US DOT Accepting Applications For Thriving Communities Program
Ensuring all communities can take advantage of the unprecedented levels of funding for active transportation and the safety of vulnerable road users made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is key to delivering quality infrastructure projects that enable communities and neighborhoods everywhere to thrive.
As part of our work to build a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone, the League wants to help communities access the federal resources for which we’ve advocated so hard in Washington. Here is more information for local leaders on how you can ensure your community benefits from the many opportunities and resources available through the BIL.
The US Department of Transportation (US DOT) is now accepting applications for its Thriving Communities Program (TCP) through December 6, 2022. The program is designed to help communities who have had difficulty successfully accessing, applying for, or receiving federal funds for US DOT grants like RAISE, INFRA, Safe Streets for All, etc. Watch our 15-minute explainer webinar on TCP »
The program will provide two years of technical assistance to help communities, especially low-income and disadvantaged communities, access federal funds. That technical assistance depends on what the community needs, but it could help communities figure out what grants to apply for, the application process, or help with federal compliance and permitting.
Technical assistance could also help with innovative community involvement or workforce development. In addition to wanting to help disadvantaged, small and rural communities through the Thriving Communities Program, the US Department of Transportation wants to promote innovative public engagement.
To apply for TCP, communities must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) by December 6th, 2022.
Here’s What You’ll Need
On the DOT website there is a worksheet that will help you gather all the information you need to apply.
Eligibility: Community teams must be made up of:
- Lead Applicant: a government entity or agency that has a role in implementation of transportation projects
- Community Partners: there must be at least two community partners who can help with local technical assistance. At least one of these partners must be in the community being served.
- Communities receive deep-dive technical assistance
- They will not receive funding directly from the US DOT. However, they may receive support in the form of embedded staff, sub-grants to community partners, etc.
What type of Technical Assistance are they offering
- Help with DOT applications, including the scoping and pre-engineering of a project
- Help with federal compliance issues and permitting processes
- Innovative public engagement that reaches hard to reach communities, including people with disabilities, people with low English competency, etc.
- Apprentice and leadership programs to grow the workforce
Who they are looking for
- They are looking for communities that have not applied, or not have applied successfully for DOT funding BUT that commitment to transportation changes
- They really want to help low-income/ disadvantaged communities (including such communities within cities)
- And communities with strong ties to ‘community partners’ that can help do innovative outreach to hard to reach communities.
What is required in the LOI
- DOT has created an easy-to-follow worksheet on what information you need to apply.
- A 500-word needs statement on transportation needs, capacity needs, etc.
- A 500-word vision statement on goals, how the specific community partners will help, etc.
Deeper Dive Into Resources
- Presentation slides from our Thriving Communities Program webinar
- Information for Technical Assistance Seekers
- Fact Sheet for Communities
- Federal Tools to Determine Disadvantaged Community Status: The LOI requires you to state whether the impacted community has disadvantaged populations or census tracts. If that community is not a tribe, the application asks how you verify that. This site will help. One option they list is the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index
- Promising Practices for Meaningful Public Involvement in Transportation Decision-Making: DOT’s new guide on public participation
- Letter of Intent Worksheet: This helps communities pull together all the information they will need to apply.
- Apply Here- Letter of Intent Website