United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 26, 2020
Generally applicable provisions
The following definitions apply to sections 601 through 609:
The term “contingent commitment” means a commitment to obligate an amount from future available budget authority that is—
contingent on those funds being made available in law at a future date; and
not an obligation of the Federal Government.
The term “eligible project costs” means amounts substantially all of which are paid by, or for the account of, an obligor in connection with a project, including the cost of—
development phase activities, including planning, feasibility analysis, revenue forecasting, environmental review, permitting, preliminary engineering and design work, and other preconstruction activities;
construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, replacement, and acquisition of real property (including land relating to the project and improvements to land), environmental mitigation, construction contingencies, and acquisition of equipment;
capitalized interest necessary to meet market requirements, reasonably required reserve funds, capital issuance expenses, and other carrying costs during construction; and
capitalizing a rural projects fund.
The term “Federal credit instrument” means a secured loan, loan guarantee, or line of credit authorized to be made available under the TIFIA program with respect to a project.
The term “investment-grade rating” means a rating of BBB minus, Baa3, bbb minus, BBB (low), or higher assigned by a rating agency to project obligations.
The term “lender” means any non-Federal qualified institutional buyer (as defined in section 230.144A(a) of title 17, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulation), known as Rule 144A(a) of the Securities and Exchange Commission and issued under the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77a et seq.)), including—
a qualified retirement plan (as defined in section 4974(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) that is a qualified institutional buyer; and
a governmental plan (as defined in section 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) that is a qualified institutional buyer.
The term “letter of interest” means a letter submitted by a potential applicant prior to an application for credit assistance in a format prescribed by the Secretary on the website of the TIFIA program that—
describes the project and the location, purpose, and cost of the project;
outlines the proposed financial plan, including the requested credit assistance and the proposed obligor;
provides a status of environmental review; and
provides information regarding satisfaction of other eligibility requirements of the TIFIA program.
The term “line of credit” means an agreement entered into by the Secretary with an obligor under section 604 to provide a direct loan at a future date upon the occurrence of certain events.
The term “limited buydown” means, subject to the conditions described in section 603(b)(4)(C), a buydown of the interest rate by the obligor if the interest rate has increased between—
the date on which a project application acceptable to the Secretary is submitted; or
the date on which the Secretary entered into a master credit agreement; and
the date on which the Secretary executes the Federal credit instrument.
The term “loan guarantee” means any guarantee or other pledge by the Secretary to pay all or part of the principal of and interest on a loan or other debt obligation issued by an obligor and funded by a lender.
The term “master credit agreement” means a conditional agreement to extend credit assistance for a program of related projects secured by a common security pledge covered under section 602(b)(2)(A) or for a single project covered under section 602(b)(2)(B) that does not provide for a current obligation of Federal funds, and that would—
make contingent commitments of 1 or more secured loans or other Federal credit instruments at future dates, subject to—
the availability of future funds being made available to carry out the TIFIA program; and
the satisfaction of all of the conditions for the provision of credit assistance under the TIFIA program, including section 603(b)(1);
establish the maximum amounts and general terms and conditions of the secured loans or other Federal credit instruments;
identify the 1 or more dedicated non-Federal revenue sources that will secure the repayment of the secured loans or secured Federal credit instruments;
provide for the obligation of funds for the secured loans or secured Federal credit instruments after all requirements have been met for the projects subject to the master credit agreement, including—
completion of an environmental impact statement or similar analysis required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.);
receiving an investment grade rating from a rating agency;
compliance with such other requirements as are specified under the TIFIA program, including sections 602(c) and 603(b)(1); and
the availability of funds to carry out the TIFIA program; and
require that contingent commitments result in a financial close and obligation of credit assistance not later than 3 years after the date of entry into the master credit agreement, or release of the commitment, unless otherwise extended by the Secretary.
The term “obligor” means a party that—
is primarily liable for payment of the principal of or interest on a Federal credit instrument; and
may be a corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust, or governmental entity, agency, or instrumentality.
The term “project” means—
any surface transportation project eligible for Federal assistance under this title or chapter 53 of title 49;
a project for an international bridge or tunnel for which an international entity authorized under Federal or State law is responsible;
a project for intercity passenger bus or rail facilities and vehicles, including facilities and vehicles owned by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation and components of magnetic levitation transportation systems;
a project that—
is a project—
for a public freight rail facility or a private facility providing public benefit for highway users by way of direct freight interchange between highway and rail carriers;
for an intermodal freight transfer facility;
for a means of access to a facility described in subclause (I) or (II);
for a service improvement for a facility described in subclause (I) or (II) (including a capital investment for an intelligent transportation system); or
that comprises a series of projects described in subclauses (I) through (IV) with the common objective of improving the flow of goods;
may involve the combining of private and public sector funds, including investment of public funds in private sector facility improvements;
if located within the boundaries of a port terminal, includes only such surface transportation infrastructure modifications as are necessary to facilitate direct intermodal interchange, transfer, and access into and out of the port; and
is composed of related highway, surface transportation, transit, rail, or intermodal capital improvement projects eligible for assistance under this section in order to meet the eligible project cost threshold under section 602, by grouping related projects together for that purpose, subject to the condition that the credit assistance for the projects is secured by a common pledge;
a project to improve or construct public infrastructure that is located within walking distance of, and accessible to, a fixed guideway transit facility, passenger rail station, intercity bus station, or intermodal facility, including a transportation, public utility, or capital project described in section 5302(3)(G)(v) of title 49, and related infrastructure; and
the capitalization of a rural projects fund.
The term “project obligation” means any note, bond, debenture, or other debt obligation issued by an obligor in connection with the financing of a project, other than a Federal credit instrument.
The term “rating agency” means a credit rating agency registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (as that term is defined in section 3(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a))).
The term “rural infrastructure project” means a surface transportation infrastructure project located in an area that is outside of an urbanized area with a population greater than 150,000 individuals, as determined by the Bureau of the Census.
The term “rural projects fund” means a fund—
established by a State infrastructure bank in accordance with section 610(d)(4);
capitalized with the proceeds of a secured loan made to the bank in accordance with sections 602 and 603; and
for the purpose of making loans to sponsors of rural infrastructure projects in accordance with section 610.
The term “secured loan” means a direct loan or other debt obligation issued by an obligor and funded by the Secretary in connection with the financing of a project under section 603.
The term “State” has the meaning given the term in section 101.
The term “State infrastructure bank” means an infrastructure bank established under section 610.
The term “subsidy amount” means the amount of budget authority sufficient to cover the estimated long-term cost to the Federal Government of a Federal credit instrument—
calculated on a net present value basis; and
excluding administrative costs and any incidental effects on governmental receipts or outlays in accordance with the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (2 U.S.C. 661 et seq.).
The term “substantial completion” means—
the opening of a project to vehicular or passenger traffic; or
a comparable event, as determined by the Secretary and specified in the credit agreement.
The term “TIFIA program” means the transportation infrastructure finance and innovation program of the Department established under sections 602 through 609.
For purposes of this title, this chapter shall be treated as being part of chapter 1.
(Added Pub. L. 105–178, title I, § 1503(a),
June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 241, § 181; renumbered § 601 and amended Pub. L. 109–59, title I, §§ 1601(a), 1602(b)(1), (5), (d), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1239, 1246, 1247; Pub. L. 109–291, § 4(b)(6), Sept. 29, 2006, 120 Stat. 1338; Pub. L. 110–244, title I, § 101(r), June 6, 2008, 122 Stat. 1577; Pub. L. 112–141, div. A, title II, § 2002, July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 607; Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title II, § 2001(a), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1439.)
cite as: 23 USC 601