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  • Grant Descriptions

  • The following are grant programs managed by NCDOT's Integrated Mobility Division (IMD):

    Section 5303 - Program
    The Section 5303 program provides funding for multi-modal transportation planning in metropolitan areas and for statewide planning projects. Planning needs to be cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive resulting in long-range plans and short-range programs reflecting transportation investment priorities.

    Section 5307 - Urban Program
    The Urbanized Area Formula Funding program, Section 5307, provides federal resources available to small and large urbanized areas for transit capital and operating assistance in urbanized areas and for transportation-related planning. An urbanized area is defined an incorporated area with a population of 50,000 or more that is designated as such by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.

    Section 5310 - Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program
    NCDOT provides several options for receiving Section 5310 funding.  The goal of the Section 5310 program is to improve mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities by removing barriers to transportation services and expanding the transportation mobility options available. A senior is an individual who is 65 years of age or older and the term 'disability' is defined in section 3(1) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102). NCDOT provides access to Section 5310 funding for capital purchase of service expenditures through this application.

    1.     Section 5310 - Capital Purchase of Service Program Option

    The Capital Purchase of Service option for Section 5310 funding allows transit agencies to purchase transit service and receive reimbursement for those capital expenditures through this program. FTA provides financial assistance for transportation services planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special transportation needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities in all areas.

    2.     Section 5310 – Operating Program Option
    The Operating Program option provides access to Section 5310 funding for rural and small urban transit systems for operating expenditures through this program. Transit agencies must demonstrate that transportation services have been designed to meet the special needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities.

    3.     Section 5310 - Mobility Manager Program Option
    The Mobility Manager Program consists of short-range planning and management activities, projects for improving coordination among public transportation and other transportation-service providers carried out by a recipient or sub-recipient through an agreement entered into with a person, including a government entity, under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53 (other than Section 5309).

    Section 5311 - Non-Urbanized Rural Area Formula Program
    Section 5311 funding is a federal formula grant for rural areas established to provide assistance to support public transportation in areas with populations of less than 50,000. This funding may be used to address the needs of rural area residents who often rely on public transit to reach their destinations. Section 5311 funding may be used for eligible capital, operating and planning expenditures.

    Section 5311(f) - Intercity Bus Program
    The Intercity Bus Program from FTA is included as a subset of the Section 5311 Non-Urbanized Area Program. This funding may be used for transportation services defined as fixed-route, regularly scheduled services that provide intercity transportation within the state and connections to the national intercity bus system through interline agreements or through-service arrangements.  The state will use a combination of federal Section 5311(f), state and local funds available specifically for supporting intercity bus service to provide assistance in operating intercity routes. Section 5311(f) allocates 15% of the annual total Section 5311 apportionment for intercity bus service across North Carolina.

    Section 5339 - Bus & Bus Facilities Program
    This capital funding may be used to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities. This funding is allocated annually to be used in small and large urbanized areas, as well as rural, non-urbanized areas. Each large urbanized area in North Carolina receives a Section 5339 formula allocation.  North Carolina Department of Transportation administers the Section 5339 formula allocation for all small urbanized and rural areas within the state.

    In addition, a Section 5339(b) program was created as a discretionary program for which grantees may apply to receive funding on a competitive basis for a capital program involving bus or bus equipment purchases or bus-related facilities.

    Combined Capital Applications (Sections 5311 and 5339)
    This item does not describe a specific funding program, but rather a streamlined, efficient application process used by transit agencies to apply for capital funding from IMD. The Combined Capital program allows rural systems the opportunity to apply for funding for capital projects in a single application. Applying through a single application program offers a streamlined administrative experience to the individual transit system rather than completing multiple applications for each funding program. IMD funds approved projects with the type of federal funding best suited for the requested projects. The Combined Capital application utilizes funds from Sections 5311 and 5339 programs.

    Rural State Operating Funds Program
    The Rural State Operating (RO) grants are available to Small Fixed Route, Regional, and Rural/Urban Consolidated systems to assist in delivering important transit service beyond that which is supported by federal formula funding programs. The purpose of the RO funding program is to extend general transportation opportunities and increase ridership in our rural areas.

    Rural Operating Assistance Program
    NCDOT provides state-funded transportation assistance for rural transit providers through the Rural Operating Assistance Program (ROAP). ROAP has three components outlined below:

    1.   Elderly and Disabled Transportation Assistance Program (EDTAP):
          Provides operating assistance for the transportation of the state's elderly and disabled citizens.

    2.   Employment and Transportation Assistance Program (EMPL):

          a) Intended to help DSS clients that transitioned off Work First or Temporary Assistance
                     for Needy Families (TANF) in the previous 12 months; or Workforce Development 
                     Program participants; or,
          b) Intended to help the transportation of disadvantaged public; and/or,
          c) Intended to help the general public travel to work, employment training, and/or other 
                    employment-related destinations.

       3.   Rural General Public Program (RGP):
            Intended to provide transportation services for individuals from the county who do NOT 
            have a human service agency or organization that will pay for the transportation service.
            a)     The passenger's origin or destination must be in the rural area; and,
            b)     RGP trips can be coordinated on vehicles with other human services trips.

    SMAP Program

    The intention of this State Maintenance Assistance Program (SMAP) is to provide operating assistance to urban, small-urban, and urban regional fixed route and commuter bus systems through a state-funded disbursement that functions with low overhead and paperwork.

    Transportation Demand Management (TDM)
    Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programs promote alternative transportation options to the single occupant vehicle. Included among these alternatives are carpooling, vanpooling, telecommuting, transit, bicycle, flexible work hours, compressed workweeks and parking policies/pricing structures. NCDOT IMD is funding these TDM programs to continue supporting the provisions of the Ambient Air Quality Improvement Act of 1999 (Senate Bill 953), which addressed concerns over ground level ozone pollution from motor vehicles and the need to deal with increasing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions. The bill established a goal of reducing the growth of commuter VMT in the state by 25 percent from 2000 until 2009, which was achieved. Continuing strides have been made in the years following this achievement.

    Travelers' Aid Program
    The mission of the Travelers' Aid program is to advance and support a network of human service providers committed to assisting individuals and families who are in transition or crisis and are disconnected from their support systems. Travelers' Aid programs consist of a diverse group of human service non-profit organizations and a network of transportation providers. While each agency shares the core service of helping stranded travelers, many Travelers' Aid agencies provide shelter for the homeless, transitional housing, job training, counseling, local transportation assistance, and other programs to help people in crisis.

    Advanced Technology
    Urban Advanced Technology funding is used to benefit transit systems in North Carolina utilizing a wide selection of technologies available today, enhancing the passenger experience enabling transit systems to improve safety and efficiencies in their operations, and minimize Covid-19 issues.  The N.C. Department of Transportation Integrated Mobility Division encourages North Carolina's transit systems to employ advanced technologies fostering increased efficiencies throughout the state.

    Urban State Match Program
    NCDOT IMD responds to requests for Urban State Match Funding to be used as a match for both federal (FTA and FHWA) and locally-funded urban transit projects. Federal funding sources which can be matched through these requests include 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Grants, 5339 Bus and Bus Facilities, 5337 State of Good Repair Grants, 5310 Elderly and Disabled, and Discretionary grants from the FTA. In addition, locally funded projects are eligible for a state match. Urban State Match funds are available from the upcoming State Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations and must be used in the fiscal year they are received.

    Urban STI Program
    Systems awarded a grant through NCDOT's Prioritization Process must complete an application in the fiscal year they are using the funds to receive the state match of Highway Trust Funds. The Urban-STI application is used by direct recipients of federal funds from the FTA to apply for and receive reimbursement of the State portion of STI.

    Rural STI Program
    Systems awarded a grant through STI in NCDOT's Prioritization Process must complete an application in the fiscal year they are using the funds to receive the state match of Highway Trust Funds. The Rural-STI application allows systems to add federal funds where IMD has oversight of the application for the project and receives reimbursement.

    Non-STI Rural Expansion Vehicle Program
    This funding opportunity is for rural systems who are interested in applying for an expansion vehicle. State matching funds will not be provided for projects funded through this program.

    ConCPT CN Program
    The purpose of the consolidation portion (CN) of the ConCPT funding is to reduce the number of NCDOT IMD grantees while expanding the level of services offered in our communities. Funding will be provided for full consolidations where two or more public transportation grantees merge into a single grantee.

    ConCPT CO Program
    The purpose of the coordination portion (CO) of the ConCPT funding is to enhance coordination between NCDOT IMD grantees. Funding will be provided for coordination activities where three or more public transportation grantees agree to establish formal relationships to maximize resources, gain efficiencies, and improve access to public transportation. The primary goal of this ConCPT funding is to establish formal relationships between the transit systems for long-distance routes.

    The following are Temporary/Emergency Grant programs currently managed by NCDOT's Integrated Mobility Division (IMD): ​

     Emergency Relief Funding for Transit Systems
    CARES, CRRSAA, ARP Programs
    The Emergency Relief Grants programs of 2020 and 2021, including, but not limited to, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), American Rescue Plan (ARP), provides emergency assistance grants available to rural and small urban public transportation systems to assist with primarily operating expenses for systems adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

    To find out more about NCDOT IMD Transit Grant Programs please visit the CONNECT website at

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