Transportation Alternatives Data Exchange
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) 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.
Courtesy Seattle DOT CC by 2.0
Communities across America have access to Transportation Alternatives (TA) funds from the federal government to expand travel choice, strengthen the local economy, improve the quality of life, and protect the environment. Since the inception of Transportation Enhancements in 1991, renamed Transportation Alternatives in 2012, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) has monitored how these dedicated funds have been invested in order to help stakeholders at the federal, state, and local level better understand and implement this program. From 1996 to 2013, TrADE operated as the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse, as a partnership between RTC and the Federal Highway Administration.
The Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside (TASA) was established by Congress in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015, replacing MAP-21's Transportation Alternative Program (TAP). TAP was preceded by Transportation Enhancements under ISTEA (funded 1992 – 2004) and SAFETEA-LU (2005 – 2012).
Federal information related to TA is accessible through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) TA website.
Detailed tracking of the Recreational Trails Program can be found at the Recreational Trails Program Database.
Transportation Alternatives BASICS
Learn about history, eligibility, funding and application tips.TA BASICS
A list of historical Transportation Enhancements (TE) projects dating back to the creation of TE activities in 1992 will be available in October 2020.
The Transportation Alternatives program was created and funded through federal transportation legislation. It is administered by the Federal Highway Administration, but implemented by the states.
States have flexibility in how the Transportation Alternatives program is administered. In particular, the Transportation Alternatives program combines three previously separate sources of transportation funding: Transportation Enhancements, the Recreational Trails Program, and Safe Routes to School. As states move forward with implementing the new Transportation Alternatives program, policies will vary from state to state regarding the arrangement of previous state policies concerning these antecedents.
STATE PROGRAM SEARCH
State program funding history and past projects will be available in October 2020.
Key findings of our FY 2019 report:
- 98% of TASA funds obligated in the last five years were used to fund trails, walking and biking
- Obligation rates reached 103.7% of available funds, or $795 million; states actively obligated remaining available funds from previous years
- 91% of TE/TA/TASA funds were reimbursed
- Approximately 30% of the total FY 2019 TA apportionment, or $241 million, was lost through lapsing and transfers
RTC has compiled a variety of free publications to help you understand Transportation Alternatives.
This document demystifies the complex processes of the Federal-aid Highway Program and provides an introductory lesson on the terms, key functions and workings of the program.
This document summarizes the changes made to the former Transportation Enhancement activities as the Transportation Alternatives Program under MAP-21.
This document highlights a vegetation management project in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. A large donation, the use of volunteer labor and community support make this an ideal project!
For state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations administering competitive programs to distribute Transportation Alternatives funds, developing a program manual can help articulate the history, structure, goals, eligibilities, implementation process, and common challenges of the program for potential project sponsors.
Transportation Alternatives (TA) refers to the 10 eligible definitions, which are a recasting of the former Transportation Enhancements program. The term Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is an umbrella term used to refer to the total reservation of funding for the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) and Recreational Trails (RTP) programs which have been consolidated into one funding source with the 10 eligible TA activities.
This document enumerates the eligible uses for each of the programs contained within the Transportation Alternatives Program reservation of funding.
This document provides an overview of changes made to funding of Transportation Enhancements activities and the Safe Routes to School and Recreational Trails programs from SAFETEA-LU to the new Transportation Alternatives Program structure of MAP-21.
Have questions about data, reports or projects?
Contact Mary Ellen Koontz, RTC's Manager of Trail Resources, below.CONTACT US