Transportation Partnership Opportunity Fund (TPOF) assistance is awarded at the discretion of the Governor in the form of grants, revolving loans, or other financial assistance to an agency or local government of the Commonwealth for activities associated with eligible transportation projects.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) administers TPOF. Projects developed with monies from TPOF do not become private property, but become or remain public property following completion. The transportation improvements have to be accomplished according to VDOT standards and specifications and have to be maintained by the appropriate public entity pursuant to relevant agreements.

Contacts

Laura Farmer
Virginia Department of Transportation

Eligibility

To be eligible for assistance, the applicant must meet all mandatory requirements PLUS one of the other listed criteria:

Mandatory requirements:

  • The applicant must be an agency or local government of the Commonwealth.
  • The project addresses the needs identified in the appropriate state, regional, or local transportation plan.

PLUS one of the following:

  • The project meets Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund (COF) economic development criteria.
  • In cases where the project is solely retaining jobs, the project must meet Virginia Investment Performance Grant Program (VIP) economic development criteria.

Eligible Applicants: TPOF Financial assistance may be awarded to any agency or local government of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Eligible Projects: The financial assistance may be used for transportation capacity development, on- and off-site; road, rail, mass transit, or other transportation access costs beyond the funding capability of existing programs; studies of transportation projects, including but not limited to, environmental analysis, geotechnical assessment, survey, design and engineering, advance right-of-way acquisition, traffic analysis, toll sensitivity studies, financial analysis, or any else permitted by law. Funds may be used for any transportation project or any transportation facility within the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Transportation aspects of economic development projects also eligible for funding through the Revenue Sharing Program, the Economic Development Access program, the Rail Industrial Access program, the Rail Preservation Program, or the Rail Enhancement Program may be eligible to receive TPOF financial assistance. However, it must be demonstrated that such additional funding is necessary. Amounts received from these other funding sources, or used to leverage additional monies from TPOF, may not also be used for the required non-state match.

Monies from TPOF are not to be used to supplant existing or programmed funds from other existing public sources, but to support projects and activities beyond the funding capability of existing programs.

Process

VDOT, in cooperation with the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, will accept applications from eligible applicants for consideration.

  • Applicant reads instructions and fills out an application in its entirety. A copy of the application can be found here.
  • The applicant sends the completed application to VDOT’s Chief Financial Officer
  • Following receipt of the applications and a review by staff to ensure basic statutory requirements have been met, a TPOF Advisory Panel evaluates applications to ensure that applicant(s) meet the transportation and economic development evaluation criteria. Those who do so become eligible to receive assistance, subject to funding availability. In circumstances where the total amount of assistance requested exceeds the total amount of funding available, eligible applications that include applicant matching funds or equity contributions and projects in an advanced state of readiness to proceed will receive priority consideration for assistance.
    • General evaluation criteria:

      • Projects with high dollar-for-dollar matching funds.
      • Projects that clearly show how funds will advance the development of a transportation facility.
      • Financial feasibility of the project plan of finance, including the capacity to repay any loan and mitigate risks.
      • Extent to which funding would advance the project’s or facility’s schedule to an earlier completion date. 
    • Transportation evaluation criteria:
      • The entity’s experience implementing similar projects, including the use of new technologies.
      • Comparative benefits resulting from development of the proposed transportation project or facility.
      • Following evaluation by the TPOF Advisory Panel, VDOT’s Chief Financial Officer provides findings and recommendations of the Panel to the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, and the applicable modal oversight board and agencies.
  • Following notification by the TPOF Advisory Panel, the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade submit to the Governor a recommendation of funding for successful applicants. Once assistance from the Fund is approved and awarded by the Governor, a written commitment (the “Financing Commitment”) is provided to the potential recipient. The commitment outlines the type of assistance to be provided and, in the case of a loan, required security provisions, loan term and payment provisions, the amount of assistance to be provided, and any conditions that must be met by the applicant prior to loan closing or grant award. To preserve the funding, the commitment must be accepted and signed by the potential recipient and returned to VDOT within thirty (30) days of the commitment date. The Financing Commitment, once executed, establishes a legal obligation for the funding subject to appropriation and the terms and conditions of the Financing Commitment, as well as the recipient’s legal obligation to perform.
  • An agreement is executed between the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation and the appropriate local government or state agency that receives the principal benefit of financing from the Fund before disbursement of any monies. The agreement will include a statement that the recipient will reach the specified job creation or retention and/or capital investment levels within 36 months after final disbursement of funds and maintain those levels at least throughout the 36-month period.

FAQ

Are there clawbacks to the program?

Repayment obligations are assessed based on an equal weighting of the targets and are included as part of the Grant Agreement. In the event the project covers jobs and investment, each target is weighted at 50% and the repayment obligation is based on the combined level of failure of the targets. For projects that have only a single target, this target will be the only calculation for repayment obligation.

A 100% clawback may be required if at any time VDOT concludes the recipient will be unable to meet its new jobs and capital investment targets by the performance date OR a failure of reaching targets is equal or greater than 75% of the combined target failures.

When is the award disbursed?

Disbursement of the financial assistance can begin following execution of an Award Agreement. Assistance from the Fund may be paid to the recipient based on costs incurred for the project. In some instances, disbursement may be allowed on a lump sum basis, subject to sufficient justification, where a portion, up to the maximum amount of assistance approved, could be disbursed at a single time.

Can funds used to match the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund also be used to match the TPOF?

No, although both sources of monies can be used for a project.

Who takes ownership of transportation projects completed with TPOF?

Projects developed with monies from TPOF shall not become private property and shall be maintained by the appropriate entity pursuant to applicable agreements following completion. Any reports, studies, analyses, and other forms of intellectual property created or developed using monies from TPOF shall become property of the Commonwealth.

Are there any funding limitations?

Assistance or commitments from TPOF will be limited to the total value of money available in TPOF. TPOF shall consist of (i) one-third of all interest, dividends, and appreciation that may accrue to the Transportation Trust Fund and the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund, and (ii) any funds appropriated to it by the general appropriation act and revenue from any other source, public or private. Funding available will also include repayments to TPOF of loans, any revocation of assistance provided to entities that fail to meet performance criteria, any interest and dividends earned on TPOF, and any other appropriations may be used for additional loans or grants for other projects.

What if the total amount of assistance requested exceeds the total amount of funding available?

Eligible applications that include applicant matching funds or equity contributions and projects that are in an advanced state of readiness to proceed will receive priority consideration for assistance.