The TIFIA program helps finance important national or regional surface transportation projects through direct loans, loan guarantees, or lines of credit and serves as an important piece in financing investment into our nation’s infrastructure.
The RAPID Act would make several notable changes to streamline the TIFIA program:
To be eligible for federal assistance under TIFIA, an application’s senior debt obligations must obtain investment-grade ratings from at least two nationally recognized credit rating agencies. The process of securing these ratings can be lengthy and expensive. The RAPID Act would raise this threshold for securing multiple credit rating agency opinions from $75 million to $150 million, reducing the overall review timeline and potentially encouraging greater participation in the program.
Expedited Application Process:
The FAST Act required the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to establish a fast-track application process for projects that meet certain criteria. Unfortunately, this streamlined process has been underutilized and has not met congressional intent. The RAPID Act legislation would add the new criteria to the streamlined application process, increasing the likelihood that the Build America Bureau will be comfortable moving qualifying projects through the process expeditiously.
Process Reports and Status Updates:
The bill would increase transparency in the process by ensuring applicants, the general public and Congress are well-informed regarding projects seeking TIFIA assistance by requiring USDOT to publish status reports online.
The bill is endorsed by the following organizations:
- Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure (AIAI)
- American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)
- American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
- American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
- National Association of County Engineers (NACE)