The Trump Administration has decided to change the popular ‘FASTLanes’ grant program. FASTLANE is a $800 million annual discretionary program aimed at making freight improvements. In June, the USDOT announced that it was reshaping the FASTLanes discretionary grant program. The first change is that the program will now be called ‘Infra’. Nationally significant freight projects will continue to be the main focus of Infra, however, a new aspect of the INFRA program is a focus on leveraging private and local resources.
The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) published in the Federal Register on June 29 states that approximately $1.5 billion available to projects. This includes funding for both FY 17 and FY 18. This comes as a disappointment to many as the Obama Administration had released a NOFO in December of 2016 for FY 2017 funds. Instead of awarding those funds, the current NOFO says that organizations submitting responses must resubmit. The NOFO did indicate that some smaller grants would be awarded from the 2016 competition. A specific date as to when those grants would be announced has not been made, but all indications are that they would be coming soon.
Leveraging additional local and private resources has been a cornerstone of the Trump administration’s transportation policy. It will be interesting to see if other grant programs also require additional investment.
The deadline for submissions is November 5th, 2017.