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Public Transportation Programs

Notice of Available Funds

Regionally Coordinated Transportation Planning — TxDOT's Public Transportation Division announces the availability of federal and state funds to support regionally coordinated transportation planning (RCTP) activities in fiscal year 2015 (Sept. 1, 2014 – Aug. 31, 2015). Designated lead agencies in the RCTP effort are eligible to apply for these funds through a competitive process.

Title Format
FY 2015 Funding Application – Questions and Answers
FY 2015 Funding Application – Information and Instructions
FY 2015 Funding Application – Template
FY 2015 Funding Application – Budget Workbook
Master Grant Agreement Master Grant Agreement (sample) PDF
FTA Certifications & Assurances
FTA

Applications (including any part of an application such as appendix material) must be received by the Public Transportation Division no later than 5 p.m. CDT, May 2, 2014. Questions? Contact us.

General Federal Grant Program Information

TxDOT administers a number of federal grant programs, as well as state dollars appropriated for transit projects. The Public Transportation Division requests applications yearly for specific funding sources through Calls for Projects. Current Calls for Projects are posted on this web page. For information regarding current or past Calls for Projects, contact us. Descriptions of the various programs are included below.

Program Descriptions
Rural Public Transportation

The Rural Public Transportation grants program (49 USC, Section 5311) helps people in rural areas access health care, shopping, education, employment and recreation. Currently, there are 38 operators providing public transportation in rural areas and small cities with populations under 50,000.

Eligible Transit Providers

Grant recipients include state agencies, local public bodies, private nonprofit organizations, Indian tribes and public transportation operators.

Private for-profit transit operators may participate in the program through contracts with eligible recipients. In order to receive funds, a company must be in a rural transit district, which is a political subdivision containing multiple counties to provide rural public transportation.

Funding

Program funds may be used for capital, planning, operating and administrative costs, with a maximum federal funding ratio for capital, planning and administrative costs of 80 percent and a maximum state/local match of 20 percent on most projects. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Clean Air projects may receive up to 90 percent federal funding. The funding ratio for net operating costs is 50 percent federal match and 50 percent state/local match.

Eligible recipients can apply for funds annually through our districts.

Transit Roadeo Program

The Transit Roadeo Program provides financial assistance to rural transit agencies conducting roadeos.

Related Links

Intercity Bus

All urban areas in Texas have intercity bus service (ICB), and many points are served in more remote areas. There are approximately 271 stops in Texas.

Eligible Transit Providers

Intercity service is provided for the general public and connects urban areas through fixed routes. Greyhound and Trailways are the most commonly known companies that provide this service.

Funding

The Rural program (49 USC, Section 5311) has 15 percent of its budget allocated to fund ICB, which is designed to strengthen the connection between rural areas and the larger regional or national intercity bus system. ICB also supports the system's infrastructure through planning, marketing assistance and capital investment in facilities and vehicles.

ICB has previously funded projects such as the construction and rehabilitation of intermodal terminals and the upgrade of facilities to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities

The Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Public Transportation grants program (49 USC, Section 5310) provides funding to improve accessibility and mobility for seniors and persons with disabilities.  Local stakeholder forums or committees plan and design the transportation services.

Eligible Providers

Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities grants are awarded to existing rural transit districts and urban transit districts serving a population of less than 200,000, local public entities or private nonprofit organizations. Private taxi companies that provide shared-ride taxi service to the public or to special categories of users (such as seniors or individuals with disabilities) on a regular basis are also eligible recipients.

Funding

The funds are awarded directly to the provider and may be used for eligible capital and operating expenses. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Buses
  • Vans or other paratransit vehicles
  • Acquisition of transportation services under a contract, lease or other arrangement
  • Mobility management
  • Travel training
  • Curb cuts
  • Sidewalks
  • Pedestrian signals or other accessible features
  • Costs that are directly tied to transit operations

Based on funding availability, federal funds may be used to defray up to 80 percent of the cost of eligible capital expenses and 50 percent of eligible operating expenses. Fund allocations are calculated using the latest county Census figures for the elderly and disabled population.

Related Links

Planning and Research

The Planning and Research grants programs (49 USC, sections 5303 and 5304) provide funds to metropolitan planning organizations for transit or highway planning and awards TxDOT monies for statewide transit planning and research.

Funding

Federal funds may be used to defray up to 80 percent of the cost of eligible expenditures. The local share is 20 percent for both Section 5303 and Section 5304.

Section 5303 funds are administered in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration 112 planning funds through our Transportation Planning and Programming Division. The Public Transportation Division monitors transit activities and submits required reports to the Federal Transit Administration.

Small Urban Public Transportation

The Small Urban Public Transportation federal grants program (49 USC, Section 5307) enhances mobility in urbanized areas. There are 30 urban operators providing transportation in areas with populations between 50,000 and 200,000.

Eligible Transit Providers

Transit providers serving populations between 50,000 and 200,000 are eligible. McAllen and Arlington, both with populations over 200,000, are included because they are eligible for state funds.

Funding

Urban transit systems receive funding from a variety of sources, including the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5307 and 5309 grants, state grants, transit fares and local revenues such as advertising, contracts and city general revenue funds.

Federal and state funds are available for capital, planning and operating costs. Capital funds can be spent on buses and bus facilities, fixed guide-way system projects, technology introductions and innovative techniques and methods. Planning funds are available for engineering design, evaluation of public transportation projects and other technical studies. Allowable operating expenses are limited to direct labor, materials and overhead expenses incurred by the transit operator.

Program funds may be used for capital, planning, operating and administrative costs, with a maximum federal funding ratio for capital, planning and administrative costs of 80 percent and a maximum state/local match of 20 percent on most projects. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Clean Air projects may receive up to 90 percent federal funding. The funding ratio for net operating costs is 50 percent federal match and 50 percent state/local match.

Funds are distributed by the FTA using a formula based on population and population density. In areas with populations over 200,000, grants are awarded directly to the local recipient. Grants for urban areas with populations under 200,000 may be made to the governor or to local recipients designated by the governor. Currently, cities apply directly to FTA.

Related Links

Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC)

TxDOT administers the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) grants program (49 USC, Section 5316) to provide transportation to and from urban and suburban workplaces. Grants are awarded for public transportation projects in areas with populations less than 200,000.

Goal and Objectives:

The goal of the JARC program is to promote public transportation services targeted to employment-related transportation needs. To achieve this goal, its objectives are to:

  • work in partnership with local officials, public and nonprofit agencies and public transit providers
  • implement the JARC program with other federal and state programs that support public employment and human service transportation
  • foster the development of local, coordinated public and human service transportation plans from which JARC projects are derived
  • support local economic development
  • provide technical assistance to our partners, thereby improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the JARC program

Project Types

Job access projects include:

  • funding for projects that provide public transportation to welfare recipients and eligible low-income individuals
  • promoting public transportation use by low-income workers, including those with nontraditional work schedules
  • promoting the use of employer-provided transportation, including the transit pass benefit program under Section 132 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986
  • supporting mobility management and coordination programs among public transit providers and other human service agencies who provide employment-related transportation services
  • facilitating or providing transportation to welfare recipients and low-income individuals for employment-related purposes

Reverse commute projects include:

  • subsidizing the costs of adding reverse commute bus, train, carpool, van routes or service to suburban workplaces
  • subsidizing the purchase or lease by a nonprofit organization or public agency of a van or bus dedicated to shuttling employees from their residences to suburban workplaces
  • supporting mobility management and coordination programs among public transit providers and other human service agencies that provide employment-related transportation services
  • otherwise facilitating or providing public transportation services for suburban employment

Eligible Recipients

State agencies, local government authorities, private nonprofit organizations, private for-profit transportation operators and operators of public transportation services are eligible to receive Section 5316 (JARC) funds administered by TxDOT.

Eligible Assistance Categories:

  • Capital Expenses - Federal funds may be used to reimburse up to 80 percent of eligible capital expenditures.
  • Project Administration - Administrative costs associated with a JARC project are eligible for a federal reimbursement rate of 50 percent.
  • Planning Activities - The federal reimbursement rate is 80 percent.
  • Marketing Projects - The federal reimbursement rate is 80 percent.
  • Operating Expenses - Operating expenses are reimbursed at 50 percent of net operating expenses.

Local Share Requirements

Eligible match sources include local, state or federal programs. These include funds disbursed from the Texas Workforce Commission, local workforce development boards, human service agencies and the Medicaid Medical Transportation Program.

Unrestricted federal funds are also eligible as match, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [(42 USC 603(a)(5)(C)(vii)]. With prior department approval, in-kind contributions, volunteer services and donations directly attributable to the project are eligible as local share if the value is documented.

Other Information

New Freedom

The New Freedom grants program (49 USC, Section 5317) helps individuals with disabilities by providing both new public transportation and public transportation alternatives beyond those required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), including transportation to and from jobs and employment-support services.

Eligible Transit Providers

Eligible recipients agree to provide transportation services designed to meet the New Freedom project guidelines and include:

  • State agencies
  • Local governmental authorities
  • Private nonprofit organizations
  • Operators of public transportation services

Funding

Federal funds may be used to reimburse up to 80 percent of eligible capital expenditures and may increase to up to 90 percent for incremental costs related to compliance with the Clean Air Act or the ADA. Administrative costs associated with the project as well as net operating expenses are eligible for a federal reimbursement rate of 50 percent.