49 U.S.C. § 5311 - Formula grants for rural areas

Cite as:49 U.S.C. § 5311
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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(a) DEFINITIONS.-As used in this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) RECIPIENT.-The term "recipient" means a State or Indian tribe that receives a Federal transit program grant directly from the Government.

(2) SUBRECIPIENT.-The term "subrecipient" means a State or local governmental authority, a nonprofit organization, or an operator of public transportation or intercity bus service that receives Federal transit program grant funds indirectly through a recipient.

(b) GENERAL AUTHORITY.-

(1) GRANTS AUTHORIZED.-Except as provided by paragraph (2), the Secretary may award grants under this section to recipients located in rural areas for-

(A) planning, provided that a grant under this section for planning activities shall be in addition to funding awarded to a State under section 5305 for planning activities that are directed specifically at the needs of rural areas in the State;

(B) public transportation capital projects;

(C) operating costs of equipment and facilities for use in public transportation;

(D) job access and reverse commute projects; and

(E) the acquisition of public transportation services, including service agreements with private providers of public transportation service.

(2) STATE PROGRAM.-

(A) IN GENERAL.-A project eligible for a grant under this section shall be included in a State program for public transportation service projects, including agreements with private providers of public transportation service.

(B) SUBMISSION TO SECRETARY.-Each State shall submit to the Secretary annually the program described in subparagraph (A).

(C) APPROVAL.-The Secretary may not approve the program unless the Secretary determines that-

(i) the program provides a fair distribution of amounts in the State, including Indian reservations; and

(ii) the program provides the maximum feasible coordination of public transportation service assisted under this section with transportation service assisted by other Federal sources.

(3) RURAL TRANSPORTATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.-

(A) IN GENERAL.-The Secretary shall carry out a rural transportation assistance program in rural areas.

(B) GRANTS AND CONTRACTS.-In carrying out this paragraph, the Secretary may use not more than 2 percent of the amount made available under section 5338(a)(2)(F) to make grants and contracts for transportation research, technical assistance, training, and related support services in rural areas.

(C) PROJECTS OF A NATIONAL SCOPE.-Not more than 15 percent of the amounts available under subparagraph (B) may be used by the Secretary to carry out competitively selected projects of a national scope, with the remaining balance provided to the States.

(4) DATA COLLECTION.-Each recipient under this section shall submit an annual report to the Secretary containing information on capital investment, operations, and service provided with funds received under this section, including-

(A) total annual revenue;

(B) sources of revenue;

(C) total annual operating costs;

(D) total annual capital costs;

(E) fleet size and type, and related facilities;

(F) vehicle revenue miles; and

(G) ridership.

(c) APPORTIONMENTS.-

(1) PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS.-Of the amounts made available or appropriated for each fiscal year pursuant to section 5338(a)(2)(F) to carry out this paragraph, the following amounts shall be apportioned each fiscal year for grants to Indian tribes for any purpose eligible under this section, under such terms and conditions as may be established by the Secretary:

(A) $5,000,000 for each fiscal year shall be distributed on a competitive basis by the Secretary.

(B) $30,000,000 for each fiscal year shall be apportioned as formula grants, as provided in subsection (j).

(2) APPALACHIAN DEVELOPMENT PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.-

(A) DEFINITIONS.-In this paragraph-

(i) the term "Appalachian region" has the same meaning as in section 14102 of title 40; and

(ii) the term "eligible recipient" means a State that participates in a program established under subtitle IV of title 40.

(B) IN GENERAL.-The Secretary shall carry out a public transportation assistance program in the Appalachian region.

(C) APPORTIONMENT.-Of amounts made available or appropriated for each fiscal year under section 5338(a)(2)(F) to carry out this paragraph, the Secretary shall apportion funds to eligible recipients for any purpose eligible under this section, based on the guidelines established under section 9.5(b) of the Appalachian Regional Commission Code.

(D) SPECIAL RULE.-An eligible recipient may use amounts that cannot be used for operating expenses under this paragraph for a highway project if-

(i) that use is approved, in writing, by the eligible recipient after appropriate notice and an opportunity for comment and appeal are provided to affected public transportation providers; and

(ii) the eligible recipient, in approving the use of amounts under this subparagraph, determines that the local transit needs are being addressed.

(3) REMAINING AMOUNTS.-

(A) IN GENERAL.-The amounts made available or appropriated for each fiscal year pursuant to section 5338(a)(2)(F) that are not apportioned under paragraph (1) or (2) shall be apportioned in accordance with this paragraph.

(B) APPORTIONMENT BASED ON LAND AREA AND POPULATION IN NONURBANIZED AREAS.-

(i) IN GENERAL.-83.15 percent of the amount described in subparagraph (A) shall be apportioned to the States in accordance with this subparagraph.

(ii) LAND AREA.-

(I) IN GENERAL.-Subject to subclause (II), each State shall receive an amount that is equal to 20 percent of the amount apportioned under clause (i), multiplied by the ratio of the land area in rural areas in that State and divided by the land area in all rural areas in the United States, as shown by the most recent decennial census of population.

(II) MAXIMUM APPORTIONMENT.-No State shall receive more than 5 percent of the amount apportioned under subclause (I).

(iii) POPULATION.-Each State shall receive an amount equal to 80 percent of the amount apportioned under clause (i), multiplied by the ratio of the population of rural areas in that State and divided by the population of all rural areas in the United States, as shown by the most recent decennial census of population.

(C) APPORTIONMENT BASED ON LAND AREA, VEHICLE REVENUE MILES, AND LOW-INCOME INDIVIDUALS IN NONURBANIZED AREAS.-

(i) IN GENERAL.-16.85 percent of the amount described in subparagraph (A) shall be apportioned to the States in accordance with this subparagraph.

(ii) LAND AREA.-Subject to clause (v), each State shall receive an amount that is equal to 29.68 percent of the amount apportioned under clause (i), multiplied by the ratio of the land area in rural areas in that State and divided by the land area in all rural areas in the United States, as shown by the most recent decennial census of population.

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