In 2013, an average of 55 million tons of freight per day moved through the US transportation system, with a value of more than $49.3 billion. Safe, reliable infrastructure is vital to keep the country operating smoothly. So vital, in fact, that the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act was signed into law in December 2015 to improve mobility on our highways, create jobs and economic growth and promote innovation in transportation. FASTLANE grants are a direct result of the FAST Act. According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, “FASTLANE grants give us an opportunity to identify and invest strategically in those projects that are critical to keeping our nation’s economic engine running.”Read More
Smart Growth America is a national coalition of planners, economic developers, environmentalists and other urban thought leaders that work to create the kind of neighborhoods we all want to live in. Neighborhoods that are safe, affordable, walkable, bikeable, economically viable and environmentally sustainable. Neighborhoods that benefit all their residents, not just the advantaged few. A necessary ingredient in achieving all of these characteristics is efficiently planned, accessible transportation.Read More
Part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration is responsible for the safe and organized movement of people and goods across the country. As the agency points out; however, funding has not always kept pace with usage. Rail infrastructure, stations, and equipment are often in need of upgrades and repairs. Compounding this problem, freight shipments are forecasted to increase by 45 percent by 2045. In an effort to help ensure the needed renovations are made, $25 million was allocated for the FY2016 Railroad Safety Infrastructure Improvements Grant Program.Read More
Every day, 73 percent of us go online. The White House’s Broadband Opportunity Council now calls internet access a core utility, infrastructure as necessary as water, sewers, and electricity. Yet the digital divide between rural and urban areas still exists: 53 percent of rural Americans, some 22 million people, lack access to broadband. On Tribal lands, the statistics are 63 percent, or 2.5 million people.Read More
If you're a civil engineer, mayor, or transportation department administrator, you probably know it's the 3rd annual Infrastructure Week (May 11-15). The theme of the week has perennially centered on the funding gaps between funding needs and actual levels, and the impact our investments have on our economic future. But what can we do with this information? We can arm ourselves with it, call on Congress to make long-term funding commitments, and explore programs and partnership possibilities.Read More
Reliable infrastructure is a key component of a flourishing economy. The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program is built on this idea. Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) announced awards for the sixth round of the ever-popular TIGER Discretionary Grant program, which will fund 72 projects from 46 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. The Department received 797 eligible applications from 49 states during this round, up from the 585 applications received in 2013. Overall, applicants requested $9 billion for transportation projects—15 times the $600 million available for the program, said officials in a press release. You can read about the awardees and projects here; a sample of the projects, taken from the fact sheet, are below:
Last Wednesday in St. Paul, Minnesota, President Obama called for a four-year, $302 billion transportation bill to repair the nation’s aging roads and bridges. During his speech, the president also unveiled the sixth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, whose total funding is $600 million—a $126 million increase from last year and the second-highest funding level since the program began in 2009, when it was funded as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Since it began, TIGER has disbursed $3.5 billion to 270 projects across the United States. Adding this year's funding will make that figure $4.1 billion.
I recently met with a local foundation currently redesigning their community programs to include capacity building grants (also known as organizational effectiveness grants) to enhance the overall effectiveness of area nonprofits. The funder’s goal is to invest in the mission of local nonprofits to help ensure successful delivery of services to local communities and long-term sustainability of organizations. Through capacity building grants, the foundation is leveraging the impact of their philanthropic resources.