Senators Cantwell, Murray Send Bipartisan Letter in Support of Strong Investments in TIGER Program in Fiscal Year 2018
Senators urged Chairman Collins and Ranking Member Reed to reject President Trump’s proposal to eliminate TIGER funding from budget
Senators also urged support for public transportation projects throughout Washington state through the Capitol Investment Grant program
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patty Murray (D-WA) and 40 of their Senate colleagues sent a bipartisan letter to Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Chairman Susan Collins and Ranking Member Jack Reed, urging them to include robust funding for the National Infrastructure Investments program, also known as TIGER, in Fiscal Year 2018. They noted the difference TIGER has made in their states, and its success providing flexibility for state and local agencies to work with partners to tackle complex transportation and economic development challenges in their communities
“TIGER is a unique, cost-effective, and competitive program that uses outcome oriented selection criteria and leverages private, state, and local investment to solve complex multimodal transportation and economic development challenges…We have all seen firsthand the difference TIGER can make in our states,” the members wrote.
Since Sen. Murray created the TIGER program in 2009, it has awarded $5.1 billion to help facilitate 421 multimodal projects in every state in the nation, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. Of that total, Washington state has received $239 million to support 16 projects. These include the Tacoma LINK Expansion, a new ferry terminal in Mukilteo, the North Spokane Corridor, the Mercer Corridor Redevelopment project in Seattle, the South Park Bridge Replacement in King County, the West Vancouver Freight Access project at the Port of Vancouver, improvements to I-5 to relieve congestion around Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and terminal modernization projects at the Ports of Seattle and Everett.
Senators Murray and Cantwell also called on Chairman Collins and Ranking Member Reed to continue funding the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program, which supports public transportation projects in communities across the United States. With transit ridership in the United States at its highest level in five decades, the senators warned that failing to fund the grant program will result in greater traffic congestion, fewer jobs, and wasted economic potential. Eliminating this grant program could put nearly 60 projects in the current pipeline from 19 states at risk – including up to 7 projects in Washington state. The letter sent with 31 of their colleagues can be found here.
The full text of the TIGER letter can be found below:
Dear Chairman Collins and Ranking Member Reed:
As the Subcommittee begins its consideration of the Fiscal Year 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, we write in support of the National Infrastructure Investments program (TIGER) and urge the inclusion of robust funding for this effective program. We have long supported investments that tackle the complex multimodal transportation needs of our communities through the TIGER program, and we are disappointed that the program was eliminated in the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Blueprint.
Since its creation in 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded $5.1 billion to 421 innovative, multimodal projects in every state in the nation, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. Of these, more than 140 projects supported rural and tribal communities. As a result, critical investments have been made in road, rail, transit, and port projects of regional and national significance.
Each year the demand for TIGER far exceeds the amount of funding available. In 2016, DOT received 585 applications from all 50 states requesting $9.3 billion in funding for the eighth round of the program. This amounted to almost 20 times more than the $500 million included in the Fiscal Year 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 114-113). Over the life of the program, DOT has received more than 7,300 applications for more than $165 billion in transportation projects throughout the country, which clearly demonstrates the need for continued investment in the TIGER program.
TIGER is a unique, cost-effective, and competitive program that uses outcome oriented selection criteria and leverages private, state, and local investment to solve complex multimodal transportation and economic development challenges. For every federal dollar invested, an average of two non-federal dollars goes into a TIGER project. In 2016, the $500 million included in the Fiscal Year 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act supported $1.74 billion in overall transportation investments.
This program serves as an important complement to DOT’s formula-based programs, providing flexibility for state and local agencies to work with partners to achieve creative transportation solutions. We have all seen firsthand the difference TIGER can make in our states.
Thank you for your consideration of this critical program, which puts people to work, boosts regional economies, and improves our nation’s infrastructure.
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