Formula Grants for Rural Areas - 5311
The National Center for Applied Transit Technology (N-CATT) delivers expert, focused technical assistance to transit agencies and organizations in rural areas and small cities to use or develop transit technologies and innovations that make services more cost-effective and efficient. N-CATT’s work supports FTA’s mission and focus on innovation by developing and supporting transit programs and services in rural and small-city America.
The Formula Grants for Rural Areas program provides capital, planning, and operating assistance to states to support public transportation in rural areas with populations of less than 50,000, where many residents often rely on public transit to reach their destinations. The program also provides funding for state and national training and technical assistance through the Rural Transportation Assistance Program.
Eligible recipients include states and federally recognized Indian Tribes. Subrecipients may include state or local government authorities, nonprofit organizations, and operators of public transportation or intercity bus service.
Eligible activities include planning, capital, operating, job access and reverse commute projects, and the acquisition of public transportation services.
Funding and Match
The federal share is 80 percent for capital projects, 50 percent for operating assistance, and 80 percent for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) non-fixed route paratransit service. Section 5311 funds are available to the States during the fiscal year of apportionment plus two additional years (total of three years). Funds are apportioned to States based on a formula that includes land area, population, revenue vehicle miles, and low-income individuals in rural areas.
Intercity Bus Program
Each state must spend no less than 15 percent of its annual apportionment for the development and support of intercity bus transportation, unless it can certify, after consultation with intercity bus service providers, that the intercity bus needs of the state are being adequately met.
Technical Assistance Resources
Training and Technical Assistance is available through the National Rural Transit Assistance Program
49 U.S.C. 5311