Flex Your Grants: A New Report from TRU and Partners

Given unprecedented levels of federal funding now available for US transportation projects, TRU was pleased to collaborate with several partner groups from across the Midwest to develop a new report, Flex Your Grants: Leveraging Federal Dollars for Clean Transportation Projects.”

This resource was authored by the Shared Use Mobility Center in collaboration with the RE-AMP transportation team, including TRU and allies (detailed below). It analyzes both new and existing federal funding programs and explains how state, regional, and local governments can leverage these funds to invest in public transit and other clean mobility.

The report explains and provides examples for potential funding sources including:

  • Carbon Reduction Program
  • Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ)
  • Enhanced Mobility of Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities
  • Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
  • Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT)
  • Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Grant Program
  • Safe Streets and Roads for All

Funding for Clean Mobility or Status Quo?

This unprecedented level of federal transportation funding has the potential, and in some ways the goal, of equitably addressing the climate crisis with clean mobility projects that benefit the communities with greatest needs. However, states and municipal planning organizations will have a great deal of autonomy in deciding how to use these dollars. Without community pressure, this could results in decades more of auto-centric pollution.

“Flex Your Grants” was supported by RE-AMP because the RE-AMP Transportation Action Team is working to ensure federal dollars are spent to decarbonize our transportation system through promoting multi-modal alternatives. TRU and our RE-AMP allies are using this report in part to train advocates to push federal dollars away from roadway expansion projects toward public transit and other clean transportation projects, or at least existing road maintenance. 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law increased funding to these formula programs over five fiscal years and added greater flexibility for spending the funds. This flexibility is combined with new and expanded eligibility for various clean transportation project types. That means transportation agencies have a greater opportunity than ever before to decide how much federal funding for transportation will be directed toward low-carbon projects that also help to reduce pollution and make communities safer.

– “Flex Your Grants: Leveraging Federal Dollars for Clean Transportation Projects”

A Great Collaboration of Midwest Allies

The Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public interest organization and international thought leader working to replace car-centric transportation with people-focused shared mobility to fight climate change, promote equity, and strengthen community.

TRU is proud to support SUMC’s Shared Mobility 2030 Action Agenda – a platform for cross-sector collaboration and accountability around seven priority Action Items necessary to make shared mobility more attractive than owning or driving a car by 2030.

RE-AMP is a network of over 130 organizations that sets collective strategy and enables collaboration on climate solutions in the Midwest towards our North Star Goal: to equitably eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in the Midwest by 2050.

Our RE-AMP Transportation Action Team partners include:

  • 1000 Friends of Iowa is a statewide, membership based organization focused on engaging Iowans around responsible, equitable land use, transportation, and the intersection of climate change.
  • 1000 Friends of Wisconsin was created in 1996 with a focus on promoting Wisconsin’s Smart Growth Comprehensive Planning Law. We understand that climate change and land use are intrinsically linked. Our goal is to help people make the connection between sound land use and transportation decisions, which lead to a healthier, cleaner environment.
  • Move Minnesota leads the movement for just and sustainable transportation in Minnesota. We are passionate about connecting communities, ending the climate crisis, expanding access to jobs and resources, and improving daily life for Minnesotans of all ages, races, incomes, and abilities. We connect people to transit where the system works well, and fight hard to ensure it works for everyone.
  • Resilient Cities and Communities is a peer-learning network of local leaders active with 50 Minnesota cities and 10 counties working to achieve their local climate goals together by implementing high impact actions. We’re currently convening city teams guiding low carbon local redevelopment projects.