Section 5311 - Rural Area Formula Program

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.