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Regulations & Guidance

In its role of providing financial assistance to develop new transit systems and improve, maintain, and operate existing systems nationwide, FTA oversees thousands of grants provided to states, tribes, and local public agencies to support public transportation. Grantees have a responsibility to comply with statutory and regulatory requirements associated with the management of federally assisted grants.

What's New

FTA is hosting an online dialogue to collect input on the definition of a "federal project" and how that may impact the timely and effective implementation of transit projects. A federal project typically requires grant applicants for projects to complete many phases or elements ranging from those enacted under the National Enviromental Policy Act to regulations for Metropolitan and Statewide Transportation Planning, procurement and Buy America. In this online dialogue, FTA seeks input from state departments of transportation, transit agencies, transit operators and other stakeholders on how a "federal project" definition affects project delivery and solicits opportunities to improve the process of deciding when a project, project phase, or project element is subject to federal requirements. Submit your ideas between July 16 and August 17, 2018. 


FTA monitors grants and federally funded projects to confirm that grantees establish and follow federally mandated procedures, such as:

  • Demonstrating legal, financial, and technical capacity to carry out programs and projects
  • Providing technical inspection and supervision by qualified professionals of all work in progress
  • Ensuring compliance with procurement requirements, including third-party contracts
  • Complying with all applicable civil rights statutes and implementing regulations


To ensure that grantees follow federal statutory and administrative requirements when managing their programs, FTA provides guidance, often in the form of circulars. In 2014, the Department of Transportation published "The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards" -- commonly referred to as "the Super Circular" or "Uniform Guidance" -- which sets forth pre- and post-award requirements for grantees. Grantees should consult the Super Circular before applying for a grant or while administering a grant.

FTA also provides guidance for post-award grant administration and project management activities in its Grant Management Requirements circular. Several FTA programs operate under unique grant administration and project management guidance; check our program-specific circulars for more information.

Each year, FTA publishes interim guidance as part of its annual apportionments notice. 


    FTA administers a national transit safety program and compliance oversight process as well as a Transit Asset Management (TAM) program, a model that uses asset condition to help prioritize funding to achieve or maintain transit networks in a state of good repair.

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