Program Description

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)'s Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) program is a new grant authorized by the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act that funds critical freight and highway projects across the country. The FAST Act authorizes $800 million in funding for the FASTLANE program for fiscal year 2016, with 25 percent reserved for rural projects, and 10 percent for smaller projects.

The FASTLANE grant program provides funding for projects of national or regional significance. FASTLANE grants provide dedicated funding for projects that address major issues facing our nation's highways and bridges. For the first time in the U.S. Department of Transportation's 50-year history, the program establishes broad, multiyear eligibilities for freight infrastructure, including intermodal projects.

FASTLANE grants will address many of the challenges outlined in the USDOT report Beyond Traffic, including increased congestion on the nation's highways and the need for a strong multimodal transportation system to support the expected growth in freight movement both by ton and value. It is also in line with the Department's draft National Freight Strategic Plan released in October 2015, which looks at challenges and identifies strategies to address impediments to the efficient flow of goods throughout the nation.

FASTLANE grants, authorized by the FAST Act's Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (NSFHP) program, will fund small and large projects, based on project size, that meet statutory requirements. Large projects (equal to the lesser of $100 million or a certain specified statutory percentage of the project state's FY 2015 apportionment) are eligible for a minimum award of $25 million. Small projects, which consist of projects below the minimum large project size threshold, are eligible for a minimum award of $5 million.

The minimum award for a large project is $25 million. The minimum award for a small project is $5 million.

General Program Requirements

Eligible applicants for FASTLANE grants are:

  • a State or group of States;
  • a metropolitan planning organization that serves an urbanized area (as defined by the Bureau of the Census) with a population of more than 200,000 individuals;
  • a unit of local government or group of local governments;
  • a political subdivision of a State or local government;
  • a special purpose district or public authority with a transportation function, including a port authority;
  • a Federal land management agency that applies jointly with a State or group of States;
  • a tribal government or a consortium of tribal governments; or
  • a multi-State or multijurisdictional group of public entities.
A project is eligible for an FASTLANE grants if it is:
  • a highway freight project carried out on the National Highway Freight Network (23 U.S.C. 167)
  • a highway or bridge project carried out on the National Highway System (NHS) including projects that add capacity on the Interstate System to improve mobility or projects in a national scenic area
  • a railway-highway grade crossing or grade separation project
  • a freight project that is
    1. an intermodal or rail project, or
    2. within the boundaries of a public or private freight rail, water (including ports), or intermodal facility, is a surface transportation infrastructure project necessary to facilitate direct intermodal interchange, transfer, or access into or out of the facility, and will significantly improve freight movement on the National Highway Freight Network. For these projects Federal funds can only support project elements that provide public benefits.
The minimum project size for large projects is the lesser of:
  • $100 million;
  • 30 percent of a State's FY 2015 Federal-aid apportionment if the project is located in one State; or
  • 50 percent of the larger participating State's FY 2015 apportionment for projects located in more than one State.
A small project is a project that does not meet the minimum project size requirements for a large project.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

A pre-application is not required, but applicants interested in applying are encouraged to email FASTLANEgrants@dot.gov at the specified date with applicant name, State in which project is located, approximate total project cost, and amount of the NSFHP grant request, and a 2-3 sentence project description. DOT seeks this early notification of interest to inform the Department's allocation of resources for application evaluations and to facilitate timely and efficient awards.

Applications must be submitted through Grants.gov. The Grants.gov "Apply" function will open by a date to be specified. Please be aware that you must complete the Grants.gov registration process before submitting the Application, and that this process usually takes 2-4 weeks to complete. In addition, please reference Section D. of the Notice of Funding Opportunity for complete Application and Submission Information.

Instructions on completing the SF-424

Instructions on completing the SF-424C

Applications must be submitted by a specific date and time to be specified. Applicants are strongly encouraged to make submissions in advance of this deadline.

To register on Grants.gov, applicants must:

  1. Obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number;
  2. Register with the System for Award Management (SAM) at www.SAM.gov;
  3. Create a Grants.gov username and password; and
  4. The E-Business Point of Contact (POC) at your organization must respond to the registration email from Grants.gov and login at Grants.gov to authorize you as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). Please note that there can be more than one AOR for an organization.
For information and instructions on each of these processes, please visit the FAQ page.

Additional Information on Applying Through Grants.gov

To apply for funding through Grants.gov, applicants must be properly registered. Complete instructions on how to register and apply can be found at www.grants.gov. If interested parties experience difficulties at any point during registration or application process, please call the Grants.gov Customer Support Hotline at 1-800-518-4726.

The following parameters can be used to locate the FASTLANE Grants 2016 Funding Opportunity on Grants.gov:
  • Funding Opportunity Number: NSFHP-16-FASTLANE16
  • CFDA Number: 20.934
Applicants experiencing technical issues with Grants.gov that are beyond the applicant's control must contact FASTLANEgrants@dot.gov or Howard Hill at 202-366-0301 prior to the application deadline with the user name of the registrant and details of the technical issue experienced. The applicant must provide:
  1. Details of the technical issue experienced
  2. Screen capture(s) of the technical issue experienced along corresponding "Grant tracking number" (Grants.gov)
  3. The "Legal Business Name" for the applicant that was provided in the SF-424
  4. The AOR name submitted in the SF-424 (Grants.gov)
  5. The DUNS number associated with the Application
  6. The Grants.gov or Application Help Desk Tracking Number

Program Contact Information

Additional Information

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number20.934
Current Method of Tribal EligibilityTribal government or a consortium of tribal governments
Funding TypeGrant
Entities Eligible for Grant AssistanceA state or group of states; a metropolitan planning organization that serves an urbanized area with a population of more than 200,000 individuals; a unit or political subdivision of a local government or group of local governments; a special purpose district or public authority with a transportation function, including a port authority; a Federal land management agency that applies jointly with a State or group of States; tribal government(s); Multi-State or multijurisdictional group of public entities
Matching Funds RequiredGrants may be used for up to 60% of future eligible project costs. Federal assistance other than a FASTLANE grant may be used to satisfy the non-Federal share of the cost of a project receiving a FASTLANE grant, but the total Federal assistance may not exceed 80% of future eligible project costs. Since the law specifically establishes the Federal share for FASTLANE grants, the maximum Federal share is not subject to adjustment based on other statutory provisions.
Number of People Served by this Program (Approximate)All states and territories
Do Tribes compete with other entities for funding from the program?Yes

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