Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)

Program manager

Pamella Lee


Phone: 515-239-1810

Statewide TAP applications

Iowa's Statewide Transportation Alternatives Program Guidance
Request for Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Funds

Statewide TAP Application Summary and Funding Cycles

December 2016
October 2015
October 2014

Regional TAP

Under MAP-21, the majority of TAP funding available to the state of Iowa will be distributed to the metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and regional planning affiliations (RPAs) for local selection of local projects. For more information about applying for MPO or RPA TAP funds, please contact the MPO or RPA in your project area.

Eligible activities

Projects must meet one or more of these eligibilities and must relate to surface transportation.
  1. Construction, planning and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists and other nonmotorized forms of transportation, including sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle signals, traffic calming techniques, lighting and other safety-related infrastructure, and transportation projects to achieve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
  2. Construction, planning and design of infrastructure-related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non drivers, including children, older adults and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs.
  3. Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists or other nonmotorized transportation users.
  4. Construction of turnouts, overlooks and viewing areas.
  5. Community improvement activities, including but not limited to:
    • Inventory, control or removal of outdoor advertising.
    • Historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities.
    • Vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species and provide erosion control.
    • Archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of a transportation project eligible under this title.
    • Streetscape and corridor landscaping.
  6. Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to address stormwater management, control and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff, including activities described in sections 133(b)(11), 328(a), and 329; or reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats.
  7. A construction or non construction project eligible under the Safe Routes to School program under section 1404 of the SAFETEA-LU.
  8. A project eligible under the Recreational Trail Program as defined by section 206 of Title 23.

FHWA TAP guidance

Final guidance from the Federal Highway Administration is available.
FHWA TAP Final Guidance

Project development

With few exceptions, all funded TAP projects will be assigned a project manager within the Iowa DOT's Office of Systems Planning. This project manager will work closely with the project sponsor to see the successful completion of the project. All projects will follow project development guidance published by the Iowa DOT.

Federal-Aid Project Development Guide and Instructional Memorandums

TAP background

The Transportation Alternatives Program was authorized by the most recent federal transportation funding act, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which was signed into law on July 6, 2012. TAP redefines the former Transportation Enhancements activities and consolidates these eligibilities with the former Safe Routes to School program. Some projects that were previously funded through the discretionary National Scenic Byways Program are now eligible for TAP as are projects eligible under the Recreational Trails Program. The Transportation Enhancements program was originally authorized in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and continued through two successive laws, Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Centuy (TEA-21) and Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).

On January 15, 2013, the Iowa Transportation Commission approved the implementation of MAP-21 as it relates to Transportation Alternatives. After much consideration and through the gathering of stakeholder and general public input, the decision was made to transition to a more locally focused manner of selecting projects for funding. Under SAFETEA-LU, the Iowa DOT retained half of the annual Transportation Enhancements apportionment and selected Statewide Transportation Enhancement projects through a competitive process. The other half of the Transportation Enhancements apportionment was distributed to Iowa’s Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Regional Planning Affiliations (RPAs) to select projects locally. Under MAP-21 the majority of Transportation Alternatives Program funding will be distributed to the MPOs and RPAs to select projects based on local planning priorities. The Iowa DOT retains final approval authority of award, and will continue to work directly with project sponsors to develop each project. The Iowa DOT will solicit applications for the award of $1,000,000 through the Statewide Transportation Alternatives Program. This statewide program is intended to provide worthy projects and initiatives that are statewide or multi-regional in nature an opportunity to receive Transportation Alternatives Program funding. As such, applications submitted for projects such as trails that could be considered primarily local impact projects will not be scored favorably in the Statewide Transportation Alternatives Program.