Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in the Parks

The Paul S.

Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program was necessary because it addressed the challenge of increasing vehicle congestion in and around our national parks and other federal lands.

America?s national parks, wildlife refuges, and national forests were created to protect unique environmental
and cultural treasures, but are now facing traffic, pollution and crowding that diminishes the visitor experience and threatens the environment.

To address these concerns, this program provided funding for the planning and capital costs of alternative transportation systems, such as shuttle buses, rail connections and even bicycle trails.

The program provided grants to Federal land management agencies, including but not limited to the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and to State, tribal and local governments.

The Transit in Parks Program was repealed by Congress under MAP-21, and FTA announced the final selection of competitive project awards on February 18, 2013.

Alternative transportation projects formerly eligible under Transit in Parks are now eligible under the Federal Highway Administration?s Federal Lands Transportation Program and the Federal Lands Access Program.
Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: The Transit in Parks program was repealed in 2013, and funds are no longer available.

FTA announced the final selection of competitive project awards on February 18, 2013.

An example of a project funded during that time was a $250,000 grant in West Glacier, Montana for new fuel efficient buses to continue providing free shuttle service for park visitors, which helps reduce traffic congestion along the parks 50-mile road.

Fiscal Year 2017: The Transit in Parks program was repealed under MAP-21 and funds are no longer available.

Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available

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.
Website Address

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Pinellas County Mpo $ 1,000,000   2017-09-122023-12-31
Lowell Regional Transit Authority $ 1,592,292   2017-07-142021-06-30
California, Department Of Transportation $ 800,000   2017-08-212020-09-30
Transportation, Pennsylvania Department Of $ 875,000   2020-04-17
Merced, County Of-$ 65,089   2009-08-152018-09-18
Lowell Regional Transit Authority $ 0   2015-01-202016-12-31
City Of Farmington-$ 319,900   2015-08-282016-05-01
City Of Farmington $ 319,900   2015-09-012016-05-01
Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council-$ 591   2012-03-282016-02-28
Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council $ 30,600   2015-08-012016-02-28

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: The Transit in Parks Program was repealed in 2013, and funds are no longer available. Fiscal Year 2017: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

A qualified project is a planning or capital project in or in the vicinity of a Federally-owned or managed park, refuge, or recreational area that is open to the general public and meets the goals of the program.

Project evaluation will be based on the considerations listed in the law and explained in section 180 of this notice.

The following types of projects are eligible: (1) Planning Projects: Activities to comply with metropolitan and statewide planning provisions (49 U.S.C.

5320(b)(5)(A) referencing 49 U.S.C.

5303, 5304, and 5305).

These activities include planning studies for an alternative transportation system, including evaluation of no-build and all other reasonable alternatives, traffic studies, visitor utilization studies, transportation analysis, feasibility studies, and environmental studies. (2) Capital projects for ??acquiring, constructing, supervising, or inspecting equipment or a facility for use in public transportation, expenses incidental to the acquisition or construction (including designing, engineering, location surveying, mapping, and acquiring rights-of-way), payments for the capital portions of rail trackage rights agreements, transit-related intelligent transportation systems, relocation assistance, acquiring replacement housing sites, and acquiring, constructing, relocating, and rehabilitating replacement housing;?? (49 U.S.C.

5320(b)(5)(A) referencing 49 U.S.C.

5302(a)(1)(A).) (3) Fixed Guideway and Bus Projects: (i) New fixed guideway capital projects including the acquisition of real property, the initial acquisition of rolling stock for the systems, the acquisition of rights-of-way, and relocation, for fixed guideway corridor development for projects in the advanced stages of alternatives analysis or preliminary engineering; (ii) Capital projects to modernize existing fixed guideway systems; (iii) Capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities, including programs of bus and bus-related projects for assistance to subrecipients that are public agencies, private companies engaged in public transportation, or private non-profit organizations; and (iv) The development of corridors to support new fixed guideway capital projects, including protecting rights-of-way through acquisition, construction of dedicated bus and high occupancy vehicle lanes and park and ride lots, and other nonvehicular capital improvements that the Secretary may decide would result in increased public transportation usage in the corridor.

(49 U.S.C.

5320(b)(5)(A) referencing 49 U.S.C.

5309(b).) (4) Purchase of rolling stock that incorporates clean fuel technology or the replacement of buses of a type in use on August 10, 2005, with clean fuel vehicles; (5) The deployment of alternative transportation vehicles that introduce innovative technologies or methods; (6) The capital costs of coordinating Federal land management agency public transportation systems with other public transportation systems; (7) Non-motorized transportation systems (including the provision of facilities for pedestrians, bicycles and non-motorized watercraft); and (8) Any other alternative transportation project that: - Enhances the environment; - Prevents or mitigates an adverse impact on a natural resource; - Improves Federal land management agency resource management; & #61589; & #61472;Improves visitor mobility and accessibility and the visitor experience; - Reduces congestion and pollution (including noise pollution and visual pollution); or - Conserves a natural, historical, or cultural resource (excluding rehabilitation or restoration of a nontransportation facility).

No more than 15% of program funds may be used for project administration, contingency and oversight.

As stated above, only planning and implementation projects that involve alternative transportation may receive funds.

Funds must be spent in accordance with the details of the grant application.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants are:(1) The following Federal land management agencies: The National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land management, the Forest Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation; and (2) State, tribal and local governments with jurisdiction over land in the vicinity of an eligible area acting with the consent of a Federal land management agency, alone or in partnership with a Federal land management agency or other governmental or non-governmental participant.

Beneficiary Eligibility



Any project sponsor must be acting with the consent of a Federal land management agency as documented by the provision of a letter of support from the relevant federal land unit accompanying the project proposal. Any project proposed must be consistent with the metropolitan and statewide planning and public participation requirements found in 49 U.S.C 5303, 5304, and 5307(d). If the project is a ?capital project? in contrast with a ?planning project,? the capital project must be in the metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) or State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), or, if selected, will not receive funds until it is incorporated into the TIP or STIP. Projects also must be consistent with Federal land management agency plans. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The program allows the Department of Transportation to spend up to 10 percent of program funds to carry out planning, research and technical assistance activities.

Funds allocated to technical assistance will be used to assist program participants in planning, implementing, and evaluating alternative transportation projects.

In addition, the Federal Transit Administration will provide planning guidance and will disseminate research findings.

Environmental impact information is not 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

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. In previous fiscal years, proposals were submitted to FTA online via the GRANTS.GOV website.

Award Procedures

Proposals were collected by the FTA and uploaded into a structured evaluation system and evaluated by an interagency team which includes representatives from FTA, each of the Federal land management agencies, and the Department of the Interior. When this program was funded the projects were evaluated on the basis of criteria in the law and further explained in Section 180 under Criteria for Selecting Proposals, the team provided a recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior. The Secretary of the Interior, after consultation with and in cooperation with the Secretary of Transportation, determined the final selection and amount of funding for each project. The Department of the Interior notified each Federal land management agency of projects awarded for sites under the agency?s jurisdiction. FTA published the list of all selected projects and funding levels in the Federal Register.


Not Applicable.


Section 3021 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act?A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) enacted August 10, 2005 [Public Law 109-59], established the Alternative Transportation in Parks and Public Lands program. The name of the program was changed to the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks under the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act, 2008. The Transit in Parks Program was repealed by Congress under MAP-21. Alternative transportation projects formerly eligible under Transit in Parks are now eligible under the Federal Highway Administration?s Federal Lands Transportation Program and the Federal Lands Access Program., 49 U.S.C 5320.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. This program has no matching requirements. This program has no statutory formula. The Secretary of Transportation, in cooperation with the Secretary of Interior will establish the Government?s share of the net project cost to be provided. Funds appropriated to any Federal land management agency may be counted toward the remainder of the net project cost. The maximum Federal share may be 100 percent. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funding will be provided on an annual basis. Funds awarded do not have an established date of expiration. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Lump sum and/or reimbursement of qualified expenses.

Post Assistance Requirements


Requirements regarding reports to be prepared by the program recipient have been published in the Federal Register in the announcement of program awards.

Generally, this entails the submission of quarterly reports to the FTA containing a narrative description of the project and a discussion of all budget and schedule changes.

In addition, annual reports were required that must include: 1.

Annual visitation to the land unit, 2.

Annual number of persons who use the alternative transportation system, 3.

An estimate of the number of vehicle trips mitigated based on alternative transportation system usage and the typical number of passengers per vehicle, 4.

Cost per passenger, and 5.

A note of any special services offered for those systems with higher costs per passenger but more amenities.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress reports are not applicable.

Expenditure reports are not applicable.

Performance monitoring is not applicable.


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.


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

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 16 $0; FY 17 est $0; and FY 18 est $0 - The Transit in Parks Program was repealed under MAP-21, and funds are no longer available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

No one project could receive more than 25 percent of funds.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Guidance is included with each Federal Register notice that announces project selections. Program requirements, additional guidance and legislation information can be found at

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices.

Headquarters Office

Vanessa Williams 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, District of Columbia 20590 Email: Phone: 202-366-4818

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Consistent with the considerations identified in Title 49, Chapter 53 at Section 5320(g)(2), evaluation of proposals were based on the following criteria: - 736-1472; Demonstration of need * Documentation of problem in plans and other reports * Severity of problem - Protection of natural and cultural resources * Protection or improvement of cultural, historical, scenic, and natural resources * Environmental benefits reduction of pollution (including air pollution, noise pollution, and visual pollution) - 1472;Operational efficiency and financial sustainability * Evaluation of costs and benefits of all reasonable alternatives * Financial planning (including for capital, operations, maintenance, and equipment replacement expenses; and revenues, including user fees) * Cost effectiveness * Innovative financing or joint development strategies * Deferred maintenance issues - Public benefits * Enhancing visitor experience * Mobility issues (reduces congestion, improves intermodal connectivity, improves public access, including access for persons with disabilities) * Safety * Partnership with public and private entities, and benefits to gateway communities. - Additional consideration will be given to projects based upon geographic diversity, balance between urban and rural projects, and balance in size of projects. Finally, projects that demonstrate innovative funding mechanisms or partnerships will be given extra consideration. The proposal template contains specific questions related to each of these criteria to guide the applicant in justifying the project.

Established by Big Society Capital and the Northern Rock Foundation, the North East Social Investment Company is soon to be launched for lending by mid-2014.

Jobs in the Social Sector

  Social Services Jobs
  Substance Abuse Jobs
  Foundation Related Jobs
  Social Work Jobs
  Foundation Related Jobs