Its Role in Recovery
On Tuesday, February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law an economic recovery package that contains $800 million in funding for Transportation Enhancements (TE). While representing less than two percent of transportation funding in the bill, this investment could create tens of thousands of jobs and critical active transportation connections that communities need.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy will be following the progress of projects throughout the country that would not have been possible without this injection of new TE funding. Read on to learn more about, active transportation, and how trails, walking and biking can mean immediate jobs for more Americans—plus create long-term economic, health, transportation and climate benefits for all.
NEW: The Federal Highway Administration recently posted a Frequently Asked Questions page that provides guidance on the stipulation that 50 percent of recovery funds be spent within 120 days, or else be redistributed to other states. RTC sent out an e-mail to provide further clarification on this 120-day clock as it relates to Transportation Enhancements (TE) and bicycle/pedestrian funding.
Breakdown of TE Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
How much funding is there for TE?
In the recovery act, funding for TE projects received $800 million—or less than two percent—of total transportation funds. While TE is the largest specific funding source for trails, biking and walking projects in the legislation, there are other opportunities such as: creating a Safe Routes to School program to help a school meet green building standards, or building bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure in support of the Energy Efficiency and Block Grant Program.
How will TE funding be divided among the states?
To see the breakdown of recovery funding for TE, click here.
How quickly must TE funds be obligated?
There is a time limit on obligation of these recovery TE funds. The clock starts when the federal government apportions TE funds to the state, which must occur by March 10, 2009. States must obligate 50 percent of the recovery TE funds within 120 days, and 100 percent within one year, or risk losing the funding to states that have complied with this obligation timeline.
How will TE funding be allocated within the state?
Each state DOT has a TE coordinator who reviews applications for TE-funded projects. TE projects with the best chance of receiving TE funds from the economic recovery package will likely be those that have already been submitted through the regular TE application process and have been postponed or rejected for lack of funding. This anticipated reasoning reflects the nature of the recovery package—to fund projects that are "shovel-ready" and can contribute to immediate job creation.
Each state's allocation process varies. Contact your state TE coordinator for state-specific guidance on TE projects and funding.
Does TE funding in the recovery act require matching funds?
Unlike TE funds in SAFETEA-LU, the federal government does not require a match for TE funds provided by the recovery act. However, states may still require a match to spend recovery funds.