The Urbanized Area Formula Program and the Needs of Small Transit Intensive Cities

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The Urbanized Area Formula Program and the Needs of Small Transit Intensive Cities


Report to Congress


  Cover photo courtesy of Santa Fe Trails Transit (FTA Public Transit Image Gallery) 


September 2000

Report Number FTA-TBP10-00-04

Prepared by:
Federal Transit Administration

Pursuant to:
Public Law 105-178, §3033

Available from:
Federal Transit Administration
Office of Policy Development, TBP-10
400 7th Street, SW, Room 9310
Washington, DC 20590

Table of Contents

Dear Colleague Letter

Letters To Congress


1.   Introduction

2.   The Formula Grant Programs of the Federal Transit Administration
2.1   Nonurbanized Area Formula Program (Section 5311)
2.2   Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Formula Program (Section 5310)
2.3   Urbanized Area Formula Program (Section 5307)

3.   Federal Formula Grant Assistance and Local Transit Funding Needs
3.1   Existing Need
3.2   Potential Need

4.   Small Transit Intensive Cities
4.1            Measures of Transit Intensity
Exhibit 1:   Small Urbanized Areas Exceeding Large Urbanized Area Averages and Statistical Outliers
4.2            Funding Issues

5.   Federal Transit Assistance for Large, Small, and Nonurbanized Areas
Exhibit 2:   FTA Formula Apportionments by Urbanized Area Size 1998-2000
5.1            Small Transit Intensive Cities
Exhibit 3:   Shares of Transit Service, Population, and Federal Funding

6.   Analysis of Funding Alternatives
6.1            Applying Service Factors to Small Urbanized Area Formula Apportionments
6.1.1         Applying Service Factors to Small Urbanized Areas as a Group
6.1.2         Applying the Bus Formula to All Urbanized Areas in a Single Tier
Exhibit 4:   Net Effect of Applying Service Factors to the Formula Apportionments to Small Urbanized Areas (Fiscal Year 2000)
Exhibit 5:   Net Effect on the Formula Apportionments to Small Urbanized Areas of Applying the Bus Formula Uniformly to All Urbanized Areas (Fiscal Year 2000)
6.2            Alternative Proposal: Targeting Section 5309 Bus Program Funding to Small Transit Intensive Cities

7.   Other Issues
7.1      The Role of the States
7.1.1   The Governor's Apportionment
7.1.2   The Nonurbanized Area Formula Program and State Transit Assistance
7.2      The 2000 Census
7.3      Reporting Requirements
7.4      Small Operators in Large Urbanized Areas
7.5      Large Operators in Nonurbanized areas

8.   Conclusion

Appendix A:   Data and Methodology
Exhibit A-1:   Average Annual Passenger Miles per Vehicle Revenue Mile and per Vehicle Revenue Hour 1996-98
Exhibit A-2:
Exhibit A-3:
Exhibit A-4:
Appendix B:   Examples of Formula-Based State Transit Funding Programs