$750 million awarded in 2023 for roadway, transit, and bike and pedestrian projects

Every two years, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) hosts a call for surface transportation projects that improve transit, bicycle facilities, and freight and traffic movement; fix bridges; reconstruct roads; and invest in alternative fuel vehicles and equipment. Funding for these projects is distributed through four federal sources that CMAP programs: 

Next call for projects

The next call for transportation projects will open in October 2024. Sign up for the transportation newsletter to learn when the next call opens.

FFY 2024-2028 call for projects

CMAP’s last call for projects ran from January 17 to March 10, 2023. The CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee approved project funding on October 11, 2023.

The Shared Fund methodology calls for publishing draft scoring results prior to releasing a program recommendation. These results were available for review by project applicants through June 23, 2023. After the review period, CMAP finalized scores and developed the staff recommended program that was presented to the STP Project Selection Committee on July 13, 2023.

STP Shared Fund estimated programming marks (subject to change, amounts shown are as of 2/24/2023)

FFY Total STP funds for region STP Shared Fund
(15% of total)
Currently programmed Available for
FFY 2024 – 2028 CFP
2024 $213,302,679 $31,995,402 $31,995,402* $0
2025 $207,694,855 $31,154,228 $25,745,225 $5,409,003
2026 $211,238,056 $31,685,708 $22,205,570 $9,480,138
2027 $214,852,121 $32,227,818 $0 $32,227,818
2028 $218,538,468 $32,780,770 $0 $32,780,770
Total $1,065,626,179 $159,843,927 $79,946,197 $79,897,730
*There is currently $39.2M programmed in FFY 2024. Redistribution funds will be sought to fill the gap.

Frequently asked questions

Can I request a combination of CMAQ, TAP, and STP funding?

Yes. Applicants should indicate the requested fund source(s) by selecting each in the “Major Imp Group” field of the eTIP application. See the eTIP User Guide for more detailed instructions. Keep in mind that all federal funds must be matched with non-federal fund sources.

Will my project be considered for all fund sources?

No. Projects will not automatically be evaluated for all fund sources. In the past, bicycle facility applications were evaluated for both CMAQ and TAP. An applicant now needs to indicate the requested fund source(s) by selecting the choice(s) in the “Major Imp Group” field in the eTIP application. STP Shared Fund applicants also will need to indicate the specific project type in the application workbook.

Can CMAQ, TAP, and STP Shared Funds be combined with other federal funds, like the Highway Safety Improvement Program, on the same project?

Yes. But you still need to have the full amount of local match for all the federal funds. Federal funds, such as CMAQ, cannot be matched with another federal fund source. Always check state programmed funds to make sure they are not federal sources, such as Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program and Safe Routes to Schools.

Can motor fuel tax and Rebuild Illinois bond funds be used for local match?

Yes.

Can private funds be used for local match?

Yes. Applicants should provide evidence of this commitment.

Is there a maximum award for a single project, project phase, and/or sponsor?

The only limitation on the maximum award is the estimated total funding available in each federal fiscal year. While it is not the intent of CMAP or its selection committees to direct all available funds to a single project, there is no “per project” or “per sponsor” limit.

Will my project rank better if I only request construction funds?

The total project cost, which includes all phases of the project, will be used for CMAQ and TAP cost/benefit analyses and for calculating the cost effectiveness for the improvement portion of the score for STP Shared Fund projects. 

CMAQ and TAP projects, where the sponsor has shown commitment to the project by funding phases independently, will be noted for the Project Selection Committee’s consideration. 

STP Shared Fund projects may receive more points in the financial commitment category when requesting only a portion of funds. See the STP Shared Fund application booklet for additional information. 

Can one agency submit multiple applications?

Yes; however, an applicant should make sure that sufficient financial and staff resources are available to follow through on all selected projects.

My project has not received design approval because federal action is needed to approve NEPA documents and funds are not committed for subsequent phases. Does my project qualify as having phase 1 engineering complete?

No. You must have design approval (projects processed through IDOT) or a ROD, FONSI, or qualify as a C-List or D-List CE (for projects processed through FTA) to meet the definition of “Complete.” However, the project may be considered “Nearly Complete” or “Substantially Complete.” See the application booklet for additional details. 

My project (being processed through IDOT) is scheduled for a federal coordination meeting on March 14, may I attach the meeting minutes to my application after the call for projects closes?

Yes. Meeting minutes from the March federal coordination meeting may be attached through Friday, March 17, 2023. This is the only exception to the acceptance of document attachments after the deadline.

If I forget to include some information, can I submit it after the deadline?

Significant effort is being made to ensure that applicants submit all of their information on time. Your council/conference planning liaison’s review will help you identify any missing pieces. See the CMAQ/TAP application booklet and the STP Shared Fund application booklet for policies specific to these fund sources.

Who is the lead agency if my community works together with several neighboring jurisdictions to implement a joint corridor project?

It is up to those jurisdictions to develop some type of intergovernmental agreement or memorandum of understanding to ensure the respective commitment to the project, assign a lead agency, and clarify the funding shares and payment mechanism for the local match. For the engineering phases, IDOT will work with the identified lead agency on the agreements, project processing, and local match. You can decide whether it is best to bid the project in municipal segments or jointly for the whole corridor.

What if a sponsor is interested in a project, but is not in a position to apply during this call for projects; what is the next opportunity to apply?

CMAP intends to maintain a two-year cycle for program development, but that is dependent on congressional approval of new authorizing legislation and healthy budget appropriations. This timing is not as discouraging as it sounds because of “first ready, first funded” practices, i.e., once a project is programmed, it likely can be moved up when it is ready.

Should I include letters of support with my application and/or are letters of support required?

General letters of support are discouraged as they have no bearing on scoring or programming decisions. However, for projects with multiple partners (participating financially), a letter, resolution, or other document should be provided to document the financial participation. Likewise, if a sponsor is applying for a project on a facility over which they don’t have jurisdiction or won’t be the final implementing agency (such as a municipality applying for a project on a state road), evidence from the implementing agency (IDOT in the prior example) that verifies they are committed to implementing the project on the schedule proposed and in accordance with active program management requirements (for the STP Shared Fund), should also be provided.

My project is currently active in CMAP’s TIP. Should I use the active TIP ID or the TIP ID assigned by eTIP when naming file attachments and completing my application workbook?

Please use the new TIP ID assigned to your eTIP application in all application materials and remember to add the existing TIP ID in the “Project is related to another project(s)” field in eTIP.

How are projects evaluated and ranked?

The primary consideration for CMAQ projects is the cost-effectiveness of their air emissions reductions, measured as either the cost per kilogram of volatile organic compounds (VOC) reduced or the cost per kilogram of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) reduced. Projects will be ranked by their air quality cost-effectiveness within their project type category.

Additional criteria will be measured for projects as secondary to the air quality cost-effectiveness and will be taken into consideration when evaluating projects for potential funding. These are referred to as transportation impact criteria and are specific to a project type. The CMAQ application booklet provides specific details on the evaluations for these criteria.

My project is currently included in the STP Shared Fund Active Program, do I need to reapply in this call cycle?

No. Active program projects do not need to reapply. However, sponsors may reapply in order to request additional funding. Reapplying for additional funding does not impact a project’s current status in the active program. 

My project is currently included in the STP Shared Fund Active Program, but I want to request a revised schedule, do I need to reapply?

No. CMAP staff utilize quarterly status updates to determine if active program projects should be reprogrammed in different years. Project sponsors may request a schedule change at any time when completing and submitting status updates. Schedule changes will be accommodated as long as fiscal constraint can be maintained in all program years. A schedule change request form is also available on the STP webpage

My project is currently included in the STP Shared Fund Contingency Program, do I need to reapply in this call cycle?

Yes, per the region’s Active Program Management policies, the current contingency program will expire on September 30, 2023. In order to be considered for either the active program or future contingency programs, a new application must be submitted. 

My project is currently included in a local council’s STP Active Program. Can I also apply for the STP Shared Fund?

Yes, and the programmed STP-Local funds will be considered as “committed” funds. Keep in mind that all federal funds must be matched with non-federal fund sources. 

My project is currently included in a local council’s STP Contingency Program. Can I also apply for the STP Shared Fund?

Yes.

Are non-municipal sponsors eligible to apply without partners for projects over $5 million?

Yes, however non-municipal sponsors are strongly encouraged to seek partnerships with affected municipalities. Private entities must partner with an eligible government or transportation agency. 

How are projects evaluated and ranked for STP Shared Funding?

The program of projects selected by the STP Project Selection Committee will consider the results of the project evaluation in four categories: project readiness, transportation impact, planning factors, and subregional priority. Individual scoring criteria are based on the project type. See the STP Shared Fund application booklet for details.

Will projects automatically be evaluated in multiple categories to determine the highest possible score?

No. Project sponsors must select the appropriate category for their project on the “All STP Projects” worksheet in the application workbook. A separate application must be completed for each project category.

If our county DOT included consideration of complete streets improvements for all projects as a part of a long-range transportation improvement plan that is still active, is that considered to be a complete streets policy?

Yes, if the county DOT is the project sponsor or the project is located on a county highway. For municipal-sponsored projects, the municipality must have an adopted complete streets policy in order to receive points for the policy in the Complete Streets Planning Factor category.

Can a council work together to propose a program of lower-scale projects, such as bridge rehab vs. reconstruct, to meet the cost eligibility requirements and the spirit of regional significance?

Comprehensive programs that involve regional/sub-regional collaboration and coordination to meet the federal performance targets are a desired outcome of the STP Shared Fund.

What plans will be considered to meet the “inclusion in plans” eligibility requirement?

Acceptable plans are those that are subject to public review and have received local government or implementing agency approval. A project’s inclusion in IDOT’s Multi-Year Program, a local agency Capital Improvement Program, or identification as an ON TO 2050 Regionally Significant Project (RSP) is also acceptable. However, selection for funding in a competitive grant or discretionary funding program or being listed in IDOT’s Local Roads status sheets or Management Monitoring Schedule does not qualify as inclusion in a plan. The STP Shared Fund application booklet provides guidance for determining what planning documents or programs are acceptable. Applicants may also contact CMAP planning staff listed in the application booklet for additional guidance.

Will the total cost and cost-effectiveness of a project be considered in project ranking or selection?

Cost effectiveness is included in the “improvement” component of the Transportation Impact category. The total project cost for all phases, regardless of fund source, is used for this scoring.

Will partial funding be programmed for high-ranking projects if full funding isn’t available due to fiscal constraint?

One of the goals of the STP Shared Fund is to complete projects. Therefore, if a project cannot be fully funded through construction with available funds, no partial funding will be awarded. However, there are two options available to applicants that would facilitate partial funding.

Applicants may request consideration of “staged construction” when segments of the project have independent utility and logical termini. Applicants should submit one eTIP application for the project, breaking costs down by the individual stages and must submit separate individual application workbooks for the full project and each individual stage.

Applicants may also indicate if they are willing to accept less than full funding for a project or project phase by providing a “minimum acceptable funding” amount. Applicants must accept certain conditions detailed in the application workbook and are expected to fully complete the project using the minimum acceptable funding amount.

If full funding isn’t available, but more than the “minimum acceptable funding” amount is, can a project be programmed for an amount in between?

Yes.

Is there a maximum award for a single project, project phase, and/or sponsor?

The only limitation on the maximum award is the estimated total funding available in each federal fiscal year. While it is not the intent of CMAP or its selection committees to direct all available funds to a single project, there is no “per project” or “per sponsor” limit. The estimated funding available will be determined prior to the close of the call for projects.

Prior approved programs

On October 13, 2021, the CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee approved the FFY2022 -2026 STP Shared Fund and CMAQ and TAP programs.

STP Local Programs

In the years between CMAP calls for regional projects, the eleven subregional councils of mayors and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) conduct calls for projects to be funded with local allocations of STP funding. These STP Local Programs receive final approval from the MPO Policy Committee for inclusion in CMAP’s Transportation Improvement Program