The Department of Transportation has awarded freight or freight-related projects $275 million, or 56 percent of the nearly $500 million in federal grants in the latest round of the "Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery" program (TIGER), a freight advocacy group said today.
The percentage of TIGER money awarded to freight or freight-related projects was a record in the nine-year history of the program, which was launched during the Great Recession. The previous record of 53 percent was set in October 2010. There have been nine rounds of funding since the program began.
"Investment in goods movement infrastructure is an economic multiplier," said Coalition for America's Gateways & Trade Corridors (CAGTC) Chairman Tim Lovain, in a statement. "The multimodal freight network directly supports 44 million U.S. jobs and the indirect benefits extend to every corner of our national economy." CAGTC is a private-public sector coalition that lobbies for greater funding for intermodal freight projects.
The TIGER program relies on a "competitive grant" formula that targets projects of national or regional significance that often cross jurisdictional boundaries and transport modes. By contrast, the traditional federal funding formula spreads money evenly throughout the country.
Freight projects have garnered about 44 percent of the $5.6 billion in awarded funds since the TIGER program began.