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Section 5311 for Rural Areas

Federal Agency


Federal Transit Administration (FTA)


To provide capital, planning, and operating assistance to states to support public transportation in rural areas with populations of less than 50,000, where many residents often rely on public transit to reach their destinations. The program also provides funding for state and national training and technical assistance through the Rural Transportation Assistance Program.

Applicant and/or Project Eligibility Requirements

Eligible recipients include states and federally recognized Indian Tribes. Subrecipients may include state or local government authorities, nonprofit organizations, and operators of public transportation or intercity bus service.

Decarbonization Considerations

Decarbonization strategies may focus on investments that expand transit services in a manner that reduces single passenger vehicle miles traveled, invest in zero-emission vehicles and charging infrastructure, and holistic transportation strategies that emphasize walking, cycling, and public transit connectivity alongside electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure build-out for ride-sharing and vehicle sharing programs.

Equity Considerations

See the "Equity Design Considerations for Federal Funding" for general considerations and additional sector-based resources:

Helpful Tips


Other Notes

Note that $276 million is from the American Rescue Plan and may not be recurring annually. Program funding expires in 2023. FTA is seeking input on proposed updates to the Rural Areas Formula Grant Programs Guidance (9040.1) Circular by June 3, 2024. See more details here:

Deadline (Announced or Anticipated)


Funding Available


Max Award Amount


Expected Allocations

FY 21 Section 5311 and 5340 Rural Area Formula Apportionments

Average Award (Estimated)


Matching Funds

20% cost share required

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