TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act ) may end up as the primary (and perhaps only) federal program capable of funding mega-projects or complicated multi-modal projects. That will depend on the fate of the current Projects of National and Regional Significance program (in the Senate bill, not in the House bill) and the TIGER program.
Want to learn more about TIFIA? USDOT is sponsoring a webinar this Wednesday, 1:30-3:30 (ET). You can register at this USDOT link.
To help you understand if your project might be a good candidate for TIFIA and the webinar worth your time, below is a brief introduction about the program. And last November we previewed the changes the Senate and House were contemplating for TIFIA in “Big Changes Proposed for Federal Transportation Credit Assistance Program” with help from an expert in the issue, Fred Kessler (an attorney with Nossaman LLP).
TIFIA has provided assistance to 24 projects, including highway, bridge, tunnel, transit, rail and ferry projects, since it was enacted in 1998. The program is designed to help advance qualified, large-scale projects of national or regional significance that otherwise might be delayed or deferred because of size, complexity, or uncertainty over the timing of revenues. USDOT is authorized to provide Federal credit assistance in the form of direct loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit to State DOTs, transit operators, special transportation authorities, local governments, and private investors. An additional goal is to leverage U.S. Federal transportation funding by attracting private investment to the U.S. surface transportation sector.
TIFIA credit assistance provides improved access to capital markets, flexible repayment terms, and potentially more favorable interest rates than can be found in private capital markets for similar instruments. Each dollar of Federal funds can provide up to $10 in TIFIA credit assistance – and leverage $30 in transportation infrastructure investment.
USDOT provides more information about the program.