Transportation Funding Programs
In addition to promoting increased investment in the region's transportation network, MAPC coordinates several transportation funding programs that are administered through the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). This list is updated annually.
The first three programs below are funded through the Boston Region MPO.
If you are interested in applying for any of these funds please contact MAPC Transportation Manager Eric Bourassa at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-451-2770, ext. 2043.
- Transportation Enhancement Program
- Clean Air Mobility Program
- Massachusetts State Trail and Greenway Programs
- Scenic Byways Program
- Safe Routes to School Program
Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) administers federal funds for projects to preserve, restore, or enhance components of the multi-modal transportation system that have not traditionally been funded by the Federal Highway Administration. Applications are submitted by a municipality or public agency. Projects are reviewed quarterly by MAPC for readiness and eligibility, and then recommended to the State Enhancements Steering Committee for their review and approval.
Applications for the program are currently due on a rolling quarterly basis. The following are the due dates for applications to both MassDOT and MAPC in 2010.
- February 28, 2010
- May 30, 2010
- August 31, 2010
The MPO has launched the Clean Air and Mobility Program in order to fund a wider variety of projects that improve air quality and mobility, and reduce congestion in the region using federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds. This program expands on three previously existing programs: the Suburban Mobility, Transportation Demand Management (TDM), and Bike Rack Infrastructure Program. These activities will still be eligible for funds in the Clean Air and Mobility program; however, the program will broaden the scope of possible projects.
The objectives of the program are to:
- Support new transit services in areas un-served or underserved by the existing transit system
- Serve as a funding source for implementing small-scale roadway, intersection, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities that are recommended in MPO evaluations and studies
- Develop a broader range of proposals from public entities in the region to expand the variety and scope of CMAQ investments
- Improve the effectiveness of CMAQ funds in reducing emissions and congestion in the region
There is $2 million in funds available in federal fiscal year 2010 for CMAQ-eligible projects and programs. Proposals for funding in the Clean Air and Mobility Program are no longer being accepted for 2010. It is expected that this program will contine for a second year starting in Spring 2011.
Regional transit authorities, municipalities, transportation management associations, chambers of commerce, and nonprofit transportation advocacy groups in the MPO region are invited to submit proposals. All projects must have an RTA, a municipality, or a transportation agency as a fiduciary agent. Joint proposals are accepted.
Applications will be evaluated and selected based on criteria such as vehicle emissions reductions, mobility, sustainability, cost-effectiveness, population served, or modal and geographic balance (compared to other projects to be funded). Eligible projects and programs fall into three categories; transit operations, Transportation Demand Management (TDM)/Transportation Systems Management (TSM) programs or projects, and infrastructure projects.
Clean Air and Mobility Program FAQ and Examples of Eligible Projects and Programs
Listed below are some examples of eligible projects and programs, with links to their corresponding federal guidance.
Projects and programs must demonstrate air quality benefits and be eligible for federal aid. (Please view the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) website for more detailed federal CMAQ guidance.) Infrastructure improvements must be initiated according to the Massachusetts Highway Department Project Development and Design Guide. Another requirement is compliance, when applicable, with the Americans with Disabilities Act. All projects must meet the criteria of the Statewide CMAQ Committee and must either reduce vehicle emissions or, for activities promoting non-automobile modes, must not increase emissions in the region. Transit operations proposals must be for new service. They cannot be used to supplement or replace funding for existing service.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) also oversees the Recreational Trails Program to provide funding support for a variety of trail construction and stewardship projects throughout Massachusetts.
Greenways are corridors of land and water that protect and link a wide variety of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. DCR provides Greenway grants of up to $5,000 to non-profit organizations, municipalities, and regional planning associations to support innovative greenway and trail projects throughout Massachusetts. DCR will also consider requests of up to $10,000 for multi-town greenway and trail projects.
National Scenic Byways is a program of the Federal Highway Administration that enables communities to seek funding to preserve and enhance the entire corridor of a road having unique qualities and regional significance. To be eligible, a road must first be designated as a State Scenic Byway. Then the sponsoring agency can apply for funds to protect historic, cultural, scenic, and environmental resources and maintain their unique character.
- National Scenic Byways Program
- Scenic Byways nomination guide
- Scenic Byways designation process
- Scenic Byways intrinsic qualities
- Designation readiness worksheet
The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School program (SRS) focuses on educating elementary and middle school students, parents, and community members on the value of walking and bicycling to and from school. Successful SRTS initiatives include five components: education, encouragement, enforcement, engineering, and evaluation. By engaging students in healthy alternative trip options, the initiative hopes to reduce congestion and air pollution, while increasing physical activity among children.
Participants in the Massachusetts SRS program can be eligible to receive a no-cost assessment of walking and bicycling routes within a mile of participating schools. For schools that are selected, MassDOT’s planning and design team will complete an assessment that includes a plan showing recommended improvements ranging from signs and pavement markings to sidewalk repairs or intersection improvements that enhance safety for school pedestrian and bicycle access. Some schools that receive an assessment will also be eligible for a 100% federally-funded infrastructure construction project based on this assessment.