Art and Design: Eligible Activities, Selection and Procurement

Eligible Activities

In order to facilitate local determination of appropriate transit-related art undertakings, FTA has established broad, flexible guidelines for including art in FTA funded projects. In general, design activities and art visible to the public in areas of t ransit projects (facilities and vehicles) are an eligible cost under FTA’s planning and capital grant programs. Art products and components, in their physical and temporal manifestations (as in the case of incorporating designated performance areas for music and theatrical works into the design of a facility) and the la bor and materials to develop and implement art, are eligible capital costs. Art and design that promotes specific private or corporate business interests is ineligible for FTA funding.Master plan of the Ninth Street pedestrian mall in Miami, Florida.

A few eligible activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Photo: Master plan for the Ninth Street Pedestrian Mall in Miami, FL.

Gant recipients should contact their FTA Regional Office to receive verification on whether an aspect of a particular art or design activity is eligible for FTA support.

Bus stop in Park City, Utah, designed to resemble a ski shack. Park City is a major destination for winter sports.


The following criteria should be considered when art is commissioned or acquired in connection with FTA assisted transit projects, or when artists are involved in planning and design of art in transit projects, or both:

The most recent version of FTA Circular 4220, “Third Party Contracting Guidance,” recommends procedures for selecting architects for transit projects but does not specifically address the selection of artists.  Grant recipients who are considering using Federal funds to support art and design should consult this Circular to ensure procurement procedures are properly adhered to.