Alternatives Analysis

To assist in financing the evaluation of all reasonable modal and multimodal alternatives and general alignment options for identified transportation needs in a particular, broadly defined travel corridor.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Projects funded include studies conducted as part of the transportation planning process to include an assessment of a wide range of public transportation alternatives designed to address a transportation problem in a corridor or subarea.

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 list of regional office contacts located in Appendix IV.
Website Address

Program Accomplishments

The program will support alternatives analysis for over 18 new fixed guideway transit systems, ultimately resulting in more effective decision making at the local level and to support future Federal investment in major capital projects.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds may be used to assist State and local governmental authorities in conducting alternatives analyses as part of the early planning for capital projects for new fixed guideway systems and extensions to existing fixed guideway systems.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Public agencies, including States; municipalities and other subdivisions of States; public agencies and instrumentalities of one or more States; and public corporations, boards, and commissions established under State law.

Applicant must have legal, financial, and technical capacity to carry out proposed project and maintain facilities and equipment purchased with Federal assistance.

Private non-profit organizations are not directly eligible recipients.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The general public, both users and non-users of public transportation and public agencies. Private consultants may participate through contractual arrangements with a public agency grantee.


Resolution by an authorized public body approving the filing for an application; projects must be included in an urbanized area's Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) and approved by FTA and FHWA. Applicant must complete certifications and assurances as compiled in FTA's Annual List of Certifications and Assurances. Cost will be in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

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 that the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

An environmental impact statement may be required for this program.

An environmental impact statement may also be required upon completion of the review.

Application Procedures

Project funds may be allocated by Congress for specific projects. When applicable, a Notice of Funding Availability is published to announce the availability of discretionary funds and application process. The notification and application are also available at

Award Procedures

An FTA grant award obligating Federal funds is reflected in a grant agreement. Grants are awarded electronically using FTA's Transportation Electronic Award Management (TEAM) system, In order to access this system, a user name and password are needed and can be obtained by contacting the regional offices. Once the funds are reserved in TEAM and the project information has been reviewed and approved by Headquarters, the recipient must execute the grant agreement to access the funds.


Applications may be submitted throughout the fiscal year. Funds are available for obligation for three fiscal years including the year of appropriation.


49 U.S.C. 5339.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

FTA awards more than 80 percent of grants within 60 days of receipt of a completed application, with an average processing time of 36 days or less.


Not applicable.


Funding is made available annually, FY 2006-2009, through the appropriations process. Grants may be amended to add newly available funds for a continuing project.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Funds for Alternatives Analysis projects are allocated based on statutory or discretionary basis. A grant may be made up to 80 percent of total project cost.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Terms and conditions are contractually agreed on between FTA and the applicant. The grants may be awarded in one lump sum or in smaller increments as specified by the grantee.

Post Assistance Requirements


(1) Progress reports; (2) Financial status reports.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, Audits of State and 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 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 OMB Circular No. A-133.


Recipient is required to retain intact, for 3 years following submission of final expenditure report, pending resolution of audit findings, all project contract documents, financial records, and supporting documents.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $15,745,000; FY 08 est $32,798,330; and FY 09 est $39,202,780.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

In FY 2006 Congressional designations range from $300,000 to $2,500,000 with an average of $138,889.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Please visit the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) website or contact the appropriate FTA Region office for more information. See Federal Register/ Vol.70, No. 229/ Wednesday, November 30, 2005/ Notices.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See list of regional office contacts located in Appendix IV.

Headquarters Office

Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, Office of Program Management, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202)366-2053 Contact: Kimberly Sledge, E-mail:

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Major, non-recurring capital investment Congressional designation.

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