The Federal Transit Administration has a variety of grant programs to assist local transit agencies in providing public transportation within the Evansville Henderson Urbanized Area. An urbanized area is an incorporated area with a population of 50,000 or more that is designated as such by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Three major FTA grants are allocated to the Evansville Henderson Urbanized Area using a formula. The formula consists of a variety of public transportation usage, need and efficiency measurables. The FTA calculates this formula and the resulting amounts are announced nationwide.
Urbanized Area Formula Grants (Section 5307)
The Urbanized Area Formula Funding program (49 U.S.C. 5307) makes Federal resources available to urbanized areas and to Governors for transit capital and operating assistance in urbanized areas and for transportation related planning. Annually, an allocation to the urbanized area is announced and the amount is split between METS and HART.
Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Grants (Section 5339)
The Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Grant (49 U.S.C. 5339) makes Federal resources available to urbanized areas and to Governors for capital assistance in urbanized areas. Capital assistance includes replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities. Annually, an allocation to the urbanized area is announced and the amount is split between METS and HART.
Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities (Section 5310)
The Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Grant (49 U.S.C. 5310) makes Federal resources available to urbanized areas and to Governors for capital and operating assistance in urbanized areas.
There are two components or distinct goals to the Section 5310 Program:
The “Traditional” component of the Section 5310 Program must be used for capital projects (vehicles) that are public transportation projects planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities when public transportation is insufficient, inappropriate, or unavailable.
The “New Freedom” component of the Section 5310 Program is available for capital and operating expenses that support public transportation services beyond those required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and public transportation alternatives beyond those required by the ADA designed to assist individuals with disabilities and seniors with accessing transportation services, including, but not limited to, transportation to and from jobs and employment support services.
The transit agencies and non-profit public transportation providers must complete a project proposal and submit it to the EMPO. The EMPO checks for eligibility, scores and prioritizes the project for funding.
Indiana Public Mass Transit Fund (PMTF)
The Public Mass Transit Fund is a grant program administered from the State of Indiana. It is designed to promote and develop public transportation in the State of Indiana. The funds are allocated to public transit systems on a performance based formula. The PMTF may be used for capital or operating projects.
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ)
The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant may be used for public transportation in a non-attainment or maintenance area. The program is designed to reduce congestion and emissions. Evansville but not Henderson is a non-attainment area. HART is not eligible for this grant. CMAQ funds may be used for operating and capital assistance. A transit agency must complete a project proposal and submit it to the EMPO. The EMPO then checks for eligibility, scores and prioritizes the projects for funding. Funds are transferred from FHWA to FTA.
Effective transportation planning requires an organization with a regional focus and the ability to operate independent of city, county or state lines.