The March 5, 2009, Federal Register Notice [HTML]included an apportionment table for the $765.8 million provided to 54 States and territories for non-urbanized areas through the Section 5311 program. Fifty percent of each of these apportionments must be obligated by September 1, 2009, to avoid losing the balance of that amount remaining unobligated. The balance of the initial apportionment must be obligated by March 5, 2010. All funds, including balances withdrawn from areas that did not meet the obligation deadlines and redistributed to other areas that met the deadlines, must be obligated by September 30, 2010. Once obligated, funds must be disbursed by September 30, 2015. Any balances remaining after that date will revert to the U.S. Treasury.
The funds may be used for any capital purpose eligible under 49 USC 5302(a)(1) for projects in rural and small urban areas (under 50,000 population), including such activities as vehicle replacements, facilities renovation or construction, preventive maintenance, and mobility management. The State may use up to 15 percent for program administration, and must use at least 15 percent of the apportionment to support intercity bus service unless the Governor has certified that the intercity bus needs of the State are adequately met, after consultation with intercity bus providers (section 5311(f)).
All projects must be included in the approved State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) before grant award. An appropriate local official must certify that the projects have been properly vetted and are an appropriate use of ARRA funds (Section 1511 certification requirement).
States may transfer Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds allocated by FHWA to the Section 5311 program for ready to go transit projects.