By Charles Pekow — More than twice as much money for Transportation Alternatives (TA) will become available under the new surface transportation law. But the law is changing too in ways that make it more likely that bicycle programs will get a fairer share. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued some guidance for states to implement the law.
The new law gradually increases TA funding from $850 million in Fiscal Year 2021 to about $1.38 billion in FY 2022, up to nearly $1.5 billion by FY 2025, which states can use for a variety of projects such as building bicycle facilities, Safe Routes to School (SRS), and safety assessments.
The new law also requires states to get federal permission before they transfer money from TA to other highway programs. FHWA's guidance gives states permission to use the funds to administer the program and provide technical assistance to localities in applying for and using the money. States may also use the funds to pay a statewide SRS coordinator. States may not, however, use TA money to pay a state bicycle or pedestrian coordinator, though they may fund such positions with other Surface Transportation Block Grant or Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality (CMAQ) money.
States may use CMAQ grants for bike and scooter sharing programs and for non-construction bike safety activities.