The West of England Partnership, made up of Bristol City Council, Bath & North East Somerset Council, North Somerset Council, and South Gloucestershire Council, was awarded £500,000 by the Department for Transport.
The partnership will use this money to develop proposals for road charging and public transport schemes that could be eligible for funding through the £200M per year TIF.
Revealing the award today, transport minister Rosie Winterton reminded councils that they had until May 30 to apply for this year's round of development cash, known as pump-priming funding.
"I should be clear that receipt of this pump-priming funding is no guarantee that an authority will be successful in bidding for the main Transport Innovation Fund," she added.
"We are, however, committed to working closely with the successful authorities to deliver the work programmes set out in their pump priming bids and to support future decisions on the main Transport Innovation Fund."
Winterton said that other bids successful in winning the 2008 pump-priming funding would be announced after the May 30 deadline.
TIF was set up in 2004 by then-transport secretary Alastair Darling to support schemes that cut congestion in English towns and cities. Last month the current transport secretary Ruth Kelly extended the running of the £200M per year fund for a further four years, so that it is now due to run until 2019.