NOFO Released on $300m in Rural Surface Transportation Grants

FTA released latest Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for rural grants. As part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Congress authorized a new federal grant program, known as the Rural Surface Transportation Program (also known as “Rural”), to address gaps in transportation infrastructure in rural areas. Recent NOFO includes $300 million in Rural funds, along with the INFRA and MEGA programs totaling $2.9 billion altogether. Although the notice of funding opportunity for these programs has been combined, each represents a separate funding opportunity applicants may apply to independently.

Via believes safe, accessible, and equitable transit should be available to all. Unfortunately, rural governments have long struggled to fund transit infrastructure, leaving many individuals dependent on cars or without adequate mobility options. Rural Surface Transportation grants can be used to address this challenge by funding on-demand mobility systems such as microtransit. A well-designed microtransit service can cover a large, low-density area with a high quality of service, without the expense of running underutilized fixed routes, making microtransit a particularly attractive solution for rural areas. 

States, local governments, tribal governments, transit agencies and regional transportation planning organizations may apply for funding for projects located outside a Census-defined Urbanized Area, or within an Urbanized Area with a population less than 200,000. Federal funding may be used to cover up to 80% of eligible costs. 

DOT will evaluate proposals on the degree to which they provide economic benefits; advance environmental sustainability; improve equity, quality of life; and transportation access; improve safety; maintain a state of good repair, and demonstrate innovative project delivery and financing approaches.

More detailed information about the grant, including selection criteria and eligible projects, can be found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity here. For information on how to apply, please see the program page here. If interested in applying to launch a TransitTech (Link)-enabled service like the ones mentioned above, please reach out to the FTA Region VII team at partnerships@ridewithvia.org. 

Applications are due on Monday, May 23rd