State opens applications for alternative transportation projects

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The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation’s Highways Division is seeking applications for projects that enhance the state’s intermodal transportation system.

The selected projects, funded through federal Transportation Alternatives Set-aside funding, prioritize projects for pedestrians, cyclists, children, seniors, and the transit-dependent. The Transportation Alternatives program covers 80% of the project cost, and the applicant/sponsor is responsible for the remaining 20%. The federal share is paid on a reimbursable basis.

Last year, several projects were funded on the Big Island. Hawaiʻi County Mass Transit Agency received $494,000 to improve islandwide bus stops in an effort to improve mobility for disadvantaged populations, including elderly, disabled, minority and low-income populations. The County Department of Public Works was also awarded $96,000 to organize, promote and conduct three 1-day community events to promote the use of alternative modes of transportation, provide hands-on safety education activities, and introduce the public to the off-road multi-use path in their community.

Two local nonprofits also received funding for projects last fiscal year. People’s Advocacy for Trails Hawaiʻi, known as PATH, received $726,000 to expand its existing Hawaiʻi Island Bikeshare system in Kailua-Kona and Hilo. Hilo Bayfront Trails, Inc., received $824,000 to construct a portion of the 6-mile multi-use path identified in the Hilo Bayfront Trails Master Plan.


The deadline for applications is April 1, 2023. Eligible projects include non-construction (e.g., programs, studies, Safe Routes to School coordinator position) and construction (e.g., new or improved bicycle routes, sidewalks, bus stops, overlooks, viewing areas, wayfinding, traffic control, storm water mitigation).

Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, and state or local agencies responsible for managing roadways, public land, education, and mass transit. Eligible applicants that do not routinely use federal-aid highway funds must obtain the commitment of a sponsoring transportation agency (e.g., Department of Public Works, mass transit agency) to manage the project per federal regulations.

Review the HDOT Highway’s Division TA Program Website and download the application and TA Program Handbook here:


For all questions, contact Mr. Jeyan Thirugnanam, TA Program Coordinator, by phone 808-587-6336 or email [email protected].

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