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Formula

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

Program Overview  

Federal public transportation law (49 USC 5311(c)(1)(B)) and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Section 300076, authorizes the formula amount of the Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program (Tribal Transit Program) for Fiscal Years (FY) 2022-2026. Five percent of Rural Formula (Section 5311) funding is available for the Public Transportation on Indian Reservations program. 20 percent of the Public Transportation on Indian Reservations funds must be distributed on a competitive basis, while the remainder must be apportioned by formula. 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).

Transportation Technical Assistance Coordination Library (TACL)

The Transportation Technical Assistance Coordination Library (TACL) provides a sustainable methodology and platform to access resources across a diverse range of transportation technical assistance centers and FTA. Participating FTA-funded technical assistance centers include:

Enhanced Mobility of Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities - Section 5310

What’s New

  • On June 16, 2022, FTA announced approximately $8.4 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 and FY22 funding through the Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility (ICAM) program to 17 projects in 16 states. View the project selections. Entities eligible for the Section 5310 program were eligible applicants for the ICAM program. 

Overview

This program (49 U.S.C. 5310) provides formula funding to states and designated recipients to meet 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 older adults and people 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 transportation needs of older adults and people with disabilities in all areas – large urbanized (over 200,000), small urbanized (50,000-200,000), and rural (under 50,000). The funding can be used for “traditional” or “nontraditional” projects. “Traditional” projects are capital projects as defined in 49 U.S.C. 5302(3). “Nontraditional” projects are capital and/or operating projects that go beyond the scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complementary paratransit services or public transportation alternatives designed to assist older adults and people with disabilities.  

Eligible Recipients

States, local government authorities, and designated recipients are direct recipients; Eligible subrecipients include private nonprofit organizations, states or local government authorities, and operators of public transportation. Operators of public transportation are entities that provide regular continuing shared-ride surface transportation services that are open to the general public or open to a segment of the general public defined by age, disability, or low-income. Operators of public transportation are eligible as subrecipients for nontraditional Section 5310 projects. 

Eligible subrecipients should apply to the direct recipient in their area for funding. In small urban or rural areas, the direct recipient is the state department of transportation. In large urban areas the direct recipient is the designated recipient. 

A federally recognized Indian tribe may apply directly to FTA for Section 5310 funds that a state, local government authority, or designated recipient has awarded to the tribe. Tribes are eligible direct recipients under the Section 5311 program. 

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
  • Construction of an accessible path to a bus stop, including curb-cuts, sidewalks, accessible pedestrian signals or other accessible features
  • Improvements to signage, or way-finding technology
  • Incremental cost of providing same day service or door-to-door service
  • Purchase of vehicles to support new accessible taxi, rides sharing and/or vanpooling programs
  • Mobility management programs

Statutory References

49 U.S.C. Section 5310 

Funding Availability

Section 5310 funds are available to the states and designated recipients 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 and designated recipients by a formula which is based on the number of older adults 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.

Federal funds from other agencies may be used as match for the Section 5310 Program. For additional information on local match and federal fund braiding refer to the Section 5310 Circular (9070.1G) and the CCAM Federal Fund Braiding Guide

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).

In March 2022, FTA posted guidance clarifying coordination on human services transportation on a new transportation coordination webpage. Coordinated transportation involves multiple entities working together to deliver one or more components of a transportation service to increase capacity. The transportation coordination guidance aims to reduce overlap between the 130 CCAM programs across nine agencies that may fund human services transportation and incentivize collaboration by clarifying eligible reporting into the National Transit Database (NTD). This new 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.

National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC)

The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) is a national technical assistance center funded by FTA with guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL). NADTC promotes the availability and accessibility of transportation options that serve the needs of people with disabilities, older adults, caregivers, and communities with a focus on the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities Section 5310 program and other transit investments. The NADTC supports the delivery of effective, efficient, high-quality, and coordinated specialized transportation services that maximize federal investments.

Transportation Technical Assistance Coordination Library (TACL)

The Transportation Technical Assistance Coordination Library (TACL) provides a sustainable methodology and platform to access resources across a diverse range of transportation technical assistance centers and FTA. Participating FTA-funded technical assistance centers include:

For additional technical assistance resources, visit Coordination-Related Technical Assistance Centers.

Grant Authorization:
BIL

Formula Grants for Rural Areas - 5311

What's New

  • FTA is seeking input on proposed updates to the Rural Areas Formula Grant Programs Guidance (9040.1) Circular, which updates FTA guidance regarding grants under the Formula Grants for Rural Areas (Section 5311), the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities (Section 5339(a)), and the Tribal Transit programs.
    • FTA published a notice summarizing the proposed circular updates in the Federal Register, with comments due by June 3, 2024.
       
  • The 2023 Biennial FTA State and Tribal Programs and Transit Partnerships Conference was held August 16-18 in Washington, DC.
    • More than 220 people attended and over 60 speakers provided a wealth of information to participants from 43 states and 11 tribes.
    • The conference website includes an “Agenda” tab with both the conference program and links to presentation slides.

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 legislative 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.

FTA has published a Dear Colleague letter stating that intercity bus providers that use a nationwide allocation model to allocate costs are eligible to be reimbursed for net operating costs under Section 5311(f), including funding provided by supplemental COVID programs such as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA), and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Technical Assistance

Transportation Technical Assistance Coordination Library (TACL)

The Transportation Technical Assistance Coordination Library (TACL) provides a sustainable methodology and platform to access resources across a diverse range of transportation technical assistance centers and FTA. Participating FTA-funded technical assistance centers include:

For additional technical assistance resources, visit Coordination-Related Technical Assistance Centers.

Training and Technical Assistance is available through the National Rural Transit Assistance Program

Transportation Coordination

In March 2022, FTA posted guidance clarifying coordination on human services transportation on a new transportation coordination webpage. Coordinated transportation involves multiple entities working together to deliver one or more components of a transportation service to increase capacity. The transportation coordination guidance aims to reduce overlap between the 130 CCAM programs across nine agencies that may fund human services transportation and incentivize collaboration by clarifying eligible reporting into the National Transit Database (NTD). This new 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.

Statutory References

49 U.S.C. 5311

Urbanized Area Formula Grants - 5307

An MBTA Subway Station.

What's New

  • In March 2022, FTA posted guidance clarifying coordination on human services transportation on a new transportation coordination webpage. Coordinated transportation involves multiple entities working together to deliver one or more components of a transportation service to increase capacity. The transportation coordination guidance aims to reduce overlap between the 130 CCAM programs across nine agencies that may fund human services transportation and incentivize collaboration by clarifying eligible reporting into the National Transit Database (NTD). This new 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.
  • 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 governors and other recipients for transit capital and operating assistance and transportation-related planning in urbanized areas. An urbanized area is an area that has been defined and designated by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census as an 'Urban Area' with a population of 50,000 or more. 

Apportionments

Eligible Recipients

Funding for urbanized areas with a population of 200,000 or more is made available to designated recipients that are public bodies with the legal authority to receive and dispense federal funds. For urbanized areas with a population of 200,000 or more, governors, responsible local officials and providers of publicly owned public transportation service shall select a designated recipient to receive and apportion funds to eligible projects and recipients within the urbanized area.

Funding for urbanized areas with a population of between 50,000 and 199,999 is made available to a State's or territory's governor or governor's designee. For urbanized areas with a population of less than 200,000, the governor or governor's designee is responsible for receiving and apportioning funds to eligible projects and recipients.

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, station infrastructure, track, signals, communications, and computer hardware and software. In addition, associated transit improvements, workforce development activities, 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 49 U.S.C. 5307(a)(2) and (3).

Statutory Reference

49 U.S.C. 5307

Funding Availability

Funds are available the year appropriated plus five years. 

Allocation of Funding

Funding is apportioned based on legislative formulas. For urbanized areas of 50,000 to 199,999 in population, the formula is based on population, low-income population, and population density. These urbanized areas are also eligible to receive Small Transit Intensive Cities (STIC) funds if transit service provided in the urbanized area meets or exceeds the STIC performance criteria.

For urbanized areas with a population of 200,000 or more, the formula is based on a combination of bus vehicle revenue miles, bus passenger miles, fixed guideway vehicle revenue miles, fixed guideway directional route miles, fixed guideway passenger miles, and operating expenses, as well as population, low-income population, and population density.

View the FY 2023 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 85 percent for the acquisition of vehicles and 90 percent for the cost of vehicle-related equipment or facilities (including clean fuel or alternative fuel vehicle-related equipment or facilities) for the purpose of complying with, or maintaining 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)

What's New

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 competitive components: the Bus and Bus Facilities Competitive Program and the Low or No Emissions Bus Vehicle Program. Please see the program fact sheet for additional information.

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 route 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 competitive 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.

Program Overview

The formula component of 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 motorbus systems to help transit agencies maintain assets in a state of good repair in urbanized areas. Additionally, State of Good Repair formula grants are eligible for developing and implementing Transit Asset Management plans. An urbanized area is one that has been defined and designated by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, as an 'Urban Area' with a population of 50,000 or more.

In addition to the formula allocation, the State of Good Repair program (49 U.S.C. 5337) includes the competitive Rail Vehicle Replacement Grant Program. Please see the competitive program website for more information.

Apportionments

Eligible Recipients

Funding for urbanized areas with a population of 200,000 or more is made available to designated recipients that are public bodies with the legal authority to receive and dispense federal funds. For urbanized areas with a population of 200,000 or more, governors, responsible local officials, and providers of publicly owned public transportation service select a designated recipient to receive and apportion funds to eligible projects and recipients within the urbanized area.

Funding for urbanized areas with a population of between 50,000 and 199,999 is made available to a State's or territory's governor or governor's designee. For urbanized areas with a population of less than 200,000, the governor or governor's designee is responsible for receiving and apportioning funds to eligible projects and recipients.

Eligible recipients are states, local government authorities, or other public entities in urbanized areas with fixed guideway and/or high-intensity motorbus systems in revenue service for at least seven full federal fiscal years prior to the beginning of the federal fiscal year of the apportionment.

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, rebuild, maintain, 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; and
  • operational support equipment, including computer hardware and software.

Funds may also be used to develop and implement transit asset management plans.

Statutory References

49 U.S.C. 5337

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

Funding is apportioned based on statutory formulas. The funds allocated to the UZAs for high-intensity fixed-guideway systems are based on fixed-guideway vehicle revenue miles and directional route miles reported to the 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 high-intensity vehicle revenue miles and directional route miles reported to the NTD.

Match

The federal share for eligible capital expenses is not to exceed 80 percent of the net project cost.

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.

Human Resources & Training - 5314 (b)

Under this new program, FTA may make grants or enter into contracts for human resource and workforce development programs as they apply to public transportation activities. Such programs may include:

  • Employment training;
  • An outreach program to increase minority and female employment in public transportation activities;
  • Research on public transportation personnel and training needs; and
  • Training and assistance for minority business opportunities.