Open main menu

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery

Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD), previously called Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER), is a supplementary discretionary grant program included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The legislation provided $1.5 billion for a National Surface Transportation System through September 30, 2011, "to be awarded on a competitive basis for capital investments in surface transportation projects".[1]


The U.S. government designed TIGER grants in order to incentivize bettering environmental problems and reducing the United States' dependence on energy. On the economic front, the United States hopes infrastructure investment will encourage job creation, a pressing political priority; this would likely require the project to be shovel-ready.

Eligible applicantsEdit

Applicants eligible to receive funding for surface transportation projects include:


Qualified projects should result in "desirable, long-term outcomes" for the United States, a state within, or a regional or metropolitan area. According to Title 23 of the United States Code, eligible projects could include improvements to interstate highways, reworking of interchanges, bridge replacements, earthquake-related improvements, relocating roads, upgrading rural collector roads, certain transit projects, passenger and freight rail transportation projects, and port infrastructure. Selected projects might improve the economy of the entire country, transportation safety, and quality of life for communities.

Funding historyEdit

TIGER I (2009)Edit

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced the TIGER discretionary grants program on February 4, 2009. Lana T. Hurdle, deputy assistant secretary for budget and programs, and Joel Szabat, deputy assistant secretary for transportation policy, co-chaired the team responsible for selecting projects and monitoring spending.[2] Out of nearly 1,400 applications who collectively submitted $60 billion in applications, the Department of Transportation was only able to award $1.5 billion in TIGER grant funds to a just 3% of applicants—51 innovative projects.[3][4]

TIGER II (2010)Edit

The U.S. Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for 2010 made $600 million available for transportation infrastructure investment.[5]

TIGER III (2011)Edit

On June 30, 2011, Secretary LaHood announced that nearly $527 million would go towards the third round of TIGER fund disbursal. On December 15, 2011, that $511 million from the TIGER grant program would fund 46 transportation projects in 33 states and Puerto Rico.[6]

TIGER IV (2012)Edit

The fourth round of TIGER funding—close to $500 million—went to 47 transportation projects in 34 states and the District of Columbia.[7] For fiscal year 2012, Democratic districts won projects that concern ports, multimodal transport, and freight rail transport; receiving 24% of total funds, rural areas also performed strongly.

TIGER 2013Edit

Although federal funding no longer referred to the funding allocations as TIGER grants, the US DOT continued to allocate these funds according to the same formula and continued to use the TIGER name.[8] In 2013, 51 projects received TIGER funds, totaling approximately $458.3 million.[9]

TIGER 2014Edit

In 2014, the US Congress appropriated $600 million for TIGER funds. The US DOT received 797 applications requesting more than $9.5 billion. Seventy-two capital and planning projects in 46 states and the District of Columbia were selected for funding that totaled more than $584 million.[10]

TIGER 2015Edit

The seventh round of TIGER grants generated 625 applications requesting $9.8 billion worth of projects; of those projects, 60 were road projects, 18 percent were transit projects, and eight percent were rail projects, and port and bicycle and pedestrian projects made up six percent of the total.[10]


  1. ^ "DOT Information Related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act)". Retrieved January 13, 2010.
  2. ^ "Federal City Digest". Washington Post. February 5, 2009. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
  3. ^ "Recovery Act Discretionary (TIGER) Grants". U.S. Department of Transportation. March 13, 2009. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  4. ^ "Secretary LaHood Announces Funding for Over 50 Innovative, Strategic Transportation Projects through Landmark Competitive TIGER Program" (Press release). U.S. Department of Transportation. February 17, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  5. ^ "TIGER II Discretionary Grants (2010)". U.S. Department of Transportation. April 26, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  6. ^ "TIGER III Discretionary Grants (2011)". U.S. Department of Transportation. January 31, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  7. ^ "TIGER IV Discretionary Grants (2012)". U.S. Department of Transportation. July 13, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  8. ^ TIGER Discretionary Grants (2014)
  9. ^ U.S. Department of Transportation (PDF) Retrieved June 2, 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ a b "Rail News - TIGER grant requests for 2015 add up to $9.8 billion. For Railroad Career Professionals". Progressive Railroading.

External linksEdit