Federal Transit_Metropolitan Planning Grants

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 #: 20.505

Purpose of this program:

To assist in development of transportation improvement programs, long-range transportation plans, and other technical studies.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Activities assisted under this section may include preparation of transportation plans including transportation improvement programs and management systems; studies related to transportation management, operations, capital requirements, and economic feasibility; evaluation of previously funded capital projects; and other related activities in preparation for the construction, acquisition, or improved operation of transportation systems, facilities, and equipment.

Who is eligible to apply...

Apportionments are made to the States for formula distribution to the Metropolitan Planning Organization to be used in urbanized areas within each State.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

The Federal Register dated February 11, 2004, (FTA Fiscal Year 2004 Apportionments, Allocations and Program Information; Notice), provides in Table 2 the State apportionments. For other fiscal years, contact the FTA Regional Office or access http://www.fta.dot.gov/library/grant_programs/14506/ENG_html.htm.

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:

Application for a grant should be addressed to the appropriate Regional Office of the Federal Transit Administration. FTA Circular 8100.1B dated October 25, 1996, Program Guidance and Application Instructions for Metropolitan Planning Grants, provides detailed application information. Available on Internet at: http://www.fta.dot.gov./legal/guidance/circulars /8000/429_5943_ENG_HTML.htm. States may apply through a paperless electronic grant application, review, approval, acceptance, and management process. This program is excluded from coverage under 49 CFR Part 19.

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:

FTA will approve and release the grant by the end of the quarterly cycle or earlier provided the application is complete.

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...


Grant applications are due in the appropriate FTA Regional Office no later than the first business day of the quarter.

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

If completed applications are submitted to FTA no later than the first business day of the quarter, FTA will then award grants by the last business day of the Quarter.

Preapplication Coordination

Following each decennial Census, each State must submit to FTA for approval a formula, developed in cooperation with affected MPOs, for the distribution of a State's Section 5303 apportionment to MPOs in each urbanized area. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." MPOs 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.

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).


Amendments may be granted.

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...

Apportionments are made to the States for formula distribution to the Metropolitan Planning Organizations to be used in urbanized areas within each State.

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...

Formula Grants

Allocations of money to States or their subdivisions in accordance with distribution formulas prescribed by law or administrative regulation, for activities of a continuing nature not confined to a specific project.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$20,000 to $5,000,000.

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) FY 03 $115,697,000; FY 04 est $93,059,000; and FY 05 est $115,485,900.

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...

The Metropolitan Council of Twin Cities area received planning funds from the State of Minnesota to support the transportation planning process in the Minneapolis-St. Paul urbanized area.

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...

Since 1992, $180,000,000 have been obligated for transportation planning activities in metropolitan areas. Multimodal transportation planning studies are emphasized through coordinated funding with other DOT administrations. Refinement of the transit elements of long-range plans and an expansion of short-range planning for improvements to the existing urban transportation system are also emphasized. Capital transportation improvement programs are produced annually/biennially as well as metropolitan transportation plans.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Funding is allocated to the States for pass through to various Metropolitan Planning Organizations within their jurisdictions.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds are available for 3 years following the year for which they were appropriated.

Formula and Matching Requirements

The new budget authority for Fiscal Year 2003 Section 5303 appropriation to States for Metropolitan Planning Organizations totals $55,422,400. Added to this is $240,571 in prior year deobligated funds. A basic allocation of 80 percent of this amount, $44,530,377, is distributed to the States based on urbanized area population for State distribution. A supplemental allocation of the remaining 20 percent, $11,132,594 is also provided to the states based on an FTA administrative formula to address planning needs in the larger urbanized areas. A February 11, 2004 Federal Register Notice, FTA Fiscal Year 2004 Apportionments and Allocations, provides a table (Table 2) which contains the final combined State apportionments. The funding ratio for these grants is 80 percent Federal, 20 percent local match of net project costs. In addition, under provisions enacted in section 1103(i) of TEA-21, current year funds can be transferred from the Federal Highway Administration to form Consolidated Planning Grants.

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) Progress reports; (2) Financial report upon completion of the project; and (3) Final technical study report (if applicable).

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 States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend $500,000 or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or program specific audit conducted 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 OMB Circular No. A-133.

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).


Project sponsor is required to retain intact, for 3 years following submission of the final Financial Status 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. 5303.

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

FTA Fiscal Year 2004 Apportionments, Allocations, and Program Information; Notice and Fiscal Year 2003 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances for Federal Transit Administration Grants and Cooperative Agreements; Notice, published annually. For fiscal year 2003, the publication date is March 12, 2003. For other fiscal years, contact the FTA Regional Office to obtain the publication date for other fiscal years. FTA website: www.fta.dot.gov/grant_programs/14506_ENG_HTML.htm.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

See Additional Contact Information - FMR Help for a listing of Federal Transit Administration regional offices and DOT Metropolitan Offices.

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

FTA Office of Planning and Environment (TPE-11), Candace Noonan, (202) 366-1648, Federal Transit Administration, Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590.

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: