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Formula Grants for Rural Areas

Open Date:


Close Date:


Eligible Recipients:

  • Native/Tribal Entity
  • State Government

Program Purpose:

  • Economic Development
  • Technical Assistance
  • Transportation Infrastructure

Reserved for Energy


Upcoming Milestones:

Formula funds are apportioned to states after appropriations are received.


Federal Transit Administration

Funded by:

U.S. Department of Transportation


To improve, initiate, or continue public transportation service in nonurbanized areas (rural areas and small cities under 50,000 in population) and to provide technical assistance for rural transportation providers. The Section 5311 program supports both the maintenance of existing public transportation services and the expansion of those services through the following program goals: enhancing access in rural areas to health care, shopping, education, employment, public services, and recreation; assisting in the maintenance, development, improvement, and use of public transportation systems in rural areas; encouraging and facilitating the most efficient use of all transportation funds used to provide passenger transportation in rural areas through the coordination of programs and services; providing financial assistance to help carry out national goals related to mobility for all, including seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-income individuals; increasing availability of transportation options through investments in intercity bus services; assisting in the development and support of intercity bus transportation; encouraging mobility management, employment-related transportation alternatives, joint development practices, and transit-oriented development; and providing for the participation of private transportation providers in rural public transportation. The Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program is a set-aside from the Formula Grants for Rural Areas program that consists of both a formula and competitive grant program for federally recognized Indian tribes or Alaska Native villages, groups or communities in rural areas.

Eligible recipients include states and federally recognized Indian Tribes. Subrecipients may include state or local government authorities, nonprofit organizations, and operators of public transportation or intercity bus service.

Eligible activities include planning, capital, operating, job access and reverse commute projects, and the acquisition of public transportation services.

Funding and Match: The federal share is 80 percent for capital projects, 50 percent for operating assistance, and 80 percent for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) non-fixed route paratransit service. Section 5311 funds are available to the States during the fiscal year of apportionment plus two additional years (total of three years). Funds are apportioned to States based on a formula that includes land area, population, revenue vehicle miles, and low-income individuals in rural areas.

Intercity Bus Program: Each state must spend no less than 15 percent of its annual apportionment for the development and support of intercity bus transportation, unless it can certify, after consultation with intercity bus service providers, that the intercity bus needs of the state are being adequately met.

Related Resources

Additional information is available on the Resources page.

Funding Details

Funding Source:
Funding Type:
Grant - match required
Total Amount Available:
Limit per Applicant:
Estimated Awards:

Applicant Guidance

Contact Information

Office of Program Management, Federal Transit Administration, 202-366-2053

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