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MAP-21 - Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century

Home / MAP-21 / Fact Sheets / Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)

This MAP-21 fact sheet has been superseded by a FAST Act fact sheet.

Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)

Year 2013 2014
Authorization $ 809 M $ 820 M

Program purpose

MAP-21 establishes a new program to provide for a variety of alternative transportation projects, including many that were previously eligible activities under separately funded programs. The TAP replaces the funding from pre-MAP-21 programs including Transportation Enhancements, Recreational Trails, and Safe Routes to School, wrapping them into a single funding source.

Statutory citation(s): MAP-21 §1122; 23 USC 101, 206, 213; SAFETEA-LU §1404.

Funding features

The TAP is funded by contract authority from the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund. Funds are subject to the overall Federal-aid obligation limitation.

An amount equal to 2% of the total amount authorized from the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund for Federal-aid highways each fiscal year (FY) is to be reserved for the TAP. [23 USC 213(a)]



Fifty percent of a State's TAP apportionment (after deducting the set-aside for the RTP, if applicable) is suballocated to areas based on their relative share of the total State population, with the remaining 50percent available for use in any area of the State. The suballocation is made in the same manner as for STP funds. [23 USC 213(c)] [See the Qs & As on Suballocation of Apportioned Funds for additional detail.]

Transfer of funds

A State may transfer up to 50% of its TAP funds to NHPP, STP, HSIP, CMAQ, and/or Metropolitan Planning. The amount transferred must come from the portion of TAP funds available for use anywhere in the State (no transfers of suballocated TAP funds, or funds set aside for the RTP). [§1509; 23 USC 126]

Federal share: The Federal share for most projects is determined in accordance with 23 USC 120. Federal share for projects funded from funds set aside for the RTP are determined in accordance with 23 USC 206(f).

Eligible activities

Funds may be used for projects or activities that are related to surface transportation and described in the definition of "Transportation Alternatives." [23 USC 101(a)(29)]

In addition to defined Transportation Alternatives (as described above), the following projects or activities are eligible:

Workforce development, training, and education activities are also eligible uses of TAP funds. [§52004; 23 USC 504(e)]

Program features

Selection of projects

Eligible project sponsors

Under 23 USC 213(c)(4)(B), the eligible entities to receive TAP funds are:

Under TAP, nonprofits are not eligible as direct grant recipients of the funds. Nonprofits are eligible to partner with any eligible entity on an eligible TAP project, if State or local requirements permit.

Treatment of projects

Projects funded under the TAP (excluding projects funded under the RTP set-aside) shall be treated as projects on a Federal-aid highway. [23 USC 213(e)]

Youth conservation corps

States and regional transportation planning agencies are encouraged to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with qualified youth service or conservation corps to perform appropriate projects. Such contracts and cooperative agreements are exempt from some Federal-aid highway program contracting requirements. [§1524]

Recreational Trails Program

To provide for the continuation of recreational trails projects, MAP-21 requires each State to set aside a portion of its TAP funds for projects relating to recreational trails under 23 USC 206. [23 USC 213(f)-(g)]

Safe Routes to School (SRTS)


Page last modified on August 25, 2014
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000