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This winter, communities of less than 5,000 people have a great opportunity to become more bike-friendly!  Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) has offered a supplemental Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) initiative aimed at serving rural non-urbanized communities called Safe Transportation Alternatives for Rural Schools or STARS. The deadline for STARS project applications is no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, March 24, 2023.

Why is it a good time for small communities to apply for TAP funding?

  • The application process for the STARS program has been simplified.
  • The minimum project budget has been lowered to make getting started on a TAP program more accessible.
  • There is $10 million available for communities under 5,000 over the next two years!
  • And… the Bike Fed can help you apply! Over the next two months, the Bike Fed can provide technical assistance in drafting a proposal through an agreement with WisDOT.
  • Non-profits can be the fiscal agent

STARS projects are primarily for Safe Routes to School projects but proposals can also be submitted for infrastructure or planning. STARS projects will be selected through a competitive process. Like all TAP projects, STARS projects:

  • Must relate to surface transportation
  • Must have an eligible sponsor who will fund a portion of the project AND commit to a 80% Federal/20% local funding split

To determine if your community is eligible, WisDOT has created this mapping tool. Not from a community of under 5,000?  There are limited funds available for projects in bigger communities as well through 2026.  Regardless of your community size, if you have an idea for a TAP project, The Bike Fed would love to hear about it! 

Not ready to request a project grant, but want to know how to get started for future projects? Designed to make starting a new project less overwhelming, The Path to Developing New Trails was created in 2022, and remains a valuable tool to provide you with general direction as well as resources for more in-depth guidance.

Contact Bike Fed Government Affairs Manager Collin Mead: to set up a meeting with Bike Fed staff.  More information on STARS can be found on the WisDOT website.