Federal Transit Technical Assistance

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of Transportation , Federal Transit Administration
CFDA #: 20.512

Purpose of this program:

To improve mass transportation service, to contribute toward meeting total urban transportation needs at a minimum cost, and to assist in the reduction of urban transportation needs by improving the ability of transit industry operating officials to plan, manage, and operate their systems more effectively and safely.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

FTA funds projects which develop, test, and demonstrate innovative technologies, service concepts, techniques, and analytical tools for planning, operating and managing transit enterprises and improving customer service. It also funds projects which provide technical assistance in safety, security, and drug and alcohol control, as well as practical know-how for solving fundamental industry-wide problems, such as how to accommodate the travel needs of persons with disabilities, how to finance transit infrastructure construction and maintenance, and how to meet requirements of the Clean Air Act.

Who is eligible to apply...

Grants and Cooperative Agreements: Public bodies, nonprofit institutions, private for-profit organizations, State and local agencies, universities, and legally constituted public agencies.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Grants and Cooperative Agreements: Initial proposal should include project objectives, background, and project description including time schedule, budget and applicant's organizational experience. Legal opinion and compliance with labor requirements are required later. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments, A-21 for universities, A-122 for private nonprofit organizations, the Federal Acquisition Regulations for private for-profit organizations.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

Potential applicants should follow guidance in FTA C 6100.1C, "Transit Resarch and Technology Programs." This circular may be found at the FTA web site at sss.fta.dot.gov. This program is subject to the provisions of 49 CFR Part 18 for State and local governments and 49 CFR Part 19 for universities and private nonprofit organizations.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

The Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, makes the final decision to approve a project. An FTA grant or cooperative agreement award obligating Federal funds is reflected in a grant agreement or cooperative agreement. To access funds, the recipient must execute the grant agreement or cooperative agreement.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


No fixed or standard deadlines.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time


Preapplication Coordination

Although applications may be submitted at any time, potential applicants are encouraged to communicate with FTA before submitting formal applications. This initial contact may be made by telephone, by submitting a written outline, or by personally meeting with appropriate FTA headquarters staff. This preliminary contact will serve to: (1) Establish a base for communication between FTA and the applicant; (2) determine the applicant's eligibility; (3) eliminate any proposals which have little or no chance for Federal funding before applicants incur expenditures involved in proposal preparation; and (4) determine funding available and conformance to FTA policy and program objectives. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by 49 CFR Part 18 or 49 CFR Part 19 must be used for this program.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Not applicable.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Not applicable.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

State and local governments, transit agencies, private organizations, profit organizations, nonprofit organizations and universities.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

Dissemination of Technical Information

Programs which provide for the publication and distribution of information or data of a specialized or technical nature frequently through clearinghouses or libraries. This does not include conventional public information services designed for general public consumption.


Programs which provide instructional activities conducted directly by a Federal agency for individuals not employed by the Federal government.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

None established.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Grants and Contracts) Section 5312(a) activities are now funded under Section 5314(a), also listed in this Catalog.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Projects are funded through the National Planning and Research Program, 49 U.S.C., Section 5314. See examples under the listing for that program, below at 20.514.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

See accomplishments listed under National Planning and Research Program, 49 U.S.C., Section 5314, below at 20.514.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Proposals must support the FTA Strategic Plan, available on the FTA Home Page of the Internet (http://www.fta.dot.gov.) If a preliminary proposal is judged to meet program need and funding availability, FTA will invite a formal proposal submission or cooperative agreement application. Criteria for preliminary approval include: (1) compatibility with FTA Strategic Plan; (2) availability of funding; (3) nonfederal funding match; (4) importance of proposal to the fiscal year program activity; (5) potential for impact on the state-of-the-art from the viewpoint of innovation in transit technology, services and operations; (6) technical feasibility and potential for successful introduction into use in the transit industry; (7) background, experience, and demonstrated capabilities of applicant; (8 geographic distribution of existing projects; and (9) other pertinent matters, such as questions of environmental impact and labor impact.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance


Formula and Matching Requirements

FTA encourages cost sharing by performing organizations under Section 5312(a) to the extent feasible and equitable. Cost sharing is not a prerequisite to funding; however, it is actively considered in the evaluation of proposals. The amount of such sharing is determined by mutual agreement between FTA and the recipient. More weight is given to programs with a greater local share and proposals with cash contributions rather than in-kind contributions.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


(1) Quarterly financial; (2) quarterly or monthly progress; and (3) interim and final.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, "Audits of State and Local Governments and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities (including universities) that expend $500,000 or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year with certain exceptions as stated in Circular No. A-133. For direct procurement contracts, audits will be conducted in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


Grant recipient shall retain records for 3 years following submission of a final expenditure report, pending resolution of audit findings, all project contract documents, financial records, and supporting documents.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



49 U.S.C. 5312(a).

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

See Fiscal Year 2003 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances for Federal Transit Administration Grants and Cooperative Agreements; Notice, published annually. For fiscal year 2004, the publication date was January 15, 2004. For other fiscal years, contact the FTA Office of Research Demonstration and Innovation to obtain the publication dates. FTA website www.fta.dot.gov. Other information will be made available upon request.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office


Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Associate Administrator for Research, Demonstration and Innovation (TRI-1), Federal Transit Administration, Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Room 9401, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 366-4052. Bruce Robinson, FTA Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation, (202) 366-4209.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: