- Granting Agency: U.S. Dept. of Transportation
- Appropriation Amount: $1,800,000,000
- Grant Amount: >$100,000,000, 40% Match
- Announcement Date: June 22, 2023
- Closing Date: August 21, 2023
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law established two new multimodal transportation programs (Mega, Rural) and reauthorized one preexisting program (INFRA) which are being announced in one NOFO for Multimodal Project Discretionary Grants (MPDG). Read the NOFO here.
Sponsors of multimodal projects with additional questions or interested in receiving additional assistance are invited to visit the Department’s Grants homepage: transportation.gov/grants and look for MPDG grants.
Changes from the FY 2022 MPDG NOFO:
While the six Outcome Area criteria from FY 2022 remain the same, the FY 2023-2024 NOFO has revised how each criterion will be rated, using a rubric that updates and distinguishes how an application will be assigned a 0, 1, 2, or 3 for each criterion.
For the first time in FY 2023-2024, the Department is establishing a Cost Estimate Review team, who will evaluate in greater detail the cost estimates for any project requesting $1 billion or more in funding from the MPDG opportunity.
The list of counties qualifying as Areas of Persistent Poverty has been updated from MPDG 2022 to reflect more recent Census data4. The definition of census tracts qualifying as Historically Disadvantaged Communities has also been updated, in accordance with the Climate & Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), a new tool by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), that aims to help Federal agencies identify disadvantaged communities as part of the Justice40 initiative to accomplish the goal that 40% of benefits from certain federal investment reach disadvantaged communities.
Applicants who are planning to reapply using materials prepared for prior competitions should ensure that their FY 2023-2024 application fully addresses the criteria and considerations described in this notice and that all relevant information is up to date.
Purpose: The Mega program focuses on large multimodal transportation projects, with 50% of the funding being awarded to projects greater than $500 million in total project cost, and the remaining 50% of the funding being awarded to projects between $100 million and $500 million in total project costs. The Mega program will help large multimodal projects with gaps in their financial plans. Funds will be awarded on a competitive basis for surface transportation infrastructure projects – including highway and bridge, intercity passenger rail, railway-highway grade crossing or separation, wildlife crossing, public transportation, marine highway, and freight projects, or groups of such projects – with significant national or regional impact, or to improve and expand the surface transportation infrastructure in rural areas.
1. A highway or bridge project on the National Multimodal Freight Network
2. A highway or bridge project on the National Highway Freight Network
3. A highway or bridge project on the National Highway System
4. A freight intermodal (including public ports) or freight rail project that provides public benefit
5. A railway highway grade separation or elimination project
6. An intercity passenger rail project
7. A public transportation project that is eligible under assistance under Chapter 53 of title 49 or is a part of any of the project types described above
Eligible project costs include (1) development-phase activities and costs, including planning, feasibility analysis, revenue forecasting, alternatives analysis, data collection and analysis, environmental review and activities to support environmental review, preliminary engineering and design work, and other preconstruction activities, including the preparation of a data collection and post-construction analysis plan; and, (2) Construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, acquisition of real property (including land relating to the project and improvements to that land), environmental mitigation (including projects to replace or rehabilitate culverts or reduce stormwater runoff for the purpose of improving habitat for aquatic species), construction contingencies, acquisition of equipment, protection, and operational improvements directly relating to the project.
For a Mega project to be selected, the Department must determine that the project meets all five requirements described in 49 U.S.C. § 6701(f)(1) and below and further described in Section E.1.b.v and Section D.2.b.vii. If your project consists of multiple components with independent utility, the Department must determine that each component meets each requirement to select it for an award. See Section D.2.ii.VIII.
Mega Project Requirement #1: The project is likely to generate national or regional economic, mobility, or safety benefits.
Mega Project Requirement #2: The project is in significant need of Federal funding.
Mega Project Requirement #3: The project will be cost-effective.
Mega Project Requirement #4: With respect to related non-Federal financial commitments, one or more stable and dependable funding or financing sources are available to construct, maintain, and operate the project, and to cover cost increases.
Mega Project Requirement #5: The applicant has, or will have, sufficient legal, financial, and technical capacity to carry out the project.
While the MPDG grant opportunity consists of three separate programs, DOT will evaluate common applications for the programs using common merit criteria and considerations to provide a more streamlined and efficient application process for project sponsors. The common set of criteria include: safety; state of good repair; economic impacts, freight movement, and job creation; climate change, resiliency, and the environment; equity, multimodal options, and quality of life; and innovation. Additional considerations include cost effectiveness; demonstrated project readiness, which includes technical assessment, financial completeness, and environmental review and permitting risk; and geographic diversity among recipients, including a balance between the needs of urban and rural projects. Because of these shared characteristics, it is possible for many projects to be eligible and considered for multiple programs using a single application.
1. a State or group of States;
2. a metropolitan planning organization that serves an Urbanized Area (as defined by the Bureau of the Census) with a population of more than 200,000 individuals;
3. a unit of local government or group of local governments;
4. a political subdivision of a State or local government;
5. a special purpose district or public authority with a transportation function, including a port authority;
6. a Federal land management agency that applies jointly with a State or group of States;
7. a tribal government or a consortium of tribal governments;
8. a multistate corridor organization; or
9. a multistate or multijurisdictional group of entities described in this paragraph.