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Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set-Aside

The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), was established in federal law in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).  The TAP replaced funding from several pre-MAP-21 programs including Transportation Enhancements, Recreational Trails, and Safe Routes to School, wrapping them into a single funding source.  The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, signed into law on December 4, 2015, converted the long-standing Surface Transportation Program (STP) into the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG), aligning the program’s name with how the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has historically administered it.  The STBG promotes flexibility in state and local transportation decisions and provides flexible funding to best address state and local transportation needs. 

Within the STBG funding is a set-aside amount called the Transportation Alternatives or “TA” Set-Aside, as set forth in 23 U.S.C. 133(h).  These set-aside funds include all activities that were previously eligible under TAP, encompassing a variety of smaller-scale, non-traditional transportation projects.  Projects funded under TA Set-Aside must comply with all applicable Federal requirements. The Program continues under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, the latest transportation legislation which was signed into law on November 15, 2021.

TA Set-Aside eligible activities include on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities; infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility; community improvement activities, such as historic preservation and vegetation management; environmental mitigation related to stormwater and habitat connectivity; recreational trail projects; safe routes to school projects; and projects for planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former divided highways.

The Guide to the HRTPO Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set-Aside Project Selection Process provides guidance information on how projects are selected for TA Set-Aside funding. 

Applications for TA Set-Aside funding were submitted biennially in the fall and allocations are made in the following spring for the two subsequent fiscal years.

For the latest information on TA Set-Aside program, visit the VDOT Local Assistance Division (LAD) webpage at:



Important dates associated with the FY 2025 and FY 2026 TA Set-Aside Project Selection Process: 

June 30, 2023 – Pre-application deadline (SMART SCALE Portal open on May 15, 2023)

September 1, 2023 – Letter to the HRTPO requesting resolution of support 

October 2, 2023 – Application Deadline (SMART SCALE Portal) 

February 16, 2024 – TPS meeting to review TA Set-Aside project proposals and select a set of projects to recommend to receive FY 2025 and FY 2026 TA Set-Aside funding 

March 6, 2024 – TTAC meeting – Consider TPS recommendations regarding TA Set-Aside project selection and funding 

March 21, 2024 – HRTPO Board meeting – Board considers TTAC recommendations regarding TA Set-Aside project selection and funding and approves a set of projects to receive FY 2025 and FY 2026 TA Set-Aside funding 


If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact: 

John V. Mihaly
Prinicpal Transportation Planner

Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization
723 Woodlake Drive
Chesapeake, VA 23320 

Phone: (757) 420-8300

Fax: (757) 523-4881

Email: jmihaly@hrtpo.org