Transportation Funding Resources in Washington State

Working together to support transportation efficient communities

Washington State Department of Transportation | wsdot.wa.gov | 360-705-7000

Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety

The purpose of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Program is to improve the transportation system to enhance safety and mobility for people who choose to walk or bike.

Eligibility: All public agencies in Washington are eligible to apply.

 

Safe Routes to School

The purpose of the Safe Routes to School Program is to improve safety and mobility for children by enabling and encouraging them to walk and bicycle to school. Funding from this program is for projects within two-miles of primary, middle and high schools (K-12). Funded by both federal and state funds.

Eligibility: All public agencies in Washington are eligible to apply.

 

Local Bridge Program

The purpose of the federal Local Bridge Program is to preserve and improve the condition of local agency bridges through inspection, rehabilitation, replacement and systematic preventative maintenance of local agency bridges on and off the federal aid system.

Eligibility: All cities and counties that own bridges are eligible to apply.

 

Multiuse Roadway Safety Program

The purpose of the state Multiuse Roadway Safety Program is to increase opportunities for safe, legal, and environmentally acceptable motorized (all-terrain vehicles) recreation on public roads.

Eligibility: The purpose of the state Multiuse Roadway Safety Program is to increase opportunities for safe, legal, and environmentally acceptable motorized (all-terrain vehicles) recreation on public roads.

 

Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP)

The federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) goal is to reduce fatal and serious injury crashes by implementing the Washington state Strategic Highway Safety Plan (Target Zero). WSDOT’s programs include the City Safety program, the County Safety program, and the Railway- Highway Crossing program. Combined, these programs include a percentage for high risk rural roadways and approximately $2 million/biennium for the Safe Routes to School program.

Eligibility: All cities and counties with fatal or serious injury collisions are eligible to apply.

 

Transportation Alternatives (TA) Program

The Federal Transportation Alternatives Program provides funding for programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives, including on- and off- road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and improved mobility, community improvement activities and environmental remediation; recreational trail program projects; and safe routes to school projects.

Eligibility: Local agencies, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), regional transportation authorities, transit agencies, natural resource or public land agencies, school districts, local education agencies or schools, tribal governments, and any other local or regional governmental entity with responsibility for oversight of transportation that the State determines to be eligible.

 

Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ)

The Federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Improvement Program provides funding for transportation projects and programs that help meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. Eligible activities include transit improvements, travel demand management strategies, traffic flow improvements, public fleet conversions to cleaner fuels, projects to improve incident and emergency response or improve mobility, expanded authority for transit operations, and support for installation of facilities serving electric or natural gas fueled vehicles (not at rest areas).

Eligibility: All public agencies within the five MPOs representing maintenance areas including: Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC), Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC), Yakima Valley Conference of Governments (YVCOG) and Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC).

 

National Highway Performance Program (NHPP)

The federal National Highway Performance Program provides funding for projects on the National Highway System (NHS). A separate NHS Asset Management program was created to highlight the importance of preserving the roadway system by incentivizing agencies to use asset management strategies that provide cost-effective solutions to maximize the life expectancy of a roadway.

Eligibility: All public agencies and MPOs that are responsible for interstate or NHS facilities.

 

Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG)

The federal Surface Transportation Block Grant program is the most flexible of all the federal transportation programs and provides the most financial support to local agencies. Types of projects eligible include highway and bridge construction and repair; transit capital projects; and bicycle and pedestrian projects.

Eligibility: All public agencies and MPOs that are responsible for eligible transportation facilities.

 

Freight Rail Assistance Program

The Freight Rail Assistance Program is directed toward larger projects where it is difficult to gain a contribution and where the rail location or the project is of strategic importance to the local community and the state.

Eligibility: Open to applicants in both the public and private sector.

 

Freight Rail Investment Bank Program

The Freight Rail Investment Bank Program is for smaller projects or for a small part of a larger project, where state funds would enable the project to be completed.

Eligibility: Open to the public sector including counties, cities and port districts.

 

Airport Aid Grant Program

The Airport Aid Grant Program provides crucial financial assistance to public-use airports in the preservation of Washington’s system of airports.

Eligibility: Any city, county, airport authority, political subdivision, federally recognized Indian tribe, public corporation, or person(s) that owns and operates a public-use airport included in the Washington Aviation System Plan (WASP).

 

Commute Trip Reduction Program

The Commute Trip Reduction Program focuses on improving air quality, reducing traffic congestion, and decreasing fuel consumption through employer-based programs that encourage alternatives to driving alone to work. Local governments are required to develop and implement plans to reduce single occupancy vehicle commute travel to large work sites and dense employment centers in congested urban areas.

Eligibility: The state, through WSDOT, provides funding for nine counties (King, Pierce, Snohomish, Whatcom, Clark, Kitsap, Yakima, Spokane, and Thurston) and 51 cities to implement their programs. Other partners include the state, six RTPOs (PSRC, TRPC, YVCOG, WCOG, SRTC and RTC) and transit agencies.

 

Vanpool Investment Program

The Vanpool Grant Program helps public transit agencies expand vanpooling and make it more appealing to commuters.

Eligibility: All transit agencies are eligible to apply.

 

Regional Mobility Grants

The Regional Mobility Grant program supports local efforts to improve transit mobility and reduce congestion on our most heavily traveled roadways.

Eligibility: All cities, counties, ports and transit agencies are eligible to apply.

 

Consolidated Grants Program

The Consolidated Grant Program helps improve public transportation within and between rural communities, provide transportation services between cities, purchase new buses and other equipment, provide public transportation service for the elderly and persons with disabilities and low- income people seeking transportation to job-related activities.

Eligibility: Public transportation providers, including public transit agencies, non-profit agencies, tribal governments, port authorities, senior centers, state agencies, cities, counties, and schools.

 

Green Transportation Capital Grant Program

The purpose of the grant program is to aid any transit authority in funding cost-effective capital projects to reduce the carbon intensity of the Washington transportation system.

Eligibility: All transit agencies are eligible to apply.

 

Rural Mobility Formula

A state formula distribution to transit agencies based on the sales tax receipts for the purpose of establishing, preserving, and improving rural public transportation. This funding is used to fund projects primarily serving rural areas.

Eligibility: Small urban and rural transit agencies (FTA definitions) that meet the formula criteria.

 

Paratransit / Special Need Formula

A state formula distribution to transit agencies for the purpose of providing service to people with special transportation needs.

Eligibility: Transit agencies that meet the formula criteria related to a prior period’s expenditures on special needs transportation.

 

Rural Transportation Assistance Program

This federal program provides financial assistance to agencies to develop and execute (or contract out) trainings and technical assistance projects and other support services tailored to meet public transportation operators in non-urbanized areas.

Eligibility: Public and private organizations, associations, and agencies are eligible to apply. The solicitation will likely result in multiple contracts for a variety of deliverables.

 

Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office | rco.wa.gov | 360-902-3000

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

The Land and Water Conservation Fund provides grants to buy property for trails and/or develop public recreation trails. Trails funded in LWCF should provide adequate separation from roadways.

Eligibility: Local agencies; special purpose districts such as port, park and recreation, conservation; state agencies; tribal governments.

 

Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP)

The WWRP Trails category provides grants to acquire, develop, or renovate non-motorized public recreation pedestrian or bicycle trails that provide connections to neighborhoods, communities, or regional trails. Note: trails funded in this category cannot be part of a street or roadway such as a sidewalk, bike lane, or unprotected road shoulder. Trails adjacent to roadways must be separated by space and/or physical barriers.

Eligibility: Local agencies; special purpose districts such as port, park and recreation; state agencies; tribal governments.

 

Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board

Funding to plan and/or construct structures that replace barriers to salmon or steelhead migration, such as replacing culverts under roads.

Eligibility: Local agencies; special purpose districts such as port, park and recreation, conservation, and school districts; state agencies; tribal governments; private landowners; nonprofit organizations; and regional fisheries enhancement groups.

 

Washington State Department of Commerce | commerce.wa.gov | 360-725-4000

Community Development Block Grant – General Purpose Program

Provides grants to select rural cities/towns and counties to finance public infrastructure. Eligible projects must benefit low- and moderate-income persons and for the planning, acquisition, design, and construction of public infrastructure.

Eligibility: Rural cities and towns with population less than 50,000, and rural counties with population less than 200,000. Special purpose districts, tribes, housing authorities, community action agencies, and nonprofits can be subrecipients and receive awards in coordination with eligible cities/towns, or counties.

 

Electrification of Transportation Systems Program

Provides grant funds for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Eligible projects must accelerate the market transformation of transportation electrification systems in Washington state and deploy charging infrastructure. Priority is given to public fleets, overburdened communities, and innovative solutions to managing power demand from charging infrastructure.

Eligibility: Counties, cities, special purpose districts, Tribes, and retail electric utilities.

 

Public Works Board, Pre-construction Loan Program

Provides low-interest loans for pre-construction activities that prepare a specific public infrastructure  project for construction. Eligible projects must improve public health and safety, respond to environmental issues, promote economic development, upgrade system performance, or other evaluation criteria.

Eligibility: Counties, cities, special purpose districts, and quasi-municipal organizations that meet certain requirements. Tribes, school and port districts are ineligible for this program.

 

Public Works Board, Construction Loan Program

Provides low-interest loans for public infrastructure construction and rehabilitation. Eligible projects must improve public health and safety, respond
to environmental issues, promote economic development, upgrade system performance, or other evaluation criteria.

Eligibility: Counties, cities, special purpose districts, and quasi-municipal organizations that meet certain requirements. Tribes, school and port districts are ineligible for this program.

 

Public Works Board, Emergency Loan Program

Provides low-interest loans or grants for construction activities that repair, replace, and/or reconstruct public infrastructure. Eligible projects must be in response to a natural disaster, or an immediate and emergent threat to public health and safety due to unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances.

Eligibility: Counties, cities, special purpose districts, and quasi-municipal organizations that meet certain requirements. Tribes, school and port districts are ineligible for this program.

 

Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB)

Community Economic Revitalization Board is a state board focused on economic development through job creation in partnership with local governments. The Board has the authority to finance public infrastructure improvements that encourage new private business development and expansion. In addition to funding construction projects, CERB provides limited funding for studies that evaluate high-priority economic development projects.

Eligibility: CERB provides low interest loans to local governments and federally recognized tribes for public infrastructure that support private business growth and expansion.

 

Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board | fmsib.wa.gov | 360-586-9695

Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board (FMSIB)  (RCW 47.06A001)

The Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board designates, solicits, and selects freight projects that will enhance or mitigate the mobility of freight in Washington State. Eligible projects must be on a strategic freight corridor and be listed as part of a state or local transportation plan.

Eligibility: WSDOT, cities, counties, and ports are eligible to apply.

 

County Road Administration Board | crab.wa.gov | 360-350-6075

County Ferry Capital Improvement Program (WAC 136-400)

The County Ferry Capital Improvement Program (CFCIP) assists the four counties operating car ferries.

Eligibility: The counties currently operating car ferries include Pierce, Skagit, Wahkiakum, and Whatcom.

 

Rural Arterial Program (WAC 136-400)

Counties can us the Rural Arterial Program (RAP) funding to correct much more than surface and structural problems on county rural arterial roads. The counties submit RAP projects based on safety, geometry, capacity and structural deficiencies.

Eligibility: All counties are eligible to apply.

 

County Arterial Preservation Program (WAC 136-300)

The County Arterial Preservation Program funding is limited to preservation of the road structure on county owned arterials.

Eligibility: All counties are eligible to apply.

 

County Road Emergency Loan Program

The County Road Emergency Loan program is for temporary or permanent work resulting from a sudden natural or man-made event that results in the destruction or severe damage to all county jurisdiction roadway sections or structures.

Eligibility: RAP eligible counties under 800,000 population may apply.

 

Transportation Improvement Board | tib.wa.gov | 360-586-1140

Small City Sidewalk Program (SCSP) (RCW 47.26.345)

The Small City Sidewalk Program establishes highly connected pedestrian networks in central business districts. The program constructs and replaces sidewalks to improve pedestrian safety, create system continuity, link pedestrian generators, extend the system and complete gaps. The intent of each project must be transportation-related, not recreational.

Eligibility: The Small City Sidewalk Program is for incorporated cities with a population of under 5,000.

 

Small City Arterial (SCAP) (RCW 47.26.115)

The Small City Arterial Program establishes the integrity of small city street system while minimizing costs. The program rehabilitates TIB classified arterial streets, enhances street physical condition, corrects geometric deficiencies and improves safety. The program also supports the construction of multimodal features consistent with local needs.

Eligibility: The Small City Arterial Program is for incorporated cities with a population of under 5,000.

 

Small City Preservation (SCPP) (RCW 47.26.340.345)

The Small City Preservation Program provides funding for chip seal, overlay of existing pavement, and sidewalk maintenance, with the goal of bringing small city pavement rating average above 70 Pavement Condition Rating (PCR). Funding is for road maintenance opportunities across the state; pavement condition ratings and economies of scale leveraged and are considered as part of the criteria.

Eligibility: The Small City Sidewalk Program is for incorporated cities with a population of under 5,000.

 

Arterial Preservation Program (AAP)

The Arterial Preservation Program enables larger scale preservation projects at lower unit costs. The program provides funding for overlay of federally classified arterial streets.

Eligibility: The Arterial Preservation Program is for cities with a population of 5,000 or greater and assessed valuation less than $2 billion.

 

Urban Sidewalk Program (USP)

The Urban Sidewalk Program establishes highly connected pedestrian networks in downtowns and activity centers. The program constructs and replaces sidewalks to improve pedestrian safety, create system continuity, link pedestrian generators, extend the system and complete gaps. The intent of each project must be transportation-related, not recreational, and the project must be on a federally classified route.

Eligibility: The Urban Sidewalk Program is for counties with urban unincorporated areas and cities with a population greater than 5,000.

 

Urban Arterial Program (UAP) (RCW 47.26.010)

The Urban Arterial Program funds projects that enhance arterial safety, support growth and development, improve mobility and physical condition. TIB also rates projects on sustainability and constructability. The program requires sidewalk on both sides of the streets and funds bike lanes when consistent with a local transportation plan.

Eligibility: The Urban Arterial Program is for counties with urban unincorporated areas and cities with a population of 5,000 or greater.

 

Relight Washington Program

The main goal of the Relight Washington Program is to lower city street light costs by helping cities convert to more energy efficient LED streetlights. TIB is currently working with utility providers who maintain city lights on behalf of many cities through the state. In future years TIB will work directly with cities who own their own lights.

Eligibility: Eligible cities include all small towns (population less than 5,000) and urban cities with a total assessed value of less than $2 billion.

 

Complete Streets Program

The Complete Streets Program Award is a funding opportunity for local governments that have an adopted complete streets ordinance. Board approved nominators may nominate an agency for demonstrating the practice of planning and building streets to accommodate all users, including pedestrians, access to transit, cyclists, and motorists of all ages and abilities. This program awards grants every two years and the next award cycle is 2021.

Eligibility: All cities and counties with an adopted complete streets ordinance are eligible.

 

Other State and Federal Funding Sources

Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s School Zone Grants

Provides equipment for law enforcement agencies that are currently active in school zone enforcement, as well as school zone crossing guard equipment to elementary and middle schools.

Eligibility: State, county, city and tribal law enforcement agencies qualify for law enforcement equipment grants. Washington public, private and tribal schools also qualify for school zone crossing guard equipment grants.

 

Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP)

The Federal Lands Access Program helps improve access to federal lands. The program focusing on public highways, roads, bridges, trails, and transit systems.

Eligibility: State, county, town, township, tribal, municipal, or local governments are eligible to apply.

 

County Road Property Tax Levy (RCW 36.82.040)

For construction, preservation, and maintenance of county roads, bridges, and wharves necessary for providing vehicle ferry service, and for other proper county road purposes.

Eligibility: All counties are eligible.

 

High Capacity Transit (RCW 81.104.140.170)

Fund sources: employer tax, motor vehicle excise tax, and sales and use tax.

Eligibility: Regional transit authorities (RTA) in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties; transit agencies in Thurston, Clark, Kitsap, Spokane, and Yakima counties; Regional Transportation Investment Districts (RTID); and high capacity transportation corridor areas.

 

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOC) Local Option (RCW 81.100.130, .60)

For high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane development, mitigation of environmental impacts of HOV development, support of employer programs to reduce single-occupant commuting, and commuter rail programs.

Eligibility: Regional Transportation Investment Districts (RTIDs) and King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties with voter approval.

 

Local Fuel Tax Distribution (RCW 82.36.025, .030)

Funds limited to highway purposes.

Eligibility: State shared revenue between city, county, and state. It is based on user fees and not sensitive to changing growth patterns.

 

Commercial Parking (RCW 82.80.010)

For general transportation purposes, including construction and operation of state highways, county roads, and city streets; public transportation; high capacity transportation; transportation planning and design; and other transportation related activities.

Eligibility: County (unincorporated area), city, and Regional Transportation Investment Districts (RTID) are eligible.

 

County Fuel Tax (RCW 82.80.010)

For “highway purposes” as defined by the 18th Amendment, including the construction, maintenance, and operation of city streets, county roads, and state highways; operation of ferries; and related activities.

Eligibility: County wide (including incorporated areas).

 

Passenger-only Ferry (RCW 82.80.130)

Tax of motor vehicles owned by residents of the  taxing district.

Eligibility: Authorizes Public Transportation Benefit Areas, whose boundaries are on the Puget Sound but do not include an area within a Regional Transit Authority, to implement passenger-only ferry service under RCW 36.57A.200.

 

Vehicle License Fee (RCW 82.80.100)

License fee based upon the age of the vehicle; excludes vehicles such as farm tractors, snowmobiles, and others.

Eligibility: Regional Transportation Investment Districts (RTID) can impose these vehicle license fees.

 

Land Dedication & Voluntary Agreements (RCW 58.17.010, .110)

Provides local governments the basis for the regulation of the subdivision of land to promote public health, safety and general welfare.

Eligibility: All cities and counties are eligible.

 

SEPA Substantive Authority (RCW 43.21C.060)

Allows public agencies to condition or deny any proposed governmental action based on its environmental analysis.

Eligibility: State agencies, municipal and public corporations, and counties are eligible.

 

Growth Management Act (GMA) Impact Fees (RCW 82.02.020)

Fees imposed as a condition of development approval to pay for the public facilities needed to serve development including streets and roads.
Local governments fully planning under the Growth Management Act are eligible.

Eligibility: Local governments fully planning under the Growth Management Act are eligible.

 

Transportation Benefit District (RCW 36.73)

Allows governments singly or jointly to impose taxes and fees to fund off-site transportation infrastructure improvements.

Eligibility: All cities, counties, and towns are eligible.

 

Regional Transportation Investment District (RCW 36.120)

Multiple fund sources: vehicle excise tax, vehicle license fee, regional sales and use tax, parking tax, fuel tax, employer excise tax, vehicle tolls.

Eligibility: Limited to counties within the Puget Sound metropolitan region.

 

Street Latecomer Agreements (RCW 35.72)

Allows subsequent developments to reimburse earlier development that paid all up-front costs.

Eligibility: The legislative authority of any city, town, or county.

 

Transit Tax (RCW 35.95.040, 82.14.045)

Business and occupation, utility and sales taxes can fund operations, maintenance and capital needs in any city or county. Voter approval is required.

Eligibility: Transit districts and city transit systems are eligible.

 

Grade Crossing Protective Fund (RCW 81.53.261.295)

Administered by the Utilities and Transportation Commission to make safety improvements at a railroad crossing or along a railroad right-of-way.

Eligibility: Grant program for railroad companies, local governments and other agencies.

 

Border Cities Fuel Tax (RCW 82.47.020)

For street maintenance and construction in areas along the Canadian border that are experiencing extraordinary traffic levels and impacts due to Canadian motorists.

Eligibility: Cities and towns within 10 miles of an international border crossing or transportation benefit districts (TBDs) that contain an international border crossing.

 

Local Transportation Act Impact (LTA) Fee (RCW 39.92.030)

Allows governments singly or jointly to impose impact fees to fund a portion of the off-site transportation improvements needed to solve the cumulative impacts of planned growth and development.

Eligibility: All cities, counties, and towns are eligible.

 

Tax Increment Financing HB 1189 (pending new chapter in RCW Chapter 39)

Allows local governments to allocate a portion of property taxes in a designated area to finance the repayment of public improvements. Designated public improvement areas should encourage private development, and must sunset after no more than 25 years.

Eligibility: All cities, towns, counties, and port districts are eligible.

 

Building a Better America Bipartisan Infrastructure Grants

These grants are for infrastructure projects.

Eligibility: All local governments are eligible.

 

Environmental Protection Agency Funding and Grants for Puget Sound National Estuary Program

EPA receives money from Congress to help protect and restore Puget Sound. These funds are used to help implement Washington’s Puget Sound Action Agenda using cooperative agreements.

Eligibility: Designated state agencies, local and Tribal governments, universities and non-governmental organizations.