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New NPS Funding Opportunities

The NPS typically funds transportation projects (roads, bridges, trails, and transit) with the Federal Lands Transportation Program (FLTP) under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and other eligible fund sources. Given the discontinuation and consolidation of funding programs under MAP-21, NPS units are increasingly engaging with state, metropolitan, and local planning processes to leverage limited funding for transportation.

The following opportunities have been highlighted and are available to parks and partners for transportation related activities. Please contact your Regional Transportation Program Manager for questions or support.

Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Funding Opportunity — The Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP, is a competitive federally funded program in MAP-21 that contains elements of several former SAFETEA-LU programs, including Transportation Enhancements (TE), the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), and the Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) program. Click here to learn more about the TAP Funding Opportunities and application updates.

NPS Primer on the Construction of Ferry Boats and Ferry Terminal Facilities Program — Many National Park Service units are located on islands which are primarily accessed by vehicle or passenger ferry. These ferries provide a vital transportation link for staff and visitors to get to the parks, and allow for food and other essential cargo transportation. The Construction of Ferry Boats and Ferry Terminal Facilities Program (FBP) is a Federal Highway Administration program that funds ferry services. Ferry operators and public entities may use FBP funds for construction of ferry boats, construction of ferry terminal facilities, and capital costs of leasing boats or facilities. The National Park Service is eligible to use FBP funding to build or acquire new, more efficient ferry boats and terminals and to improve existing ferry services already serving the parks.

Download National Park Service Primer on the Construction of Ferry Boats and Ferry Terminal Facilities Program (FBP) (607kb .pdf)

Download FHWA Ferry Boat Program – Next Steps (Park Facility Management Division) (.doc)

Primer on the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP)  — September 2014.  The Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) is a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) program that funds State safety projects. States may use HSIP funds for infrastructure improvements that address safety concerns (e.g., intersection design, pedestrian crossings, retrofits to reduce wildlife/vehicle collisions) and for non-infrastructure projects (e.g., safety planning, data collection, enforcement and emergency services programs). The HSIP and associated Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) development processes are prime opportunities for the National Park Service to highlight and build awareness of safety issues within or leading to NPS units, and to engage State DOTs in collaborative and mutually beneficial efforts to address them. Download the HSIP Report as a .pdf (287 K).  

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program Funding  — March 2014.  The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program, jointly administered by the FHWA and FTA, is a potential funding source for NPS transit systems. NPS transit managers seeking funding to support or expand transit service may consider working with State, regional and local partners to identify opportunities to suggest projects for CMAQ funding. This bulletin details the CMAQ program, project eligibility requirements, and how NPS staff can engage with State, regional, and local partners to apply for CMAQ funding. Download the FHWA CMAQ Fact Sheet. For more about the FHWA's CMAQ program, go to http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/factsheets/cmaq.cfm.

Alternative Funding Opportunities For NPS Transit March 2014. This summary fact sheet discusses funding changes to MAP-21 that impact NPS transit systems. A more detailed paper can be found below, Alternative Funding Opportunities for National Park Service Transit. Download as a .pdf.


Alternative Funding Opportunities for National Park Service Transit January 2014. Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (Public Law 112-141 or “MAP-21”), the Federal surface transportation law enacted in 2012, and other changes are expected to reduce funding for National Park Service (NPS) transit systems by approximately 28 percent. This paper discusses potential opportunities for NPS to work with state and local partners to obtain funding for transit systems through Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) programs that have not been traditional funding sources for NPS. Download Alternative Funding Opportunities for National Park Service Transit (full report) as a .pdf.

NPS Transportation Innovative Finance Options  — May 2013.  John A Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.This paper provides a summary of innovative transportation finance techniques and discusses their applicability to the National Park Service (NPS). The primary finding of this analysis is that the NPS has already implemented innovative finance techniques, including most of the mechanisms that are legally authorized and relevant to its mission. The deployment of additional innovative financing techniques would require congressional support and legislation, and in some cases would require state and local government support for such methods as value capture. The paper notes that most innovative finance techniques afforded to state and local governments are not applicable to federal agencies.

Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP)March 2013. National Park units and partners have the opportunity to partner with State and local governments for projects eligible under the FLAP program. To receive NPS support, projects must be aligned with Department of the Interior priorities and be endorsed by the NPS regional and WASO transportation offices. For more information, see the Federal Lands Access Program — How To Get Started. To read the announcement from the Secretary of the Interior for the FLAP program, click here.


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