Formula Grants for Rural Areas

To improve, initiate, or continue public transportation service in nonurbanized areas (rural areas and small cities under 50,000 in population) and to provide technical assistance for rural transportation providers.

The Section 5311 program supports both the maintenance of existing public transportation

credit: USDAgov on Flickr
services and the expansion of those services through the following program goals: enhancing access in rural areas to health care, shopping, education, employment, public services, and recreation; assisting in the maintenance, development, improvement, and use of public transportation systems in rural areas; encouraging and facilitating the most efficient use of all transportation funds used to provide passenger transportation in rural areas through the coordination of programs and services; providing financial assistance to help carry out national goals related to mobility for all, including seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-income individuals; increasing availability of transportation options through investments in intercity bus services; assisting in the development and support of intercity bus transportation; encouraging mobility management, employment-related transportation alternatives, joint development practices, and transit-oriented development; and providing for the participation of private transportation providers in rural public transportation.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: The Formula Grants for Rural Areas projects supported 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 relied on public transit to reach their destinations.

The program also provided funding for state and national training and technical assistance through the Rural Transportation Assistance Program.

Fiscal Year 2017: The Formula Grants for Rural Areas projects support 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.

Fiscal Year 2018: The Formula Grants for Rural Areas projects will continue to support 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.


Agency - Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation's mission is to ensure fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation that meets vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

See Appendix IV of the Catalog for the address of Federal Transit Administration Regional Offices.

State Designated Agency: The Governor in each State has designated a State agency to administer the Section 5311 program.

This should be the first contact point.

Regional Offices: A person from each Federal Transit Administration Regional Office is available to answer questions about Federal regulations related to the Nonurbanized Formula Program.
Website Address

http://www.fta.dot.gov


Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories





Selected Recipients for this Program


RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Illinois Department Of Transportation $ 18,450,065   2017-09-222024-06-30
Transportation, North Carolina Department Of $ 49,907,697   2024-03-30
Arkansas Department Of Transportation $ 12,617,956   2017-08-282023-12-31
Transportation, Washington State Department Of $ 13,052,181   2017-08-242023-09-30
Transportation, Georgia Department Of $ 16,164,427   2018-06-272023-03-30
Transportation, Tennessee Department Of $ 21,071,879   2018-08-152023-03-30
Eastern Band Of Cherokee Indians $ 569,264   2018-08-082023-03-30
Transportation And Development, Louisiana Department Of $ 23,329,757   2022-12-31
Transportation, New York Department Of $ 18,205,625   2017-09-222022-12-31
Transportation, Missouri Department Of $ 18,970,549   2018-07-132022-12-31



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: During the 22nd National Rural and Intercity Bus Conference, FTA?s Acting Administrator presented the Administrator?s Award to three rural transit providers that improved the mobility of Americans in rural areas and enhanced access to employment, health care, and other community services. The award recipients included the following: ? Durango Transit in Durango, CO; ? Barry County Transit in Hastings, MI; and ? Tri-Valley Heartland Express in Crookston, MN. Fiscal Year 2017: Approximately 167 million trips in rural areas are provided annually. Additionally, FTA allocated approximately $30 million to 124 tribes for the purpose of expanding transportation services and improving the quality of life for tribes in Indian Country. Fiscal Year 2018: The rural transit program is anticipated to continue.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Section 5311 funds may be used for eligible planning, capital, and operating expenses needed to provide efficient and coordinated public transportation service in non-urbanized areas.

States may use up to 10 per cent of the annual apportionment for planning and program administration.

Job Access and Reverse Commute projects are also eligible under the program.

Projects must provide for the maximum feasible coordination of public transportation sources assisted under this section with transportation services assisted by other Federal sources, and must provide for the maximum feasible participation of private operators.

Fifteen percent of the State's annual apportionment must be spent to support rural intercity bus transportation, unless the governor certifies that such needs are adequately met.

Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP) funds may be used for technical assistance, training, research, and related support services.

Additional set-asides under the Section 5311 program include the Tribal Transit formula, Tribal Transit discretionary and Appalachian Development Public Transportation Assistance Formula Programs.

States may use up to 10 per cent of the annual apportionment for planning and program administration.

Projects must provide for the maximum feasible coordination of public transportation sources assisted under this section with transportation services assisted by other Federal sources, and must provide for the maximum feasible participation of private operators.

Fifteen percent of the State's annual apportionment must be spent to support rural intercity bus transportation, unless the governor certifies that such needs are adequately met.

Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP) funds may be used for technical assistance, training, research, and related support services.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Only designated State agencies and Indian Tribes may apply directly to FTA for grants.

Eligible sub-recipients may include State agencies, local public bodies and agencies thereof, nonprofit organizations, Indian tribes, and operators of public transportation services, including intercity bus service, in rural and small urban areas.

Private for-profit operators of transit or paratransit services may participate in the program only through contracts with eligible recipients.

Private intercity bus operators may participate as subrecipients or through contracts.

Urbanized areas, as defined by the Bureau of the Census, are not eligible.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The general public, both users and nonusers, and private and public providers of public transportation in nonurbanized areas.

Credentials/Documentation

The State agency must be designated by the Governor to administer the program. Projects must be included in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) approved by FTA and FHWA. The state and sub-recipients must agree to the standard labor protection warranty for the program. Environmental assessments may be required. Compliance with FTA's annual list of Certifications and Assurances is required. Eligible cost must be in accordance with 2 CFR 200. The state must submit a program of projects listing all sub-recipients and projects in accordance with FTA Circular 9040.1G issued October 24, 2014. FTA annually issues a Federal Register Notice of apportionments, allocations and program information. This information can be found on the FTA website at www.fta.dot.gov or by contacting the appropriate FTA regional office to obtain copies or publication dates. 2 CFR 200 applies to this program. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is required.

An environmental impact statement is required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, 'Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.' An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Eligible sub-recipients should submit application to the State agency designated by the Governor to administer the program. This agency will evaluate and select eligible applicants and submit a program of projects to the Federal Transit Administration. .

Award Procedures

The Federal Transit Administration approves the State's program of projects. An FTA grant award obligating Federal funds is reflected in a grant agreement. To access funds, the state must execute the grant agreement. The state implements grant agreements or other instructions with the subrecipients.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

Fixing America?s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act , Public Law 114-94, 49 U.S.C 5311.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 90 to 120 days. As prescribed by the State agency designated to administer the Section 5311 program. FTA approves grants on a quarterly release cycle.

Appeals

Interested persons are afforded the opportunity of a public hearing for capital projects.

Renewals

Subrecipients typically receive funding through the designated State agency.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory Formula: Title 49, Part 18. Matching Requirements: The program operates under the statutory formula prescribed in 49 USC 5335. The federal share is not to exceed 80 percent of the net project cost for capital projects The federal share may be 90 percent for the cost of vehicle-related equipment attributable to compliance with the American with Disabilities Act and the Clean Air Act or 85 percent for the cost of a vehicle that complies with these requirements. The federal share may also be 90 percent for projects or portions of projects related to bicycle facilities. The federal share may not exceed 50 percent of the net cost for operating assistance. Recipients may use up to 20 percent of the amounts apportioned under Section 5311 for ADA complementary paratransit at an 80 percent federal share if certain conditions are met. Under the Tribal Transit Program, there is no match for formula grants. Under the Tribal Transit Discretionary Program, there is a 10 percent match requirement. This program has MOE requirements, see funding agency for further details. This program has MOE requirements; see funding agency for further details.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds are apportioned annually to the States. Amounts apportioned are available for obligation by the State designated agency for a period of three years (two years following the close of the fiscal year for which sums are apportioned) and amounts remaining unobligated at the end of such period shall be apportioned among the States for the succeeding fiscal year. States usually fund local recipients on an annual cycle. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Annual Program of Projects Status Reports, Milestone Progress Reports, Federal Financial Reports, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Reports, National Transit Database Reports.Annual Program of Projects Status Reports are required.

SF-425.

Milestone progress reports are submitted annually.

States may require additional reports from recipients.

Federal Financial Reports are submitted annually.

National Transit Database reports are required annually.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.

Records

Recipient is required to retain intact, for 3 years following submission of the final expenditure report, all contract documents, financial records, and supporting documents.

Financial Information

Account Identification

69-1129-0-1-401; 69-8350-0-7-401.

Obigations

(Formula Grants) FY 16 $619,956,000; FY 17 est $632,355,120; and FY 18 est $645,634,578

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

No Data Available.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

FTA Circular 9040.1, Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application instructions.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. See Appendix IV of the Catalog for the address of Federal Transit Administration Regional Offices. State Designated Agency: The Governor in each State has designated a State agency to administer the Section 5311 program. This should be the first contact point. Regional Offices: A person from each Federal Transit Administration Regional Office is available to answer questions about Federal regulations related to the Nonurbanized Formula Program.

Headquarters Office

Elan Flippin, Office of Program Management 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, District of Columbia 20590 Phone: (202) 366-3800

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The criteria for selecting projects under State allocations is as described by the State designated agency in its procedures or State management plan. There are no criteria for selecting projects under Tribal Transit Formula as allocations are made directly to the tribes. The criteria for selecting projects under the Tribal Transit discretionary program are listed yearly in the Notice of Funding Availability published with the Federal Register.



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