A final update to this content was completed in March 2022.
Federal Credit Assistance
- The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA)
Provides Federal credit assistance in the form of direct loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit to finance surface transportation projects of national and regional significance.
- State Infrastructure Banks (SIBs)
Allow states to capitalize revolving loan funds with regularly apportioned Federal-aid highway funds.
- The Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) Program
Provides direct Federal loans and guarantees to support the development of railroad infrastructure.
- Section 129 Loans
Federal participation in a state loan to support projects with dedicated revenue streams such as tolls, excise taxes, sales taxes, and others.
Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA)
The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998 (TIFIA) is a Federal program under which USDOT provides credit assistance to major surface
transportation projects of national or regional significance, including highway,
transit, and rail. USDOT awards credit assistance to eligible applicants, which
include state departments of transportation, transit operators, special authorities,
local governments, and private entities. The program is designed to fill market
gaps and leverage limited Federal resources and substantial co-investment by providing
projects with supplemental or subordinate debt rather than grants.
The TIFIA credit program offers three distinct types of financial assistance designed to address the varying requirements of projects throughout their life cycles:
- Secured (direct) loan - Offers flexible repayment terms and provides combined construction and permanent financing of capital costs. Maximum term of 35 years from substantial completion. Repayments can start up to five years after substantial completion to allow time for facility construction and ramp-up.
- Loan guarantee - Provides full-faith-and-credit guarantees by the Federal Government and guarantees a borrower's repayments to non-Federal lender. Loan repayments to lender must commence no later than five years after substantial completion of project.
- Standby line of credit - Represents a secondary source of funding in the form of a contingent Federal loan to supplement project revenues, if needed, during the first 10 years of project operations, available up to 10 years after substantial completion of project.
Benefits of TIFIA assistance to public and private project sponsors include:
- Improved access to capital markets
- Flexible repayment terms
- Potentially more favorable interest rates than can be found in private capital markets for similar instruments
- Earlier completion of large, capital intensive projects that otherwise might be delayed or not built at all because of their size and complexity and the market's uncertainty over the timing of revenues
Greater detail on the TIFIA program is available from the
Build America Bureau. It includes: