well 
in advance of relevant application deadlines. Information about CCR 
registration procedures can be accessed at www.ccr.gov.
    3. Acquire an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) and a 
Grants.gov Username and Password. Complete your AOR profile on 
Grants.gov and create your username and password. You will need to 
use your organization's DUNS Number to complete this step. For more 
information about the registration process, go to www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.
    4. Acquire Authorization for your AOR from the E-Business Point 
of Contact (E-Biz POC). The E-Biz POC at your organization must log 
in to Grants.gov to confirm you as an AOR. Please note that there 
can be more than one AOR for your organization.
    5. Search for the Funding Opportunity on Grants.gov. Please use 
the following identifying information when searching for the TIGER 
funding opportunity on Grants.gov. The Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance (CFDA) number for this solicitation is 20.933, titled 
National Infrastructure Investments.
    6. Submit an Application Addressing All of the Requirements 
Outlined in this Funding Availability Announcement. Within 24-48 
hours after submitting your electronic application, you should 
receive an email validation message from Grants.gov. The validation 
message will tell you whether the application has been received and 
validated or rejected, with an explanation. You are urged to submit 
your application at least 72 hours prior to the due date of the 
application to allow time to receive the validation message and to 
correct any problems that may have caused a rejection notification.

    Note: When uploading attachments please use generally accepted 
formats such as .pdf, .doc, and .xls. While you may imbed picture 
files such as .jpg, .gif, .bmp, in your files, please do not save 
and submit the attachment in these formats. Additionally, the 
following formats will not be accepted: .com, .bat, .exe, .vbs, 
.cfg, .dat, .db, .dbf, .dll, .ini, .log, .ora, .sys, and .zip.

Experiencing Unforeseen Grants.gov Technical Issues

    If you experience unforeseen Grants.gov technical issues beyond 
your control that prevent you from submitting your application by 
the deadline of March 19, 2012, at 5 p.m. EDT, you must contact 
TIGERGrants@dot.gov or Howard Hill at (202) 366-0301 within the 24 
hours following the deadline and request approval to submit your 
application after the deadline has passed. At that time, DOT staff 
will require you to provide your DUNS number and your Grants.gov 
Help Desk tracking number(s). After DOT staff review all of the 
information submitted and contact the Grants.gov Help Desk to 
validate the technical issues you reported, DOT staff will contact 
you to either approve or deny your request to submit a late 
application through Grants.gov. If the technical issues you reported 
cannot be validated, your application will be rejected as untimely.
    To ensure a fair competition for limited discretionary funds, 
the following conditions are not valid reasons to permit late 
submissions: (1) Failure to complete the registration process before 
the deadline date; (2) failure to follow Grants.gov instructions on 
how to register and apply as posted on its Web site; (3) failure to 
follow all of the instructions in the funding availability notice; 
and (4) technical issues experienced with the applicant's computer 
or information technology (IT) environment.

Appendix C: Additional Information on Project Readiness Guidelines

    As applicants develop their applications, there are some 
guidelines on project readiness that they should consider. The TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funds are available for a limited period of time 
(DOT's ability to obligate the funds expires after September 30, 
2013), and DOT may be limited as to when they may obligate the TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funds to a project if it is not far enough along 
in the project development process. The application package should 
provide concrete evidence of project milestones, financial capacity 
and commitment in order to support project readiness. Each operating 
administration with the responsibility for obligating the TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funds has its own regulations, policies, and 
procedures that they may apply for projects that have been selected 
for TIGER Discretionary Grant funds. In some cases, an operating 
administration may obligate a portion of the overall amount of funds 
that an applicant has been selected

[[Page 4880]]

to receive so that such an applicant may use that portion of the 
TIGER Discretionary Grant funds for eligible pre-construction 
activities, delaying the balance of the obligation of funds until 
all pre-construction requirements have been completed.
    The guidelines below provide additional details about some of 
these pre-construction steps if a project element is for pre-
construction activities, or requirements before the total award is 
obligated (including, but not limited to, planning requirements, 
environmental approvals, right-of-way acquisitions, and design 
completion) and suggests milestones each project should aim to 
achieve in order to obligate the full amount of awarded TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funds, in advance of the obligation deadline of 
September 30, 2013. Applicants should demonstrate that they can 
reasonably expect to complete all of these pre-construction steps if 
a project element is for pre-construction activities, or 
requirements before the total award is obligated no later than June 
30, 2013, so that all the TIGER Discretionary Grant funds are 
obligated in advance of or by the September 30, 2013, statutory 
deadline, and that any unexpected delays will not put TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funds at risk of expiring before they can be 
fully obligated. DOT may reallocate unobligated TIGER Discretionary 
Grant funds towards projects that are ready to use TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funds if a project is not ready for DOT to 
obligate all TIGER Discretionary Grant funds before the September 
30, 2013, statutory deadline. Applicants that are unfamiliar with, 
or have questions about, the requirements that a proposed project or 
projects may need to complete in order for the operating 
administration to obligate TIGER Discretionary Grant funds may 
contact TIGERGrants@dot.gov with questions. The below information is 
not an exhaustive list of the requirements that a project may need 
to comply with in order for TIGER Discretionary Grant funds to be 
obligated by the operating administration that is administering the 
TIGER Discretionary Grant.
    State and Local Planning: Project activities that are focused on 
refining scope and completing Federal environmental reviews are 
eligible capital expenses under the TIGER Discretionary Grants 
Program and are an essential part of project development. A project 
that receives TIGER Discretionary Grant funds may be required to be 
approved by the Metropolitan Planning Organization or State in the 
Long Range Plans and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)/
Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). Applicants 
should take steps to ensure that the project will be included in the 
relevant plan if the project is required to be included in such 
planning documents before an operating administration may obligate 
funds to the project.
    If the project is not included in the relevant planning 
documents at the time the TIGER application is submitted, applicants 
should submit a certification from the appropriate planning agency 
that actions are underway at the time of application to include the 
project in the relevant planning document. If the obligation of 
TIGER Discretionary Grant funds for construction or other activities 
is contingent on the project being included in the relevant planning 
documents, applicants should demonstrate they can reasonably expect 
to have the project included in such planning documents by March 30, 
2013. DOT is using the March 30 milestone since applicants should 
demonstrate in their project schedule that all additional, necessary 
pre-construction steps if a project element is for pre-construction 
activities, or requirements before the total award is obligated will 
be complete on or before June 30, 2013, and planning must be 
complete before other pre-construction or other activities can be 
completed.. The applicant should provide a schedule demonstrating 
when the project will be added to the relevant planning documents.
    Environmental Approvals: Projects should have received all 
environmental approvals, including satisfaction of all Federal, 
State and local requirements and completion of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (``NEPA'') process at the time the 
application is submitted or should demonstrate, through their 
project schedule and narrative, that receipt of NEPA approval, and 
all additional, necessary pre-construction steps if a project 
element is for pre-construction activities, or other approvals can 
occur by June 30, 2013.
    If the obligation of TIGER Discretionary Grant funds for 
construction or other activities is contingent on completion of 
other approvals that can only take place after the environmental 
approvals process, the applicant should demonstrate, through their 
project schedule and narrative, that they can reasonably expect to 
obtain all environmental approvals by March 30, 2013, or other date 
sufficiently in advance of June 30, 2013. Like planning, the 
environmental approvals must be obtained prior to completing other 
pre-construction steps if a project element is for pre-construction 
activities, or other activities.
    To demonstrate that this suggested milestone is achievable, 
applicants should provide information about the anticipated class of 
action, the budget for completing NEPA, including hiring a 
consultant if necessary, and a schedule that demonstrates when NEPA 
will be complete. The schedule should show how the suggested 
milestones described in this section will be complied with, and 
include any anticipated coordination with Federal and State 
regulatory agencies for permits and approvals. The budget should 
demonstrate how costs to complete NEPA factor into the overall cost 
to complete the project. The budget and schedule for completing NEPA 
should be reasonable and be comparable to a budget and schedule of a 
typical project of the same type. The applicant should provide 
evidence of support based on input during the NEPA process from 
State and local elected officials as well as the public. 
Additionally, the applicant should provide environmental studies or 
other documents (preferably by way of a Web site link) that describe 
in detail known potential project impacts and possible mitigation 
for these impacts. The applicant should supply sufficient 
documentation for DOT to adequately review the project's NEPA 
status.
    Right-of-Way and Design: If the obligation of TIGER 
Discretionary Grant funds for construction or other activities by an 
operating administration may be contingent on completion of right-
of-way acquisition and final design approval, and/or additional 
approvals contingent on completion of right-of-way acquisition and 
design, applicants should demonstrate, through their project 
schedule, that they reasonably expect to have right-of-way and 
design completed, and completion of any other needed pre-
construction steps if a project element is for pre-construction 
activities, or other approvals by June 30, 2013. Applicants should 
submit a reasonable schedule of when right-of-way (if applicable), 
design, and any other required approvals are expected to be 
obtained. Applicants may expect that DOT may obligate TIGER funds 
for right-of-way and design completion only after planning and 
environmental approvals are obtained.
    Completion of Obligation: Applicants should plan to have all 
necessary pre-construction or other approvals and activities 
completed by June 30, 2013. In some instances, DOT may not obligate 
for construction or other activities until all planning and 
environmental approvals are obtained and right-of-way and final 
design are complete. If a project is selected for a TIGER 
Discretionary Grant and the TIGER Discretionary Grant funding will 
be used to complete all of these activities, DOT may obligate the 
funding in phases, in accordance with the laws, regulations, and 
policies of the operating administration that is administering the 
grant.

    Issued on: January 25, 2012.
Ray LaHood,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2012-1996 Filed 1-30-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P