Allocating federal funds to meet local and regional transportation needs
As the region's federally-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Met Council works with the Transportation Advisory Board every two years to administer the Regional Solicitation and distribute federal transportation funds. Locally initiated projects are selected based on how each project meets regional transportation needs. These projects also help implement regional transportation and development policies described in the Transportation Policy Plan.
Federal funds are available for roadway, bridge, transit capital and operating, and bike and pedestrian projects. The Met Council, Minnesota Department of Transportation, transit providers, local governments, and other agencies such as the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency can all submit project proposals.
The criteria and measures for evaluating project applications and the solicitation process are reviewed and updated every two years through the region’s cooperative planning process, and the revised application is adopted by the Transportation Advisory Board. Project applications are solicited, reviewed, scored, and ranked through this process.
Once selected, the board sends the recommended program of projects to the Met Council, which either approves the recommendation or sends it back to for reconsideration. The selected projects are then included in the next draft of the Transportation Improvement Program.
Highway Safety Improvement Program
The Transportation Advisory Board also approves the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funding. These projects promote safety by addressing design elements to reduce crashes, particularly those of a severe nature.
2022 funding cycle major changes
A TAB Working Group developed specific criteria, weighting, measures, and a selection process for unique project requests that was approved by the full board.
- Unique Projects is a new application category that set aside 2.5% from the 2020 solicitation for project selection in the 2022 Regional Solicitation. This funding category will support innovative projects that reduce adverse environmental impacts, improve racial equity, and support multimodal communities. Applicants have the option to first submit an initial project interest form. Staff will review the project interest materials and consult with the applicant. After the consultation, applicants will complete the full application. The Application of Interest Form is due November 19, 2021. Submit the form in pdf format to email@example.com
- Pedestrian safety measure was updated based on the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, and is found within the relevant roadway applications.
- Roadway Spot Mobility and Safety application has an increased number of points allocated to safety given the increase in fatalities and serious injury crashes in the region.
- The Equity and Affordable Housing criterion was updated based on stakeholder feedback. This modified measure is used in each of the application categories.
- Purpose statements were added to describe the primary goals of each application type.
- Common crash modification factors were developed as part of phase 2 of the Regional Solicitation Before and After Study (2021) for use in roadway applications. Applicants have the option to use these crash modification factors, which are posted under Application Resources.
Public comment period open
The Metropolitan Council and the Transportation Advisory Board are asking for your comments on the Regional Solicitation and Highway Safety Improvement Program applications, which the board released for public comment on Sept. 16.
The Regional Solicitation is one way the board and Council prioritize and invest in roads, bridges and transit, as well as biking and walking needs. Whether for existing infrastructure or new improvements, projects focus on outcomes like reducing crashes, expanding access to all travel modes, and improving air quality.
We will receive comments on the applications and instructions for the Regional Solicitation and Highway Safety Improvement Program through 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 18.
The three federally funded programs for the solicitations are the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality program, and Highway Safety Improvement Program.
Regional Bicycle Transportation Network and Regional Bicycle Barriers updates
The Met Council is also updating the Regional Bicycle Transportation Network (RBTN) and Regional Bicycle Barriers to align with changes in local bicycle plans. These systems are part of the Regional Solicitation selection criteria and are one piece of the draft application packet out for public comment.
Review proposed updates to the RBTN on this interactive map and to the Regional Bicycle Barriers on this interactive map. The Met Council will consider modifying the Transportation Policy Plan with the final map updates in early 2022.
We will receive comments on updates to the RBTN and Regional Bicycle Barriers through 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 18.
Other options to submit a comment
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Record a message at 651-602-1500 (TTY 651-221-9886)
- Mail comments to 390 Robert Street North, St. Paul, MN 55101-1805
In February, the board and Council will invite local government agencies and their partners to apply for funds to make improvements broadly on roadways, transit, and bikeways and walkways. You'll find the specific categories in the Introduction to the application process.
Transportation Advisory Board's related policies