By Anthony Foxx
I am proud to announce that DOT's TIGER is back. In this latest round of our Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery competitive grant program, 52 transportation projects in 37 states will receive a total of $474 million.
The projects TIGER supports ensure a stronger transportation system for future generations by repairing existing roads, bridges, rail, and transit; connecting people to new jobs and opportunities; and contributing to our nation's economic growth. These projects are the best argument for increased investment in America's transportation infrastructure.
It's been more than four years since the Recovery Act created TIGER, and in that short amount of time, this program has been making noise from coast to coast:
- Improving and repairing critical roads and bridges;
- Relieving freight choke points;
- Providing transit that links people to opportunity; and
- Creating safe transportation options for cyclists and pedestrians.
Most importantly, TIGER has helped get innovative, multimodal projects off the ground that would otherwise struggle to find support from traditional funding sources.
These are projects that truly have the power to transform communities. They will create good jobs today and build the foundation for a stronger economy tomorrow.
This is about more than just transportation. It's about improving the safety of aging infrastructure, and it's about improving mobility--speeding up someone's commute with a more reliable, convenient transit option so parents can spend more time with their families. It's about a stronger economic punch--connecting people to opportunity and helping America's businesses grow. It's about enhancing the quality-of-life across this nation.
Through all five rounds, TIGER has provided more than $3.6 billion to 270 projects in all fifty states. But that's just a drop in the bucket compared to the demand that's out there. For this one round of funding, we received 585 applications requesting more than $9 billion.
What does this tell us? Every state --every community-- in this nation has a to-do list. Right where you live, there are bridges in need of repair, roads that need work. There are new ideas for old problems that need a boost.
The projects we're supporting today represent the kind of work we should be doing more of across the country.
And that's a message the House and Senate need to hear loud and clear as they get back from their summer recess. The President has laid out his plan. Now, we need Congress to act.
Every day we wait to invest in our future is a day we're not doing right by our commuters and business owners, and by our kids and grandkids. President Obama and this Department stand ready to work with Congress to get this done.