Good afternoon or good morning to those of you to the West. Welcome to today's special Talking Freight Seminar on TIGER II Discretionary Grants and TIGER II TIFIA Payments. My name is Jennifer Symoun and I will moderate today's seminar. Please be advised that today's seminar is being recorded.
Before I go any further, I do want to let those of you who are calling into the teleconference for the audio know that you need to mute your computer speakers or else you will be hearing your audio over the computer as well. Today we'll have several presenters and others joining to answer questions. After I go thorugh a logistical overview I am going to turn it over to Jacob Falk,
the policy adviser to the Office of the Secretary. We also have Beth Osborne, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, Joel Szabat, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, Robert Mariner, Office of the Secretary TIGER II Discretionary Grant program, Sherry Riklin, FTA Deputy Associate Administrator Office of Planning & Environment,
Bob Bouchard, MARAD Director Office of Infrastructure Development and Congestion Mitigation, Ron Hynes, FRA Director Office of Policy, Paul Nissenbaum, FRA Director of Office of Passenger and Freight Programs, Regina McElroy FHWA Director Office of Innovative Program Delivery, Mark Sullivan Senior Advisor Office of Innovative Program Delivery, Duane Callender TIFIA Joint Program Office Team Leader, Darren Timothy, FHWA Office of Innovative Program Delivery Program Development Team Leader, Deborah Brown, FHWA Office of Innovative Program Delivery Strategic Delivery Team Leader
Harlan Miller, FHWA Office of Planning Planning Oversight & Stewardship Team Leader, Marlys Osterhues, Office of Project Development & Environmental Review, and Tony Furst, FHWA Director of Freight Management and Operations.
I'd now like to go over a few logistical details prior to starting the seminar. Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience Question and Answer. If during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the chat area.
aPlease make sure you send your question to "Everyone" and indicate which presenter your question is for. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will start off the question and answer session with the questions typed into the chat box.
Once we finish those the operator will give instructions on how to ask questions over the phone.
You will only have the option of typing questions if you are listening over the computer. You can send to the freight planning listserv or information from presenters to send directly.
The session is being recorded.
A file containing audio and visual portion, as well as presentation will be posted within the next few weeks to the Talking Freight website.
Today's topic is TIGER II discretionary grants. I will turn it over to Jacob Falk.
Jacob Falk: Thank you very much, thank you all for participating in this Webinar on the TIGER II discretionary grants program.
We will start with overviews, background, move into specifics and as we get through the presentation we will finish up with some qualities, strategies of competitive applications, sort of tips, guidance to make an application strong.
The program overview. The original Tiger program, tiger I was a Recovery Act program, included certain requirements.
This program, TIGER II is $600 million provided through the fiscal year 2010 appropriations act.
It's no longer technically a program act -- but treating it similarly.
The underlying principle of looking for projects that have a significant impact on the nation, metropolitan area or region, retains the same in tiger two. As in tiger 1,
the opportunity for capital grants for surface transportation projects, but we also have funding formative and -- another, in choosing projects, looking not only for significant impact, but equitable geographic distribution,
balance the needs of urban and rural areas. We have a requirement to invest in a variety of transportation modes.
The next slide is the Federal Register notice. We asked for comments over a two-week period. We got back comments, the final notice of funding availability was available in the Federal Register this past Friday,
and is now published in hard copy in today's Federal Register.
This is the operative notice of funding availability, what should be looked at. It's very similar in many respects to the tiger 1 and the final notice,
we made a handful of changes from the interim notice published in April to the final notice, but the final notice does have some changes. You should definitely take a look, see what those changes are.
I will address the planning side, put in the interim notice the state comments on the possibility of collaborating with HUD, their community challenge planning grants.
Those planning grants were meant for local planning efforts like stationary planning, TOD, setting upland banking programs or program codes, zoning codes, obviously things that go along the sides of transportation projects,
when done right can enhance a project's chance for success. We are continuing to review the comments we received and are working with HUD on the potential of doing a joint notice of funding availability
and we anticipate having something in the Federal Register in the next week or two.
Moving along, the one thing that hasn't changed from tiger one to Tiger TIGER II, the port authorities, MPOs, other political subdivisions and -- includes groups of jurisdictions that may wish to apply together.
Private entities are not eligible to be an applicant directly, but private entities can partner with the public sector entities and can apply in partnership with private entities for private projects.
In terms of eligible projects, two keys. One, we're looking at capital investments, and it should be in surface transportation infrastructure, generally includes roads, highways, bridges, public transportation projects; rail,
both passenger freight; port, intermodal projects that fit within that framework are also eligible.
One thing to note, you may have a project that has transportation components tied in with other components, be they housing or other development components that, for purposes Tiger,
elements outside the transportation would not be eligible.
In terms of award amounts, this slide really goes through criteria set forth in the appropriations act for how much grant funds we can give for particular projects, should generally be between $10 million and 200 million,
the amounts requested and awarded. This time around in the first round -- in TIGER I we didn't have a requirement for applicants to provide matching funds. This time around this is a requirement to provide 20%
or more of the project cost for a match. So we can no longer fund 100% of a project.
That's outside of a rural area. There's -- we do have a $14 0 million amount reserved for projects located in rural areas.
In rural areas we're able to fund 100% of project cost and minimum grant size drops down to a $1 million, the rules are a little different for rural areas. We have a similar requirement as last time,
percentage of funds which can go to funds in any one state. This time it's 25% of funds maximum to is state or $15 0 million. Last time it was $300 million to any one state but we did not meet that maximum in any state around the country.
Here again we have up to $15 0 million available to be used to support TIFIA financing to pay for the financing and administrative costs. Last time was $200 million. As discussed,
this time around we have up to $35 million available for planning grants.
The selection criteria we are using to evaluate projects, in which we expect projects to align with in submitting applications is very similar to the selection criteria included in the first round of Tiger.
The first, then two secondary selection criteria. The primary starts with long-term outcomes. These are the five key long-term out comes we are looking for, align with the Secretary's priorities,
ones that have not changed from the first round to the second.
State of good repair, going to the condition of the project, improving the condition. Economic competitiveness. This one is really thinking about the medium to long-term competitiveness of the U.S., boosting productivity.
The third one is livability, which is focusing on the quality of communities for people who are living and working there, how infrastructure relates, can improve the quality of those communities.
The fourth is environmental sustainability, the focus of environmental sustainability, improve energy efficiency, reducing dependence on oil and the final is safety, improving safety of U.S.
transportation facilities. These are the primary, key long-term outcomes we are looking for and selection criteria. You have to make sure your project hits these criteria well. Your project doesn't have to align well with all of these,
but should with one or more of them. In order to advance an evaluation process you need to demonstrate your project aligns well with at least one, preferably very well with one or multiple of these long-term outcomes.
The next of these selection criteria, and we call these secondary, the primary criteria are given more weight in the evaluation process. The next of the primary selection are [indiscernible] job stimulus.
We are no longer -- the program is no longer under the Recovery Act, it's the 2010 appropriations act, but we are still including job creation and economic stimulus as a primary selection criteria, given where the current economy is.
This is still an important aspect of your project on how quickly you can get started, create jobs, and stimulate rapid increases in economic activity, still an important aspect of these applications.
The two secondary selection are innovation and partnership, innovation really refers to whether or not you have innovative strategies incorporated in the project to help you achieve the long-term outcomes. Partnership goes to two things.
One is collaboration amongst a variety of partners in the project, state, federal, local, a variety of public and private entities who can be participating in planning, delivery of the project,
and also contributing financial resources to the project, and the second part of partnership is integration, transportation priorities with other public service efforts, if there's other public entities,
interested in the project for other reasons, pursuing other outcomes the project integrates transportation goals with those other goals. That's certainly a positive aspect of an application.
I will turn it over to Darren Timothy who will talk about benefit cost analysis. Not one of the selection criteria, but an important component of any application.
As in the first Tiger program, a benefits cost analysis, the [indiscernible] doesn't have predicted benefits that exceed the cost of the project. There is, in the notice of funding availability,
more detailed guidance on doing these analyses, and mentions some of the top -- roughly one-third of the [indiscernible] appendix A goes through guidance on doing the benefits cost analysis.
They are reviewed by a different team [indiscernible] DOT, and assigned ratings based on the quality of the analysis, how useful the analysis is in helping determine whether the project's benefit exceed cost or not.
There's an important discussion about the importance of analysis, useful approaches, useful information.
Want to focus on those elements that would be included, not those in economic impact analysis.
The guidance discusses the importance of having a useful baseline and project alternatives, such things as identifying for large project, making sure to include analysis of lesser alternatives, versus all or nothing case.
The application discounting, important part of any forward-looking analysis.
Important to have message about the forecasting used and recognizing projects are expected to have, evolve over time, not appropriate to simply use an end year analysis, apply those benefits to the entire analysis period.
The guidance goes through [indiscernible] in each of the five long-term outcome categories. What's important there is not so much which category the benefit is in but that it's counted once and only once.
This type of approach, in TIGER I we had different type of analysis on the part of the [indiscernible] considered lesser analysis. This time around we are not taking that type of distinction.
All projects are being asked to provide an analysis with the understanding that as smaller projects are expected to have less detailed analysis and perhaps more qualitative.
It's important to make sure the cost of the project match the project benefits and providing with transparency and reproducibility as much as possible. An exhortation to show us your work. It's very helpful; the more you show us,
the better, since we have a better opportunity to make the determination.
All right. So in the next few slides we talk about the preapplication, application process.
This is different from the first round of Tiger where we only collected application, did not receive pre-applications. This time we are asking for a pre-application, the due date is July 16, 2010.
This is not to engage in iterative process, it's more from our perspective of getting a sense of the universe of applications that will be coming in so we can prepare for the evaluation process,
and also there are a few aspects of the pre-application we are interested in. We want to make sure projects are eligible project and eligible applicants.
We want to make sure the projects have lined up the 20% match required for projects not located in rural areas. We want to make sure projects are complete with the NEPA process, going to project readiness.
This is an area where we have made a few changes in the final notice of funding availability from the interim notice of funding availability with respect to what we expect to the see from different applicants on NEPA.
Generally speaking we like to see applications that NEPA can say is complete, we realize not all will be able to say that. We are okay with NEPA being substantially complete and have reasonable confidence there's a timeline that works,
that can get us to a completion of NEPA.
This is important because we do have statutory obligation date.
We have to obligate all funds by September 30, 2012 and need to know NEPA will be complete well in advance of that.
We recognize some projects which have not previously anticipated federal funds and don't have any other traditional federal programs they can turn to for funds, so it was never in the picture to do NEPA.
In those cases we still expect the projects to have done analysis of environmental impacts, to have thought about that,
although we do in the final notice not expect the projects to be complete given the type of funding available outside of the Tiger program.
The application is due on August 23, 2010.
This is similar to the applications under TIGER I, 25-page limit. In the notice of funding availability we did provide more of an outline of -- we strongly suggest applications follow that outline.
It's a good way to get across the key items of information that are needed for us to evaluate the project. That outline is included in the final notice.
There's certain items, like the benefit cost analysis in some cases could easily get to be longer than 25 pages. In that case we would like the summary, highlights of the benefits cost analysis
or NEPA documentation to be included in the 25-page narrative, and the robust benefit cost analysis or link to the NEPA documentation, these type of things would not be counted towards the 25-page limit.
With that, we will jump to TIGER II, TIFIA payment and [indiscernible]
Similar to TIGER I, 150 million was made available for [indiscernible] to TIFIA. TIFIA is currently over-subscribed, this is one of the only avenues to get TIFIA funding for loan guarantees.
Any money from the 150 million will be used to cover the [indiscernible] the DOT may offer grant applicants active applicants a TIFIA -- grant application,
at the same time TIFIA letter of interest so that the first time around we had applications come in at that point but because the [indiscernible] tiger process,
doesn't make sense to create resources to if they are not going to be successful for Tiger.
The potential pipeline, applicant is selected, would have to then comply with the TIFIA, full blown application, fee, and [indiscernible] on the project. May apply for grant and TIFIA on the same project, no prohibition
or discouragement of that at this point.
The next piece of this is actual evaluation process. When we at the DOT get these in we have multi-modal teams of technical, professional staff from throughout the department who review these applications,
including representatives from the Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Railroad Administration, and members of the office of the secretary.
They evaluate the applications, give them ratings for the selection criteria, highly recommended, not recommended, or negative.
That is really how well the project aligns with the selection criteria is what determines whether or not the applications will be advanced to a senior level review team.
We have an economic analysis team that contributes to the benefit cost analysis provided and a team that looks at the project readiness and NEPA and helps figure out how ready the projects are to move forward quickly.
That leads to selection of the projects, and project administration and reporting this, is what we are moving through in the first round of Tiger.
Next slide, we are covering for each of the projects selected, we have one of those four relevant modal administrations which administer the grant and enters into a grant agreement with the recipient and relevant modal administration,
and we expect the process for TIGER II will be similar.
It's important to note we do have a requirement to obligate all funds by September 30, 2012. We are going to be looking to announce the project awards
and enter into grant agreements as quickly as possible so that we can be sure to hit this date for obligating all of the funds.
The next component of this presentation is strategies for competitive applications.
We did have a week or two ago, a seminar here in Washington D.C., broadcast on the web, we went through the key elements based on collective experience in the department for TIGER I,
wanted to highlight the competitive aspects we think are very useful, important for applicants to know. We are going to run through these now and I will turn it over to Deputy assistant secretary Beth Osborne to get us started on that.
The first item on the list is eligibility. Eligibility requirement institute, listed on the -- I will gloss over them again. Must be capital investment in surface transportation project and must be one of independently utility.
Must be government entity, statutory minimum of $10 million per project, however it's a lower minimum for rural projects of $1 million and maximum of $200 million per application and 150 per single state.
The point we really want to make here is eligibility is not the same thing as being competitive. You can meet the minimum eligibility requirements and not have a competitive application.
This is something that is different than other transportation programs, formula based, meeting statutory criteria, have great flexibility. In this program, because it is so over-subscribed,
we have the opportunity to choose from applications from go well beyond basic eligibility, and therefore you should think more than just meeting minimum eligibility, but in terms of being highly competitive.
The second area is the criteria. A lot of folks have come in and asked us about how we evaluate these projects. The overwhelming focus of our evaluation is on the long-term criteria.
The five elements that Jake laid out, economic competitiveness, livability, environmental sustainability, and safety. The safety one is the one with the least confusion.
It's an year that, within transportation, we quantified for years and therefore it's something people were very comfortable with.
In the other areas, I would like to get into a little more detail of each of them.
One is economic competitiveness.
Within economic competitiveness there are two things to be conscious of. One is, when we are looking at creating greater economic competitiveness and economic activity, we are looking at an overall increase to the country;
in other words we are not looking at a program that will move jobs from one state to another. You may, for example, have a port improvement project that will result in increased freight movement through that port and through your area,
however, it's clear that tell it will move it from a neighboring port. That is not overall increase in job, just movement within the country, and we are focusing on projects that increase overall economic activity and increase job
The other thing with economic competitiveness, while we are looking at the region, a more competitive application will consider not just the regional economic health, but what happens to the community touched by the project.
Sometimes there will be winner and losers with transportation projects where the neighborhood touched is harmed, although the region is helped. In a highly competitive program like this we can choose those that are very sensitive,
therefore there are no losers to the project. It's contact sensitive, thinking about the community it's touching while helping the overall.
In terms of state of good repair.
Sometimes you see applications in communities that might make a choice, for example, to do things that cause a transportation project to degrade faster than it would otherwise,
maybe by permitting heavier trucks to run over that roadway and getting the economic benefit of having those heavier trucks, but that will not be as competitive an application saying you did something voluntarily on a road way,
now trying to fix it, as a community trying to get their system up to a state of good repair.
So be conscious of those sorts of issues as well.
Terms of livability, four things we are looking at. One is transportation options. Two is particularly transportation options for non-motorized communities such as seniors, disabled, those -- low-income members of the community.
Three is intermodal connectedness, and four is coordinating transportation and land use decisions. We have some very specific things we are looking at in terms of livability, what we mean there.
I would focus in on those.
Five is environmental sustainability, a broad area, greenhouse gas emissions, reduction of storm water run-off, pollution caused by that.
Environmental sustainability, this is the long-term criteria, budgets bottleneck relief, short-term will not rate as well as one with a long-term horizon, reducing greenhouse gas over a 100-year time frame as opposed to 10 or 20.
Please be very careful in your focus on that. That is the crux of the application.
If you are not performing well there we are not going to look beyond that.
You don't have to do well in all the criteria. If you look through the Tiger grantees in the first round, you will notice some performed well in a certain area.
New Mexico performed well in the highway safety, a highway with three times the fatality of the state. This one project will result in bringing it below the state average. There are other projects like in Milwaukee, bridges project,
state of good repair.
Crescent corridor, sustainability project. New Orleans streetcar, primarily about livability. You can look through those projects and see that we were not looking for something that performed fabulously on all five.
We are really looking for those that really stood out in one or two or maybe three.
The third category is clarity of application and project descriptions.
This goes back to what we were talking about, this program being oversubscribed. We have 1400 applications worth over $60 billion for $1.5 billion in funding availability. Therefore,
this application process is very much like you would expect an application to the most highly competitive colleges in the country, and maybe in helping your kids prepare the college applications, remembering yourself,
you are looking to really stand out in an area where the folks reviewing it are reviewing fantastic amounts of applications, and have their pick. Therefore, the clarity of your application is par amount. If it's hard to read,
hard to find, it's as if it does not exist. Think about a reviewer reading 150 applications in a two-week period of time, three or four weeks.
It's an exorbitant amount of reading.
To the extent you can stick with the proposed outline of applications, so they are looking at a similar flow, you are writing something very clear in terms of project description and what the federal dollars will be used for,
so it is obvious from the very beginning of the application. Sometimes it was extremely difficult to ferret that out. Something that could be read by your neighbor that never worked in transportation and could still understand.
That will be much more likely to do well just because the people with the overwhelming load will with a better sense of what they are dealing with.
The next strategy here, size of grant request. I want to preface by saying we don't have a particular size of grant request we think is the "right" size for the request, but having said that,
in the last round of applications the average grant size, projects were allowed to be up to $300 million and the average grand size was closer to $30 million. We had a few projects in the $100 million range.
Those were often multi-state, multijurisdictional projects where there was a number of partners receiving funds.
The reason we want to talk about this is because we have in TIGER II, similar to TIGER I, requirement to balance on the one hand our desire to really do some major projects, nationally significant type projects that are very expensive
and we have to put a lot of money into them, with our desire to fund projects to provide E equitability gi owe graphic distribution, important for local areas, regions, metropolitan areas.
This is a statutory requirement for us to take into being the, equitable geographic distribution, balancing the need of rural and urban area and the different modes we have.
We have only $600 million this time, significantly less than the first round. One way to think about this is to imagine if we were to split the country up to four regions and fund two projects in each region, which is not a lot,
considering the size of those regions; we would already be in eight projects, down to $70 million per projects.
If there were four we would be down to an average of about $35 million per project.
The reason we mention this is we want you to be very aware of the balancing required and constraints we are under in terms of funding projects looking for the full $200 million available for each project.
Keep that in mind when thinking about the projects you are going to submit. Also keep that in mind when thinking about this next,
[indiscernible] going back to the statutory requirement to give priority to projects using Tiger funds to complete an overall financing package. Looking for projects can state, local, private sector funds in the project as well.
We did, I want to make sure to note, in the notice of funding availability we clarified what we mean by local match, which will get you to the 20% requirement. We can only fund up to 80% of the project.
We further defined what that 20% has to be. I encourage to you look at that in the note, but basically outside of federal funds any state, local
or other public funds combined with private sector funds can all be used for the 20% matching requirement. One other thing we note is we are looking for funds that will be expended,
not for people to include funds expended previously in the past.
A critical point here, this is a super competitive program, there's a difference between eligibility, what you have to put into the project in terms of 20%, and making a project as competitive as you might be able to.
The more you can put into the project in terms of state, local, private sector funds, whatever funds you can put in, the better. This gets to the heart of what we think are the big benefits of a competitive grant program.
We have the opportunity to reward people who can get a lot of partners on board, go through a well coordinated, structured planning and delivery process where they are able to draw on a number of different resources.
Our experience is we have gotten a lot of really good applications from this competitive grant program and other programs in terms of what we can encourage people to bring together in the application.
So think about competitiveness in that section.
I would add one thing to what Jake said; while rural areas are not held to the 20% match requirement, in the first round of Tiger we found many rural areas were able to leverage a great deal of investment.
I would not necessarily look again at the eligibility requirements in term of being competitive.
We found struggling communities willing to put up a large amount of money to support a high-priority projects, and communities that were not struggling very much not willing to put up money, so in terms of a competitive application,
if you are asking how you can get into the minimum eligible match you are probably not creating the most competitive application possible.
The next bullet point, something we call project segmentation, there's really two things I want to cover here. One is the point Beth mentioned about independent utility. We can only fund projects that have independent utility.
What we mean by that, a term used in other contexts as well, including NEPA, but for purposes of evaluating applications, what we mean is that one, the project will provide transportation benefits when complete.
Those benefits should be the benefits described when talking about the long-term outcomes and the other criteria we are looking for. Two, that the project when complete will be an operable segment that can be used.
We are looking for projects when all the tiger funds are spent, absent additional investment the project is ready to go and will provide benefits.
So, for example, if you have a project you split in multiple phases and you are looking for Tiger to help you finish phase 1, we would want to see phase 1 as a complete phase project, even if there are others coming to enhance
or improve the project, fill it out. We need this project we are building to be a complete project when all the funds have been expended
If the project is in a situation where you will complete phase 1 and have to find additional funds to finish Phase II before the project can be used, in that situation the project would not have cement utility
and we want not want to commit federal funds to half a project with the expectation or promise or thought more funding be committed at a later stage to finish the operable segment.
The other thing worth noting goes back to clarity. If you have a project with multiple components of independent utility, it's important your application reflect the different components, why each has independent utility,
the components of those.
This is especially useful if we would get an application for the maximum amount of funds and we like aspects of the application; other aspects may not be as compelling.
It's in your benefit to provide a very convincing case to the people reviewing the application they can get a lot of the benefits of the project if they choose one component of the project, not all all of the project as a whole.
As you put together applications, think about providing in a very clear way where those projects can be segmented, what the different packages and projects are. It may be it's one project, you need to do the whole thing.
That's fine as well. But to the extent you are able to segment, that's worthwhile and helpful for the people reviewing the application.
On benefit cost analysis, the key thing to take away is the analysis is complementary to the description, the narrative that addresses the long-term outcomes and other evaluation criteria.
Every time I have seen a good benefit cost analysis, the project sponsor thought carefully about the project, understands what they are trying to achieve, gone through to document that.
Conversely, projects that -- they are fuzzier, come up with lower-quality analyses.
Also important to have the analyses be commence commensurate with -- be expected to have a more careful, detailed analyses of safety benefits as a project where safety is more ancillary outcome for that specific project
So on, going through the analysis, following guidance we have will also get you much further to where you want to be.
I would like to add two things to that.
One is that DOT will not rank a project based on its benefit cost analysis. This is supportive information; this is the data backing up the long-term criteria, but is not going to be the basis for a ranking.
The second is that -- I have heard a lot of concerns from community that's don't necessarily have the capacity that -- this could be difficult in terms of paying some outsider, consultant to do your benefit cost analysis.
In terms of the first round of tiger, we saw very impressive cost analysis done by smaller organization, in-house.
It is not something we want folks to believe they have to go out, spend a lot of money to accomplish.
It's just something that requires you to develop and document the data to support the claims you are making in terms of your long-term criteria.
The raw material for a benefit cost analysis out to be contained in the planning documents in developing the project. It's just finding and presenting that information that's important.
The next point is something we have touched on earlier, project readiness and NEPA. I think the key, one key here is, this is no longer Recovery Act program. Some of the Recovery Act deadlines don't apply.
We no longer have to give priority to projects that can be completed within three years, something we had to consider in the first round. However, we still have the primary selection criteria, the project can create jobs
and [indiscernible] quickly, and also have the requirement that we obligate all of the funds by September 30, 2012, not that far off. We are paying very much attention to project readiness .
We have six elements including any necessary legislative approval, environmental approval, technical feasibility. It's important that you in your application give the department the sense
and the comport that the project can get started quickly and will obligate all funds September 30, 2012.
In terms of NEPA, final notice, I encourage you to like at that as mentioned earlier.
In terms of projects that stand out, I will talk about some that really shined, shone, in the first round, but those that typically did not perform really well, and before I get into this,
not to say any projects -- the ones that stood out are necessarily the best investment of dollars, it's just in this competitive process they rose to the top for various reasons.
One thing that tended to rise to the top were non-traditional projects or came with the long-term outcomes, but wouldn't have anyplace else to go for federal dollars.
Up notice some of those in the first round of funding like the crescent corridor, some of the port projects, things like that.
Also, projects that created new partnerships, multi-state, public/private, things very difficult to organize, and also tend to be difficult to fund through our current program which is focused on state by state.
Some examples of that would include the Woodward Avenue Rail, public private national gateway -- breaking down government silos, internal at DOT and between DOT and other federal agencies and state
and local agencies really rose to the top. One example is the Portland innovation quadrant we struggled to even define. It had a roadway component, streetcar component, a bike/ped component, a really interesting project,
you couldn't even type it as one particular mode.
Another area is one that supports other key national priorities.
For example, a project that supports the manufacturing and movement of wind energy components, and another non-transportation, but still national key priority, and the last part is strong local state or private funding support. Now,
in terms of projects that did not tend to compete as well. I am not saying we don't value these projects.
We are saying in terms of an overly subscribed very competitive program these did not do as well as other types of investments did.
Examples are roadway resurfacing projects, parking lots, research without deployment, not just talking about a demonstration program, but true widespread deployment. Cruise ship terminals, museum improvements,
and economic development projects that displace economic development in other areas.
Great. I think the last piece of this, the timeline of where we are. We published the criteria on April 26, 2010. The Federal Register today includes the final notice, available on Friday's Federal Register for public inspection.
The pre-applications must be submitted by July 16, this summer, and the applications must be submitted by August 23. We have a statutory requirement we announce projects selected no earlier than November 15, 2010. Our goal,
effort is to try to announce as soon therefore as we can. We don't have a definite date for when we will announce awards, but are hoping as soon as we can, considering the number of application that's come in; which as mentioned earlier,
in the last round, TIGER I, over 1400 applications, so it will take us a couple of days to get through the applications.
We are now going to move on to the Question and Answer session.
I know we have a number of questions, we will just start from the stop, go through them. If we still have time we will move to the phone lines.
Please continue to type in your questions as we go.
A quick question, is there a way to get a copy of the presentation. Believe the presentation will be posted online in the next -- [music] >
Are we back now? Sorry about that, everybody.
The presentations and a recording will be posted online in the next few weeks. We will probably wait until after the June 15 planning seminar.
I will send out an e-mail to everybody once they are available.
The next question is -- what funding category would actual transit related capital improvements that support DOT [indiscernible] be eligible for? Would, for example,
any of these qualify as pre-development costs under either of the planning grant categories? Or, could a single application include a number of TOD projects with these to be funded in aggregate meet
or exceed the TIGER II discretionary grants?
As Jake mentioned earlier, if there are transportation components to that, they would be eligible for the TIGER II discretionary grants program.
I would also suggest that you watch closely the Federal Register. If we are able to go forward with a process of joint funding availability between our up to $35 million in transportation planning grants
and HUD's community challenge planning grants, you will notice that HUD's program would fund a good portion of these sorts of projects, including site preparation, land banking, housing development
and zoning code changes to support housing development.
The other part of the question was can you aggregate several TOD projects to exceed the 10 million F they are part of the corridor, absolutely.
The next question is can we get information on the grant review for our previous Tiger application?
The answer is yes.
We have provided information to those who requested a meeting, and sat down, explained to folks the process, how it impacted their grant application.
On that question I would note that it would be tough if we would immediately open up to 1400-plus applicants, give detailed -- but our broad recommendations first -- we aren't going into details of particular scores,
but are talking about sort of a lot of the, um, keys, key elements which are very similar to what we are talking about today in terms of project readiness, [indiscernible]
The next question is can a state apply for an element of a project implemented only if TIGER II funds are received.
The answer to that is yes. That's something good to highlight in the application. To the extent you have a project which a percentage is funded, or committed funds, work underway,
if you can show how TIGER II funds would be used to finish, complete that financing or funding package, that is good, especially if there's a bunch of other sources of funds and partnership in there getting the project moving.
Next question, what is the definition of a rural area?
This is also something that more clarification is provided in the Federal Register. We are working from the Census Bureau's definition of urbanized area, defined with over 50,000 people,
considering areas outside of an urbanized area to be a rural area for purposes of this program. One thing we provided clarification on in the notice is,
we understand some projects are going to be primarily rural areas but may touch on some urbanized areas, maybe a corridor terminating in an urbanized area, we will consider the project a rural project,
but to the extent more than a diminished portion of the project is in urbanized area we are asking applicants to allocate their sort of estimated costs between the rural
and urban areas so we can be sure we properly account for our requirements, to provide $14 0 million to projects in rural areas.
Entry the next question, is a grant in rural -- counted as part of the --
Yes. It is.
Can TIGER II funds be used to fund a construction career day? no, construction career day would not be considered a eligible project.
We have had a number of projects talking about similar activities.
Career days training, activities, workforce training, which would not be considered capital expenditure in surface transportation for purposes of this program.
Please explain discounting and a benefit cost analysis section.
Rather briefly, the best way to think of, most important for discounting, has nothing to do with inflation, a common mistake made. Think in terms of representing the interest rate, the cost of a dollar tomorrow in today's terms.
For guidance on this I refer you to the [indiscernible] office of asset management as economic analysis primer, a really good discussion of what discounting is all about and how to apply it.
I might type in that FHWA address. The next question, rather long one.
Economic competitiveness was included in the TIGER II guide lines as expected long-term -- this brings concern of mod Alex modal equity.
At a prior Webinar, stated economic competitive criteria is not -- to evaluate transit projects. Advised USDOT to revisit the criteria in final notice.
Infortunately this was not done.
The good repair is bias to projects making it more difficult for [indiscernible] to compete with rehabilitation projects. The TIGER II guidelines expect -- contribute, United States, over the medium to long-term as required by the USDOT.
Well, I would disagree strongly with those statements; and I think if you look at the modal split of the TIGER I awardees, it would not bear that out.
Transit was about 26% of the awardees, highways is about 24%, and rail was a little bit larger with around 8% multi-modal. I don't think the results bear that out. Also, I have to say, in terms of performance measures,
transit projects are very familiar with having to justify their performs in terms of the competitive process of new starts. If this is a new thing for highways, and something some of those struggled with, quite frankly.
In terms of a transit projectability can you show major economic competitiveness, supporting business along the line,
in support of saving the transit users funding because folks who have access to multiple modes of transportation spend less overall on transportation, put that money back in the economy. It's just not the case.
In terms of state of good repair, all modes are in the same bucket here where you're having to value maintaining current assets against building new needed assets. It's a challenge the overall transportation system faces.
In terms of transit, a community that wants to build a new transit line will certainly struggle in our process if they are showing they can't maintain their current transit system, but the same is true in terms of highway capacity,
if a community wants to build a major leg of new highway but is seeing their highway system fall apart, that would not be as competitive. So, like I said, TIGER I does not bear that out.
As we said earlier, it's not expected every project will do -- score exceedingly well in every particular category, and with regard to economic competitiveness,
in the actual guide lines for benefit cost analysis focus on things like [indiscernible] saving, effecting efficiency of the transportation system, contribute to the long-term competitiveness, not the local effect on that.
One thing to add on state of good repair, it's written to include the extent to which lifecycle costing approaches are considered and those expenses are accounted for and in the capital plan at the time of building the project,
so there isn't the exclusive for projects being rehabilitated, but state of good repair is something we want people to think about in terms of new built projects too.
Are the pre-application and application deadlines the same as for the [indiscernible] application?
yes. We expected that will be the case.
The planning grants, no [indiscernible] should be out in the coming weeks, but we are hoping the dead lines will be the same.
Definitely the notice of funding availability for the planning grants will include that information and should monitor the Federal Register to be sure to get that information.
There is a Webinar in the planning grant seminar scheduled for June 15. You can register at the same site you registered for this Webinar.
Will you notify those not eligible after the July application process, but before the August date?
Yes, we expect to notify, to the extent received from pre-application a project or applicant is not eligible, we expect to the notify that applicant of the case.
We don't expect this to be an overly iterative process to the extent there aren't any problems with your pre-application you should expect to receive a bunch of feedback. With respect to a problem with eligibility,
that's something we would respond to, ask that be fixed before the application is submitted by the deadline.
Regarding NEPA documentation, what if a project is likely to be exempt? What sort of documentation is required in such cases?
[indiscernible] the project would fall under one of the mode -- applicant should list, identify which would be applicable under the mode categories, in the NEPA process or procedure. we would recommend the coordination with the regional,
local office. If [indiscernible] compliance with other environmental laws, section 106, important to include that in documentation.
Is the pre-application still required for the project to be eligible for the grant?
Yes, the pre-application has to be submitted before an application fee can be submitted. Any application would have to have had a pre-application.
Can you clarify where planning grant requests, how minimum and maximum amounts relate?
This is a question we have heard a lot, whether or not the $10 million minimum applies to planning grants.
It does not apply to planning grants.
What is the maximum award amount for planning grants? Is the same $10 million?
No, it is not.
Can you clarify how the benefit cost analysis differs from the economic impact analysis?
This is, again, back to the primer I referred to earlier; also has a section on this.
The guidance, briefly focused on looking at the benefits of a project to society as a whole.
What happens to efficiency of transportation system, things like reducing travel times, reducing energy consumption, reducing environmental impacts like greenhouse gas emission.
Economic impact is focused more on local impacts associated with a construction project. [indiscernible] jobs that are associated with construction and induced by [indiscernible] moving into an area.
The wages of those works are not things included in economic impact, and real estate investment, economic impact, also in terms of impact cost analysis shows up as benefit and cost.
You have to spend money to make those investments.
And E that's kind of the short version. If someone has specific questions on what types of -- whether something ought to be included or not, they can certainly pose that to the department.
Will planning grants require the same detailed benefit cost analysis infrastructure projects?
I commend people to tune into Webinar on planning grants.
It's still under discussion, but I would not expect the same sort of robust cost benefit analysis to be required for planning grants. We will certainly want to know what the benefits of an eventually project, if built, would be.
It will probably require a very different intake of data.
Will a rating be assigned for pre-application as well as final application?
No, the pre-application process is more about determining eligibility and preparing for the review process.
There will be no evaluation of the pre-applications, except for their eligibility.
What would the max requirement be for a project in both urban and rural area, such as a multi-state corridor project?
I think to the extent you had a project which a diminished portion was in urban, but the [indiscernible] is rural, to the extent the diminished portion is in the urban area, you are able to separate out,
we expect rural projects would be appropriately matched -- urban project would be appropriately matched per the statute.
Are non-motorized projects eligible for the infrastructure grants?
They certainly are, however, I would make sure you are focusing on projects meant to be a form of transportation; in other words, a bike system that moves people from home to work as opposed to a [indiscernible]
I think you answered this -- could the announcement date be repeated? we don't have a firm announcement date. We would like to make announcements as as soon as possible in the fall.
In the TIFIA grant fund the [indiscernible] this TIGER II and TIFIA --
as long as none of the other requirements are violated, but a $100 million applying for 80 in tiger and 20 in TIFIA, nothing to prevent that, there may be other considerations, no money in the project, but no prohibition.
I would like to emphasize the difference between [indiscernible] you should be shooting for beyond eligible.
[indiscernible] funds rescinded by SAFETEA-LU and reinstated [indiscernible] local map.
In the final notice we provided clarification about what can be used for match. We are looking for non-federal funds for the match. So state, local, private, any of those type of funds can be used,
but we're not looking for federal funds to be used to satisfy the 20% matching requirement.
That pretty much addresses the next question.
The next question: Can TIGER II or TIFIA funds be used to [indiscernible] not in ADA compliance. A person in a wheelchair cannot travel a sidewalk because every driveway has a curb.
[indiscernible] prevent run-off, if the funds, voluntary -- are individual assessment.
The first part is yes; in terms of ADA compliance, you would make the [indiscernible] creating an actual bi-ped system, removing barriers to be able to utilize -- with disabilities.
In terms of creating a program where the MPO would then match the local private investment, I think it would be a struggle to show exactly when and how that money would be expended and what the final outcome would be.
If it was something worked out in the past, you knew exactly what the universe of projects would be, that would be something that could be considered, but in creating a revolving fund,
I wouldn't think that would be something we could fund.
With limited funding available, how can any project predemonstrate independent facility [indiscernible]
We saw a great number of projects in the TIGER I process that had put together a vast array of funding from different sources, the Tiger funds would be the part that complete the funding package.
We also found a large number of projects that had various phases to them, maybe asking for the final phase, maybe the first phase of a larger project planned out into the future, but we did find a large number of national
and locally significant projects funded in TIGER I, even with limited dollars, that were able to satisfy these --
In this these it's personal important to note to the extent -- through many states, regions, it's not necessarily the case only completing a full project is going to provide independent utility. Very often there's a number of segments
or components of the project, each of which provides independent utility on its own.
For example, Create, a package, together providing a huge amount of national benefits.
There are many components within Create, each providing independent utility, despite the infect they are part fact they are part of a national overall project.
Could the required 20% match be comprised of local dollars, right of way donation or other non-monetary contribution?
It would be important to quantify a non-monetary contribution, turn into a sum of money to determine how much of the match that would be required, count for. To the extent state or local governments,
private entities are using non-monetary matches, that's something that could be considered.
With respect to [indiscernible] final phase of multi-phase project?
What are considered eligible costs? Would support facilities for non-motorized pathways, bench and [indiscernible], what about property easements?
I think there's -- you have to look at those individually. There are some support facilities which are certainly integral to the non-motorized path, but at a certain point you have lost the nexus to the actual transportation project.
This might be another one of the examples where matching funds are -- the Tiger funds clearly for transportation portion and the extent you lose the nexus, move to portions not transportation infrastructure,
other funds could be used on those. Tiger funds have to be used for transportation components. You have to look on a case-by-case basis, what the facilities are to make the determination.
Make sure you make your case very clear about why that element is necessary for that form of transportation, so if the bench is part of a bus-stop, for example, you can see that nexus very clearly.
If the bunch is part of a park on the way along a sidewalk, that nexus would not be terribly clear.
Is the requirement for equitable distribution of funds only apply to TIGER II grant or is TIGER I --
They apply only to the TIGER II grants.
TIGER I factors will not be tied in, in terms of E equitability distribution.
The considerations have to be listed on [indiscernible] priority list --
Projects do have to be included in the metropolitan transportation plan, however there's a provision where if they are not in the current plan,
the applicant can submit a certification they will be in the planning [indiscernible] prior to the grant being issued.
I would like to add one thing to the question before, the last part, does the tiger award impact a -- it does not collectively, however you have a tough case to make if you have not [indiscernible] why you should get additional funding.
When do projects have to be completed? you there's
There's no completion date, but you have to have them obligated by September 30, 2012.
[indiscernible] no longer applies.
I think there is a statutory expiration date for these funds, several years out, I don't remember exactly.
We can check and post an answer.
I would point out that job creation is a very important criteria. While there's not a statutory deadline, if it's not clear when the funds will be expended it will not be as competitive.
It's 2:30. Unfortunately, I know a lot of questions are not addressed, but we will have to close out for today.
Hold on one moment.
Actually, I am going to let you address that. Some people did ask what was going to happen with these question and answers, they will be posted to the web address showing on the screen right now?
That's light. We will post them, along with the questions and answers. And in addition, we will be collecting questions from a number of different sources right now. We will be putting the questions together and trying,
throughout the summer as we lead up to the application deadline date, post on a regular basis frequently asked questions and responses.
So, I would encourage everybody to monitor that website for additional clarifications, responses to questions.
Okay. We will get the rest of the questions included that haven't been addressed. And [indiscernible] if you think of additional questions you can send them there. But we are going to close out for today.
Thank you, everybody, thank you to our presenters. There is a Webinar on June 15, also at 1:00 adjourn on planning grants. You can sign up on the Talking Freight website.
I will bring the slide up with that, web address. I encourage everybody to attend that one. Thank you, everybody. Enjoy the rest of your day.