[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 127 (Friday, July 1, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 38719-38740]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-16514]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Office of the Secretary

[Docket No. DOT-OST-2011-0107]


Interim Notice of Funding Availability for the Department of 
Transportation's National Infrastructure Investments Under the Full-
Year Continuing Appropriations, 2011; and Request for Comments

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary of Transportation, DOT.

ACTION: Interim notice of funding availability, request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This interim notice announces the availability of funding and 
requests proposals for the Department of Transportation's National 
Infrastructure Investments, or ``TIGER Discretionary Grants.'' In 
addition, this interim notice announces selection criteria and pre-
application and application requirements for these grants.
    On April 15, 2011, the President signed the Full-Year Continuing 
Appropriations, 2011 (Div. B of the Department of Defense and Full-Year 
Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (Pub. L. 112-010, Apr. 15, 2011)) 
(``FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act''). The FY 2011 Continuing 
Appropriations Act appropriated $526.944 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''), and the National Infrastructure 
Investments or ``TIGER II Discretionary Grant'' program under the 
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies 
Appropriations Act for 2010 (``FY 2010 Appropriations Act''). Because 
of the similarity in program structure, DOT has referred to the grants 
for National Infrastructure Investments under the FY 2010 
Appropriations Act as ``TIGER II Discretionary Grants''. Given that 
funds have now been appropriated for these similar programs in three 
separate statutes, DOT is referring to the grants for National 
Infrastructure Investments under the FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations 
Act simply as ``TIGER Discretionary Grants.'' As with the TIGER and 
TIGER II programs, funds for the FY2011 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 interim 
notice, DOT is soliciting applications for TIGER Discretionary Grants.
    This interim notice requests comments on the proposed selection 
criteria and guidance for awarding funds. DOT will take all comments 
into consideration and may publish a supplemental notice revising some 
elements of this notice. If substantive changes to this notice are 
necessary, DOT will publish a supplemental Federal Register notice. 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: Comments must be received by July 18, 2011, at 5 p.m. EDT. Late-
filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable. Pre-
applications should be submitted by October 3, 2011, at 5 p.m. EDT (the 
``Pre-Application Deadline''). Final applications must be submitted 
through Grants.gov by October 31, 2011, at 5 p.m. EDT (the 
``Application Deadline''). The DOT pre-application system will open on 
or before August 23, 2011 to allow prospective applicants to submit 
pre-applications. Subsequently, the Grants.gov ``Apply'' function will 
open on October 5, 2011, 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 awards will not be 
made, until after the Application Deadline.

ADDRESSES: For Comments: You must include the agency name (Office of 
the Secretary of Transportation) and the docket number DOT-OST-2011-
0107 with your comments. To ensure that your comments are not entered 
into the docket more than once, please submit comments, identified by 
the docket number DOT-OST-2011-0107, by only one of the following 
methods:
    Web site: The U.S. Government electronic docket site is http://www.regulations.gov. Go to this Web site and follow the instructions 
for submitting comments into docket number DOT-OST-2011-0107;
    Fax: Telefax comments to 202-493-2251;
    Mail: Mail your comments to U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue, SE., Docket Operations, M-30, Room W12-140, 
Washington, DC 20590; or
    Hand Delivery: Bring your comments to the U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Docket Operations, M-30, 
West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590, between 
9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions for submitting comments: You must include the agency 
name (Office of the Secretary of Transportation) and Docket number DOT-
OST-2011-0107 for this notice at the beginning of your comments. You 
should submit two copies of your comments if you submit them by mail or 
courier. For confirmation that the

[[Page 38720]]

Office of the Secretary of Transportation has received your comments, 
you must include a self-addressed stamped postcard. Note that all 
comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, and 
will be available to Internet users. You may review DOT's complete 
Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published April 11, 2000, 
(65 FR 19477), or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov.
    For Pre-Applications and Applications: 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 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 
manager via e-mail at TIGERGrants@dot.gov, or call Robert Mariner at 
202-366-8914. 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 http://www.dot.gov/TIGER.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice is substantially similar to the 
Final notice published for the TIGER II Discretionary Grant program in 
the Federal Register on June 1, 2010. However, there are a few 
significant differences that applicants should be aware of. These 
differences are as follows:
    1. Unlike the FY 2010 Appropriations Act, the FY 2011 Continuing 
Appropriations Act does not provide any funding for projects solely for 
the planning, preparation, or design of capital projects (``TIGER 
Planning Grants''); however these activities may be eligible to the 
extent that they are part of an overall construction project that 
receives TIGER Discretionary Grants funding
    2. As specified in section VI of this notice, any applicant that is 
applying for a TIGER TIFIA Payment must also submit a TIFIA letter of 
interest along with their application.
    3. As specified in section VII (A) of this notice, eligible 
applicants may submit, as a lead applicant, no more than three 
applications for consideration. However, multistate applications, will 
not count towards the lead applicant's three application limit. 
Additionally, applicants may be identified as a partnering agency on 
the application of another lead applicant and such an application will 
not count towards a partnering applicant's three application limit as a 
lead applicant.

Other than these differences, and minor edits made to conform the 
notice to the factual circumstances of this round of TIGER 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 Cost Benefit Analysis
Appendix B: Additional Information on Applying Through Grants.gov
Appendix C: Additional Information on Guidelines for Project 
Readiness

I. Background

Recovery Act TIGER and Fiscal Year 2010 TIGER II Discretionary Grants

    On February 17, 2009, the President of the United States signed the 
Recovery Act, which appropriated $1.5 billion of discretionary grant 
funds to be awarded by DOT for capital investments in surface 
transportation infrastructure. DOT has referred to these grants as 
Grants for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery or 
``TIGER Discretionary Grants''. DOT solicited applications for TIGER 
Discretionary Grants through a notice of funding availability published 
in the Federal Register on June 17, 2009 (an interim notice was 
published on May 18, 2009). Applications for TIGER Discretionary Grants 
were due on September 15, 2009 and DOT received over 1400 applications 
with funding requests totaling almost $60 billion. Funding for 51 
projects totaling nearly $1.5 billion was announced on February 17, 
2010.
    On December 16, 2009, the President signed the FY 2010 
Appropriations Act that appropriated $600 million to DOT for National 
Infrastructure Investments using language that was similar, but not 
identical, to the language in the Recovery Act authorizing the TIGER 
Discretionary Grants. DOT has referred to those grants for National 
Infrastructure Investments as TIGER II Discretionary Grants.
    The FY 2010 Appropriations Act permitted DOT to use an amount not 
to exceed $35 million of the available TIGER II funds for projects that 
involved solely the planning, preparation, or design of Eligible 
Projects, and not their construction (``TIGER II Planning Grants''). 
The Recovery Act did not explicitly provide funding for similar 
activities under the TIGER Discretionary Grant program.
    DOT solicited applications for TIGER II Discretionary Grants 
through a notice of funding availability published in the Federal 
Register on June 1, 2010 (an interim notice was published on April 26, 
2010). Applications for TIGER II Discretionary Grants were due on 
August 23, 2010 and nearly 1700 applications were received with funding 
requests totaling about $21 billion. Funding awards for 42 capital 
projects totaling nearly $557 million were announced on October 20, 
2010. Grant announcements ranged from $1.01 million to $47.6 million 
for individual capital projects, with an average award size of 
approximately $13.25 million; the median award amount was $10.5 
million. Additionally, funding for 33 planning projects totaling nearly 
$28 million was announced on October 20, 2010. TIGER II Planning Grant 
announcements ranged from $85 thousand to $2.8 million for individual 
projects, with an average award size of approximately $835 thousand; 
the median award size was $720 thousand. Fourteen TIGER II Planning 
Grant recipients received HUD Sustainable Community Challenge Grants 
that were also announced on October 20, 2010. Projects were selected 
for funding based on their alignment with the selection criteria 
specified in the June 1, 2010, Federal Register notice for the TIGER II 
Discretionary Grant program.
    On April 15, 2011, the President signed the FY 2011 Continuing 
Appropriations Act. This Act appropriated $526.944 million to DOT for 
National Infrastructure Investments using language that is similar, but 
not identical to the language in the FY 2010 Appropriations Act 
authorizing the TIGER II Discretionary Grants. DOT is referring to 
these grants for National Infrastructure Investments as TIGER 
Discretionary Grants.

[[Page 38721]]

    The most significant difference between the 2010 and 2011 
appropriations is that there is no funding available for TIGER Planning 
Grants in the 2011 Act.
    Section 1101 of the FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act, Title 
I--General Provisions, states that the appropriations are for such 
amounts as may be necessary, at the level specified and under the 
authority and conditions provided in applicable appropriations Act for 
fiscal year 2010, for projects or activities for which appropriations, 
funds, or other authority were made available under the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117). Because of this general 
provision in the FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act, DOT is applying 
the authority and conditions outlined in the following section.
FY 2011 TIGER Discretionary Grants
    Like the TIGER and TIGER II Discretionary Grants, 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. Key requirements of the TIGER 
Discretionary Grant program are summarized below, and material 
differences from the previous TIGER Discretionary Grant programs are 
highlighted.
    ``Eligible Applicants'' for TIGER Discretionary Grants are State, 
local, and tribal governments, including U.S. territories, tribal 
governments, transit agencies, port authorities, metropolitan planning 
organizations (MPOs), other political subdivisions of State or local 
governments, and multi-State or multi-jurisdictional 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).
    Projects that are eligible for TIGER Discretionary Grants under the 
FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act (``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) 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. This description of Eligible Projects is 
identical to the description of eligible projects under the TIGER II 
Discretionary Grant program.\1\
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    \1\ Consistent with the FY 2011 Continuing 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, 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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    However, while in the past applicants could submit as many 
applications as they wished, for the Fiscal Year 2011 TIGER 
Discretionary Grant Program, to help ensure that applicants submit only 
those applications that are most likely to align well with DOT's 
selection criteria, each applicant may submit no more than three 
applications for consideration. While applications may include requests 
to fund more than one project, applicants should 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.
    The FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act requires a new 
solicitation of applications and, therefore, any unsuccessful applicant 
for a TIGER or TIGER II Discretionary Grant that wishes to be 
considered for a TIGER Discretionary Grant this year must reapply 
according to the procedures in this notice. Additionally, TIGER II 
planning grant recipients must reapply to be considered for a TIGER 
Discretionary Grant for capital funding, if they meet the eligibility 
criteria and schedule requirements for TIGER and are ready to proceed 
to the construction phase of the project.
    The FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act specifies that TIGER 
Discretionary Grants may be not less than $10 million (except in rural 
areas) and not greater than $200 million. Based on DOT's experience 
with the TIGER and TIGER II Discretionary Grant programs, it is 
unlikely that the $200 million maximum grant size for this year's TIGER 
Discretionary Grant program will be reached for any project. The FY 
2011 Continuing Appropriations Act, like the FY 2010 Appropriations 
Act, does not provide authority to waive the minimum $10 million grant 
size for TIGER Discretionary Grants. For projects located in rural 
areas (as defined in section V (Projects in Rural Areas)), the minimum 
TIGER Discretionary Grant size is $1 million, as it was in the FY 2010 
Appropriations Act. The term ``grant'' in the provision of the FY 2011 
Continuing Appropriations Act specifying a minimum grant size does not 
include TIGER TIFIA Payments, as defined below.
    Pursuant to the FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act, no more than 
25 percent of the funds made available for TIGER Discretionary Grants 
(or $131.736 million) may be awarded to projects in a single State. 
This maximum State share is consistent with the maximum State share 
under the TIGER II Discretionary Grants program. The comparable figure 
for TIGER II Discretionary Grants was also 25 percent (or $150 
million).
    The FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act directs that not less 
than $140 million of the funds provided for TIGER Discretionary Grants 
is to be used for projects located in rural areas. The comparable 
amount set aside for rural areas under the FY 2010 Appropriations Act 
was also $140 million. In awarding TIGER Discretionary Grants pursuant 
to the FY 2011 Continuing 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. The FY 2010 
Appropriations Act included the same provisions for the TIGER II 
Discretionary Grant program.
    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.\2\ The FY 2010

[[Page 38722]]

Appropriations Act included the same priority for TIGER II 
Discretionary Grants. Once again for this year's TIGER Discretionary 
Grants, 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 not located 
in rural 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.
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    \2\ DOT will consider any non-Federal funds for purposes of 
meeting the 20 percent match requirement, whether such funds are 
contributed by the public sector (State or local) or the private 
sector; however, DOT will not consider funds already expended at the 
time of the award for purposes of meeting the 20 percent match 
requirement.
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    The Recovery Act required DOT to give priority to projects that 
were expected to be completed by February 17, 2012. Like the FY 2010 
Appropriations Act, the FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act does not 
include any similar requirements for the TIGER Discretionary Grants, 
although this year's 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 consider the extent to 
which a project is ready to proceed with obligation of grant funds when 
evaluating applications.
    The Recovery Act emphasized the generation of near-term economic 
effects from expenditures on project costs, such as construction job 
creation. However, the FY 2010 and FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations 
Acts do not include explicit emphasis on job creation and instead focus 
more broadly on the impact of projects on the Nation, a metropolitan 
area, or a region including the medium and long-term benefits that 
would accrue post-project completion. Therefore, in all cases, TIGER 
Discretionary Grant applications will need to be competitive on the 
merits of the medium to long-term impacts of the projects themselves, 
as demonstrated by a project's alignment with the Long-Term Outcomes 
selection criterion described in Section II(A) (Selection Criteria) 
below. However, because communities nationwide continue to face 
difficult economic circumstances, including high unemployment, DOT will 
also continue to incorporate near-term impacts like job creation in its 
evaluation of TIGER applications, as demonstrated by a project's 
alignment with the Job Creation & Near-Term Economic Activity selection 
criterion described in Section II(A) below. Consideration of near-term 
benefits will apply particularly in the case of projects that will 
employ people in Economically Distressed Areas as discussed in more 
detail in Section II(A) below.
    The FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act allows for an amount not 
to exceed $150 million of the $526.944 million to be used to pay the 
subsidy and administrative costs of the Transportation Infrastructure 
Finance and Innovation Act of 1998 (``TIFIA'') program, a Federal 
credit assistance program, if it would further the purposes of the 
TIGER Discretionary Grant program. DOT is referring to these payments 
as ``TIGER TIFIA Payments.'' The FY 2010 Appropriations Act also 
authorized DOT to use up to $150 million of the amount available for 
TIGER II Discretionary Grants for similar purposes.
    Based on the subsidy amounts required for projects in the TIFIA 
program's existing portfolio, DOT estimates that $150 million of TIGER 
TIFIA Payments could support approximately $1.5 billion in TIFIA credit 
assistance. 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 
noted, or the context requires otherwise, references in this notice to 
TIGER Discretionary Grants include TIGER TIFIA Payments.
    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. 
Therefore, as described below in Section VI (TIGER TIFIA Payments), 
applicants for TIGER Discretionary Grants, particularly applicants that 
require a substantial amount of funds to complete a financing package, 
should indicate whether or not they have considered applying for a 
TIGER TIFIA Payment. To the extent an applicant thinks that TIFIA may 
be a viable option for the project, applicants should provide a brief 
description of a project finance plan that includes TIFIA credit 
assistance and identifies a source of revenue which may be available to 
support the TIFIA credit assistance.
    The FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act provides that the 
Secretary of Transportation may retain up to $25 million of the 
$526.944 million to fund the award and oversight of TIGER Discretionary 
Grants. Portions of the $25 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.

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.''
    The Primary Selection Criteria include (1) Long-Term Outcomes and 
(2) Job Creation & Near-Term Economic Activity. The Secondary Selection 
Criteria include (1) Innovation and (2) Partnership. The Primary 
Selection Criteria are intended to capture the primary objective of the 
TIGER provisions of the FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act, which is 
to invest in infrastructure projects that will have a significant 
impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area, or a region. The Secondary 
Selection Criteria are intended to capture the benefits of new and/or 
innovative approaches to achieving this programmatic objective.

[[Page 38723]]

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 place-based 
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 & Near-Term Economic Activity
    While the TIGER Discretionary Grant program is not a Recovery Act 
program, job creation and near-term economic activity remain a top 
priority of this Administration; therefore, DOT will give priority (as 
it did for the TIGER and TIGER II Discretionary Grant programs) 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'').\3\
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    \3\ 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 and/or integration of 
transportation with other public service efforts.

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 
surface transportation assets that, if left unimproved, threaten future 
transportation network efficiency, mobility of goods or 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 (including, but not limited to, 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 (which may be evidenced by the project's 
involvement with or benefits to more than one mode and/or its 
compatibility with and preferably augmentation of the capacities of 
connecting modes and facilities), but only to the extent that these 
enhancements lead to the economic benefits that are identified in the 
opening paragraph of this section.

[[Page 38724]]

    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 net out those benefits most likely to result in 
transfers of economic activity from one localized area to another. 
Therefore, in estimating local and regional benefits, applicants should 
consider net increases in economic productivity and benefits, 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.
    Finally, the TIGER program strives to promote long-term economic 
growth in a manner that will be sustainable for generations to come. 
Therefore, for projects designed to enhance economic competitiveness, 
applicants should also provide evidence that the project will achieve 
the goals of this outcome in an environmentally sustainable manner. To 
satisfy this condition, applicants should reference the fourth 
criterion in this Section II(B) ``Environmental Sustainability'' for 
more information on what features promote sustainable growth and be 
sure to address the extent to which sustainability features are 
incorporated into the proposed project's economic impact.
    (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 HUD and 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.\4\ Specifically, DOT 
will qualitatively assess whether the project:
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    \4\ 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.
    Livability improvements may include projects for new or improved 
biking and walking infrastructure. Particular attention will be paid to 
the degree to which such projects contribute significantly to broader 
traveler mobility through intermodal connections, enhanced job 
commuting options, or improved connections between residential and 
commercial areas. Projects that appear designed primarily as isolated 
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 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''), including the monetization and 
discounting of costs and benefits in a common unit of measurement in 
present-day dollars, is an important discipline. For BCA to yield 
useful results, full consideration of costs and benefits is necessary. 
These include traditionally quantified fuel and travel time savings as 
well as reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, water quality impacts, 
public health effects, and 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. 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.

[[Page 38725]]

    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 level of expense that can 
be expected in these analyses for surveys, travel demand forecasts, 
market forecasts, statistical analyses, and so on will be 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 are 
expected to 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 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 denying an 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 outweigh the project's costs, 
DOT will not award a TIGER Discretionary Grant to the project. 
Consistent with the broader goals of DOT and the FY 2011 Continuing 
Appropriations Act, DOT can consider some factors that do not readily 
lend themselves to quantification or monetization, including equitable 
geographic distribution of grant funds and an appropriate balance in 
addressing the needs of urban and rural areas and investment in a 
variety of transportation modes.
    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 2011, 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. A project component has independent utility if the 
component itself could qualify as an Eligible Project and would provide 
benefits that satisfy the selection criteria specified in this notice, 
as described further in Section III(B) (Evaluation of Eligibility) 
below. 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.
    DOT recognizes that some categories of costs and benefits are more 
difficult to quantify or monetize than others. In presenting benefit-
cost analyses, applicants should include qualitative discussion of the 
categories of benefits and costs that they were not able to quantify, 
noting that these benefits and costs are in addition to other benefits 
and costs that were quantified. However, in the event of an 
unreasonable absence of data and analysis, or poor applicant effort to 
put forth a robust quantification of benefits and costs, the 
application is unlikely to receive further consideration. In general, 
the lack of a useful analysis comparing benefits and costs for any such 
project is ground for denying the award of a TIGER Discretionary Grant.
    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 & 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. Demonstration of a project's rapid economic 
impact is critical to a project's alignment with this criterion. 
Applicants are encouraged to provide information to assist 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, issued a memorandum in May 2009 on ``Estimates of Job 
Creation from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.'' 
The memorandum is available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/cea/Estimate-of-Job-Creation/. Table 5 of this 
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. Of this, 64% of the job-year estimate 
represents direct and indirect effects and 36% of the job-year 
estimate represents induced effects. 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 the May 2009 memorandum 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.
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    Consistent with the Recovery Act, the Updated Implementing Guidance 
for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 issued by the 
Office of Management and Budget (``OMB'') on April 3, 2009 (the ``OMB 
Guidance''), which were applied both to TIGER I and TIGER II, and which 
DOT will continue to apply to the TIGER Discretionary Grants program 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

[[Page 38726]]

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. A key 
consideration in assessing projects under this criterion will be how 
quickly jobs are created.
    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, as evidenced by:
    (i) Project Schedule: A feasible and sufficiently detailed project 
schedule demonstrating that the project can begin construction quickly 
upon receipt of a TIGER Discretionary Grant,\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;
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    \6\ Applicants should demonstrate that their project can 
obligate grant funds no later than June 30, 2013 in order 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 used.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (ii) Environmental Approvals: Receipt (or reasonably anticipated 
receipt) of all environmental approvals necessary for the project to 
proceed to construction on the timeline specified in the project 
schedule, including satisfaction of all Federal, State and local 
requirements and completion of the National Environmental Policy Act 
(``NEPA'') process;
    To demonstrate satisfaction of this requirement, applicants should 
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 has not begun or has 
not substantially completed required environmental and regulatory 
reviews. For such projects that have not begun, or have not 
substantially completed these reviews, it may be difficult to complete 
environmental and regulatory review as well as all activities needed to 
be complete prior to construction and meet the obligation deadline of 
September 30, 2013.
    DOT will consider exceptions to the requirement that NEPA be 
substantially complete upon application in accordance with this 
paragraph. 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, and that any unexpected delays will not put 
TIGER Discretionary Grant funds at risk of expiring before they can be 
obligated (see Appendix C for additional guidance). 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 were no reasonable expectations 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 justify an exception to this requirement 
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, a project should 
demonstrate that a project is included in the relevant State, 
metropolitan, and local planning documents, or will be included. To 
demonstrate satisfaction of this requirement, applicants should provide 
evidence that the project is included in the relevant planning 
documents. 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 include the project in the relevant planning 
document. The applicant should provide a schedule demonstrating when 
the project will be added to the relevant planning

[[Page 38727]]

documents; 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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    \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.
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    (v) Technical Feasibility: The technical feasibility of the 
project, including completion of substantial preliminary engineering 
work; and
    (vi) Financial Feasibility: The viability and completeness of the 
project's financing package (assuming the availability of the requested 
TIGER Discretionary Grant funds), including evidence of stable and 
reliable financial commitments and contingency reserves, as 
appropriate, and evidence of the grant recipient's ability to manage 
grants.
    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 are not 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. 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, 
but all deadlines will reflect DOT's preference 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. For example, if an applicant reasonably anticipates 
that NEPA requirements will be completed and a final decision made 
within 30 to 60 days of announcement of the award of a TIGER 
Discretionary Grant, this timeframe will be taken into account in 
evaluating the application, but also in establishing a deadline for 
obligation of funds and commencement of construction. 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, 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.
    Innovative, multi-modal projects are often difficult to fund under 
traditional transportation programs. DOT will consider the extent to 
which innovative 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 2011 Continuing 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 create more livable 
communities and are supported by relevant public housing agencies or 
are consistent with State or local efforts or plans to promote economic 
development, revitalize communities, or protect historic or cultural 
assets; similarly, DOT will give priority to transportation projects 
that encourage energy efficiency or improve the environment and are 
supported by relevant public agencies with energy or environmental 
missions.

III. Evaluation and Selection Process

A. Evaluation Process

    TIGER Discretionary Grant applications will be evaluated in 
accordance with the below discussed

[[Page 38728]]

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''). These representatives will include technical and 
professional staff with relevant experience and/or expertise. 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 is complete or underway, 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.
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    5. Local matching funds to support 20 percent or more of the costs 
for the project are identified and committed.\9\ DOT will consider any 
non-Federal funds 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. Furthermore, the 20 percent matching 
requirement for projects that are not in rural areas is an eligibility 
requirement. All projects, whether in an urban or rural area, can 
increase their competitiveness by demonstrating significant non-Federal 
contributions in excess of the required local match, and DOT will give 
priority, based on the FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act, to 
projects for which Federal funding is required to complete an overall 
financing package.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \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. The composition of the evaluation teams will be 
finalized after the Pre-Application Deadline, based on the number and 
nature of pre-applications received.
    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,'' 
``not recommended'', or ``negative'' 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, with projects that are well-aligned with multiple 
selection criteria being more likely to receive TIGER Discretionary 
Grants. 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. Projects that are unable to demonstrate a likelihood of 
significant long-term benefits in any of the five long-term outcomes 
identified in Section II(A)(1)(a) (Long-Term Outcomes) will not proceed 
in the evaluation process. A project need not be well aligned with each 
of the long-term outcomes in order to be successful in the long-term 
outcomes criterion overall. However, projects that are strongly aligned 
with multiple long-term outcomes will be the most successful in this 
criterion. Furthermore, a project that has a negative effect on safety 
or environmental sustainability will need to demonstrate significant 
merits in other long-term outcomes in order to be selected for funding.
    For the Job Creation & Near-Term Economic Activity criterion, 
projects need not receive a rating of ``highly recommended'' in order 
to be recommended for funding, although a project that is not ready to 
proceed quickly, as evidenced by the items requested in Section 
II(B)(1)(b)(i)-(vi) (Project Schedule, Environmental Approvals, 
Legislative Approvals, State and Local Planning, Technical Feasibility, 
and Financial Feasibility), is less likely to be successful under this 
criterion.
    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.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 38729]]

 
                      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 2011 
Continuing 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.

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, 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 the Notice because the overall project would still be incomplete.
    To the extent that an application requests a substantial amount of 
grant funds for a larger project or a group of related projects, 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. To 
the extent applicants expect that DOT may wish to consider funding one 
or more parts of a project and not the full project that is the subject 
of the application, then applicants should clearly identify in their 
applications the separate parts of the project and the benefits that 
each part of the project provides, and how these benefits align with 
the selection criteria. Similarly, if a project is not viable unless 
DOT funds the full project, this should be stated in the application.

C. Distribution of Funds

    As noted above in Section I (Background), the FY 2011 Continuing 
Appropriations Act prohibits the award of more than 25 percent of the 
funds made available under the TIGER program to projects in any one 
State. The FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act also requires that DOT 
take measures to ensure an equitable geographic distribution of funds, 
an appropriate balance in addressing the needs of urban and rural 
areas, and the investment in a variety of transportation modes. DOT 
will apply an initial unconstrained competitive rating process based on 
the selection criteria identified above in Section II(A) (Selection 
Criteria) to determine a preliminary list of projects recommended for 
TIGER Discretionary Grants. DOT will then analyze the preliminary list 
and determine whether the purely competitive ratings are consistent 
with the distributional requirements of the FY 2011 Continuing 
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.
    As noted above in Section II(B)(2)(b)(i) (Jurisdictional & 
Stakeholder Collaboration), applications submitted jointly by multiple 
Eligible Applicants must include an allocation of project costs to 
assist DOT in making these determinations. In addition, DOT will use 
the TIFIA subsidy and administrative cost estimate, not the principal 
amount of credit assistance, to determine any TIGER TIFIA Payment's 
effect on these distributional requirements.

D. Transparency of Process

    In the interest of transparency, 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 decisionmaking 
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. In accordance with the FY 2011 
Continuing 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.
    As noted above in Section II(B)(1)(b) (Job Creation & Near-Term 
Economic Activity), how soon after selection for award a project is 
expected to obligate grant funds and start construction will be 
considered on a case-by-case basis and will be specified in the 
project-specific grant agreements. 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 are not timely expended 
and/or construction does not begin in accordance with the project 
schedule. DOT's ability to obligate funds for TIGER Discretionary 
Grants expires on September 30, 2013.

V. Projects in Rural Areas

    The FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act directs that not less 
than $140 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 generally 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 is located in a rural area. 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For projects located in rural areas the FY 2011 Appropriation Act 
does not require matching funds (although the

[[Page 38730]]

statute does direct DOT to give priority to projects, including 
projects located in rural areas, for which Federal funding is required 
to complete an overall financing package that includes non-Federal 
sources of funds) and the minimum grant size is $1 million. Applicants 
for TIGER Discretionary Grants of between $1 million and $10 million 
for projects located in rural areas are encouraged to apply and should 
address the same criteria as applicants for TIGER Discretionary Grants 
in excess of $10 million.

VI. TIGER TIFIA Payments

    Up to $150 million of the $526.944 million available for TIGER 
Discretionary Grants may be used for TIGER TIFIA Payments. Based on the 
average subsidy cost of the existing TIFIA portfolio, $150 million in 
TIGER TIFIA Payments could support approximately $1.5 billion in 
Federal credit assistance.
    Applicants seeking TIGER TIFIA Payments should apply in accordance 
with all of the criteria and guidance specified in this notice for 
TIGER Discretionary Grant 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 September 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.
    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 request and 
the applicant did not request a TIGER TIFIA Payment. Therefore, 
applicants for TIGER Discretionary Grants, particularly applicants that 
require a substantial amount of funds to complete a financing package, 
should indicate whether or not they have considered applying for a 
TIGER TIFIA Payment. To the extent an applicant thinks that TIFIA may 
be a viable option for the project, applicants should provide a brief 
description of a project finance plan that includes TIFIA credit 
assistance and identifies a source of revenue which may be available to 
support the TIFIA credit assistance.
    Unless otherwise expressly noted herein, any and all requirements 
that apply to TIGER Discretionary Grants pursuant to the FY 2011 
Continuing 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 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 should be submitted to DOT by the Pre-Application 
Deadline, which is October 3, 2011, at 5 p.m. EST. Final applications 
must be submitted through Grants.gov by the Application Deadline, which 
is October 31, 2011, at 5 p.m. EST. The Grants.gov ``Apply'' function 
will open on October 5, 2011, 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 http://www.dot.gov/TIGER on August 23, 2011, together with instructions for 
submitting the pre-application form electronically to DOT.
    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 http://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, attached hereto.
    To help ensure that applicants submit only those applications that 
are most likely to align well with the department's selection criteria, 
each applicant may submit no more than three applications for 
consideration under the TIGER Discretionary Grant Program. While 
applications may include requests to fund more than one project, 
applicants should 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.

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

[[Page 38731]]

DOT electronically on or prior to the Pre-Application Deadline, in 
accordance with the instructions specified at http://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, rail, 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 
terms that would be generally understood by the public, 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''; please do 
not describe the project's benefits, background, or alignment with the 
selection criteria in this description);
    xii. Total cost of the project;
    xiii. Total amount of TIGER Discretionary Grant funds requested;
    xiv. Contact name, phone number, e-mail 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), unless an exception is justified 
pursuant to Section II(B)(1)(b)(ii) (Environmental Approvals). Absent 
an acceptable justification, DOT will not evaluate applications for 
projects that have not made substantial progress in the environmental 
review process, including all Federal, State, and local environmental 
requirements, by the Pre-Application Deadline;
    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 local 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)), and these projects do not need to provide 
this assurance); however, DOT will give priority to projects that also 
will be funded with non-Federal sources of funds.
    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 http://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 
http://www.dot.gov/TIGER by September 16, 2011, 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 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. 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

[[Page 38732]]

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 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, and financial feasibility);
    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 need to 
be made to the pre-application form, including changes to the 
assurances provided in items xvii through xxii regarding initiation of 
NEPA, planning, and required cost sharing.
    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 25 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 25-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 25-page narrative. Otherwise, 
the only substantive portions of the application that should exceed the 
25-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 25-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.

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

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

[[Page 38733]]

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.
    The benefits that DOT reports on may include the following: (1) 
Improved condition of existing transportation facilities and systems; 
(2) improved economic competitiveness in the form of reduced travel 
time, less traffic congestion, improved trip reliability, fewer vehicle 
miles traveled, or lower vehicle operating costs; (3) long-term growth 
in employment, production or other high-value economic activity; (4) 
improved livability of communities across the United States through 
expansion of transportation options, efficiency, and reliability; (5) 
improved energy efficiency, reduced dependence on oil and reduced 
greenhouse gas emissions; (6) reduced adverse impacts of transportation 
on the natural environment; (7) reduced number, rate and consequences 
of surface transportation-related crashes, injuries and fatalities; (8) 
greater use of technology and innovative approaches to transportation 
funding and project delivery; (9) greater collaboration with state and 
local governments, other public entities, private entities, nonprofit 
entities, or other non-traditional partners; (10) greater integration 
of transportation decision making with decision making by other public 
agencies with similar public service objectives; or (11) any other 
benefits claimed in the project's benefit-cost analysis.
    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 
project benefits.

IX. Questions and Clarifications

    For further information concerning this notice please contact the 
TIGER Discretionary Grant program manager via e-mail at 
TIGERGrants@dot.gov, or call Robert Mariner at 202-366-8914. 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 http://www.dot.gov/TIGER.

Appendix A: Additional Information on Benefit-Cost Analysis

    As previously discussed in the Notice, the lack of a useful 
analysis of expected project benefits and costs may be a basis for 
denying an award of a TIGER Discretionary Grant to any applicant. 
Additionally, if it is clear that the total benefits of a project 
are not reasonably likely to outweigh the project's costs, the 
Department will not award a TIGER Discretionary Grant to the 
project. Consequently, it is incumbent upon the applicant to prepare 
a thorough benefit-cost analysis that demonstrates clearly the 
derivation of both the costs and the benefits of the project. 
However, DOT understands that the level of expense that can be 
expected in these analyses for surveys, travel demand forecasts, 
market forecasts, statistical analyses, and so on will be 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 are 
expected to 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 ridership estimates, emissions 
levels, etc.) should be provided.
    This appendix provides general information and guidance on 
conducting an analysis. In addition to this guidance, applicants 
should also 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. The Department will rate all analyses as indicated below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

                Table 1--Ratings of Benefit-Cost Analyses
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Rating                             Description
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Very useful.......................  The economic analysis (i) is
                                     comprehensive (quantifying and
                                     monetizing the full range of costs
                                     and benefits, including the likely
                                     timing of such costs and benefits,
                                     for which such measures are
                                     reasonably available), (ii)
                                     attempts to describe the indirect
                                     effects of transportation
                                     investments on land use (when
                                     applicable), (iii) helps the
                                     Department organize information
                                     about, and evaluate trade-offs
                                     between, alternative transportation
                                     investments, (iv) provides a high
                                     degree of confidence as to the
                                     extent to which the benefits of the
                                     project will exceed the project's
                                     costs on a net present value basis,
                                     and (v) provides sensitivity
                                     analysis to show how changes in key
                                     assumptions affect the outcome of
                                     the analysis.
Useful............................  The economic analysis (i)
                                     identifies, quantifies, monetizes,
                                     and compares the project's expected
                                     benefits and costs, but has minor
                                     gaps in coverage of benefits and
                                     costs or the precise timing of
                                     benefits and costs, or fails in
                                     some cases to quantify or monetize
                                     benefits and costs for which such
                                     measures are reasonably available,
                                     and (ii) provides a sufficient
                                     degree of confidence that the
                                     benefits of the project will exceed
                                     the project's costs on a net
                                     present value basis.
Marginally Useful.................  The economic analysis (i)
                                     identifies, quantifies, monetizes,
                                     and compares the project's expected
                                     benefits and costs, but has
                                     significant gaps in coverage,
                                     quantification, monetization, or
                                     timing of benefits and costs, or
                                     significant errors in its
                                     measurement of benefits or costs,
                                     and (ii) the Department is
                                     uncertain whether the benefits of
                                     the project will exceed the
                                     project's costs on a net present
                                     value basis.

[[Page 38734]]

 
Not Useful........................  The economic analysis (i) does not
                                     adequately identify, quantify,
                                     monetize, and compare the project's
                                     expected benefits and costs or
                                     timing of benefits and costs, (ii)
                                     provides little basis for
                                     concluding that the benefits of the
                                     project will exceed the project's
                                     costs on a net present value basis,
                                     and (iii) demonstrates an
                                     unreasonable absence of data and
                                     analysis or poor applicant effort
                                     to put forth a robust
                                     quantification of net benefits.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A benefit-cost analysis attempts to measure the dollar value of 
the benefits and the costs to all the members of society (in this 
context, ``society'' means all residents of the United States) on a 
net present value basis. The benefits represent a dollar measure of 
the extent to which people are made better off by the project--that 
is, the benefits represent the amount that all the people in the 
society would jointly be willing to pay to carry out the project, 
and feel as if they had generated enough benefits to justify the 
project's costs, after accounting for the relative timing of those 
benefits and costs. In some cases, benefits may be difficult to 
measure in dollar terms. Applicants must at least describe the 
nature of each of the major types of benefits described in this 
guidance. To the extent possible, applicants must also quantify each 
of those types of benefits (e.g., in terms of the number of users 
making use of a transportation facility). Finally, applicants must 
attempt to measure those benefits in dollar terms (i.e., 
``monetize'' them). These benefits must then be compared with a 
dollar measure of the costs of the project. Both benefits and costs 
must be estimated for each year after work on the project is begun 
and for a period of time at least 20 years in the future (or the 
project's useful life, whichever is shorter), and these streams of 
annual benefits and costs must be discounted to the present using an 
appropriate discount rate, so that a present value of the stream of 
benefits and a present value of the stream of costs is calculated.
    As a starting point for any analysis, applicants should provide 
a Project Summary describing the project and what it changes. The 
Project Summary should provide:
     A description of the current infrastructure baseline 
(e.g., an existing two-lane road);
     A description of what the proposed project is and how 
it would change the current infrastructure baseline (e.g., extension 
of a trolley line);
     A general justification for the project and how it 
affects the long-term outcomes relative to the current baseline;
     A description of who would be the users of the project 
or what groups of people would benefit from it; and
     A description of what types of economic effects the 
project is expected to have.
    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 summary 
(and analysis) for each project.
    The summary should also identify the types of societal benefits 
the project might generate. The applicant should list the types of 
benefits here and then clearly demonstrate in the analysis how it 
estimated benefits for each category. The 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.
    Each application must include in its analysis estimates of the 
project's expected benefits with respect to each of the five long-
term outcomes specified in Section II(A) (Selection Criteria). We 
recognize that it may in some cases be unclear in which of these 
categories of outcomes a benefit should be listed. In these cases, 
it is less important in which category a benefit is listed than to 
make sure that the benefit is listed and measured (but only once). 
Applicants must demonstrate that the proposed project has 
independent utility as defined in this Notice. It cannot be a 
component of a larger project such that, if the larger project were 
not built, this project would have little or no transportation value 
(or, if it is part of a larger project, the application must 
demonstrate that funding for the larger project is committed). If 
the applicant provides a benefit-cost analysis for a larger project, 
then it must estimate what portion of the benefits and costs of the 
larger project apply to the smaller project for which funding is 
being sought. The following sections describe baselines, affected 
population, discounting, forecasting, costs, and benefit categories 
in more detail. The Department expects a thorough discussion of 
these items in the body of the analysis.

Benefit-Cost Analysis vs. Economic Impact Analysis

    First, it is important to recognize that a benefit-cost analysis 
is not an economic impact analysis. Applicants are required to 
provide a benefit-cost analysis in support of their proposed 
projects. An economic impact analysis is not a substitute for a 
benefit-cost analysis.
    A benefit-cost analysis attempts to measure the dollar value of 
the benefits and the costs to all the members of society (in this 
context, ``society'' means all residents of the United States). The 
benefits represent a dollar measure of the extent to which people 
are made better off by the project--that is, the benefits represent 
the amount that all the people in the society would jointly be 
willing to pay to carry out the project, and feel as if they had 
generated enough benefits to justify the project's costs.
    An economic impact analysis, on the other hand, typically 
focuses on local and regional impacts rather than national impacts. 
Some of the impacts that are counted in an economic impact analysis, 
such as diversion of economic activity from one region of the 
country to another, represent gains to one part of the country but 
losses to another part, so they are not gains from the standpoint of 
the nation as a whole.
    Moreover, economic impact analyses estimate ``impacts'' rather 
than ``benefits,'' and the ``impacts'' are normally quite different 
from the ``benefits.'' For example, the total payroll of workers on 
a project is usually considered one of the ``impacts'' in an 
economic impact analysis. The total payroll is not a measure of the 
``benefits'' of the project, however, for two reasons. First, a 
payroll is a cost to whoever pays the employees, at the same time 
that it is a benefit to the employees, so it is not a net benefit. 
Second, even for the employees, the employees have to work for their 
wages, so the amount they are paid is not a net benefit to them--it 
is a benefit only to the extent that they value their wages more 
than the cost to them of having to be at work every day.
    Economic impact analyses also often treat real estate 
investments induced by a project as one of the economic ``impacts.'' 
The full value of such an investment is not a ``benefit,'' however, 
because the benefit of those investments to the community in which 
they are made is balanced by the cost of the investment to the 
investor. Because these investments are a cost as well as a benefit, 
they are not a net benefit for purposes of a benefit-cost analysis.
    There is often an element of benefit in these ``impacts.'' A 
worker who gets a higher-paying job as a result of a transportation 
investment project benefits if he or she works just as hard as he or 
she did at his or her previous job but is paid more. Such projects 
produce benefits by increasing the productivity of labor. A 
transportation investment project that increases the value and 
productivity of land and thus induces real estate investment can 
also provide a benefit, but the benefit must be measured net of the 
cost of making the real estate investment. Measuring these labor and 
land productivity effects requires a careful analysis of the local 
labor market and how that market is changed by the transportation 
investment. Similarly, measuring the effects of transportation 
projects on the productivity of land requires a careful netting out 
of increases in land values that are compensated by costs of real 
estate investment and increases in land values that in effect 
capitalize other types of benefits that have already been counted, 
such as time savings.
    In summary, applicants must be careful to measure only the net 
benefits of a project, and should avoid using software packages that 
are designed primarily to produce economic impact analyses. An 
application containing only an economic impact analysis does not 
meet the program's requirements and may be denied an award for that 
reason.

[[Page 38735]]

Baselines and Alternatives

    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. Usually, 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 if the proposed 
project were not funded. In some cases the proposed project already 
has a financing plan that would allow it to be built, but that 
involves a slower construction schedule than would occur if it 
received TIGER Discretionary Grant funding. Or it may be likely 
that, in the absence of TIGER Discretionary Grant funding, the 
project would be built later using ordinary funding sources. In 
these cases, the TIGER Discretionary Grant funding may accelerate 
completion of the project, but it does not allow a project to be 
built that would never otherwise have been built. The benefits and 
costs in this case should thus be limited to the marginal benefits 
(and marginal costs) of having the project completed in a shorter 
period of time and including the cost of expending resources on the 
project sooner than otherwise planned.
    Many projects have multiple parts or multiple phases, only one 
or two of which would actually receive funding from a TIGER 
Discretionary Grant. It is important in these cases that both the 
costs and the benefits pertain to the same portion of the project. 
If the part or phase of the project funded by a TIGER Discretionary 
Grant has independent utility, then the analysis should compare the 
costs and the benefits of just that part or phase. If the part or 
phase of the project funded by a TIGER Discretionary Grant does not 
have independent utility, then the applicant must first demonstrate 
that funding is committed for the entire project (or for an entire 
portion of the project, including the TIGER Discretionary Grant-
funded portion, that has independent utility). In this case, the 
applicant should compare the benefits and costs of the entire 
project (or the entire portion of the project that has independent 
utility). 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 a portion of the project 
funded by the TIGER Discretionary Grant, for example, paving a 
loading area. In some cases, the applicant may choose to allocate 
the benefits of the project proportionately to the costs of the 
project that would be funded by the TIGER Discretionary Grant, but 
this should generally be done only if (1) the TIGER Discretionary 
Grant funds are commingled with non-TIGER Discretionary Grant funds 
for a single, non-divisible structure that has independent utility) 
and (2) the project has sufficient funding in place to be completed 
as a whole unit. If a project is being funded by multiple Federal, 
State, and local sources, it would be inappropriate to attribute the 
full benefit of the project to only one source of funding (such as 
the local share or the TIGER Discretionary Grant itself).
    All costs and benefits of the project should be evaluated, 
including benefits and costs that fall outside of the jurisdiction 
sponsoring the project. 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.
    In addition to the baseline, the applicant should present and 
consider reasonable alternatives in the analysis. Smaller-scale and 
more focused projects should be evaluated 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 or 
an area.

Affected Population

    Applicants should clearly identify the population that the 
project will affect and measure the number of passengers (for a 
passenger project) and the amount of freight (for a freight project) 
affected by the project. If possible, passenger and freight traffic 
should be measured 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 forecasted traffic volume 
is not the same for all years, then the applicant needs to break out 
the forecasted traffic annually. In some cases, the characteristics 
of the passenger population or of the freight cargo may be important 
(e.g., whether the passengers are members of a disadvantaged group, 
or are spread across a multi-state region, or whether the cargo 
being shipped is predominantly export traffic). Measures of freight 
traffic might include growing levels of port calls. In some cases, 
the relevant population is the volume of traffic that is diverted 
from one mode to another. Applicants must clearly identify which 
population will be affected by any particular benefit. For example, 
the affected population that will enjoy travel time savings may be 
different from the affected population benefiting from reduced 
shipping costs. Further, the applicant should be realistic as to how 
the project affects these populations. For example, improving rail 
access to a wholesale distribution center near an urban area may 
take some trucks off the road that had been carrying freight from a 
truck/rail intermodal yard to the wholesale distribution center. 
However, it is unrealistic to claim benefits from reduced truck 
traffic all the way from the shipping origin point hundreds or 
thousands of miles away to the truck/rail intermodal yard, if that 
traffic would be likely to be moving much of this distance by rail 
already.

Discounting

    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. The latter approach should be used when 
the alternative use of funds currently dedicated to the project 
would be other public expenditures, rather than private investment.
    As a first step, applicants should present the year-by-year 
stream of benefits and costs from the project. Applicants should 
clearly identify when they expect costs and benefits to occur. The 
beginning point for the year-by-year stream of benefits should be 
the first year in which the project will start generating costs or 
benefits. The ending point should be far enough in the future to 
encompass most or all of the significant costs and benefits 
resulting from the project (at least 20 years in the future) but not 
to exceed the usable life of the asset without capital 
improvement.\12\ 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. Once an applicant has generated the stream of costs and 
benefits in constant dollars, it should then discount these 
estimates to arrive at a present value of costs and benefits using 
the real discount rate specified above. The standard formula for the 
discount factor in any given year is 1/(1 + r)\t\, where ``r'' is 
the discount rate and ``t'' measures the number of years in the 
future that the costs or benefits will occur. Infrequently, benefits 
or costs will be the same in constant dollars for all years. In 
these limited cases, an applicant can calculate the formula for the 
present value of

[[Page 38736]]

an ordinary annuity instead of showing a year-by-year 
calculation.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ In some cases the application may use a fixed term of years 
to analyze benefits and costs (e.g., 20 years), even though the 
applicant knows that the project will last longer than that and 
continue to have benefits and costs in later years. In these cases, 
the project will retain a ``residual value'' at the end of the 
analysis period. For instance, a new bridge may be expected to have 
a 100-year life but the analysis period for the benefit-cost 
analysis might cover only 40 years. In such cases, a residual value 
can be claimed as a benefit (or cost offset) for the asset at the 
end of the analysis period. One method to estimate the residual 
value is to calculate the percentage of the project that will not be 
depreciated or used up at the end of the analysis period and to 
multiply this percentage by the original cost of the project. 
Different components of the project may have different depreciation 
rates--land typically does not depreciate. The estimated residual 
value is assigned to the end of the analysis period and should then 
be discounted to its present value as would any other cost or 
benefit occurring at that time. Note that a residual value of a 
project can only be claimed if the project will be kept in operation 
beyond the end of the analysis period. If the project will be 
retired at that time, a salvage value (reflecting revenues raised 
from the decommissioning of the project) can be claimed.
    \13\ See http://www.brighthub.com/money/personal-finance/articles/17948.aspx. For example, 10.594 is the discount factor that 
would be multiplied by an annual benefit to get the present value of 
a constant benefit stream over 20 years at a discount rate of seven 
percent. If the constant annual benefit is $500,000, then the 
present value of the benefits is $5.297 million. In these limited 
cases, the applicant must show the calculation of the discount 
factor of the ordinary annuity formula.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Forecasting

    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. 
An applicant should carefully review any outside forecasts for 
reliability before using them in its analyses. In cases where an 
applicant is using its own estimates, it should clearly demonstrate 
in the analysis the methodology it used to forecast affected 
population (e.g., how it generated traffic volumes for cars and 
trucks on a highway section). The number of individuals who enjoy 
the benefits of a project will partly determine the net benefits of 
the project. Consequently, accurate forecasts are essential to 
conducting a quality benefit-cost analysis. Applicants should also 
take great care to match forecasts of affected population to the 
corresponding year. For example, using projected traffic levels for 
2030 to generate 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.

Costs

    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 benefits of the whole project should be compared 
to the costs of the whole project, including costs paid for by 
State, local, and private partners other than the Federal 
government. Applicants may not claim that the TIGER Discretionary 
Grant ``leverages'' the financial contributions of other parties, 
and therefore that all the benefits of the project are attributable 
to the TIGER Discretionary Grant, even though the TIGER 
Discretionary Grant only pays for part of the project.
    The analysis of costs should be equally as rigorous as the 
analysis of benefits. The lack of a useful analysis of expected 
project costs may be a basis for denying the award of a TIGER 
Discretionary Grant to an applicant. 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. 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, should be considered as 
costs 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.

Types of Benefits-Livability

    There are several potential benefits that a project could 
generate that affect livability. The most important aspect of 
livability is accessibility to non-single-occupancy vehicle modes of 
transportation, such as transit, bicycle paths, and sidewalks. 
Measuring the benefits of increased accessibility should start with 
a quantitative measure of the increase in accessibility--how many 
people will have access to these alternative modes who did not have 
access before? The analysis should go on to estimate how many people 
are actually likely to use these newly available transportation 
modes and how much of their existing single-occupancy vehicle travel 
are those people likely to divert to these alternative modes. 
Finally, the analysis should attempt to estimate the monetary value 
that people place on access to these newly available transportation 
modes. In some cases, monetary values may be estimated based on 
existing market transactions--e.g., bicycle rentals. In others, 
differentials in the market values of land or rents between 
residences and businesses that are already easily accessible (e.g. < 
0.5 miles) to these modes and those that are in the same areas but 
not easily accessible (e.g. > 0.5 miles) can be used as a proxy 
estimate of the value of this access. In other cases, no objective 
market values are available, and the applicant should make the best 
subjective estimate it can of the average value that this 
accessibility has to those who now have access to these alternative 
modes.
    One useful source of guidance on measuring benefits of bicycle 
facilities is Transportation Research Board, 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 may provide greater accessibility to 
alternative transportation modes, but they will not actually enhance 
livability unless people actually want to use them, and the desire 
to use them will depend in part on where these modes go and on the 
amenities provided with them. An important part of accessibility is 
making sure not only that people's residences are accessible to 
these modes, but that the modes connect to workplaces, schools, 
shopping, and other desired destinations. Assessments of enhanced 
accessibility should describe where these alternative modes go as 
well as where they start.
    Land use changes are also an important aspect of livability. 
When people live closer to their workplaces, their schools, and 
shopping, they will be more likely to use these alternative 
transportation modes. Transportation changes that encourage more 
mixed-use land development (where residences are intermixed with 
workplaces and shopping) will shorten the length of travel and 
encourage more use of non-highway modes. The analysis should 
evaluate the extent to which the proposed transportation project 
will encourage these changes in land use and be coordinated with 
zoning changes and other public and private investments.
    Changes in land use that result in shorter travel distances can 
result in long-term travel time savings, and the quantitative extent 
of these time savings can be estimated. Values of time can then be 
used to estimate the monetary value of these time savings. The 
applicant should propose a subjective estimate of the monetary value 
of land use changes. Land use changes can also reduce the total cost 
of transportation for the affected population, so applicants should 
attempt to measure the effects of the project and associated land 
use changes on average household transportation expenditures.
    In using differentials in property values or rents to measure 
the value of changes in accessibility, applicants must identify 
other factors that might have caused property values and/or rents to 
change and isolate the portion of the change that is attributable to 
the change in accessibility. Applicants must also be careful to 
avoid double-counting. If the applicant has already counted 
reductions in travel time as a benefit, the value of those 
reductions in travel time may get capitalized in changes in property 
values or rents, and the applicant must be careful not to count 
those benefits again as part of the change in property values.
    Finally, an important aspect of livability is the availability 
of transportation to disadvantaged communities, such as low-income 
people, non-drivers, people with disabilities, and senior citizens. 
Applicants should assess the extent to which their projects will 
improve transportation opportunities and quality of life for members 
of these disadvantaged communities. While there may not be well-
defined methodologies for assigning monetary values to these 
enhancements to accessibility, applicants should attempt to measure 
the size of the disadvantaged community affected and make subjective 
judgments of the monetary values that should be assigned to these 
improvements.

Types of Benefits-Economic Competitiveness

    Economic competitiveness benefits might include reduced 
operating costs due to infrastructure improvements. In some cases,

[[Page 38737]]

a project produces economic competitiveness benefits because the 
existing users of the facility will have lower operating costs after 
the improvement is completed. In other cases, the economic 
competitiveness benefits result from modal diversion--users shifting 
from a higher-cost transportation mode to a lower-cost 
transportation mode when the quality of service on the lower-cost 
mode becomes more competitive. In this case, the applicant should 
demonstrate clearly what the basis is of any estimated modal 
diversion. In estimating operating cost savings, it is important to 
avoid double-counting. For example, applicants must not count both 
the reductions in fuel costs and the overall reductions in operating 
costs, because fuel costs are part of operating costs. For freight 
projects, economic competitiveness benefits may be particularly 
significant if the project reduces the costs of transporting freight 
that will be exported.
    One particular form of reduced operating costs is travel time 
savings. Road improvements or other projects whose purpose is to 
relieve congestion frequently generate travel time savings for 
travelers and shippers that contribute to economic competitiveness 
and quality of life to non-business travelers. Where this is the 
case, applicants should clearly demonstrate how the travel time 
savings are calculated and should account for induced travel demand 
to the extent practical or applicable. If travel time savings vary 
over time, the applicant must clearly show savings by year. 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. The value of time saving 
is often among the largest benefit components of transportation 
capacity enhancement projects.\14\ Transportation projects may also 
enhance economic competitiveness by improving the reliability of 
travel times (i.e., reducing the variation in travel times), in 
addition to the benefits from a reduction in the average travel 
time.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ There is a growing body of academic research that attempts 
to value the improved reliability of travel time in addition to 
travel time savings. Improved travel time reliability resulting from 
a project can influence business inventory costs and travel time 
allotted for unexpected delays. Applicants attempting to quantify 
the value of improved reliability of a transportation project as 
part of a benefit-cost analysis should carefully define how they 
have measured and valued it for the project, with particular 
attention to its relationship to estimates and valuations of travel 
time saving.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Freight-related projects that improve roads, rails, and ports 
frequently generate savings to shippers (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. 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.
    Applicants should also guard against analysis that double-counts 
other kinds of 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. Employment or output multipliers that purport to 
measure secondary effects should not be included as societal 
benefits because these secondary effects are generally the same (per 
dollar spent) regardless of what kind of project is funded.
    As noted earlier in this Appendix (see Benefit-Cost Analysis vs. 
Economic Impact Analysis), applicants must be extremely cautious 
about including job creation and economic development impacts as 
societal benefits in the benefit-cost analysis. 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. 
However, if a project increases the productivity of labor, then the 
applicant can count the increased productivity as a benefit. For 
example, if the project allows workers working at low-productivity 
jobs to switch to high-productivity jobs, then the increase in their 
productivity can be counted as a benefit. But the applicant needs to 
demonstrate rigorously how such productivity benefits are estimated 
and the exact time period over which the productivity benefits 
occur. Simply asserting these gains is inadequate.
    With respect to economic development, estimates of capital 
investments or property tax revenues are not legitimate benefits in 
a benefit-cost analysis. A property tax is a benefit to the tax 
assessor, but it is a cost to the taxpayer. An applicant can 
potentially claim an increase in the value of land as a benefit if 
the transportation project increases the value and productivity of 
the land. However, the applicant needs to count the increase in the 
value of the land carefully to avoid double counting and transfer 
payments. 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. However, 
if this property value increase is due to improved travel times that 
the applicant has already included as a benefit then there is no 
additional benefit here. 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. Only the net 
increase in land value can be counted as a benefit. Applicants must 
carefully net out any embedded time savings in the property value 
increase before claiming any benefits. 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 that shows how it is 
derived from the project (rather than from some other non-project 
investment) and that shows how increases in property values 
attributable to other benefits (such as travel time savings) have 
been deducted. 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.

Types of Benefits-Safety

    Road projects can also improve the safety of transportation. A 
well-designed project can reduce fatalities and injuries as well as 
reduce other crash costs, such as hazardous materials releases. 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 more 
safe mode. When this type of benefit is claimed, the applicant 
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 are likely to be prevented by 
the project, it should apply the Department's guidance on value of 
life and injuries (http://ostpxweb.dot.gov/policy/reports.htm) to 
monetize them. Sources of information on the social benefits of 
reducing crash costs are discussed in Chapter VIII of the Final 
Regulatory Impact Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration's rulemaking on Corporate Average Fuel Economy for MY 
2011 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/Rulemaking/Rules/Associated%20Files/CAFE_Final_Rule_MY2011_FRIA.pdf). The economic values of various benefits are 
summarized in Table VIII-5 on page VIII-60.

Types of Benefits-State of Good Repair

    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

[[Page 38738]]

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 (i.e. low-volume facilities that would cost too 
much to replace). In the latter case, the analysis should include a 
reasonable assessment of the cost that closing the facility would 
have on system users who would be required to take longer and more 
circuitous routes, as well as the probability (and likely time in 
the future) when the bridge would need to be closed even if sound 
maintenance practices had been pursued. Improving state of good 
repair may also reduce user costs if, for example, the roughness of 
a road reduces travel speeds or increases damage to vehicles. 
Improving state of good repair can also have safety benefits. 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 metrics for assessing an 
asset's current condition. For example, applicants can use Present 
Serviceability Ratings (PSR) 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.

Types of Benefits-Sustainability

    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 societal 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. 
Sources of information on the social benefits of reducing criteria 
pollutant emissions are discussed in Chapter VIII of the Final 
Regulatory Impact Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration's rulemaking on Corporate Average Fuel Economy for MY 
2011 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/Rulemaking/Rules/Associated%20Files/CAFE_Final_Rule_MY2011_FRIA.pdf).
    The Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon has 
recently issued its guidance on ``Social Cost of Carbon for 
Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866'' (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/commercial/pdfs/sem_finalrule_appendix15a.pdf). This guidance lays out a range of 
values to use for monetizing the social cost of carbon at various 
years in the future and at various discount rates. Applicants should 
clearly indicate how and to what degree calculations of benefits in 
their analyses are based on these assumed values of CO2 
emissions reduction.

Transparency and Reproducibility of Calculations

    Applicants should make every effort to make the results of their 
analyses as transparent and reproducible as possible. Applicants 
should clearly set out basic assumptions, methods, and data 
underlying the analysis and discuss any uncertainties associated 
with the estimates.
    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. If the application refers the 
reader to more detailed documentation to explain how the 
calculations were done, that documentation must go beyond merely 
providing spreadsheets. It must include a thorough verbal 
description of how the calculation was done, including references to 
tabs and cells in the spreadsheet. This verbal description should 
include specific sources for all the numbers in the spreadsheet that 
are not calculated from the spreadsheet itself.
    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. 
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).
    Ideally, the applicant should be able to summarize the results 
of all pertinent data and cost and benefit calculations in a single 
spreadsheet tab (or table in Word). A Department reviewer should be 
able to understand the calculations in spreadsheet models both from 
directions in the spreadsheet and any accompanying text. The 
following provides a simplified example for expository purposes of 
discounted costs and benefits from a road project providing travel 
time savings only to local travelers over the course of five years 
following a one-year period of construction.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN01JY11.005

    Most applicant analyses will be more complicated than this 
example and will likely include several benefit categories. However, 
the summary cost and benefit data should be as transparent and as 
easy to follow and replicate as the example above.

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 http://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.

[[Page 38739]]

    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://www.dunandbradstreet.com.
    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 http://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 http://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 
Surface Transportation Infrastructure Discretionary Grants for 
Capital Investments II.
    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 e-mail 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 October 31, 2011 at 5 p.m. EDT, you must contact 
Robert Mariner at 202-366-8914 or Robert.Mariner@dot.gov within 24 
hours after the deadline and request approval to submit your 
application. At that time, DOT staff will require you to e-mail the 
complete grant application, your DUNS number, and provide a 
Grants.gov Help Desk tracking number(s). After DOT staff review all 
of the information submitted as well as contacts 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. 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 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-obligation steps (including, but not limited to, planning 
requirements, environmental approvals, right-of-way acquisitions, 
and design completion) and suggest milestones each project should 
aim to achieve in order be able 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-obligation requirements 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 
can be obligated. 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

[[Page 38740]]

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 on or before June 30, 2013. 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, 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 
can be obligated. 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 that receipt of all 
approvals can occur by 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 can be obligated.
    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 that they can 
reasonably expect to have all environmental approvals by March 30, 
2013, or other date sufficiently in advance of 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 can 
be obligated, because it may be difficult to complete environmental 
and regulatory review as well as any other necessary pre-obligation 
activities prior to the statutory obligation deadline of September 
30, 2013.
    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 construction of 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 by an operating administration may be 
contingent on completion of right-of-way acquisition and final 
design approval, applicants should demonstrate that they reasonably 
expect to have right-of-way and design completed, and completion of 
any other needed pre-final-obligation approvals by 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 can 
be obligated. If the obligation of TIGER Discretionary Grant funds 
for construction or other activities is contingent on the project 
completing right-of-way acquisition and design, and additional 
approvals contingent on completion of right of way acquisition and 
design, applicants should demonstrate they can reasonably expect to 
have right-of-way acquisition and design completed by June 1, 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 can 
be obligated 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 
TIGER Discretionary Grant funds obligated by 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 can 
be obligated. In some instances, DOT may not obligate for 
construction 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: June 27, 2011.
Ray LaHood,
Secretary.

[FR Doc. 2011-16514 Filed 6-30-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P