Transportation Alternatives Program

The FFY 2023 Transportation Alternatives Program grant application cycle is closed. Check back for information on the FFY 2024 application cycle in the Winter of 2022-2023.

As part of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, the Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set-Aside is a reimbursable federal aid funding program for transportation-related community projects that strengthen the intermodal transportation system.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Park and Visitors Center
Harriett Tubman Underground Railroad Park and Visitor Center
in Dorchester County awarded $8,500,000 in 2011

Maryland’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) awards grant funding to projects that enhance mobility and accessibility, as well as the cultural, aesthetic, historic, and environmental aspects of Maryland’s transportation network. TAP funds projects, among many others, that create bicycle and pedestrian facilities, restore historic transportation buildings, convert abandoned railway corridors to pedestrian trails and mitigate highway runoff.

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How the Program Works

The TAP project sponsor is responsible for project design, management, construction, implementation and permit requests. The project sponsor also must provide, at minimum, a 20% cash match. The project sponsor also assumes maintenance responsibilities and legal liability for the duration of the project’s useful life. Eligible project sponsors include:

  • Local governments.
  • Regional transportation authorities.
  • Transit agencies.
  • Natural resource and public land agencies.
  • School districts and local education agencies.
  • Tribal governments.
  • Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) serving populations less than 200,000.
  • Non-profit entities.
  • Any local and governmental entity with oversight of transportation or recreational trails.

On behalf of FHWA, MDOT SHA administers TAP funding for all Maryland projects. The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act requires approximately 40% of TAP funds apportioned to Maryland be awarded by three metropolitan planning organizations:

  • Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB).
  • National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB).
  • Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO).​

Click here to see if your project is within one of these MPO’s.

Remaining TAP funds are available to any area of Maryland.​

Cross Country Connector Trail
Cross County Connector Trail - Grasonville project in Queen Anne's County,
awarded $3,431,084 in 2015.

For addtional information see the TAP manual (PDF, 12mb)

Project Eligibility

All TAP projects must be related to surface transportation and meet the criteria for one of the qualifying TAP categories outlined in the federal legislation.

For additional information, see the TAP Manual.

Additionally, projects in Maryland must:

  • Benefit all potential users and allow free use by a broad segment of the public.
  • Maintain a reasonable duration of the intended public use, as determined by MDOT SHA.
  • Be located on publicly owned right-of -way or on right-of-way encumbered with a permanent easement held by a state agency or the government agency sponsoring or co-sponsoring the project; and
  • Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and all other applicable state and federal regulations (e.g., pedestrian and bicycle facilities must meet state and federal standards for width, grade, signing and materials).

Getting Started

  • As a potential project sponsor, first establish that your project is eligible for TAP funding by determining its qualifying category and relationship to surface transportation. 
  • If you are not with a government agency, be sure to secure a government agency co-sponsor for the project.
  • TAP funding can be requested for up to 80 percent of a project’s total estimated cost. Ensure other sources of non-federal transportation funding can cover the minimum 20 percent cash match. Projects that provide more than the minimum 20 percent cash match will be considered stronger applications during the selection process.   
  • Reach out to the MDOT SHA TAP staff to discuss the potential project.

Call for Applications

The FFY 2023 application cycle closed on May 15, 2022. MDOT SHA and its MPO partners will review and announce awards in the fall of 2022. Check back for information on the FFY 2024 application cycle in the winter of 2022-2023.

Transportation Alternatives (TA) Grant Application

FFY 2022 MDOT State Highway Adminstration Grant Awards

Press release: Governor Hogan Announces $16.8 Million to Advance 42 Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects Across Maryland

See additional resources below or contact us at:

Christy Bernal
Transportation Alternatives Program Manager
Regional and Intermodal Planning Division
MDOT State Highway Administration
707 N Calvert St MS C-502
Baltimore MD 21201
410-545-5659
410-545-5675
cbernal@mdot.maryland.go

MPO Contacts

Questions for Baltimore Metropolitan Council BMC - Contact Charlene Mingus (410) 732-0500 x1008 / cmingus@baltometro.org
Questions for National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB)/Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments MWCOG – John Swanson 202-962-3295 / jswanson@mwcog.org
Questions for Wilmington Area Planning Council WILMAPCO – Contact Heather Dunigan (302) 737-6205 ex 118 / hdunigan@wilmapco.org

Additional Resources