SAFETEA-LU Discretionary Grants

The programs on this page were authorized under SAFETEA-LU, which expired on Sept. 30, 2012. However, SAFETEA-LU provisions still apply to funds made available in FY2012 and prior fiscal years. Grant recipients administering funds allocated or awarded under SAFETEA-LU should refer to the links below for information on eligible activities, eligible recipients, local match, and other program guidance. Information on programs authorized by MAP-21 is available at

Data Table
More Information Grant Title Section of Statute Brief Description Current Status
Alternatives Analysis (5339) Alternatives Analysis (5339) 5339

Assist in financing the evaluation of reasonable alternatives and general options in a particular, broadly-defined travel corridor. 

FY 2012 Notices of Funding Availability

FY 2011 Project Descriptions

Bus and Bus Facilities (5309, 5318) Bus and Bus Facilities (5309, 5318) 5309, 5318

New and replacement buses and facilities.

FY2012 State of Good Repair, Bus Livability and Transit Asset Management

FY 2011 Project Descriptions

FY 2011 Project Selections

  • State of Good Repair Federal Register [PDF] [Text]
Bus Efficiency Enhancements Research and Demonstration (BEERD) Projects Bus Efficiency Enhancements Research and Demonstration (BEERD) Projects 5312, 5314

Promote the development and demonstration of targeted energy efficiency-enhancing for buses utilized in public transportation.

Capital Investment Program:<br /> New Starts, Small Starts and Core Capacity Improvements Capital Investment Program:
New Starts, Small Starts and Core Capacity Improvements
5309 (b)(1)
  • Construction of new or extensions to existing fixed guideway systems (New Starts).
  • Capital projects less than $75 million and total capital cost less than $250 million (Small Starts).
Clean Fuels Grant Program (5308) Clean Fuels Grant Program (5308) 5308

Achieving/maintaining standards for ozone and CO and support emerging clean fuel and propulsion technologies for transit buses. 

FY2012 Clean Fuels Map & Project Descriptions


National Research & Technology Program (5312) National Research & Technology Program (5312) 5312

Develop innovative products and services assisting transit agencies in better meeting the needs of their customers.

Over-the-Road Bus Program Over-the-Road Bus Program

To assist intercity fixed-route, commuter, charter, and tour bus services in complying with "Transportation for Individuals with Disabilities" (49 CFR Part 37, Subpart H).

Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program (5320) Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program (5320) 5320

Address the challenge of increasing vehicle congestion in and around our national parks and other federal lands.


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) established the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Program (TIGER), which fosters innovative, multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects that promise significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, a region, or the nation.

  • FY 2012/TIGER 4 Notice of Funding Availability [PDF] [Text]
TIGGER Program TIGGER Program

Works directly with public transportation agencies to implement new strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or reduce energy use within transit operations. 

Transit Cooperative Research Program (5313) Transit Cooperative Research Program (5313) 5313

Research program that develops near-term, practical solutions such as best practices, transit security guidelines,  testing prototypes, and new planning and management tools.

University Transportation Centers Program (TEA-21 5505) University Transportation Centers Program (TEA-21 5505) TEA-21 5505

Awarded to non-profit institutions of higher learning, focuses on knowledge transfer (national, state, and local) and building transportation workforce.

Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative

The Department of Transportation has joined with the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Labor, Defense, and Health and Human Services to establish an initiative that will improve transportation options and mobility for America's veterans, service members, and their families.