The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) was established by Congress in 2012 under MAP-21. The FAST Act in 2015, replaced the TAP program with a set-aside of funds under the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG) funded through a proportional set-aside of the core Federal-aid Highway Program. The Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside (TA Set-Aside) program provides federal funds for community based “non-traditional” surface transportation projects designed to strengthen the cultural, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of the nation’s intermodal system. TA Set-Aside projects must relate to surface transportation.
This program is being administered by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), in partnership with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO).
All applications for TA Set-Aside are to be submitted online through SAGE (System for Administering Grants Electronically).
A committee is charged with applying the selection criteria and preparing the recommended list of projects for approval by the Commissioner of Transportation. Solicitation packages are sent to every municipality and county inviting them to submit an application. Nonprofit organizations will not be directly eligible to apply for this solicitation. However, nonprofit organizations may partner with a local public agency that will assume responsibility and administration for the grant.
For this solicitation, eligible projects must fall into one of the following seven categories:
- Design and construction of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized forms of transportation.
- Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized transportation users.
- Construction of scenic turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.
- Historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities both land and water such as building structures and canals.
- Community improvement activities, specifically: streetscaping and corridor landscaping.
- Environmental mitigation to address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff.
- Reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats.
In addition to the traditional grant criteria, for this solicitation, consideration will be given to applications that provide additional benefits to vulnerable members of our communities, including low-income residents, minorities, those with limited English proficiency, persons with disabilities, children and older adults. Census data for these categories will be used to determine if a project meets the equity criteria. Click here for more information on TA Set-Aside Equity criteria and tools.
Design Assistance (2020)
NJDOT is pleased to announce the TA Set-Aside Design Assistance Program (pdf 2.1m). This pilot program makes available consultant engineering services to assist Local Public Agencies (LPA’s) with the development of plans, specifications, and estimates (PS&E) for their TA Set-Aside projects. Recipients of NJDOT’s 2020 TA Set-Aside grants are eligible to participate in the program. The program was developed by NJDOT as part of the FHWA’s Every Day Counts initiative and is intended to shorten time, reduce costs, and improve quality in the delivery of NJDOT TA Set-Aside projects.
NJDOT will select a pool of engineering design consultants for each solicitation through a quality based selection process. This pool can aid LPAs in the project delivery process by reducing the time required to procure professional services, ensure the consultant selection process is compliant with federal Brooks Act requirements, and provides the LPA with NJDOT prequalified, cost basis approved designers to aid in the development of PS&E submissions for their eligible TA Set-Aside project. Information is available for the four firms in the consultant pool:
2020 Consultant Pool. Total costs and fees shall not exceed $430,000:
Some highlights of the TA Set-Aside Design Assistance Program are:
- Participation in the TAP Design Assistance Program is at the sole discretion of the LPA.
- Recipients of 2020 TA Set-Aside grants are eligible to participate in the program.
- NJDOT will participate in eligible design costs if an LPA elects to participate in the program.
- The TA Set-Aside Design Assistance Program is a reimbursement program.
- Costs and fees for the work to be performed will be negotiated by the LPA with the firm of their choice.
- Contracts for the work to be performed will be between the LPA and the firm. All federal requirements apply.
Please contact NJDOT’s Local Aid and Economic Development if you are an eligible TA Set-Aside recipient interested in the TA Set-Aside Design Assistance Program. Questions regarding the Design Assistance Program may be directed to (609) 963-2021.
- Eve Chamberlain - Manager, Capital Programming
- Aimee Jefferson - Principal Planner, Project Manager
- Sascha Frimpong - Director of Local Programs
- John Coscia, Jr - Manager, Office of Project Implementation
- Kwan Hui - Manager, New Jersey Capital Programs
- Alan J. Huff - Program Manager, Safety Initiatives & Public Outreach
- Applying for Federal Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program Funds Webinar
- 2020 TA Set-Aside Handbook
- 2020 TA Set-Aside Training Presentation
- MPO/Local Aid Contact Information
- 2020 TA Set-Aside Grant Strategies and Tips
- Federal Grant Process Flow Chart
- TA Set-Aside Sample Resolution
- 2020 TA Set-Aside Blank SAGE Application
- 2020 Estimating Costs for Typical Improvements