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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

Public Transportation COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program FY2020 Notice of Funding

Date Posted:
Date Closed:
Opportunity ID: FTA-2020-015-TRI
Opportunity Announcement PDF:
Opportunity Announcement PDF
Opportunity Announcement TXT:
Opportunity Announcement Text


Notice of Funding Opportunity for Public Transportation COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program. FTA intends to award multiple projects under this announcement. Synopses and full announcement are posted on site as opportunity FTA-2020-015-TRI. Proposals must be submitted electronically through the website by midnight Eastern Time on November 2, 2020.


The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency has had a significant impact on transit operations. During a series of FTA listening sessions held over the last three months, transit agencies asked FTA to support research to identify solutions to address the operational challenges that they are facing as a result of COVID-19. 

In response, FTA makes available through this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) funding to support research demonstration grants to public transit agencies to develop, deploy, and demonstrate innovative solutions that improve the operational efficiency of transit agencies, as well as enhance the mobility of transit users affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Demonstration grants under this NOFO are authorized under FTA’s Public Transportation Innovation Program (49 U.S.C. 5312). Eligible projects will demonstrate innovative solutions to improve the operational efficiencies of transit systems and enhance mobility for their communities in four major areas:

  • vehicle, facility, equipment and infrastructure cleaning and disinfection;
  • exposure mitigation measures;
  • innovative mobility such as contactless payments; and
  • measures that strengthen public confidence in transit services. The total funding available for awards under this NOFO is $10 million.  FTA may supplement this amount if additional funding becomes available.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include state and local governmental authorities, direct recipients of Urbanized Area (49 U.S.C. 5307) and Rural Area (49 U.S.C. 5311) formula funds, and Indian tribes. Eligible applicants are limited to FTA grantees or subrecipients who would be the primary beneficiaries of the innovative products and services that are developed -- typically public transit agencies. Except for projects proposed by Indian tribes, proposals for projects in rural (non-urbanized) areas must be submitted as part of a consolidated state proposal. States and other eligible applicants also may submit consolidated proposals for projects in urbanized areas.  The submission of the statewide application will not preclude the submission and consideration of any application from other eligible recipients in an urbanized area in a state.  Proposals may contain projects to be implemented by the recipient or its subrecipients.  Eligible subrecipients include public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and private providers engaged in public transportation.

Link and Instructions for attaching the supplemental form to the SF-424

All applicants must complete at least two forms:


On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, FTA will host a webinar at 3:00 pm EDT on this funding opportunity. The webinar will provide a high-level overview of the program from senior FTA leadership, as well as the opportunity to submit questions. Register.


Project proposals must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on November 2, 2020. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. FTA urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the due date to allow time to correct any problems due to GRANTS.GOV or FTA systems.

For Further Information

Please send any questions on this notice to at (202) 366-8985.