WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced the availability of $5 million in Fiscal Year 2020 competitive grant funding to support transit services for American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages in rural areas.

FTA’s Tribal Transit Program is authorized by Congress to support public transportation for federally recognized Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages, groups, or communities, as well as to meet the needs of older adults, people with disabilities, and youth in rural areas where transit is sparse.

“Public transportation is vital for many tribal residents,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “These federal investments are an example of this Administration’s commitment to improving mobility and access to jobs and critical lifeline services in tribal communities across America.”

Applications will be evaluated based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, including how the project will improve the quality of life for the tribe and surrounding communities.  Examples include increased ridership and daily trips, improved service, elimination of gaps in service, improved operations and coordination, and increased reliability. The NOFO also includes criteria in accordance with the ROUTES initiative. The application period will close at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday, August 24, 2020.

In FY 2019, FTA awarded Tribal Transit funds to 39 competitively selected projects in 20 states.

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act increased the Tribal Transit formula program from $25 million to $30 million and continued the $5 million annual competitive program. In FY 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated an additional $30 million through Tribal Transit formula funding.