New fact sheet on distribution of FTA funding in rural America

February 25, 2021

RTC:Rural researchers recently published a factsheet examining how and where Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding is distributed across rural America. America at a glance: 5310 & 5311 Transportation Funding in Rural Counties is available to download in multiple formats on ScholarWorks.

The two types of funding discussed in this analysis are the FTA’s Elderly and Persons with Disabilities program (§5310) and the Formula Grants for Rural Areas program (§5311). A total of 921 rural counties receive 49% of available 5311 funding and 5% of available 5310 funding, while 1,292 receive neither source of FTA funding.

“How and where FTA funding types are distributed is important because rural public transportation infrastructure and services are limited and often nonexistent in communities where the need may be greater due to higher rates of disabilities and greater distances to critical services,” said Research Assistant Ari Lissau.

According to Project Director Andrew Myers, “These findings help identify not only where funding is going, but perhaps more importantly, where funding is missing.”

There are a number of organizations that funds are allocated to for distribution to programs, with local government agencies, independent transit authorities, and non-profits receiving the bulk of FTA funding. Nonprofits could serve as a platform for expanding and developing public transportation services in rural communities.

“Expansion of funding allocation to other agencies and organizations, such as nonprofits, could create opportunities to expand public transportation services in communities that are currently underserved,” said Lissau.


To learn more about these findings, follow the link below to download the research brief from the RTC:Rural and Rural Institute ScholarWorks collection:

The research brief is is available to download as an accessible PDF, text-only Word doc or text-only EPUB file.