MAP-21 Formula Programs

More Information:
General MAP-21 Information
MAP-21 Discretionary & Formula Programs

Section(s) Program Name Purpose Guidance Updates


Alcohol and Controlled Substances Testing (PDF)

This program maintains authority for the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to establish a program that requires grantees to conduct pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, random, and post-accident testing of public transportation employees responsible for safety-sensitive functions.


Bus and Bus Facilities (PDF)

Provides capital funding to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities.

Bus Testing Facilities (PDF)

Provides for an FTA-funded bus testing facility where all new models purchased using FTA capital assistance must be tested to meet performance standards for safety, structural integrity, reliability, performance (including braking performance), maintainability, emissions, noise, and fuel economy.


Enhanced Mobility of Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities (PDF)

This program is intended to enhance mobility for seniors and persons with disabilities by providing funds for programs to serve the special needs of transit-dependent populations beyond traditional public transportation services and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complementary paratransit services.


Fixed-Guideway Capital Investment Grants (PDF)

Provides grants for new and expanded rail, bus rapid transit, and ferry systems that reflect local priorities to improve transportation options in key corridors. This program defines a new category of eligible projects, known as core capacity projects, which expand capacity by at least 10% in existing fixed-guideway transit corridors that are already at or above capacity today, or are expected to be at or above capacity within five years. The program also includes provisions for streamlining aspects of the New Starts process to increase efficiency and reduce the time required to meet critical milestones.


Flexible Funding Programs - National Highway Performance Program (NHPP) (PDF)

The NHPP provides support for the condition and performance of the National Highway System (NHS), for the construction of new facilities on the NHS, and to ensure that investments of Federal-aid funds in highway construction are directed to support progress toward the achievement of performance targets established in a State’s asset management plan for the NHS. This is a new program under MAP-21.



Flexible Funding Programs - Surface Transportation Program (STP) (PDF)

The STP provides funding that may be used by States and localities for a wide range of projects to preserve and improve the conditions and performance of surface transportation, including highway, transit, intercity bus, bicycle and pedestrian projects.



Flexible Funding Programs - Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) (PDF)

The TAP program consolidates funding from FHWA’s former Transportation Enhancements, Recreational Trails, and Safe Routes to School programs.



Formula Grants for Rural Area (PDF)

This program provides capital, planning, and operating assistance to states to support public transportation in rural areas with populations less than 50,000, where many residents often rely on public transit to reach their destinations.


Human Resources & Training (PDF)

Under this new program, FTA may make grants or enter into contracts for human resource and workforce development programs as they apply to public transportation activities. Such programs may include:

  • Employment training;
  • An outreach program to increase minority and female employment in public transportation activities;
  • Research on public transportation personnel and training needs; and
  • Training and assistance for minority business opportunities.

5303, 5304, 5305

Metropolitan & Statewide Planning and NonMetropolitan Transportation Planning (PDF)

Provides funding and procedural requirements for multimodal transportation planning in metropolitan areas and states that is cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive, resulting in long-range plans and short-range programs of transportation investment priorities. The planning programs are jointly administered by FTA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), which provides additional funding.

Program Consolidation (PDF)

MAP-21 focuses on improving the efficiency of grant program operations by consolidating certain programs and repealing other programs.



Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program (PDF)

This program helps states and public transportation systems pay for protecting, repairing, and/or replacing equipment and facilities that may suffer or have suffered serious damage as a result of an emergency, including natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. The program also improves coordination between DOT and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to expedite assistance to public transit providers in times of disasters and emergencies.

Emergency Relief Program, Hurricane Sandy disaster aid, and related information


Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment Projects (PDF)

To support research activities that improve the safety, reliability, efficiency, and sustainability of public transportation by investing in the development, testing, and deployment of innovative technologies, materials, and processes; carry out related endeavors; and to support the demonstration and deployment of low-emission and no-emission vehicles to promote clean energy and improve air quality.


State of Good Repair Grants (PDF)

A new formula-based State of Good Repair program is FTA’s first stand-alone initiative written into law that is dedicated to repairing and upgrading the nation’s rail transit systems along with high-intensity motor bus systems that use high-occupancy vehicle lanes, including bus rapid transit (BRT). These funds reflect a commitment to ensuring that public transit operates safely, efficiently, reliably, and sustainably so that communities can offer balanced transportation choices that help to improve mobility, reduce congestion, and encourage economic development.



Technical Assistance & Standards Development (PDF)

Provides capital funding to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities.



Transit Asset Management (PDF)

This section establishes new requirements for transit asset management by FTA’s grantees as well as new reporting requirements to promote accountability. The goal of improved transit asset management is to implement a strategic approach for assessing needs and prioritizing investments for bringing the nation’s public transit systems into a state of good repair.



Transit Safety & Oversight (PDF)

MAP-21 grants FTA the authority to establish and enforce a new comprehensive framework to oversee the safety of public transportation throughout the United States as it pertains to heavy rail, light rail, buses, ferries, and streetcars. The law requires, among other things, that FTA update the State Safety Oversight (SSO) program to ensure that rail transit systems are meeting stringent safety requirements. The law also includes important new safety provisions for bus-only operators. FTA will implement the new law in consultation with the transit community and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Transit Rail Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS), which has been working since September of 2010 to help guide this effort.



Transit Oriented Development Planning Pilot (PDF)

Provides funding to advance planning efforts that support transit-oriented development (TOD) associated with new fixed-guideway and core capacity improvement projects. TOD focuses growth around transit stations to promote ridership, affordable housing near transit, revitalized downtown centers and neighborhoods, and encourage local economic development.


5307, 5340

Urbanized Area Formula Grants (PDF)

This program provides grants to Urbanized Areas (UZA) for public transportation capital, planning, job access and reverse commute projects, as well as operating expenses in certain circumstances. These funds constitute a core investment in the enhancement and revitalization of public transportation systems in the nation’s urbanized areas, which depend on public transportation to improve mobility and reduce congestion.