Iowa’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is a new iteration of the former Transportation Enhancements (later Transportation Alternatives) program that has been in existence since 1991. The most recent transportation authorization act, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, was enacted in 2015. Implementation of this act placed further restrictions on the selection of projects for funding under the federal TAP program structure which has led Iowa to implement a modified version of the federal program. Eligible project activities for Iowa’s TAP funding continue to include a variety of smaller-scale transportation projects such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities, recreational trails, safe routes to school projects, and community improvements such as historic preservation, vegetation management, and some environmental mitigation related to storm water and habitat connectivity. Detailed information about Iowa’s TAP program may be found in the program guidance.
Iowa’s TAP program can be accessed in two ways. Statewide and multi-regional projects should apply directly to the Iowa DOT by October 1 annually for consideration in the Statewide TAP program. Access to funding for smaller, local projects is dependent on geographic location. Iowa’s Transportation Management Areas (TMA), Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO), and Regional Planning Affiliations (RPA) will select local projects for funding. In support of the state’s history of encouraging regional planning through these organizations, a majority of funding is distributed to them to directly select projects locally. With the goal of distributing funding as equitably as possible across the state, the Iowa DOT retains $1 million annually to administer a Statewide TAP program, geared toward statewide or multi-regional projects, while targeting the remaining funding to the TMAs, MPOs, and RPAs through the Local Projects TAP program. The map below will provide application submittal deadlines based on the project location.
Safe Routes to School projects that have received or been recommended for 50 percent of the estimated total eligible project costs by the local TMAs, MPOs and through the Local Projects TAP Program selection process or the Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) program, may be eligible to receive an additional award of 30 percent of estimated eligible total project costs of Statewide TAP program funding.
Also, if a project is located along an Iowa Byway, has the endorsement of the appropriate Byway organization, and has received or been recommended for 50 percent of the estimated total eligible project costs by the local MPO or RPA through the Local Projects TAP Program selection process or the STBG program, the project may be eligible to receive an additional award of 30 percent of the estimated total eligible project costs of Statewide TAP program funding.