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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

FTA Programs for Tribal Recipients

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act was signed into law in December 2015. The act, which supports transit funding through fiscal year 2020, reauthorizes FTA programs and includes changes to improve mobility, streamline capital project construction and acquisition, and increase the safety of public transportation systems across the country. View FTA’s FAST Act highlights page. Tribes are eligible to become direct recipients and sub-recipients under numerous programs continued or introduced by the FAST act.

ProgramDescriptionTypeTribal Recipient Type(s)
Metropolitan Planning Program, 49 U.S.C. § 5305(d)Provides funding and procedural requirements for multimodal transportation planning in metropolitan areas. The planning programs are jointly administered by FTA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).FormulaSub-Recipient
Statewide Planning Program, 49 U.S.C. § 5305(e)Provides funding and procedural requirements for multimodal transportation planning in states. The planning programs are jointly administered by FTA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).FormulaSub-Recipient
Urbanized Area Formula Program, 49 U.S.C. § 5307Makes Federal resources available to urbanized areas and to Governors for transit capital and operating assistance and for transportation related planning in urbanized areas. An urbanized area is a Census-designated area with a population of 50,000 or more as determined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.FormulaDirect; Sub-recipient (if operating services in an urbanized area)
Passenger Ferry Grant Program, 49 U.S.C. § 5307(h)Provides competitive funding for projects that support passenger ferry systems in urbanized areas. These funds constitute a core investment in the enhancement and revitalization of public ferry systems in the nation's urbanized areas.CompetitiveDirect (if operating services in an urbanized area)
Fixed Guideway Capital Investment Program - New and Small Starts and Core Capacity Improvements, 49 U.S.C. § 5309Provides grants for new and expanded rail, bus rapid transit, and ferry systems that reflect local priorities to improve transportation options in key corridors.CompetitiveDirect
Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Formula Program, 49 U.S.C. § 5310Supports transportation services planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special transportation needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities in all areas – large urbanized (over 200,000), small urbanized (50,000-200,000), and rural (under 50,000). Eligible projects include both.FormulaDirect; Sub-Recipient
Rural Areas Formula Program, 49 U.S.C. § 5311Provides capital, planning, and operating assistance to states to support public transportation in rural areas with populations of less than 50,000, where many residents often rely on public transit to reach their destinations.FormulaDirect; Sub-Recipient
Tribal Transit Competitive Program, 49 U.S.C. § 5311(c)(1)Provides funds directly to tribes for the purposes of capital, operating, planning, and administrative expenses for public transit projects that meet the growing needs of rural tribal communities.CompetitiveDirect
Tribal Transit Formula Program, 49 U.S.C. § 5311(j)Provides funds directly to tribes for the purposes of capital, operating, planning, and administrative expenses for public transit projects that meet the growing needs of rural tribal communities.FormulaDirect
Public Transportation Innovation Program, 49 U.S.C. § 5312(a) - (d)Provides funds to federal agencies, state and local governmental entities, providers of public transportation, private or nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher education to advance innovative public transportation research and development.CompetitiveDirect
Technical Assistance and Standards Development Program, 49 U.S.C. § 5314(a)(1)Provides funds to carry out technical assistance activities that enable more effective and efficient delivery of transportation services, foster compliance with Federal laws, and improve public transportation service; develop standards and best practices for the transit industry; and conduct training in support of the public transportation industry.CompetitiveDirect
Technical Assistance Program, 49 U.S.C. § 5314(a)(2)

Grants, contracts, cooperative agreements and other agreements with eligible recipients to carry out technical assistance activities to advance the interests of public transportation.

Human Resources and Training Program, 49 U.S.C. § 5314(b)(1)A competitive grant program to assist the development of innovative activities to support employment training programs; outreach; research on public transportation personnel and training needs; training and assistance for veteran and minority business opportunities; and consensus-based national training standards and certifications in partnership with industry stakeholders.CompetitiveDirect
Innovative Public Transportation Frontline Workforce Development Program, 49 U.S.C. § 5314(b)(2)A competitive grant program that includes: (i) developing apprenticeships and training; (ii) building training partnerships to identify and address workforce skill gaps; (iii) improving safety, security, and emergency preparedness; and (iv) addressing current or projected workforce shortages.CompetitiveDirect
Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program, 49 U.S.C. §5324Provides funds to states and public transportation systems for protecting, repairing and/or replacing equipment and facilities that may suffer or have suffered serious damage as a result of an emergency. n/aDirect
Bus and Bus Facilities Competitive Program, 49 U.S.C. § 5339(b)Makes federal resources available to states and direct recipients to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities including technological changes or innovations to modify low or no emission vehicles or facilities.CompetitiveDirect
Bus and Bus Facilities LoNo Program, 49 U.S.C. § 5339(c)Provides funding to state and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses as well as acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities. CompetitiveDirect
Transit-Oriented Development Planning Pilot Program, MAP-21 § 20005(b)Provides funding for TOD planning efforts associated with an eligible transit project, namely a new fixed guideway or core capacity improvement project for which the project sponsor will seek funding through FTA’s Capital Investment Grant Program. CompetitiveDirect
Mobility for All Pilot Program Grants, FAST Act § 3006(b)A discretionary pilot program for innovative coordinated access and mobility to assist in financing projects for the transportation disadvantaged that improve the coordination of transportation services and non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services. CompetitiveDirect
Last updated: Thursday, December 19, 2019