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$20M available in transit planning grants to areas of persistent poverty

Competitive grants will fund planning and development of transit projects in disadvantaged communities.

Via Transportation •
On January 9th, the FTA announced $20M in transit planning grants through the Areas of Persistent Poverty Program (AoPP - formally known as the HOPE program). This program funds planning and engineering for transit projects in Areas of Persistent Poverty or Historically Disadvantaged Communities. For a definition of these terms, and to look up whether your community qualifies, please consult this tool.

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Rural and urban transit agencies that receive formula funding (5307, 5311, and/or 5310) are eligible to apply and can partner with operators of public transportation, consultants, and universities on their applications. Projects can include planning and engineering for new transit services, routes, innovative technologies, low/no emission buses, or developing coordinated human services transportation plans. Agencies can choose to focus on specific issues such as increasing access to environmental justice populations or providing services to address the opioid epidemic. 

Applications will be evaluated based on the level of need of the community in question, the commitment and capacity of the applicant to support the project, and the benefits of the project in terms of following factors: system condition, service reliability, access and mobility, innovation, and addressing barriers to low-income housing. The FTA is particularly interested in applications which address racial equity. The federal match for these projects is 90% to 100%. FTA may establish a cap on awards; in the prior cycle, the maximum award was $850,000. Please consult the Notice of Funding Opportunity here for more details. You can use this tool to identify whether the community you’re hoping to serve fits the definition of an Area of Persistent Poverty, or you can check out the new AoPP layers in Remix. With this new feature, as well as Remix’s whole suite of planning tools, we can help conduct the research needed to identify and explore potential planning projects, with a particular focus on transit equity and access — a key piece of the application. Please reach out to to get started. Applications are due on March 10th.  

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