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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

Transportation Coordination


Coordinated transportation involves multiple entities working together to deliver one or more components of a transportation service so they can increase their capacity to provide trips. Coordination activities can include: sharing passenger trips and vehicles; co-location of facilities, programs or services; collaborating on grant applications, state/local plans, training, vehicle purchasing or maintenance; joint hiring of mobility manager(s); Federal fund braiding; and more. 

Federal interagency transportation coordination supports and promotes:

  • Increased availability and accessibility of transportation, providing more options for end users and serving more people and regions through streamlined policies that encourage collaboration;
  • Increased efficiency by allowing states, local communities, and other funding recipients to share resources, save funds, and reduce redundancy within the Federal programs that can fund human services transportation; and
  • Innovation by developing and implementing future transportation models, which leads to improved customer service. 

Coordination Guidance

FTA is providing guidance clarification to reduce overlap between the 130 CCAM programs across 9 agencies that may fund human services transportation and incentivize collaboration by clarifying eligible reporting into the National Transit Database (NTD). This guidance addresses the following topics as they relate to NTD reporting: Definition of public transportation; Paratransit; Charter service; Incidental use of transit assets; and Trip brokering. 

Incidental Use

Incidental use occurs when FTA grant recipients allow the use of federally funded asset (e.g. van) by another public or private entity for non-transit purposes. The non-transit activity may not reduce or limit transit service.

Some examples of Incidental Use include:

If you require assistance making a determination about whether an activity constitutes incidental use, consult your FTA Regional Office.

Vehicle and Ride Sharing

Vehicle and ride sharing occur when a single shared vehicle transports the beneficiaries of multiple Federal programs. Vehicle sharing may occur with shared rides, when multiple Federal programs’ beneficiaries are on the same vehicle simultaneously, or with individual rides, when a vehicle transports a single beneficiary at a time. For more information on Federal vehicle and ride sharing arrangements, please refer to the CCAM Cost-Sharing Policy Statement.

Charter Service

Charter service occurs when FTA grant recipients provide exclusive use of vehicle(s) to an individual or group for a price.  FTA’s Charter Service Regulation (49 C.F.R. Part 604), which implements 49 U.S.C. 5323(d), protects private charter operators from unauthorized competition from FTA grant recipients.  The charter regulations were implemented to ensure that transit agencies subsidized with Federal money do not unfairly compete with privately owned bus companies.  Under the Charter Rule, with limited exceptions, local transit agencies are restricted from operating charter services. 

There is a Charter Rule exception for Qualified Human Service Organizations (QHSOs) that (1) are registered on the FTA website (updated biennially) or (2) receive funding from one of the sources listed in Appendix A - Federal Programs Providing Transportation Assistance.  Recipients of FTA funds may provide service to clients of a QHSO without violating the Charter Rule.

Cost Sharing

Federal Fund Braiding