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Program Brief

FHWA Contact: Christopher B Douwes, Community Planner; 202-366-5013

Transportation Alternatives:

The Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set-Aside authorizes funding for programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives, including on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility, community improvement activities such as historic preservation and vegetation management, and environmental mitigation related to stormwater and habitat connectivity; recreational trail projects; safe routes to school projects; and projects for planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former divided highways. Projects eligible under the TA Set-Aside also are eligible under the Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) program.

Eligible Projects

TA Set-Aside funds may be obligated for projects or activities described in 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29) or 213, as such provisions were in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the FAST Act. See TAP Eligible Projects Legislation as in effect prior to enactment of the FAST Act.

Former 23 U.S.C. 213(b)(1):

  1. Transportation Alternatives as defined in section 101 [former 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29)]:
    The term “transportation alternatives” means any of the following activities when carried out as part of any program or project authorized or funded under this title, or as an independent program or project related to surface transportation:
    1. Construction, planning, and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other nonmotorized forms of transportation, including sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle signals, traffic calming techniques, lighting and other safety-related infrastructure, and transportation projects to achieve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
    2. Construction, planning, and design of infrastructure-related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non-drivers, including children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs.
    3. Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other nonmotorized transportation users.
    4. Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.
    5. Community improvement activities, which include but are not limited to:
      1. inventory, control, or removal of outdoor advertising;
      2. historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities;
      3. vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species, and provide erosion control; and
      4. archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of a transportation project eligible under title 23.
    6. Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to:
      1. address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff, including activities described in sections 23 U.S.C. 133(b)(3) [as amended under the FAST Act], 328(a), and 329 of title 23; or
      2. reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats (Former 23 U.S.C. 213(b)(2)-(4)).
  2. The recreational trails program under 23 U.S.C. 206 of title 23. See the Recreational Trails Program section.
  3. The safe routes to school program eligible projects and activities listed at section 1404(f) of the SAFETEA-LU:
    • Infrastructure-related projects.
    • Noninfrastructure-related activities.
    • SRTS coordinator. SAFETEA-LU section 1404(f)(2)(A) lists "managers of safe routes to school programs" as eligible under the noninfrastructure projects.
  4. Planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways.

FHWA encourages States and regional transportation planning agencies to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with qualified youth conservation or service corps. See Youth Corps Questions and Answers.


This page links to other related resources and interest organizations.

Updated: 1/31/2017
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