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Transportation Alternatives (TA)

Cherry Creek Regional Trail | Photo by TrailLink user angiedickson

The Transportation Alternatives (TA) program is the nation’s largest dedicated source of funding for trail and active transportation projects. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) allocates funding to states where state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations administer their own competitive process and deal directly with applicants.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law authorizes nearly 70% more money for the legacy Transportation Alternatives Program (which includes the Recreational Trails Program) from $850 million to an average of $1.44 billion per year. This vital funding is less likely to be diverted to unrelated purposes as the new law constrains such transfers. In addition, the law allows states to use up to 5% of available funds for technical assistance to administer grants and assist local governments in applying.

Related: New Guidance for Transportation Alternatives: Transformative Funding for Trails, Walking and Biking

View interactive Transportation Alternatives map | Courtesy RTC
View interactive Transportation Alternatives map | Courtesy RTC

Quick Facts:

  • Administered By: FHWA allocates funding to states, and state DOTs and MPOs administer the program.
  • Type: Formula funding
  • Year Created: 1992 as Transportation Enhancements
  • Also Known As: Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside (TASA) (2018 – present), Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) (2013 – 2017), Transportation Enhancements (TE) (1992- 2012)


The following are eligible project sponsors or applicants:

The following project types are eligible for funding:

Transportation Alternatives Data Exchange (TrADE)

RTC’s Transportation Alternatives Data Exchange (TrADE) is the nation’s go-to transportation funding data source for trails and active transportation, tracking TA spending for tens of thousands of projects. Wisconsin’s Oak Leaf Trail | Photo by Front Room Media

Explore TrADE


Transportation Alternatives Stories

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