Relating to Surface Transportation
According to the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Guidance on Transportation Alternatives, for a project to be eligible for TE funds it must relate to surface transportation and qualify as one of the 10 eligible activities. Surface transportation includes transport both by land and water. Transport by water encompasses features such as canals, docks and piers connecting to ferry operations.
The TA project sponsor must illustrate the project's relationship to surface transportation in the project proposal. Factors that can help establish this relationship include the project's proximity to a highway or a pedestrian/bicycle corridor; whether it enhances the aesthetic, cultural or historic aspects of the travel experience; and whether it serves a current or past transportation purpose.
Although these factors can help establish the relationship to surface transportation, none of them will necessarily make or break the case. Each state Department of Transportation (DOT) works with a Federal Highway Administration representative (FHWA) to ensure that projects meet the criteria of relating to surface transportation. Bear in mind that the DOT can impose guidelines on project eligibility more restrictive than those put forth by the FHWA. Contact your state TA Manager to ask questions about a proposed project's relationship to surface transportation.