Federal Passenger Transportation Program
Section 5303 funds are available to carry out the metropolitan transportation planning and programming requirements of the joint FTA/FHWA planning regulations. Acting as the FTA grantee, each state distributes Metropolitan Planning Program funds to each urbanized area, or portion of an urbanized area, within the state according to a formula developed by the State and its Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and approved by FTA. Starting from FY 2016, Section 5303 funds have been flexed to FHWA.
Section 5304 funds are available to carry out the state transportation planning and programming requirements of the joint FTA/FHWA planning regulations, as well as a range of activities under other eligible programs. As with the MPP, the state is the FTA grantee for this program.
This is a formula grant program for urbanized areas (UZAs) with a population over 50,000. Funds are apportioned to UZAs utilizing a formula based on population, population density, and other factors associated with transit service and ridership. This program provides both capital and/or operating assistance to the eligible applicants. Interested applicants must contact FTA for the submittal of their applications in addition to requesting state match through OPT’s annual application process. MAP-21 allows Section 5307 Program funds to be used for activities that were eligible under the JARC Program, which focused on providing services to low-income individuals to access jobs. This includes operating assistance with a 50 percent local match for job access and reverse commute activities. In addition, the urbanized area formula for distributing funds now includes the number of low-income individuals as a factor. There is no floor or ceiling on the amount of funds that can be spent on job access and reverse commute activities.
Section 5309 provides discretionary capital assistance for the establishment and improvement of rail or busways systems and the upgrading of bus systems (buses, bus related equipment, and facilities). Capital assistance grants made to states and local agencies are funded at up to 80% of net project costs.
This program provides formula funding to increase the mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Under MAP-21/FAST Act, funds are apportioned based on each state’s share of the targeted populations and are now apportioned to both states (for all areas under 200,000) and large urbanized areas (over 200,000). The former NF Program (Section 5317) is folded into this program. NF projects should be for services for individuals with disabilities that went above and beyond the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
This formula program is used to provide federal funding to assist transportation services in rural areas. In the past, Michigan allocated 85 percent of all funds to rural public transportation providers currently receiving state funds under the State Operating Assistance Program to further supplement their eligible operating expenses and to the state for administration of the program. Starting in FY 2019, agencies will have the option to use all or part of their allocation for operating or capital. The remaining 15 percent is granted to agencies supporting intercity bus service [see Federal Section 5311(f) Intercity Bus Program, for a description of the program]. Section 5311 funds can also be used for capital projects. MAP-21 allows Section 5311 Program funds to be used for activities that were eligible under the former Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) Program, which focused on providing services to low-income individuals to access jobs. In addition, the formula now includes the number of low-income individuals as a factor. There is no floor or ceiling on the amount of funds that can be spent on job access and reverse commute activities.
This program provides capital and operating assistance to support intercity bus service in nonurbanized areas. MDOT is required to spend not less than 15 percent of its Section 5311 apportionment to carry out a program for the development and support of intercity bus transportation. The requirement is in effect unless the governor certifies that Michigan's intercity bus service needs are being adequately met.
MAP-21 establishes a new grant program to maintain public transportation systems in a state of good repair. This program replaces the fixed guideway modernization program. Funding is limited to fixed guideway systems (including rail, bus rapid transit, and passenger ferries) and high intensity bus (high intensity bus refers to buses operating in high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.) Projects are limited to replacement and rehabilitation, or capital projects required to maintain public transportation systems in a state of good repair. Projects must be included in a transit asset management plan to receive funding. The new formula comprises: (1) the former fixed guideway modernization formula; (2) a new service-based formula; and (3) a new formula for buses on HOV lanes.
This is a new formula grant program established under MAP-21, replacing the previous Section 5309 discretionary Bus and Bus Facilities program. This capital program provides funding to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment, and to construct bus-related facilities. Each year, $65.5 million will be allocated with each State receiving $1.25 million and each territory (including DC and Puerto Rico) receiving $500,000. The remaining funding will be distributed by formula based on population, vehicle revenue miles and passenger miles.
The FAST Act includes a new competitive program under Section 5339 that allows FTA to make grants to states and transit agencies for bus and bus facility capital projects. The competitive allocation provides funding for major improvements to bus transit systems that would not be achievable through formula allocations.
The FAST Act continues the Ferry Boat Program (FBP), which funds the construction of ferry boats and ferry terminal facilities. However, the FAST Act modifies that formula, giving greater weight to the number of passengers carried by ferry systems. The formula is now: 35 percent based on the number of ferry passengers, including passengers in vehicles, carried by each ferry system; 35 percent based on the number of vehicles carried by each ferry system; and 30 percent based on the total route nautical miles serviced by each ferry system. The FAST Act also newly guarantees that a State with an eligible entity under the program will receive a minimum of $100,000 in FBP funding each fiscal year.
- One of the most significant changes that came out of ISTEA and continued by TEA-21,SAFETEA-LU,and MAP-21 is the unparalleled flexible funding opportunities providing states and local communities the ability to exercise a choice in the use of some Federal Highway funds. It is possible to transfer some of these flexible highway funds to use for transit projects and vice versa. These Federal Highway funds include: Surface Transportation Program (STP), Small Urban Program, Transportation Alternatives Program and Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ) Program, projects approved by the Rural Task Force.