This program (49 U.S.C. 5310) provides formula funding to states for the purpose of assisting private nonprofit groups in meeting the transportation needs of older adults and people with disabilities when the transportation service provided is unavailable, insufficient, or inappropriate to meeting these needs. Funds are apportioned based on each state’s share of the population for these two groups. Formula funds are apportioned to direct recipients; for rural and small urban areas, this is the state Department of Transportation, while in large urban areas, a designated recipient is chosen by the governor. Direct recipients have flexibility in how they select subrecipient projects for funding, but their decision process must be clearly noted in a state/program management plan. The selection process may be formula-based, competitive or discretionary, and subrecipients can include states or local government authorities, private non-profit organizations, and/or operators of public transportation.
The program aims to improve mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities by removing barriers to transportation service and expanding transportation mobility options. This program supports 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 “traditional” capital investment and “nontraditional” investment beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complementary paratransit services.
Section 3006(b) of the FAST Act created a discretionary pilot program for innovative coordinated access and mobility -- open to 5310 recipients -- to assist in financing innovative projects for the transportation disadvantaged that improve the coordination of transportation services and non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services; such as: the deployment of coordination technology, projects that create or increase access to community, One-Call/One-Click Centers, etc. In the first year of the discretionary program (2016) Congress appropriated $2 million, followed by $3 million in 2017, $3.25 million in 2018, and $3.5 million in 2019. For more information about the 2016 competitive program for innovative coordinated access and mobility grant, visit the Rides to Wellness Demonstration and Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility Grants program 2016 Notice of Funding Opportunity.
States and designated recipients are direct recipients; eligible subrecipients include private nonprofit organizations, states or local government authorities, or operators of public transportation.
Traditional Section 5310 project examples include:
- buses and vans
- wheelchair lifts, ramps, and securement devices
- transit-related information technology systems, including scheduling/routing/one-call systems
- mobility management programs
- acquisition of transportation services under a contract, lease, or other arrangement
Nontraditional Section 5310 project examples include:
- travel training
- volunteer driver programs
- building an accessible path to a bus stop, including curb-cuts, sidewalks, accessible pedestrian signals or other accessible features
- improving signage, or way-finding technology
- incremental cost of providing same day service or door-to-door service
- purchasing vehicles to support new accessible taxi, rides sharing and/or vanpooling programs
- mobility management programs
Note: Under MAP-21, the program was modified to include projects eligible under the former Section 5317 New Freedom program, described as capital and operating expenses for new public transportation services and alternatives beyond those required by the ADA, designed to assist individuals with disabilities and seniors.
49 U.S.C. Section 5310 / Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act 3006 (FAST)
Section 5310 funds are available to the states during the fiscal year of apportionment plus two additional years (total of three years).
Allocation of Funding
Section 5310 funds are apportioned among the states by a formula which is based on the number of seniors and people with disabilities in each state according to the latest available U.S. Census data.
The federal share of eligible capital costs may not exceed 80 percent, and 50 percent for operating assistance. The 10 percent that is eligible to fund program administrative costs including administration, planning, and technical assistance may be funded at 100 percent federal share.
Formula and Discretionary