Chapter 5: Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program

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Section 1: Program Information

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The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST) established the Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set Aside Program as part of the Surface Transportation Block Grant. The TA program provides funding for a variety of alternative transportation projects and is codified in 23 USC section 133(h).

TxDOT's Public Transportation Division (PTN) administers the TA funding for population areas of 200,000 or less. Metropolitan Planning Organizations are responsible for administering TA funding in urbanized areas with populations greater than 200,000. The Texas Transportation Commission authorized TxDOT TA program rules in 2016, limiting federal TA funding for construction only and limiting eligible TA activities to construction of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

These Transportation Alternatives projects (TA Project) may involve the acquisition, management, and disposition of real property, and the relocation of families, individuals, and businesses. To the extent that they do, they are governed by the general requirements of the Federal-aid program found in titles 23 and 49 of the CFR, except as specified below.

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  1. Acquisition and relocation activities by a local public agency for TA projects are subject to the Uniform Act.
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  3. When a person or agency acquires real property for a project receiving federal highway grant funds on behalf of an acquiring agency with eminent domain authority, the requirements of the Uniform Act apply as if the acquiring agency had acquired the property itself.
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  5. When, subsequent to federal approval of property acquisition, a person or agency acquires real property for a project receiving federal highway grant funds, and there will be no use or recourse to the power of eminent domain, property owners should be advised of that fact during negotiations.
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Property Management and Disposal of Property Acquired for TA Projects

23 CFR 710.401-.409 governs the management and disposal of real property interests acquired with TA funds, including alternate uses authorized under ROW use agreements. A TA project involving acquisition of any real property interest must have a real property agreement between FHWA and the local project sponsor that identifies the expected useful life of the TA project and establishes a pro rata formula for repayment of TA Project funding by the sponsor if:

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  1. The acquired real property interest is used in whole or in part for purposes other than the TA project purposes for which it was acquired; or
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  3. The actual TA project life is less than the expected useful life specified in the real property agreement.
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