Updates to the U.S. Department of Transportation Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation Grants Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program has new information available on its website!

Amendment to SMART NOFO

The FY22 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for SMART Grants has been amended to include corrections and is live on Grants.gov and the SMART website. See pages 4, 12, 16, 23 and 25 for technical and substantive changes. New text is underlined and bolded. The deadline for applications remains unchanged as November 18, 2022, at 5:00 PM ET.

”How to Apply for a SMART Grant” Webinar Recording and Slides

A webinar was held on September 29th to introduce prospective applicants to the SMART Grants Program NOFO. Visit the website to view a recording of the presentation and access the slides: transportation.gov/grants/smart/webinars.

Notice of Proposed Temporary Waiver of Buy America Requirements for SMART is open for comments

To deliver projects and meaningful results while ensuring robust adoption of Buy America standards, the U.S. DOT is proposing to establish a temporary public interest waiver for projects funded under the SMART Grants Program. Formal comments can be submitted through the Federal Register Notice until October 21, 2022.

New Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Check out the FAQ page on the grant website for updated questions, including FAQs about the amendment to the SMART NOFO. The following are example updates to the FAQ web page including questions asked during the September webinar.

Q: Can Stage 1 funding be used to expand a project that is already in progress?

A: With Stage 1 Planning and Prototyping Grants, eligible applicants should focus on building out a proof-of-concept, partnerships, and capacity. It is possible that funding could be used to expand a project that is already in progress, if the applicant defines and illustrates how their project is a prototype. You can refer to our fact sheet, which broadly defines demonstration activities, Stage 1 activities, and eligible projects. However, please note that costs that have been incurred on a project before it receives a SMART grant will not eligible costs for the SMART grant and therefore cannot be reimbursed.

Q: Can a SMART grant be used for staff salaries?

A: Staff costs may potentially be an eligible planning cost if essential to the purpose of the grant and consistent with the cost principles in 2 CFR Part 200 Subpart E. Please note that a staff member’s salary is only eligible in direct proportion of the work hours they spend on the project. For example, if the staff member spends 50 percent of their work hours on a SMART grant project, then 50 percent of their salary could be considered an eligible expense and reimbursed with SMART funding.

Be on the lookout for more communications from the SMART Grants Program related to the SMART NOFO, new FAQs, and additional website updates. Questions about the SMART Grants Program that aren’t yet addressed in the FAQs can be sent via email to SMART@dot.gov. The deadline to submit technical questions is Friday, November 4, 2022.