Federal Transit_Metropolitan Planning Grants

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

Related Programs

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.

Agency - Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation's mission is to ensure fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation that meets vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

Office - See Appendix IV of the Catalog for a listing of Federal Transit Administration regional offices and DOT Metropolitan Offices.
Website Address


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.

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.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

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

Beneficiary Eligibility

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


The Federal Register dated January 28, 2008, (FTA Fiscal Year 2008 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/funding/grants_financing_38.html.

Aplication and Award Process

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.

Application Procedures

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./laws/circulars /leg_reg_4123.html. 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.

Award Procedures

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


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


49 U.S.C. 5303.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

In FY 04, FTA awarded planning grants to the states within an average of 9 days after submission of a complete application.


Not applicable.


Grants may be amended to add additional funds.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

The new budget authority for Fiscal Year 2008 Section 5303 appropriation to States for Metropolitan Planning Organizations totals $88,510,400. A basic allocation of 80 percent of the amount available annually is distributed to the States based on urbanized area population for State distribution. A supplemental allocation of the remaining 20 percent is also provided to the states based on an FTA administrative formula to address planning needs in the larger urbanized areas. A January 28, 2008 Federal Register Notice, FTA Fiscal Year 2008 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 SAFETEA-LU, current year funds can be transferred from the Federal Highway Administration to form Consolidated Planning Grants. FTA funds can also be transferred to FHWA to form consolidated Planning Grants.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

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

Post Assistance Requirements


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


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.


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.

Financial Information

Account Identification

69-1137-0-1-401; 69-8350-0-7-401.


(Grants) FY 07 $135,959,000; FY 08 est $73,845,000; and FY 09 est $99,930,000 not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

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

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

FTA Fiscal Year 2008 Apportionments, Allocations, and Program Information; Notice and Fiscal Year 2008 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances for Federal Transit Administration Grants and Cooperative Agreements; Notice, published annually. For fiscal year 2008, the publication date was January 28, 2008. For other fiscal years, contact the FTA Regional Office to obtain the publication date for other fiscal years. FTA website: www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants_financing_93.html.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Appendix IV of the Catalog for a listing of Federal Transit Administration regional offices and DOT Metropolitan Offices.

Headquarters Office

FTA Office of Planning and Environment (TPE-10), Candace Noonan, (202) 366-1648, Federal Transit Administration, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. S.E., Washington, DC 20590.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

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

Social Entrepreneurship

Rwanda as Social Entrepreneur Fund Beneficiary

The Republic of Rwanda has been picked as one of the six African countries as beneficiaries for a new fellowship fund program designed at supporting social entrepreneurs in tackling issues on food security.

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