Section 5307 Program: Recipients or beneficiaries of FTA's Urbanized Area Formula Program (Section 5307) must obtain an NTD ID number and file regular reports to the National Transit Database. Transit systems with Thirty or Fewer vehicles are eligible for reduced reporting requirements, but still must obtain an NTD ID number and file an Annual Report.
Section 5311 Program: Recipients or beneficiaries of FTA's Rural Area Formula Program (Section 5311) must report to the Rural Module of the NTD. They do not need to apply for an NTD ID unless they receive or benefit from the Section 5307 Program. FTA assigns NTD IDs for the Rural Module to each of the States and Indian Tribes are direct FTA grantees in the Section 5311 Program. States file reports on behalf of their subrecipients – subrecipients in the Section 5311 Program do not report directly to the Rural NTD Module.
TAM Program: The Transit Asset Management (TAM) rule applies to all recipients of Chapter 53 funds that either own, operate, or manage capital assets used in providing public transportation services. FTA asks that all affected operators who intend to submit directly to the NTD (not participating in a Group TAM Plan) apply for a reporting ID in advance of required asset inventory module reporting in Report Year 2018. The attachment provides the template that identifies the data needed to process this request. Please send the completed form to NTDhelp@dot.gov.
Voluntary Reporters: FTA also accepts NTD reports from other transit systems serving urbanized areas, both public and private, on a voluntary basis. FTA evaluates NTD ID applications from these transit systems to determine that they provide public transportation services. Voluntary reporters must meet all of the same reporting obligations as mandatory reporters.
What to Report?
All reporters must file a complete report for all of their transit-related activities. This includes all transit service using funds from Section 5307, Section 5311, other Federal programs, state, local, or private funding. Additionally, the report must include both directly operated (DO) services and purchased transportation (PT) services contracted to a private provider.
Activities not related to public transportation, however, are generally excluded from NTD reporting. Applicants for an NTD ID that also do intercity, charter, or sight-seeing operations must indicate how they will allocate shared costs (e.g. administrative overhead) between public and non-transit activities in their NTD report.
Who Requests an NTD ID for Urbanized Area Reporting?
FTA assigns NTD IDs either to the Section 5307 grant recipient, or to the record-keeping unit of a transit provider. A record-keeping unit is one that can meet NTD's reporting requirements for financial revenues, operating and capital expenditures, and service operations, and is subject to an annual financial audit. For example, a satellite bus garage would not be assigned its own NTD ID if its financial and operating data are kept by a central administrative office that oversees the transit operations of several bus garages.
A transit provider is an entity that provides directly operated transit service, purchased transportation transit service, or both.
- Directly operated service occurs when the reporter uses its employees to operate the transit vehicles.
- Purchased-transportation occurs when the reporter competitively seeks a private operator to provide some or all of their transit services. Typically, this is done through a request for proposals (RFP). The transit agency normally sets the conditions for service, i.e., service area, routes, schedules or hours of operation, and fares. The selected operator makes direct employment decisions (i.e. hiring and firing) of the service operators.
In many cases, two public entities may have a contractual relationship with each other for the operation of transit service. The arrangement may not be a competitive contract as described for private operators, but rather a funding agreement for service between a "buyer" and a "seller" of service. In these cases, FTA prefers that the public entity that is physically operating the service report the service under its own NTD ID, but in some cases the public entity paying for the service may be approved as the reporter of the service under its own NTD ID. In either case, services operated as the result of a contractual agreement between two public entities are always reported to the NTD as "directly operated" service.
When Do Reporting Requirements Begin?
Recipients or beneficiaries must begin reporting to the NTD by the earlier of:
- The year after they apply for a Section 5307/5311 Grant in TrAMS
- The year in which they first draw down Section 5307/5311 funds
- The year in which FTA funded assets (Ch. 53) enter revenue service.
Prospective grantees must apply for an NTD ID sufficiently in advance to meet NTD reporting deadlines.
Once NTD reporting begins, reporting must continue through at least the FTA Minimum Useful Life for any capital assets purchased with FTA Funds. Consult FTA's most recent Grants Circulars for the latest information on FTA Minimum Useful Lives.
To begin NTD reporting, you will need to request an ID number for your agency emailing the necessary forms below to NTDhelp@dot.gov: