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Grant Programs

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.

The act’s five years of predictable formula funding enables transit agencies to better manage long-term assets and address the backlog of state of good repair needs. It also includes funding for new competitive grant programs for buses and bus facilities, innovative transportation coordination, workforce training, and public transportation research activities. Search the list of transit grant programs by keyword or type. Learn more by clicking on program titles.

Title Descriptionsort descending Type
Buses and Bus Facilities Grants Program - 5339 Provides funding through a competitive allocation process to states and transit agencies to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities. The competitive allocation provides funding for major improvements to bus transit systems that would not be achievable through formula allocations. Competitive
Urbanized Area Formula Grants - 5307 Provides funding to public transit systems in Urbanized Areas (UZA) for public transportation capital, planning, job access and reverse commute projects, as well as operating expenses in certain circumstances.   Formula
Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program; Tribal Transit Program The Tribal Transit Program is a set-aside from the Formula Grants for Rural Areas program consisting of a $25 million formula program and a $5 million discretionary grant program subject to the availability of appropriations. A 10-percent local match is required under the discretionary program, however, there is no local match required under the formula program.
Low or No Emission Vehicle Program - 5339(c) Provides funding through a competitive process to states and transit agencies to purchase or lease low or no emission transit buses and related equipment, or to lease, construct, or rehabilitate facilities to support low or no emission transit buses. The program provides funding to support the wider deployment of advanced propulsion technologies within the nation’s transit fleet. Competitive
Passenger Ferry Grant Program - Section 5307 Provides competitive funding to public ferry systems in urbanized areas.   Competitive
Low and No-Emission Component Assessment Program (LoNo-CAP) On September 29, 2016, FTA announced the opportunity for eligible institutions of higher education to apply for funding to conduct testing, evaluation, and analysis of low or no emission (LoNo) components intended for use in LoNo transit buses used to provide public transportation. The deadline for applications is November 28, 2016. Competitive
Enhanced Mobility of Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities - Section 5310 Formula funding to states for the purpose of assisting private nonprofit groups in meeting transportation needs of the elderly and persons with disabilities.
Rural Transportation Assistance Program - 5311(b)(3) Provides funding to states for developing training, technical assistance, research, and related support services in rural areas. The program also includes a national program that provides information and materials for use by local operators and state administering agencies and supports research and technical assistance projects of national interest.   Formula
Transit Cooperative Research Program - 5312(i) Research program that develops near-term, practical solutions such as best practices, transit security guidelines, testing prototypes, and new planning and management tools.  Competitive
Public Transportation Innovation - 5312 Provides funding to develop innovative products and services assisting transit agencies in better meeting the needs of their customers.  Competitive
Safety Research and Demonstration Program The Safety Research and Demonstration (SRD) Program is part of a larger safety research effort at the U.S. Department of Transportation that provides technical and financial support for transit agencies to pursue innovative approaches to eliminate or mitigate safety hazards. The SRD program focuses on demonstration of technologies and safer designs. Competitive
Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning - 5309 Provides funding to local communities to integrate land use and transportation planning with a transit capital investment that will seek funding through the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program.   Competitive
Formula Grants for Rural Areas - 5311 Provides capital, planning, and operating assistance to states to support public transportation in rural areas with populations less than 50,000, where many residents often rely on public transit to reach their destinations. Formula
Commuter Rail Positive Train Control Grants Authorized by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Section 3028), the fiscal year 2017 Commuter Rail Positive Train Control Grant Program offers funding to states, local governments and transit agencies that operate commuter rail systems to install positive train control systems required under 49 U.S.C. 20157 (Implementation of positive train control systems). Competitive
State of Good Repair Grants - 5337 Provides capital assistance for maintenance, replacement, and rehabilitation projects of existing high-intensity fixed guideway and high-intensity motorbus systems to maintain a state of good repair. Additionally, SGR grants are eligible for developing and implementing Transit Asset Management plans.   Formula
Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration Program - 5312 Funds projects that promote innovative business models to deliver high quality, seamless and equitable mobility options for all travelers. Competitive
Expedited Project Delivery for Capital Investment Grants Pilot - 5309(**) Allows up to eight projects over the life of the pilot program to be selected for expedited grant awards. Projects must be supported through a public-private partnership and demonstrate local financial commitment, technical capacity, and a certification that the existing transit system is in a state of good repair.  Competitive
Flexible Funding Programs - Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program - 23 USC 149 CMAQ provides funding to areas in nonattainment or maintenance for ozone, carbon monoxide, and/or particulate matter. States that have no nonattainment or maintenance areas still receive a minimum apportionment of CMAQ funding for either air quality projects or other elements of flexible spending.  Funds may be used for any transit capital expenditures otherwise eligible for FTA funding as long as they have an air quality benefit. Formula
Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program - 5324 Helps states and public transportation systems pay for protecting, repairing, and/or replacing equipment and facilities that may suffer or have suffered serious damage as a result of an emergency, including natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. It provides authorization for Section 5307 and 5311 funds to be used for disaster relief in response to a declared disaster. Formula
Zero Emission Research Opportunity (ZERO) On November 22, 2016, FTA announced the opportunity for nonprofit organizations to apply for funding to conduct research, demonstrations, testing, and evaluation of zero emission and related technology for public transportation applications.  Competitive
Metropolitan & Statewide Planning and NonMetropolitan Transportation Planning - 5303, 5304, 5305 Provides funding and procedural requirements for multimodal transportation planning in metropolitan areas and states. Planning needs to be cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive, resulting in long-range plans and short-range programs reflecting transportation investment priorities.  Formula
Technical Assistance & Standards Development - 5314(a) Provides funding for technical assistance programs and activities that improve the management and delivery of public transportation and development of the transit industry workforce. Formula
Flexible Funding Programs - Surface Transportation Block Grant Program - 23 USC 133 Provides funding that may be used by states and localities for a wide range of projects to preserve and improve the conditions and performance of surface transportation, including highway, transit, intercity bus, bicycle and pedestrian projects.  Formula
Tribal Transit Formula Grants - 5311(c)(2)(B) Provides funding to federally recognized Indian tribes to provide public transportation services on and around Indian reservations or tribal land in rural areas.  Funding is provided as a set-aside within of the Formula Grants to Rural Areas program and allocated both by statutory formula and through a competitive discretionary program.  Formula
Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Formula Program - 5339(a) Provides funding to states and transit agencies through a statutory formula to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities. In addition to the formula allocation, this program includes two discretionary components: The Bus and Bus Facilities Discretionary Program and the Low or No Emissions Bus Discretionary Program. Formula
Flexible Funding Programs - National Highway Performance Program - 23 USC 119 Provides support for the condition and performance of the National Highway System (NHS), for the construction of new facilities on the NHS, and to ensure that investments of Federal funds in highway construction are directed to support progress toward the achievement of performance targets established in a State’s asset management plan for the NHS.  Formula
TIGER (USDOT) The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Program (TIGER) provides funding for innovative, multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects that promise significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, a region, or the nation.  Competitive
Capital Investment Grants - 5309 FTA’s primary grant program for funding major transit capital investments, including heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, streetcars, and bus rapid transit, this discretionary grant program is unlike most others in government. Instead of an annual call for applications and selection of awardees, the law requires that projects seeking CIG funding complete a series of steps over several years to be eligible for funding.  Competitive
Human Resources & Training - 5314 (b) Provides for grants or contracts for human resource and workforce development programs as they apply to public transportation activities.   Formula
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