You are here

Grants and Programs

Overview

Livability is one of five strategic priorities for the Department of Transportation. The Secretary's vision is "transportation policies that focus on people and communities who use the transportation system." A major way DOT helps communities pursue these aims is by issuing grants to eligible recipients for planning, vehicle purchases, facility construction, operations, and other purposes. DOT administers this financial assistance according to federal transportation authorization, MAP-21, which was enacted on October 1, 2012. There are a large number of programs and grants within the Department of Transportation that support projects that enhance or relate to livability.

Grants and Programs (organized by subject)


Surface Transportation Improvement

Surface Transportation Program (STP)

Brief Summary:  The Surface Transportation Program (STP) (23 U.S.C. 133) is one of the main sources of flexible funding available for transit or highway purposes.  STP provides the greatest flexibility in the use of funds. These funds may be used (as capital funding) for public transportation capital improvements, car and vanpool projects, fringe and corridor parking facilities, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and intercity or intracity bus terminals and bus facilities. As funding for planning, these funds can be used for surface transportation planning activities, wetland mitigation, transit research and development, and environmental analysis. Other eligible projects under STP include transit safety improvements and most transportation control measures.  STP funds are distributed among various population and programmatic categories within a State. Some program funds are made available to metropolitan planning areas containing urbanized areas over 200,000 population; STP funds are also set aside to areas under 200,000 and 50,000 population. The largest portion of STP funds may be used anywhere within the State to which they are apportioned.

Who is Eligible: State and local governments

How to Apply: Procedures vary with each State DOT and local sponsor

Link: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/specialfunding/stp/ andhttp://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_3786.html

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program

Summary: The other major source of flexible funding is from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) (23 U.S.C. 149).  CMAQ has the objective of improving the Nation’s air quality and managing traffic congestion, by providing support for transportation projects that contribute to emissions reductions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and ozone and its precursors.  Eligible activities under CMAQ include transit system capital expansion and improvements that are projected to realize an increase in ridership; travel demand management strategies and shared ride services; pedestrian and bicycle facilities and promotional activities that encourage bicycle commuting.

Who is Eligible: State and local governments and private sector elements through a public sponsor.

How to Apply: Procedures vary with each State DOT and local sponsor

Link: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/cmaqpgs/index.htm and http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_3786.html

Urbanized Area Formula Grant Program (Transit Grants for Mid- and Large Urban Areas)

Summary: This 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.  Eligible purposes 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 of buses, overhaul of buses, 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. All preventive maintenance and some Americans with Disabilities Act complementary paratransit service costs are considered capital costs.   For urbanized areas with populations of 200,000 or more, operating assistance is not an eligible expense. In these areas, at least one percent of the funding apportioned to each area must be used for transit enhancement activities such as historic preservation, landscaping, public art, pedestrian access, bicycle access, and enhanced access for persons with disabilities.

Eligibility: Urbanized areas of 50,000 in population and over.  For populations 50,000 – 200,000, funds are apportioned to the Governor of each State for distribution.  A few areas under 200,000 in population have been designated as transportation management areas and receive apportionments directly.  For areas with population of 200,000 and over, funds are apportioned and flow directly to a designated recipient selected locally to apply for and receive Federal funds.

How to Apply: Funding is apportioned to each urbanized area and State based upon a formula.  See FTA Circular C 9030.1C, “Urbanized Area Formula: Grant Application Instructions”  http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/circulars/leg_reg_4125.html

Link: http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_3561.html

Non-urbanized Area Formula Grant Program (Transit Grants for Rural and Small Urban Areas)

Brief Summary: This program (49 U.S.C. 5311) provides formula funding to states for the purpose of supporting public transportation in areas of less than 50,000 populations. Eighty percent of the statutory formula is based on the nonurbanized population of the States.  Twenty percent of the formula is based on land area.  No State may receive more than 5 percent of the amount apportioned for land area.  In addition, FTA adds amounts apportioned based on nonurbanized population according to the growing States formula factors of 49 U.S.C. 5340 to the amounts apportioned to the States under the Section 5311 program.   Funds may be used for capital, operating, and administrative assistance to state agencies, local public bodies, Indian tribes, and nonprofit organizations, and operators of public transportation services. The State must use 15 percent of its annual apportionment to support intercity bus service, unless the Governor certifies, after consultation with affected intercity bus providers that these needs of the state are adequately met.  Projects to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Clean Air Act, or bicycle access projects, may be funded at 90 percent Federal match. The maximum FTA share for operating assistance is 50 percent of the net operating costs.

Eligibility: Areas with population of less than 50,000 (nonurbanized areas); rural areas; Tribal territories.

How to Apply: Funding is apportioned to each State through a formula.  See FTA Circular C 9040.1F, “Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions”http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/circulars/leg_reg_6519.html

Link: http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_3555.html

Bus and Bus Facilities Program

Brief Summary: The Buses and Bus Related Equipment and Facilities program provides capital assistance for new and replacement buses, related equipment, and facilities.  Eligible capital projects include the purchasing of buses for fleet and service expansion, bus maintenance and administrative facilities, transfer facilities, bus malls, transportation centers, intermodal terminals, park-and-ride stations, acquisition of replacement vehicles, bus rebuilds, bus preventive maintenance, passenger amenities such as passenger shelters and bus stop signs, accessory and miscellaneous equipment such as mobile radio units, supervisory vehicles, fare boxes, computers and shop and garage equipment.   Funds are allocated on a discretionary basis.
Who is Eligible: Public bodies and agencies (transit authorities and other state and local public bodies and agencies thereof) including states, municipalities, other political subdivisions of states; public agencies and instrumentalities of one or more states; and certain public corporations, boards and commissions established under state law.  Private companies engaged in public transportation and private non-profit organizations are eligible sub recipients of FTA grants.
How to Apply:  FTA will solicit applications on an annual basis through the Federal Register and online.
Link: http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_3557.html

Transportation, Community, and System Preservation Program

Brief Summary: The Transportation, Community, and System Preservation (TCSP) Program is a comprehensive initiative of research and grants to integrate transportation, community, and system preservation plans and practices that improve the efficiency of the transportation system of the United States; reduce environmental impacts of transportation; reduce the need for costly future public infrastructure investments; ensure efficient access to jobs, services, and centers of trade; and examine community development patterns and identify strategies to encourage private sector development patterns and investments that support these goals.

Who is Eligible: States, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and tribal governments

How to Apply: FHWA will solicit electronic applications based on available discretionary funding.  In most years, funding for this program has been identified for specific projects by Congress.

Link: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/tcsp/index.html

National Scenic Byways Program

Brief Summary: The National Scenic Byways Program provides grants to States and Indian tribes to implement projects on highways designated as National Scenic Byways, All-American Roads, America's Byways, State scenic or Indian tribe scenic byways.  Eligible activities include the planning, design, or development of a State or Indian tribe scenic byway program; development and implementation of a corridor management plan; safety improvements to accommodate byway travelers; facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists, rest areas, turnouts, highway shoulder improvements, overlooks, or interpretive facilities; access to recreation enhancements; resource protection; tourist information; and byway marketing.

Who is Eligible: States and Indian tribes

How to Apply: FHWA will solicit applications online

Link: http://www.bywaysonline.org/grants/

Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in the Parks Program

Brief Summary: The Transit in the Parks program provides funds to support public transportation projects in parks and public lands. Non-motorized transportation systems such as facilities for pedestrians, bicycles, and non-motorized watercraft are also eligible. The program aims to enhance the protection of national parks and public lands and increase the enjoyment of those visiting them. The program is to be administered by DOT in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior. It provides grants for planning or capital projects in or in the vicinity of any federally owned or managed park, refuge, or recreational area that is open to the general public. Projects will be selected by the Department of the Interior and listed in an annual program of projects.

Who is Eligible: Areas eligible include any federally owned or managed park, refuge, or recreational area that is open to the general public.  Grants may be awarded to a Federal Land Management Agency or any State, local or tribal government.

How to Apply: FTA will solicit applications on an annual basis through the Federal Register and online.

Link: http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_6106.html

Public Transportation on Indian Reservations

Brief Summary:  SAFETEA-LU created a new tribal transit program, and funds it as a takedown under FTA’s Nonurbanized Area Formula Grant (Section 5311) program.  The goals of the Tribal Transit Program: 1) to enhance the access of public transportation on and around Indian reservations in nonurbanized areas to health care, shopping, education, employment, public services, and recreation; 2) to assist in the maintenance, development, improvement, and use of public transportation systems in rural and small urban areas; 3) to encourage and facilitate the most efficient use of all Federal funds used to provide passenger transportation in nonurbanized areas through the coordination of programs and services; and 5) to provide for the participation of private transportation providers in nonurbanized transportation to the maximum extent feasible. Under the Tribal Transit Program, Federally-recognized Indian tribes are eligible direct recipients.  Based upon an annual national competitive selection process conducted by FTA, FTA awards Tribal Transit grants directly to eligible Indian tribes. Funds may be used for capital, operating, planning and administrative purposes.
Who is Eligible: 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.
How to Apply: FTA will solicit applications on an annual basis through the Federal Register and online.
Link: http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_3553.html

Back to Top


Accessibility to Disadvantaged Populations

Name of Grant: Elderly and Persons with Disabilities
Brief Summary: This program (49 U.S.C. 5310) provides formula capital funding to States for the purpose of assisting private nonprofit groups and certain public agencies in meeting the transportation needs of the elderly and persons with disabilities.  Funds are apportioned based on each State’s share of population for these groups of people.  Funds are obligated based on the annual program of projects included in a statewide grant application.  The State agency ensures that local applicants and project activities are eligible and in compliance with Federal requirements.  The State agency also ensures that private not-for-profit transportation providers have an opportunity to participate as feasible, and that the program coordinates with transportation services assisted by other Federal resources.  Once FTA approves the application, funds are available for state administration of its program and for allocation to individual subrecipients within the state.  Projects must be derived from a locally developed, coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan.  The “sliding scale” matchng ratio applies in States with large amounts of Federally–owned lands.  Matching funds may be derived from other non-DOT programs or the Federal Lands Highway Program.
Eligibility: States are direct recipients.  Eligible subrecipients are private non-profit organizations, governmental authorities where no non-profit organizations are available to provide service and governmental authorities approve to coordinate services.
How to Apply: Funding is apportioned to each State through a formula.  See FTA Circular C9070.1F, “Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities Program Guidance and Application Instructions”
http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/circulars/leg_reg_6622.html
Link: http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_3556.html

Name of Grant: Job Access and Reverse Commute Program (JARC)
Brief Summary: The Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program was established to address the unique transportation challenges faced by welfare recipients and low-income persons seeking to obtain and maintain employment. Many new entry-level jobs are located in suburban areas, and low-income individuals have difficulty accessing these jobs from their inner city, urban, or rural neighborhoods. In addition, many entry level-jobs require working late at night or on weekends when conventional transit services are either reduced or non-existant. Finally, many employment related-trips are complex and involve multiple destinations including reaching childcare facilities or other services. Funds can be used for capital planning and operating expenses for projects that transport low income individuals to and from jobs and activities related to employment, and for reverse commute projects.
Eligibility:       States and public bodies are eligible designated recipients.  Eligible subrecipients are private non-profit organizations, State or local governments, and operators of public transportation services including private operators of public transportation services.
How to Apply: Funding is apportioned to each State through a formula.  See  FTA Circular C9050.1, “The Job Access and Reverse Commute Program Guidance and Application Instructions”
http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/circulars/leg_reg_6623.html
Link: http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_3550.html

Name of Grant: New Freedom Program
Brief Summary: The New Freedom formula grant program aims to provide additional tools to overcome existing barriers facing Americans with disabilities seeking integration into the work force and full participation in society.  Lack of adequate transportation is a primary barrier to work for individuals with disabilities.  The 2000 Census showed that only 60 percent of people between the ages of 16 and 64 with disabilities are employed.  The New Freedom formula grant program seeks to reduce barriers to transportation services and expand the transportation mobility options available to people with disabilities beyond the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. Matching funds may be derived from other non-DOT Federal programs or the Federal Lands Highway program.
Eligibility: States and public bodies are eligible designated recipients.  Eligible subrecipients are private non-profit organizations, State or local governments, and operators of public transportation services including private operators of public transportation services.
How to Apply: Funding is apportioned to each State through a formula.  See FTA Circular C 9045.1, “New Freedom Program Guidance and Application Instructions”  http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/circulars/leg_reg_6624.html
Link: http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_3549.html

Back to Top


Fixed Guide Systems

A “fixed guideway” refers to any transit service that uses exclusive or controlled rights-of-way or rails, entirely or in part. The term includes heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, monorail, trolleybus, aerial tramway, inclined plane, cable car, automated guideway transit, ferryboats, that portion of motor bus service operated on exclusive or controlled rights-of-way, and high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes.

Name of Program: New Starts – Small Starts Program
Brief Summary: The New Starts program provides funds for construction of new fixed guideway systems or extensions to existing fixed guideway systems. Eligible purposes are light rail, rapid rail (heavy rail), commuter rail, monorail, automated fixed guideway system (such as a “people mover”), or a busway/high occupancy vehicle (HOV) facility, or an extension of any of these. Projects become candidates for funding under this program by successfully completing the appropriate steps in the major capital investment planning and project development process. 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. Funding allocation recommendations are made in an annual report to Congress: “Annual Report on New Starts.”  Projects requesting less than $75 million in New Starts funds (“Small Starts”) go through a streamlined project development process, and would receive these funds through a project construction grant agreement which is a simplified version of a full funding grant agreement.
Eligibility: Public bodies and agencies (transit authorities and other state and local public bodies and agencies thereof) including states, municipalities, other political subdivisions of states; public agencies and instrumentalities of one or more states; and certain public corporations, boards, and commissions established under state law.
How to Apply: See FTA’s “New Starts Guidance” (procedural and technical guidance), http://www.fta.dot.gov/planning/newstarts/planning_environment_213.html
Link: http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_3590.html

Name of Program: Fixed Guideway Modernization Formula Program
Brief Summary: This program provides funds to transit agencies to modernize or improve existing fixed guideway systems, including purchase and rehabilitation of rolling stock, track, line equipment, 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, system extensions, and preventive maintenance. 
Eligibility: Eligible applicants include public agencies, including States; municipalities and other subdivisions of States; public agencies and instrumentalities of one or more States; and public corporations, boards, and commissions established under State law.
How to Apply:  Funds are allocated by a formula to urbanized areas with rail systems that have been in operation for at least seven years. See FTA Circular C9300.1B, “Capital Investment Program Guidance and Application Instructions,” http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/circulars/leg_reg_8642.html
Link: http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_3558.html

Name of Program: Alternatives Analysis Program
Brief Summary: The objective of the Alternatives Analysis program (49 U.S.C. 5339) is to assist in financing the evaluation of all reasonable modal and multimodal alternatives and general alignment options for identified transportation needs in a particular, broadly defined travel corridor. Funds may be used to assist State and local governmental authorities in conducting alternatives analyses when at least one of the alternatives is a new fixed guideway systems or an extensions to an existing fixed guideway system.
Eligibility:  Eligible applicants include public agencies, including States; municipalities and other subdivisions of States; public agencies and instrumentalities of one or more States; and public corporations, boards, and commissions established under State law.
How to Apply:  FTA will solicit applications on an annual basis through the Federal Register and online.
Link:  http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_7395.html

Back to Top


Rail Programs

Name of Grant: Rail Line Relocation And Improvement Capital Grant Program
Brief Summary: Provides financial assistance for local rail line relocation and improvement projects. 
Who is eligible: Under this program, a State is eligible for a grant from FRA for any construction project that improves the route or structure of a rail line and 1) involves a lateral or vertical relocation of any portion of the rail line, or 2) is carried out for the purpose of mitigating the adverse effects of rail traffic on safety, motor vehicle traffic flow, community quality of life, or economic development.
How to apply: (not accepting applications)

Name of Grant: High Speed Rail
Brief Summary: Addresses long-term passenger transport needs in heavily populated corridors. Promotes economic expansion (including new manufacturing jobs), creates new choices for travelers in addition to flying or driving, reduces national dependence on oil, and fosters urban and rural community development.
Who is eligible: States, regions, partnerships, groups, public agencies, organizations—but mostly based on types of projects according to the criteria of 4 different “Tracks (1, 2, 3 & 4)”.
How to apply: http://www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/2245

Name of Grant: Intercity Passenger Rail Investment
Brief Summary: Increases the States' role in intercity passenger rail development by establishing Federal-State partnerships for intercity passenger rail investment along the model of those that currently exist for other modes of transportation such as for highways, airports, and transit systems.
Who is eligible: States
How to apply: http://www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/2243

Back to Top


Surface Transportation Planning

Name of Grant: Metropolitan Planning Program and State Planning and Research Program
Brief Summary: These programs – jointly administered by FTA and FHWA - provide funding to support cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive planning for making surface transportation investment decisions in metropolitan areas and throughout States.  These funds can be used 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. 
Eligibility: 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.   
How to Apply: Funds are apportioned by a complex formula to states that includes consideration of each state’s urbanized area population in proportion to the urbanized area population for the entire nation, as well as other factors. 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.
See FTA Circular C8100.1C, “Program Guidance for Metropolitan Planning and State Planning and Research Program Grants,” http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/circulars/leg_reg_8454.html
Link: http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_3563.html

Name of Program: Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP)
Brief Summary: The Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP). The general objective of the STEP is to improve understanding of the complex relationship between surface transportation, planning and the environment. SAFETEA-LU provides $16.875 million per year for FY2006-FY2009 to implement this new cooperative research program. Due to obligation limitations, rescissions, and the over-designation of Title V Research in SAFETEA-LU, it is anticipated that approximately $12.8 million of the $16.875 million authorized will be available each year.
Who is Eligible: All Local, MPOs, and State Agencies
How to Apply: www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/step/proposal.htm
Link: www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/step/index.htm

Name of Program: Transportation Planning Capacity Building Peer Program
Brief Summary:  The Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) Peer Program is a free technical assistance and training resource for agencies in need of transportation planning information and support. In addition to an extensive inventory of publications and reference materials catalogued on the website (www.planning.dot.gov), the program will organize informational peer events pairing organizations with challenges in planning/implementing sustainable communities for livability programs with agencies who have achieved notable success on the topic. The peer exchanges may take place virtually, in the form of webinars and teleconferences, as well as in person, utilizing conference venues and agency office settings. Where needed, the program can support the travel expenses of peers participating in exchanges.
Who is Eligible:  Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), Transit Agencies, State Departments of Transportation (DOTs), Tribal Governments, and other transportation decision-making organizations.
How to Apply: Applications are solicited online at http://www.planning.dot.gov/peer_app.asp
Link: http://www.planning.dot.gov

Name of Program: Scenario Planning
Brief Summary: FHWA with Volpe conducts three to four Scenario Planning workshops annually. These workshops are designed to help communities devlop a Vision for their future and a game plan for reaching their goals. 
Who is Eligible: 'All Local,  MPOs, and State Agencies
How to Apply: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/scenplan/index.htm

Name of Program: The Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) and Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP)
Brief Summary: This is a network of centers – one in every state, Puerto Rico and regional centers serving tribal governments. The LTAP/TTAP centers enable local counties, parishes, townships, cities and towns to improve their roads and bridges by supplying them with a variety of training programs, and an information clearinghouse.
Who is Eligible: All tribal goverments
How to Apply: http://www.ltapt2.org/centers/
Link: http://www.ltapt2.org/

Back to Top


Bike and Pedestrian

Name of Program: Bicycle and Pedestrian Program
Brief Summary: The Federal Highway Administration’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program promotes bicycle and pedestrian transportation use, safety, and accessibility. The Program is responsible for implementing Federal transportation legislation and policy related to bicycling and walking.
Who is Eligible: The Bicycle and Pedestrian Program is not a funding program. Pedestrian and bicycle projects and programs are eligible for almost all Federal-aid highway funding categories. Each State has a Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator in its State Department of Transportation to promote and facilitate nonmotorized transportation, including developing pedestrian and bicycle facilities and public educational, promotional, and safety programs.
How to Apply: Pedestrian and bicycle projects and programs are eligible for almost all Federal-aid highway funding categories. Applicants should consult program eligibility criteria available in their State. The State Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinators can help with questions specific to each State.
Link: www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/>

Name of Program: Transportation Enhancement Activities
Brief Summary: Transportation Enhancement (TE) activities offer funding opportunities to expand transportation choices and enhance the transportation experience through 12 eligible TE activities related to surface transportation, including pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and safety programs, scenic and historic highway programs, landscaping and scenic beautification, historic preservation, and environmental mitigation. TE projects must relate to surface transportation and must qualify under one or more of the 12 eligible categories.
Who is Eligible: Each State develops its own procedures to solicit and select projects for funding. States may make funds available to Federal, Tribal, State, or local government agencies. A few States allow private nonprofit organizations to apply in partnership with a government agency.
How to Apply: Contact State TE Program Managers: www.enhancements.org/Stateprofile.asp
Link: www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/te

Name of Program: The Safe Routes to School Program
Brief Summary:  The purpose of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program is to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school; to make walking and bicycling to school safe and more appealing; and to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects that will improve safety, and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.  The SRTS Program makes funding available for a wide variety of programs and projects, from building safer street crossings to establishing programs that encourage children and their parents to walk and bicycle safely to school.  The Federal-aid Safe Routes to School program was created by Section 1404 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act:  A legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Pub. L. 109-59).  The SRTS Program is funded at $612 million and provides Federal-aid highway funds to State highway agencies over five fiscal years (FY 2005 - 2009), in accordance with a formula specified in the legislation. 
How to Apply: The national SRTS program is federally funded, but managed and administered by each State Department of Transportation (DOT). Funds are made available for infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects, and to administer Safe Routes to School programs that benefit elementary and middle school children in grades K-8.  Each State is responsible for hiring a full-time Safe Routes to School Coordinator to implement a SRTS statewide program.  The complete list of SRTS Coordinators can be found at:  http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/contacts/complete_list.cfm
Link:  http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/saferoutes.

Name of Program:  Pedestrian Safety Program State Assessment
Brief Summary: In a Pedestrian Safety Program State Assessment, a team of outside subject matter experts conduct a comprehensive assessment of the State pedestrian highway safety program using an organized, objective approach that provides an overview of the program’s current status in comparison to pre-established standards; note the program’s strengths and weaknesses; and provide recommendations for improvement.  The recommendations are based on the NHTSA Highway Safety Program Guideline No. 14, Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety which includes program management, multidisciplinary involvement, legislation, regulation and policy, law enforcement, highway and traffic engineering, communication, outreach, driver education and licensing and evaluation.  The final assessment report is released to the State to be used as a benchmark for future project initiatives.
Currently FHWA offers formal safety performance examinations of existing or future roads by an independent, multidisciplinary team through the Road Safety Audit program.  In an audit the team qualitatively estimates and reports on potential road safety issues and identifies opportunities for improvements in safety for all road users.
Who is eligible:  Any state Highway Safety Office is eligible to hold a Pedestrian Safety Program State Assessment.
How to apply: State Highway Safety Office’s submit a request for an assessment to their NHTSA Regional office. 

Name of Program: Recreational Trails Program
Brief Summary: The RTP provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses.
Who is Eligible: Each State develops its own procedures to solicit and select projects for funding. States may make funds available to Federal, Tribal, State, or local government agencies. Some States allow private nonprofit organizations to apply directly.
How to Apply: Contact State RTP Administrators: In most States, the program is administered through a State resource agency.
Link: www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/rectrails

Name of Program: Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program
Brief Summary: The Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP) provided $25 million dollars each to four communities: Columbia, MO; Marin County, CA; Minneapolis Area, MN; and Sheboygan County, WI, to demonstrate how improved walking and bicycling networks can increase rates of walking and bicycling.
Who is Eligible: Columbia, MO; Marin County, CA; Minneapolis, MN; Sheboygan County, WI
How to Apply: The NTPP is limited to the communities identified in SAFETEA-LU Section 1807.
Link: www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/ntpp.htm

Back to Top


Marine Transport

America’s Marine Highway

 The Maritime Administration (MARAD) published an interim final rule on Oct. 9, 2008, establishing a framework to provide federal support to expand the use of America's Marine Highway.  A final rule will be published soon.  America’s Marine Highways can help move international and domestic freight more efficiently from congested urban ports, reducing the volume of traffic in urban areas and major corridors. Although MARAD does not presently offer grant assistance for America’s Marine Highway projects, successful applicants to the program will receive priority assistance from MARAD in coordinating the projects with Federal, State, and local governmental agencies.  More information about this program is available at (http://www.marad.dot.gov/ships_shipping_landing_page/mhi_home/mhi_home.htm)

Small Shipyard Grant Program: 

MARAD has a limited program that awards grants to small shipyards for capital improvements.  Grant funds are to be used for capital improvements and related infrastructure improvements at qualified shipyards that will be effective in fostering efficiency, competitive operations, and quality ship construction, repair, and reconfiguration.  Whereas the grants are intended to promote Economic Competitiveness, they may have indirect livability effects in certain coastal communities by supporting jobs and quality of life. More information about this program is available at (http://www.marad.dot.gov/ships_shipping_landing_page/small_shipyard_grants/small_shipyard_grants.htm).


Air Transport

Name of Grant: Passenger Facility Charge (PFC)
Brief Summary: The PFC program is authorized by 49 U.S.C. Subtitle VII, Part A - Air Commerce and Safety, §40117. The statute authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to allow a public agency that controls at least one commercial service airport to impose a fee for each paying passenger of an air carrier enplaned at the airport. This revenue finances eligible airport projects to be carried out at the commercial service airport or any other airport which the public agency controls.  Eligible projects are outlined in FAA Order 5100.38C, Airport Improvement Program Handbook.
Who is eligible: A public agency that controls at least one commercial service airport.
How to apply: The procedures for applying for PFC collection authority and administering a PFC program can be found in FAA Order, 5500.1, Passenger Facility Charge. http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/orders_notices/index.cfm/go/document.information/documentID/12947

Picture of existing project under grant: SAS_photosim_1006
SEA-TAC Light Rail
Relevant Links: http://www.soundtransit.org/x1173.xml

Back to Top


Research and Miscellaneous

Name of Program: University Transportation Centers
Brief Summary: DOT invests in the future of transportation through its University Transportation Centers Program, which awards grants to universities across the United States to advance the state-of-the-art in transportation research and develop the next generation of transportation professionals.

How to Obtain a UTC Grant:  The UTC Program's current authorization period (SAFETEA-LU) ended on September 30, 2009. Any future grant opportunities will require action by Congress, most likely in the next surface-transportation authorization legislation (date to be determined.)  As soon as information is known about planned competitions (if any) in the new authorization, it will be posted on the UTC website at http://utc.dot.gov. Information about the most recent competitions held under the current authorization may be found at: UTC grants.

Name of Grant: Design and Art in Transit Program
Brief Summary: This program allows for funding the costs of design, fabrication, and installation of art that is part of a transit facility with Federal funds from FTA’s Urbanized Area and Nonurbanized Area Formula Programs (section 5307 and 5311, respectively), and the Capital Investment Program (section 5309).  FTA is committed to fund quality design and art in mass transit projects and allows local agencies discretion in developing allocation of funds for these efforts within recommended parameters.  Good design and art can improve the appearance and safety of a facility, give vibrancy to its public spaces, and make patrons feel welcome, thus contributing to the goal of transit facilities helping to create livable communities.  Information about the character, makeup, and history of the neighborhood should be developed in conjunction with conceptual ideas from local residents and businesses. Artists should interact with the community and may choose to work directly with residents and businesses on a project.  This program does not provide for a discrete source of funds, but rather applies an eligible purpose for use of designated FTA program funds.
Eligibility:  Project sponsors in urbanized and nonurbanized areas seeking to incorporate quality design and art into FTA funded transit projects.
How to Apply: See FTA Circular C9400.1A, “Federal Transit Administration Design and Art in Transit Projects,” http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/circulars/leg_reg_4129.html

Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP):

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/step/index.htm

Section 5207 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) established the Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP). The general objective of the STEP is to improve understanding of the complex relationship between surface transportation, planning and the environment. SAFETEA-LU provides $16.875 million per year for FY2006-FY2009 to implement this new cooperative research program. Due to obligation limitations, rescissions and the over-designation of Title V Research in SAFETEA-LU, it is anticipated that approximately $14 million of the $16.875 million authorized will be available each year. The proposed FY2011 STEP funding levels are subject to the completion of the FY2011 Department of Transportation (DOT) appropriations process. The anticipated FY2011 STEP research efforts are preliminary and subject to change.

Updated: Monday, October 1, 2012