The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has awarded $46 million through three grant programs supporting multimodal transportation projects across the state. The funding comes through a combination of state and federal grants from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), IMPROVE Transit Investment Grant program and the Multimodal Access Grant (MMAG) program.
TAP is a federal initiative that provides support for local transportation projects that improve pedestrian and biking facilities, enhance viewing areas, preserve historic facilities, landscape areas and undertake other non-traditional projects. Recently, TDOT granted $15.2 million from TAP to seven Tennessee communities for 2024. The funds will be used to improve sidewalks, revitalize downtown areas and restore community spaces.
TDOT has awarded over $400 million in grants through TAP since 1991. In 2023, TAP allocated $19.9 million to 20 communities to improve pedestrian and biking trails, green spaces and depots. Application cycles occur once a year, starting Aug. 1 and running through the first Friday in October.
The IMPROVE Transit Grant program is a state-funded program that enables transit agencies to build facilities and expand transit options to reduce congestion, improve ridership and increase safety. TDOT awarded $18.8 million to 10 transit agencies to buy replacement vehicles and equipment, improve transit infrastructure and build transit facilities.
The Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) was awarded $7.5 million, representing the largest allocation of funds from the IMPROVE Transit Grant program. Nashville MTA will use $5 million to design and build bus stops on the city’s High Injury Network. The funding covers easements, property acquisitions and extensive civil construction. The remaining $2.5 million will go to the Hickory Hollow Transit Center, a project to convert the area’s former mall into a transit center and mobility hub.
TDOT has provided almost $88 million through the IMPROVE Transit Grant program since 2018, funding nearly 100 capital transit projects. In 2023, TDOT allocated $20.6 million to 12 projects to improve ADA compliance, buy and rehabilitate electric buses, develop transit centers and improve pedestrian infrastructure safety.
MMAG is a state program that funds infrastructure projects that support pedestrian, bicyclist and transit user transportation needs along state routes. TDOT awarded $12.53 million for 12 projects. These projects will improve pedestrian infrastructure, lighting and ADA compliance while also establishing multi-use paths, building “complete streets” and implementing intersection signalization.
The MMAG awarded $26.6 million to 27 local transportation projects in 2022. The next application cycle is expected to open in spring 2024.
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Photo by Michael Rivera