Capital Investment Program:
New Starts, Small Starts and Core Capacity Improvements

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New Starts and Core Capacity Process, Small Starts Process
Project Development Process MAP-21 CIG program (PDF)
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This is FTA’s primary grant program for funding major transit capital investments, including rapid rail, light rail, bus rapid transit, commuter rail, and ferries. In July 2012, a new authorization was enacted entitled the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) that changed several aspects of the program. Prior to MAP-21, from 2005 through mid-2012, the authorizing legislation guiding FTA’s programs was entitled the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). Below is a table providing information on the program under both laws. Check back here often for additional information, as FTA updates materials related to MAP-21 implementation.

Sponsors of capital investment grant projects should also become familiar with the transportation planning and environmental review process requirements that apply to projects funded by FTA. Find information on the transportation planning process and the environmental review process.

General information about MAP-21 is available at

Topic New Starts and Small Starts under SAFETEA-LU (Section 5309) New Starts, Small Starts and Core Capacity Improvement Projects under MAP-21 (Section 5309)
Program Overview
Recent Activities
Current Projects
Regulations and Circulars
Program Guidance and Other Tools

Remaining guidance on project evaluation is under development.

Applying to New Starts
Applying to Small Starts
Presentations and Reports