Federal Transit_Formula Grants

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of Transportation , Federal Transit Administration
CFDA #: 20.507

Purpose of this program:

To support publlic transportation services in urbanized areas (cities over 50,000 population).

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Funds may be used for capital projects to finance the planning, acquisition, construction, cost-effective lease, improvement, and maintenance of equipment and facilities for use in transit. One percent of the funds apportioned to urbanized areas with a population of at least 200,000 shall be made available for transit enhancements. For urbanized areas with populations under 200,000, funds may usd to finance transit operating costs. Recipients of these grants are required to make information available to the public and to publish a program of projects to afford affected citizens opportunities through public hearings to submit comments on the proposed program and the performance of the recipient.

Who is eligible to apply...

Funds will be made available to urbanized areas (as defined by the Bureau of the Census) through designated recipients which must be public entities and legally capable of receiving and dispensing Federal funds. The Governor, responsible local officials, and publicly owned operators of mass transportation services must jointly designate the recipient(s) for urbanized areas of 200,000 or more in population. The Governor or his designee is the designated recipient for urbanized areas of 50,000 to 200,000 population. Recipients must submit a program of projects to FTA; submit a program application to FTA; enter into formal agreements with FTA; and certify that public notification has been conducted.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Resolution by an authorized public body approving the filing for an application; projects must be included in an urbanized area's transportation improvement program (TIP), and in the Statewide transportation improvement program (STIP) approved by FTA and FHWA. Information must be provided on labor agreements and relocation planning; environmental impact; legal capacity; coordinated regional planning; and compliance with certifications and assurances as compiled in FTA's Annual List of Certifications and Assurances. Eligible costs must be in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments. A Federal Register Notice is published annually on FTA fiscal year apportionments, allocations and program information. The notice contains the urbalized area formula apportionments. For fiscal year 2004, the notice was published on February 11, 2004. Prior year notices 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.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-87 and 49 CFR Part 18. Applications are to be submitted to the regional office of the Federal Transit Administration listed in Additional Contact Information - FMR Help.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

An FTA grant award obligating Federal funds is reflected in a grant agreement. To access funds, the recipient must execute the grant agreement.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


Applications may be submitted throughout the fiscal year.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Sixty days. FTA has a 60-day goal for processing and approving all completed urbanized area formula program grant applcations.

Preapplication Coordination

The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by 49 CFR Part 18 must be used for this program. An environmental impact assessment is required. In addition, an environmental impact statement may also be required. 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 under the FTA 49 U.S.C. 5307 program.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Opportunity for public hearing for interested persons.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Amendments may be granted subject to the availability of funds for the urbanized area.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

The general public, both users and non-users, and publicly owned operators of mass transportation services.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Formula Grants

Allocations of money to States or their subdivisions in accordance with distribution formulas prescribed by law or administrative regulation, for activities of a continuing nature not confined to a specific project.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Varies according to local programming of available formula funds and the level of operating expenses incurred.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Grants) FY 03 $4,184,531,000; FY 04 est $3,818,689,000; and FY 05 est $3,448,491,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Grants were awarded to: (1) Kansas City Area Transportation Authority for engineering, design and construction of the Kansas City Union Station Intermodal Facility; (2) Flint, MI Mass Transportation Authority for expansion of existing bus garage and renovation of operations/maintenance facility; (3) Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District for 48 replacement buses, one expansion ferry vessel, and operating assistance; (4) Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority for Park and Ride lots and right-of-way acquisition; and (5) Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation for Rail Transit Way Lines, rail station stops/terminals and rail support equipment and facilities.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

Federal funds have supported the replacement and rehabilitation of the existing rail fleet and restoration of rail facilities such as stations, track, and yards and shops; helped to increase the percentage of bus and rail maintenance facilities in good or better condition; and contributed significantly to the continuing effort to make the national fixed-route bus system 100 percent lift-or-ramp equipped. In fiscal year 2002 $3.2 billion was awarded in grants.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Projects must be eligible mass transit projects and meet all formula grant requirements.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Sums apportioned under the formula grant program are available for obligation by the Governor, designated recipient, or authorized grant recipient for a period of 3 years following the close of the fiscal year for which such sums are apportioned. Any amounts remaining unobligated at the end of this period will be reapportioned within the same activity for which they were originally appropriated.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Funding is apportioned on the basis of legislative formulas. For urbanized areas 50,000 to 199,999 in population, the formula is based on population and population density. For urbanized areas with a population of 200,000 and greater, the formula is based on a combination of bus revenue vehicle miles, bus passenger miles, fixed guideway revenue miles, and fixed guideway route miles as well as population and population density. The program operates under a statutory formula as prescribed in 49 USC 5307 and 49 USC 5336. The Federal share is not to exceed 80 percent of the net project cost. 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 Clear Air Act. The Federal share may also be 90 percent for projects or portions of projects related to bicycles. The Federal share may not exceed 50 percent of the net cost for operating assistance.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


(1) Progress reports; (2) construction reports where applicable; and (3) final audit report.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend $500,000 or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or program specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year with certain exceptions as stated in OMB Circular No. A-133.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


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

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



49 U.S.C. 5307.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

Formula Grant Application Instructions may be accessed on the FTA website or secured at no charge from the FTA Regional Offices - FTA Circular 9030.1C, "Urbanized Area Formula Program: Grant Application Instructions," October 1, 1998.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

See Additional Contact Information - FMR Help for a listing of Federal Transit Administration regional offices.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

FTA Office of Program Management, Director, Office of Resource Management and State Programs, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Ken Johnson Telephone: (202) 366-1659.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: