The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) administers a wide array of programs, including those pertaining to buses and vanpools. A complete list of the major FTA assistance programs is available on the main FTA website. Technical assistance and project-specific questions may be directed to the Federal Transit Administration's field offices.

Rural Transit Assistance Program

Eligible projects include activities that support rural transit providers with training and technical assistance, research, and related support services. Each state gets an annual allocation of funds for RTAP that can be used for projects such as newsletters, training courses, scholarships for training, and circuit riders. In addition, RTAP funds are used for a national project that supports the state RTAP managers, maintains a rural transit database, produces training modules, and provides a rural transit resource center. There is no local share requirement.

Financial Assistance for Other than Urbanized Areas

Eligible projects include transit capital, operating, and project administration expenses and state administration, for rural transit. Service must be available to the general public. Intercity bus service in rural areas also is eligible. Coordination with human service transportation is encouraged. The Federal share generally is 80 percent for capital and 50 percent for operating assistance. Contract revenue from human service agencies may be used for the local match.

Grants and Loans for Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and those with Disabilities

The purpose of this program is to help provide transit capital assistance, through states, to organizations that provide specialized transportation service for elderly individuals and those with disabilities.

Rural Transportation Accessibility Incentive Program

The purpose is to help over-the-road bus operators finance the incremental capital and training costs of complying with the Department's final rule on accessibility of over-the-road buses.

Transit Capital Investment Grants and Loans Program (Bus and Bus Related)

The purpose is to provide capital support for transit infrastructure.

Transit Benefits

The Internal Revenue Code is modified to make transit and vanpool benefits more comparable with employee parking benefits by increasing the limit on non-taxable transit and vanpool benefits from $65 to $100 per month beginning after December 31, 2001. In addition, transit and vanpool benefits may be offered in lieu of compensation payable to an employee beginning in 1998.

Job Access and Reverse Commute Grants

The purpose is to:

(1) develop transportation services designed to transport welfare recipients and low-income individuals to and from jobs, and;

(2) to develop transportation services for residents of urban centers and rural and suburban areas to suburban employment opportunities.