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DOT announces $1.5B in RAISE funding for equity advancement

The US Department of Transportation has announced a $1.5 billion funding opportunity through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program.

Rachel DiSalvo •
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On November 30, 2023, the Department of Transportation announced the availability of $1.5 billion in funding for transportation capital and planning projects through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. 

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Of these funds, $75M will be awarded for planning grants, and at least $15M will be awarded for projects in areas of persistent poverty or historically disadvantaged communities. Half of the funding, or $750M, will be awarded for projects in urban areas (defined as a Census Urbanized Area with a population greater than 200,000), with the remaining half going to projects in rural areas (any area not considered urban). 

RAISE awards are for a minimum of $5M for urban projects, $1M for rural projects, and a maximum of $25M for any project. The federal share for projects may not exceed 80%, except for projects in a historically disadvantaged community, area of persistent poverty, or rural area. Cost share will not be considered when evaluating projects.

The RAISE program focuses on advancing equity, including at the planning phase, and addressing the disproportionate environmental impacts of transportation on disadvantaged communities. Another focus is workforce development, particularly how projects will create good-paying jobs with high labor standards. 

Applicants should consider how their project reduces emissions, particularly in disadvantaged communities; improves access to jobs and other essential services; improves safety; and reduces barriers to transportation. In addition, applicants should think about how to deploy innovations in technology, project management, or financing, and partner with a variety of stakeholders. New for this year, highly rated applications not awarded in this program cycle will be automatically considered in FY25.

Below we’ve outlined a few examples of possible RAISE grant projects where Via could support with our expertise in TransitTech and innovative transit operations:

  • A station or other multi-modal hub improvement project that considers street design to improve access, first-and-last mile connectivity, or electrification infrastructure. For example, RAISE awarded $12m last year to the West Sugar Creek Mobility Corridor project, which involves the construction of “mobility hubs” to facilitate access to mobility options including microtransit.
  • A traditional highway improvement project that includes congestion mitigation or road use charging.
  • A transit-oriented development project that includes microtransit in an area of persistent poverty or in a community of color.
  • Electrification of a microtransit service.

To learn more about the RAISE grants, please see the Notice of Funding Opportunity and webinar schedule

See more funding alerts here or sign up to receive our newsletter, with new funding alerts included every month.

If you’re working on a similar project to the ones listed above and thinking of applying for a RAISE grant, please schedule a meeting with our team for more insight on the process and how Via can help. Applications are due February 28, 2024. 

Rachel DiSalvo avatar
Rachel DiSalvo

Rachel DiSalvo is a Grants and Funding Principal at Via, specializing in helping Via's public sector partners identify and apply for transit funding opportunities.