Transit Funding Opportunities for Disadvantaged Areas

Transit funding can sometimes be a challenge.  Identifying appropriate grants and programs for specific projects is always a large undertaking and an important part of the planning process.  Recently, we began working on a list of potential transit and transit access funding opportunities to share with our members, so they my better serve their communities, and Missouri as a whole.  This particular list is targeted for programs that benefit disadvantaged areas.

Federal Transit Administration Programs –

  • Federal Transit Administration: or
    • A safe, reliable, integrated, and accessible transportation system supports communities, expands business opportunities, and improves people’s quality of life while also creating jobs. FTA programs offer different opportunities for funding transportation planning and projects that can assist your community’s development and stimulate America’s neighborhoods to become safer, healthier, and more environmentally sustainable. FTA provides stewardship of combined formula and discretionary programs totaling more than $10 billion to support a variety of locally planned, constructed, and operated public transportation systems throughout the United States. Public transportation systems typically include buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, streetcars, monorail, passenger ferry boats, inclined railways, or people movers.
  • The Job Access and Reverse Commute Program (JARC):
    • JARC provides low‐income workers and students with transportation services to jobs, employment centers, and educational institutions. A recent study of the economic benefits of employment‐related transportation services concluded that transportation funded through the JARC program provided access to approximately 43.4 million jobs, including 21.2 million low‐wage jobs.

HUD Programs – Some Transit/Transportation Applicability

  • HOPE VI:
    • The Hope VI Program provides competitive funding for the elimination or reclamation of severely distressed public housing developments. Funds can be used for demolition, major rehabilitation, and new construction of public housing; acquisition of sites in other locations for private new construction and supportive services for those relocated by the program. The HOPE VI program promotes the creation of mixed‐income communities that are pedestrian‐ friendly, and transit‐accessible. It also encourages high standards of green building for new construction projects through regulation and the prioritization of proposals with green features.
  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG):
    • The CDBG Program provides formula funding directly to larger cities and counties and through state governments for small units of local government. Funds can be used for most kinds of development as long as it meets one of the following national objectives:
      • 1) benefits low‐ and moderate‐income persons;
      • 2) aids in the prevention or elimination of slum and blight; or
      • 3) meets certain community development needs having a particular urgency.
    • CDBG is a flexible program that provides resources to address a wide range of community and economic development needs, including decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunity.

EPA Programs – Some Transit/Transportation Applicability

Additional Resources:

Here is a breakdown of bus funds that will be increased over the FAST Act funding levels already authorized:

FTA Bus Program FY19 Plus Up Total FY19
Bus and Bus Facility Discretionary Grant Program (5339b) $300 million $572.1 million
Urbanized Formula Program (5307) $150 million $4.977 billion
Rural Formula Grant Program (5311) $50 million $709.3 million
Low/No Emissions Competitive Grant Program (5339c) $50 million $100 million
Total $550 million

Continued work includes maintaining these funding levels through the House amendment process. Also needed, is the Senate to match these funding increases in their version of THUD.

Are you planning on applying to any of these programs for your upcoming projects? Send us a message and let us know at!