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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Alternatives Analysis (5339)


October 17, 2011 - Press Release

Program Overview

The objective of the Alternatives Analysis program (49 U.S.C. 5339) is to assist in financing the evaluation of all reasonable modal and multimodal alternatives and general alignment options for identified transportation needs in a particular, broadly defined travel corridor.  The transportation planning process of Alternatives Analysis:

Includes an assessment of a wide range of public transportation or multimodal alternatives, which will address transportation problems within a corridor or subarea.
Provides ample information to enable the Secretary to make the findings of project justification and local financial commitment.
Supports the selection of a locally preferred alternative.
Enables the local Metropolitan Planning Organization to adopt the locally preferred alternative as part of the long-range transportation plan.

Eligible Recipients

Eligible applicants include public agencies, including States; municipalities and other subdivisions of States; public agencies and instrumentalities of one or more States; and public corporations, boards, and commissions established under State law. Applicants must have legal, financial, and technical capacity to carry out proposed project and maintain facilities and equipment purchased with Federal assistance. Private non-profit organizations are not directly eligible recipients. Grant requirements under this program are comparable to those for section 5309 grants.

Eligible Activities

Funds may be used to assist State and local governmental authorities in conducting alternatives analyses when at least one of the alternatives is a new new fixed guideway systems or an extensions to an existing fixed guideway system.

Statutory Reference

49 U.S.C. 5339

Funding Availability

Funds are available the year appropriated plus two years (total of three years).

Allocation of Funding

Historically, the program has been partially earmarked and unallocated or discretionary funds were available.  Any unallocated or discretionary funds under this program may be allocated at the discretion of the Secretary of Transportation.


The statutory match for Alternatives Analysis program funding is 80 percent Federal, 20 percent local.