Be ready before you ask for grant funding, warns USDoT

Polly Trottenberg, deputy secretary at US Department of Transportation, had a polite but firm message for companies and agencies seeking funding from the government: make sure you are ready before asking for money.
April 27, 2023
Be ready before you ask for funding, warns USDoT


ITS America president & CEO Laura Chace asked her at the second plenary session of the Conference & Expo what transportation agencies can do to effectively compete for grants – and how could they be as prepared as possible.

“Our door is open for everyone to come in and talk through your needs,” Trottenberg said. “But I would just say as you are preparing applications, the biggest problem we're seeing is project readiness.

Projects come to us and they haven't really thought through the details, the design, they don't have their local map, there is community work to be done. It is a better use of your time and a better use of our time if you get the project really ready before you come in the door.”

Trottenberg added: “There's sometimes a perception that ‘we'll get a little federal money and then that will help kind of make everything happen’. It’s actually a little bit the opposite: you’ve got to have things pretty ready to go and then come to seek that federal funding.”

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