Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Find the Latest Information on the Coronavirus/COVID-19 at FTA's Coronavirus landing page.

United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Formula

Tribal Transit Formula Grants - 5311(c)(1)(B)

Program Overview  

Federal public transportation law (49 USC 5311(c)(1)(B)) authorizes the formula amount of the Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program (Tribal Transit Program) for Fiscal Years (FY) 2016-2020. The TTP is a set-aside from the Formula Grants for Rural Areas program consisting of a $30 million formula program and a $5 million competitive grant program subject to the availability of appropriations. There is no local match required under the formula program.

Apportionments

Eligible Recipients

Only federally recognized tribes are eligible recipients under the Tribal Transit Program. However, tribes which are not federally recognized remain eligible to apply to the state as a subrecipient for funding under the State's apportionment.

Eligible Activities 

Provides funding to federally recognized Indian tribes to provide public transportation services on and around Indian reservations or tribal land in rural areas. Federally recognized tribes may use the funding for capital, operating, planning, and administrative expenses for public transit projects that meet the growing needs of rural tribal communities. Examples of eligible activities include: capital projects; operating costs of equipment and facilities for use in public transportation; and the acquisition of public transportation services, including service agreements with private providers of public transportation services.

Allocation of Funding

In order to received formula funds a tribe must report to the National Transit Database (NTD) on an annual basis. FTA apportions Tribal Transit funds to Indian tribes by a statutory formula using the NTD and the latest available American Community Survey (Census Bureau) data.

The three tiers under the formula include:

  1. Tier 1: 50 percent of the available funds are apportioned based on vehicle revenue miles;
  2. Tier 2: 25 percent of the available funds are apportioned among Indian tribes providing at least two hundred thousand annual vehicle revenue miles; and
  3. Tier 3: 25 percent of the available funds are apportioned among Indian tribes providing public transportation on tribal lands where more than one thousand low-income persons reside.

FTA Regional Tribal Liaisons 

Federal Transit Administration's Regional Tribal Liaisons

Coordination with Federal Programs

FTA’s Tribal Transit Program allows grantees to coordinate and assist in regularly providing meal delivery service for homebound individuals, if the delivery service does not conflict with providing public transportation service or reduce service to public transportation passengers. Learn more about the Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM).

Enhanced Mobility of Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities - Section 5310

What's New

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.

Overview

This program (49 U.S.C. 5310) provides formula funding to states for the purpose of assisting private nonprofit groups in meeting the transportation needs of older adults and people with disabilities when the transportation service provided is unavailable, insufficient, or inappropriate to meeting these needs. Funds are apportioned based on each state’s share of the population for these two groups. Formula funds are apportioned to direct recipients; for rural and small urban areas, this is the state Department of Transportation, while in large urban areas, a designated recipient is chosen by the governor. Direct recipients have flexibility in how they select subrecipient projects for funding, but their decision process must be clearly noted in a state/program management plan. The selection process may be formula-based, competitive or discretionary, and subrecipients can include states or local government authorities, private non-profit organizations, and/or operators of public transportation.

The program aims to improve mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities by removing barriers to transportation service and expanding transportation mobility options. This program supports transportation services planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special transportation needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities in all areas – large urbanized (over 200,000), small urbanized (50,000-200,000), and rural (under 50,000). Eligible projects include both “traditional” capital investment and “nontraditional” investment beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complementary paratransit services.

Section 3006(b) of the FAST Act created a discretionary pilot program for innovative coordinated access and mobility -- open to 5310 recipients -- to assist in financing innovative projects for the transportation disadvantaged that improve the coordination of transportation services and non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services; such as: the deployment of coordination technology, projects that create or increase access to community, One-Call/One-Click Centers, etc. In the first year of the discretionary program (2016) Congress appropriated $2 million, followed by $3 million in 2017, $3.25 million in 2018, and $3.5 million in 2019.  For more information about the 2016 competitive program for innovative coordinated access and mobility grant, visit the Rides to Wellness Demonstration and Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility Grants program 2016 Notice of Funding Opportunity.

Eligible Recipients

States and designated recipients are direct recipients; eligible subrecipients include private nonprofit organizations, states or local government authorities, or operators of public transportation.

Eligible Activities

Traditional Section 5310 project examples include:

  • buses and vans
  • wheelchair lifts, ramps, and securement devices
  • transit-related information technology systems, including scheduling/routing/one-call systems
  • mobility management programs
  • acquisition of transportation services under a contract, lease, or other arrangement

Nontraditional Section 5310 project examples include:

  • travel training
  • volunteer driver programs
  • building an accessible path to a bus stop, including curb-cuts, sidewalks, accessible pedestrian signals or other accessible features
  • improving signage, or way-finding technology
  • incremental cost of providing same day service or door-to-door service
  • purchasing vehicles to support new accessible taxi, rides sharing and/or vanpooling programs
  • mobility management programs

Note: Under MAP-21, the program was modified to include projects eligible under the former Section 5317 New Freedom program, described as capital and operating expenses for new public transportation services and alternatives beyond those required by the ADA, designed to assist individuals with disabilities and seniors.

Statutory References

49 U.S.C. Section 5310 / Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act 3006 (FAST)

Funding Availability

Section 5310 funds are available to the states during the fiscal year of apportionment plus two additional years (total of three years).

Allocation of Funding

Section 5310 funds are apportioned among the states by a formula which is based on the number of seniors and people with disabilities in each state according to the latest available U.S. Census data.

Match

The federal share of eligible capital costs may not exceed 80 percent, and 50 percent for operating assistance. The 10 percent that is eligible to fund program administrative costs including administration, planning, and technical assistance may be funded at 100 percent federal share.

Coordination with Federal Programs

FTA’s Section 5310 program allows grantees to coordinate and assist in regularly providing meal delivery service for homebound individuals, if the delivery service does not conflict with providing public transportation service or reduce service to public transportation passengers. Learn more about the Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM).

Grant Authorization:
FAST Act

Formula Grants for Rural Areas - 5311

What's New

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.

Overview

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

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

Eligible activities include planning, capital, operating, job access and reverse commute projects, and the acquisition of public transportation services.

Statutory References

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

Statutory References

49 U.S.C. 5311

Urbanized Area Formula Grants - 5307

An MBTA Subway Station.

What's New

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.

Program Overview

The Urbanized Area Formula Funding program (49 U.S.C. 5307) makes federal resources available to urbanized areas and to governors for transit capital and operating assistance in urbanized areas and for transportation-related planning. An urbanized area is an incorporated area with a population of 50,000 or more that is designated as such by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.

Apportionments

Eligible Recipients

Funding is made available to designated recipients that are public bodies with the legal authority to receive and dispense federal funds. Governors, responsible local officials and publicly owned operators of transit services shall designate a recipient to apply for, receive, and dispense funds for urbanized areas pursuant to 49USCA5307(a)(2). The governor or governor's designee acts as the designated recipient for urbanized areas between 50,000 and 200,000.

For urbanized areas with 200,000 in population and over, funds are apportioned and flow directly to a designated recipient selected locally to apply for and receive Federal funds. For urbanized areas under 200,000 in population, the funds are apportioned to the governor of each state for distribution. 

Eligible Activities

Eligible activities include: planning, engineering, design and evaluation of transit projects and other technical transportation-related studies; capital investments in bus and bus-related activities such as replacement, overhaul and rebuilding of buses, crime prevention and security equipment and construction of maintenance and passenger facilities; and capital investments in new and existing fixed guideway systems including rolling stock, overhaul and rebuilding of vehicles, track, signals, communications, and computer hardware and software. In addition, associated transit improvements and certain expenses associated with mobility management programs are eligible under the program. All preventive maintenance and some Americans with Disabilities Act complementary paratransit service costs are considered capital costs.

For urbanized areas with populations less than 200,000, operating assistance is an eligible expense. Urbanized areas of 200,000 or more may not use funds for operating assistance unless identified by FTA as eligible under the Special Rule.

Statutory Reference

49 U.S.C. 5307

Funding Availability

Funds are available the year appropriated plus five years. 

Allocation of Funding

Funding is apportioned on the basis of legislative formulas. For areas of 50,000 to 199,999 in population, the formula is based on population and population density. For areas with populations of 200,000 and more, the formula is based on a combination of bus revenue vehicle miles, bus passenger miles, fixed guideway revenue vehicle miles, and fixed guideway route miles as well as population and population density.

View the FY 2019 5307 Apportionment Formula.

Match

The federal share is not to exceed 80 percent of the net project cost for capital expenditures. The federal share may be 90 percent for the cost of vehicle-related equipment attributable to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Clean Air Act. The federal share may not exceed 50 percent of the net project cost of operating assistance.

Rural Transportation Assistance Program - 5311(b)(3)

Program Overview

The Rural Transit Assistance Program (49 U.S.C. 5311(b)(3)) provides a source of funding to assist in the design and implementation of training and technical assistance projects and other support services tailored to meet the needs of transit operators in nonurbanized areas.

Eligible Recipients

States, local governments, and providers of rural transit services.

Eligible Activities

States may use RTAP funds to support nonurbanized transit activities in four categories:  training, technical assistance, research, and related support services.

The State should develop State RTAP activities through a process that provides maximum opportunity for the participation of rural transit operators, both public and private, in identifying and establishing priority areas of need for transportation research, technical assistance, training, and related support services in other than urbanized areas.

Statutory Reference

49 U.S.C. 5311(b)(3)

Funding Availability

Funds are available the year appropriated plus two years (total of three years).

Allocation of Funding

The State RTAP program is allocated  to the states based on an administrative formula. The RTAP formula first allocates $65,000 to each of the states and Puerto Rico, and $10,000 to the Insular Areas of Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Marianas, and then distributes the balance according to nonurbanized population of the states. The national component is competitively selected every five years and is  funded under a competitive cooperative agreement.

Match

There is no Federal requirement for a local match.

Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Formula Program - 5339(a)

Provides funding to states and transit agencies through a statutory formula to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities. In addition to the formula allocation, the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities program (49 U.S.C. 5339) includes two discretionary components: the Bus and Bus Facilities Discretionary Program and the Low or No Emissions Bus Discretionary Program.

Eligible Recipients

Eligible Recipients include designated recipients that operate fixed route bus service or that allocate funding to fixed route bus operators; and State or local governmental entities that operate fixed ro ute bus service that are eligible to receive direct grants under 5307 and 5311.

Subrecipients: An eligible recipient that receives a grant under the formula or discretionary programs may allocate amounts from the grant to subrecipients that are public agencies or private nonprofit organizations engaged in public transportation.

Eligible Activities

Capital projects to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses, vans, and related equipment, and to construct bus-related facilities, including technological changes or innovations to modify low or no emission vehicles or facilities.

Statutory References

49 U.S.C. Section 5339 / FAST Act Section 3017

State of Good Repair Grants - 5337

A metro facility.

The State of Good Repair Grants Program (49 U.S.C. 5337) provides capital assistance for maintenance, replacement, and rehabilitation projects of high-intensity fixed guideway and bus systems to help transit agencies maintain assets in a state of good repair. Additionally, SGR grants are eligible for developing and implementing Transit Asset Management plans.

Eligible Recipients

Eligible recipients are state and local government authorities in UZAs with fixed guideway and high intensity motorbus systems in revenue service for at least seven years.

Eligible Activities

State of Good Repair Grants funds are available for capital projects that maintain a fixed guideway or a high intensity motorbus system in a state of good repair, including projects to replace and rehabilitate:

  • rolling stock
  • track
  • line equipment and structures
  • signals and communications
  • power equipment and substations
  • passenger stations and terminals
  • security equipment and systems
  • maintenance facilities and equipment
  • operational support equipment, including computer hardware and software;

as well as implement transit asset management plans.

Statutory References

49 U.S.C. Section 5337 / FAST Act Section 3015

Funding Availability

Funds are available for obligation for four fiscal years. This includes the fiscal year in which the amount is made available or appropriated plus three additional years.

Allocation of Funding

Funds are apportioned by statutory formulas. The funds allocated to the UZAs for high intensity fixed guideway systems are based on revenue miles and route miles reported to National Transit Database (NTD) and what the UZA would have received in the FY 2011 fixed guideway modernization formula using the current definition of fixed guideway. High intensity motorbus funds are allocated to UZAs based on revenue miles and route miles reported to NTD.

Match

The federal share of eligible capital costs is 80 percent of the net capital project cost, unless the grant recipient requests a lower percentage.

Grant Authorization: 49 U.S.C. 5337

Metropolitan & Statewide Planning and NonMetropolitan Transportation Planning - 5303, 5304, 5305

Provides funding and procedural requirements for multimodal transportation planning in metropolitan areas and states. Planning needs to be cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive, resulting in long-range plans and short-range programs reflecting transportation investment priorities. 

Eligible Recipients

State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). Federal planning funds are first apportioned to State DOTs. State DOTs then allocate planning funding to MPOs.

Eligible Activities

Funds are available for planning activities that (A) support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, especially by enabling global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency; (B) increase the safety of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users; (C) increase the security of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users; (D) increase the accessibility and mobility of people and for freight; (E) protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, improve the quality of life, and promote consistency between transportation improvements and State and local planned growth and economic development patterns; (F) enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight; (G) promote efficient system management and operation; and (H) emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system.

Major new fixed guideway projects, or extension to existing systems financed with New Starts funds, typically receive these funds through a full funding grant agreement that defines the scope of the project and specifies the total multi-year federal commitment to the project. 

Statutory References

Funding Availability

Funds are available for four years.

Allocation of Funding

Funds are apportioned to states by a formula that includes each state’s urbanized area population in proportion to the total urbanized area population for the nation, as well as other factors. States can receive no less than .5 percent of the amount apportioned. These funds, in turn, are sub-allocated by states to MPOs by a formula that considers each MPO’s urbanized area population, their individual planning needs, and a minimum distribution.

Match

The federal share is not to exceed 80% of the cost of the projects funded under the program.

Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program - 5324

Helps states and public transportation systems pay for protecting, repairing, and/or replacing equipment and facilities that may suffer or have suffered serious damage as a result of an emergency, including natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. It provides authorization for Section 5307 and 5311 funds to be used for disaster relief in response to a declared disaster.