Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set-Aside Program 

The Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside is a federal program that offers funding opportunities to expand transportation choices and enhance the transportation experience.  Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside projects are intended to build pedestrian and bicycle facilities, improve access to public transportation, create safe routes to school, preserve historic transportation structures, provide environmental mitigation, create trails projects that serve a transportation purpose, while promoting safety and mobility.  Currently, there are eleven (11) general project categories that are eligible for Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside funding.

The eligible applicants for Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside funding program 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.  Nonprofit organizations that oversee the administration of local transportation safety programs are now eligible project sponsors.  All other non-profits remain ineligible, however, they may partner with an eligible entity as the project sponsor.

Construction projects must have a construction cost of at least $50,000, but may not exceed $1 million unless the project is of exceptional regional or statewide significance.  Criteria for project selection include readiness for implementation, safety, consistency with local regional plans, collaboration with stakeholders, statewide or regional significance and ability to deliver the project by August 31, 2020.  Please be advised that this is NOT a grant program; it is a cost reimbursement program administered by PennDOT.  All pre-construction costs including preliminary engineering, construction specifications, environmental clearance and right-of-way and utility clearance must be borne by the project sponsor.

PennDOT is current accepting applications under the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program.  The application deadline is September 22, 2017. The Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Application form, Program Guidance, and additional information are available on PennDOT’s website at the following page: 

As part of the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside application process, the project sponsor must meet with staff from their Planning Partner and their PennDOT District to discuss the project.  To initiate the process, project sponsors should contact NEPA staff and PennDOT District staff before developing and submitting an application.  Sponsors are strongly encouraged to contact NEPA and PennDOT District early in the process to allow adequate time to coordinate an acceptable meeting time.

If you have any questions regarding the Transportation Alternatives Program, please contact Kate McMahon, Senior Transportation Services Manager, at (570) 655-5581.

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