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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

Areas of Persistent Poverty Program

What's New

On June 23, 2022, FTA announced approximately $16.2 million in FY20 and FY21 funding to the Areas of Persistent Poverty program for 40 projects in 32 states and two territories. View the project selections


FTA’s Areas of Persistent Poverty (AoPP) Program supports projects that address the transportation challenges faced by areas of persistent poverty. In encouraging timely and efficient investment in public transportation, the AoPP program supports the President’s Build Back Better initiative to mobilize American ingenuity to build modern infrastructure and an equitable, clean energy future.  AoPP supports increased transit access for environmental justice populations, equity-focused community outreach, and public engagement of underserved communities.

AoPP promotes planning, engineering, and technical studies or financial planning to improve transit services in areas experiencing long-term economic distress. It will also support coordinated human service transportation planning to improve transit service or provide new services such as rides to drug addiction recovery and treatment.

Allocation of Funding

The maximum grant award will not exceed $850,000; however, FTA intends to fund as many meritorious projects as possible. Due to funding limitations, projects selected for funding may receive less than the amount requested. In those cases, applicants must be able to demonstrate that the proposed projects are still viable and can be completed with the amount awarded.

2021 Areas of Persistent Poverty 

Eligible Recipients

Applicants for the AoPP program must be eligible recipients or sub-recipients under sections 5307, 5310, or 5311 of title 49, United States Code. An application must identify the eligible lead applicant and all project partners on the team. Eligible project partners and sub-recipients may include, but are not limited to:

  • public transportation systems
  • operators of transportation, such as employee shuttle services or airport connector services, or university transportation systems
  • state or local government entities

Other organizations that may contribute to the success of the project team include consultants, research consortia or nonprofit industry organizations, and institutions of higher education.

Eligible Activities

The AoPP program seeks to fund planning for projects that will improve transit service and facilities in areas of persistent poverty in the U.S. 
Eligible activities for AoPP funds include planning, engineering, or the development of technical, or financing plans for projects eligible under Chapter 53 of title 49 U.S.C. in areas of persistent poverty.

Statutory References

The Areas of Persistent Poverty Program provides funds to eligible recipients or subrecipients under 49 United States Code (U.S.C) 5307, 49 U.S.C 5310, or U.S.C 49 5311 located in areas of persistent poverty.

Funding to implement the Areas of Persistent Poverty Program was appropriated by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Pub. L. 116-94, Dec. 20, 2019) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Pub. L. 116-260, Dec. 27, 2020).

Funding Availability

While a maximum number of months for conducting the study is not identified in the NOFO, we are expecting most applicants to propose a start-to-finish timeframe in the range of 24 to 36 months. 


The minimum Federal share for projects selected under the Areas of Persistent Poverty Program is 90 percent of the net total project cost (i.e., the local share will be no more than 10 percent of the net total project cost, not 10 percent of the requested grant amount).

Eligible local-match sources include:

  • cash from non-Government sources other than revenues from providing public transportation services; 
  • revenues derived from the sale of advertising and concessions; 
  • amounts received under a service agreement with a State or local social service agency or private social service organization; 
  • revenues generated from value capture financing mechanisms; 
  • funds from an undistributed cash surplus; replacement or depreciation cash fund or reserve; or new capital; 
  • transportation development credits or 
  • in-kind match if it is appropriately documented in the application.

Selected Projects

Grant Type: Competitive