Filing Date:

TIFIA includes a rolling application process; contact your state DOT or metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for more information.

Eligibility:

States (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico), localities, or other public authorities, as well as private entities undertaking projects sponsored by public authorities.

Description:

The TIFIA Program provides federal credit assistance to eligible surface transportation projects, including highway, transit, intercity passenger rail, some types of freight rail and intermodal freight transfer facilities. The program is designed to fill market gaps and leverage substantial private co-investment by providing projects with supplemental or subordinate debt.

Under the FAST Act, a project to improve or construct public infrastructure that is located within walking distance of, and accessible to, one of a specified list of transit facilities is now eligible for TIFIA credit assistance.

The TIFIA credit program provides three types of financial assistance:

  • Secured loans are direct federal loans to project sponsors offering flexible repayment terms and providing combined construction and permanent financing of capital costs.
  • Loan guarantees provide full-faith-and-credit guarantees by the federal government to institutional investors, such as pension funds, that make loans for projects.
  • Lines of credit are contingent sources of funding in the form of federal loans that may be drawn upon to supplement project revenues, if needed, during the first 10 years of project operations.

The program also allows “master credit agreements,” under which DOT may make a contingent commitment of future TIFIA assistance (subject to the availability of future funding) for a program of projects secured by a common revenue pledge.

TIFIA credit assistance may cover the following portions of the total cost of a project:

  • TIFIA line of credit: up to 33%
  • TIFIA loan: up to 49% (or, if the loan does not receive an investment grade rating, up to the amount of senior project obligations)
  • TIFIA loan and TIFIA line of credit, combined: up to 49%
  • Total federal assistance (grants and loans) to a project receiving a TIFIA loan: up to 80%

For example, Denver Union Station underwent an extensive expansion and renovation project that included the creation of an intermodal transit district around the historic station that encompasses transit-oriented development. Completed in 2014, the station is a regional multimodal hub served by commuter rail, intercity passenger rail, light rail, bus rapid transit and other related transportation services. The $518.6 million project will promote livability and provide environmental, social and economic benefits to the Denver region.

The project has in part been financed with a $145.6 million TIFIA loan secured by liens on pledged revenues that include tax increment revenues, a levy on property tax revenues and lodger’s tax revenue. For more information on TIFIA-financed projects, visit the FHWA’s TIFIA website.

Financing:

Funded by contract authority and reimbursed from the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund, to remain available until expended.

To receive TIFIA assistance, a project must have costs that equal or exceed at least one of the following:

  • $50 million; or
  • One third of the most recently-completed fiscal year’s formula apportionments for the state in which the project is located.

Specified project types have a lower cost threshold under TIFIA:

  • Rural infrastructure project (a surface transportation project not located in a city with a population of more than 150,000): $10 million (but not exceeding $100 million)
  • Transit-oriented development project (such as infrastructure to promote biking and walking around a transit station – see above): $10 million
  • Local infrastructure project (such as infrastructure to promote biking and walking around a transit station): $10 million. The applicant must be a local government, public authority, or instrumentality of local government; the project must be located on a facility owned by a local government; or it must be determine that a local government is substantially involved in the development of the project.

Multiple related TIFIA-eligible projects may be grouped in order to meet one of these cost thresholds as long as the projects’ credit assistance is secured by a common pledge. There is also the ability to use TIFIA to refinance an earlier TIFIA interim construction loan, or to refinance existing project debt in order to provide addition funding capacity for TIFIA-eligible projects.

TIFIA assistance must be repaid through dedicated revenue sources that secure project obligations, such as tolls, other user fees, or payments received under a public-private partnership agreement. Repayment of a TIFIA loan must begin by five years after the substantial completion of the project, and the loan must be fully repaid within 35 years after the project’s substantial completion or by the end of the useful life of the asset being financed, if that life is less than 35 years.

Funding:

$275 million (FY 2016)
$275 million (FY 2017)
$285 million (FY 2018)
$300 million (FY 2019)
$300 billion (FY 2020)

Additional Information: