MAP-21 created the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) that provides 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 improved mobility, community improvement activities, and environmental remediation; recreational trail program projects; and federally funded safe routes to school projects.
WSDOT allocates (pdf 48 kb) TAP funds to the Regional Transportation Planning Organizations (RTPO’s) for prioritizing and selecting projects that align with their regional priorities involving all entities eligible to participate in a public process. The TAP program is not a significant amount of funding. The local and regional efforts placed in these competitive processes statewide continue to improve transportation facilities in both urban and rural settings that are specific to the nature of the respective area. In addition, WSDOT sets delivery targets (pdf 71 kb) for each MPO and county lead agency. Due to the diversity throughout the state, the cooperation and consultation with the MPOs, RTPOs, county lead agencies, and WSDOT, the WA TAP program continues to be successful.
TAP funds are split – 50% is sub-allocated based on population (based on 2010 Census - pdf 244 kb) as follows:
- Areas Over 200,000 population (urbanized) – the funds are distributed to Benton Franklin Council of Governments (BFCG), Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC) and Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC), based on the MPOs respective levels of urbanized population per the 2010 census. Project selections are made by the MPOs in consultation with the State. These funds may be used anywhere within the planning area boundary of the MPO.
- Areas between 5,000 population and 200,000 population (urban) – the funds are distributed to RTPOs based upon the 2010 census for areas of this size. These funds can only be used in areas encompassed by adjusted urban or urbanized area boundaries. Need to ensure that these funds are not used in any rural areas, regardless of whether they may be within an MPO’s planning area.
- Areas Less than 5,000 population (rural) – the funds are distributed to RTPOs based upon the 2010 census for the rural population areas of the state. These rural funds may be used anywhere that is outside of an adjusted urban or urbanized area boundaries. These funds can be used in rural areas including those encompassed by an MPO’s planning area. MAP-21 maintains the abilities for localities to utilize up to 15 percent of the amount reserved for rural areas for rural minor collector improvements.
The remaining 50% includes:
- Set-aside for Recreational Trails (WA - ~$1.9 million) for additional details on this program contact: http://www.rco.wa.gov/grants/rtp.shtml
- Priority Safe Routes to School Program - $2.4 million selected through WSDOT (per Steering Committee - pdf 244 kb)
- Remainder provided to the RTPO for anywhere in their area.
Eligible project sponsors include:
- Local governments;
- Regional transportation authorities;
- Transit agencies;
- Natural resource or public land agencies;
- School districts, local education agencies, or schools;
- Tribal governments; and
- Any other local or regional governmental entity with responsibility for oversight of transportation or recreational trails that the State determines to be eligible.
WSDOT and non-profits are no longer eligible sponsors.
For details specific to your area, contact your MPO/RTPO/County (pdf 107 kb) lead agency. Further details on the TAP program are available at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/or http://ta-clearinghouse.info/index