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FTA announces $16.3M in transit planning grants to areas of persistent poverty

Applicants are encouraged to advance racial equity in Areas of Persistent Poverty through transit planning and engineering projects.

Via Transportation •

On June 30th, the FTA announced $16.3M in transit planning grants through the Areas of Persistent Poverty Program (AoPP - formally known as the HOPE program). Areas of Persistent Poverty are defined as counties with 20% or more of their population living in poverty for 30+ years or census tracts with 20% or more of their populations living in poverty from the last five-year data series. 

Rural and urban transit agencies that receive formula funding 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. As always, sustainability and racial equity will be two factors that the Biden administration will value highly in applications. 

The federal match for these projects is 90% at a minimum and maximum grant funding is $850,000 per project. Only organizations that receive 5307, 5311, and 5310 funding are eligible to apply. You can find the Notice of Funding here for more details. You can also use this tool from the FTA 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, added just last week. 

With Remix’s 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 August 30th.  

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