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Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program (Tribal Transit Program)


Additional Links

Notice of Funding Opportunity (


Application Deadline: Aug 24, 2020

Sponsoring Organization

Federal Transit Administration (FTA)


Awards grant funding to Native American tribes to support rural public transit services in tribal areas. Eligible projects include:

  • Planning projects
  • Capital projects for start-up, replacement, or expansion needs
  • Operating projects, available in limited cases, for start-up costs related to operating a new transportation service

Funds may be used for any purpose eligible under the FTA Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program, including the cost of:

  • Buses
  • Communications equipment
  • Construction or rehabilitation of transportation facilities
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Transit facilities
  • Development plans for transportation projects
  • Job access and reverse commute projects

The Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program (Tribal Transit Program) consists of both a discretionary and a formula grant program. For information on the formula grant program, see the Formula Grants for Rural Areas opportunity.

Amount of Funding

Award ceiling: $25,000 per year for planning projects
Estimated number of awards: 30
Estimated total program funding: $5,000,000

There is no award ceiling for capital and operating projects. However, FTA has the discretion to cap the amount for these awards.

Applicants must provide matching funds for a portion of the project. Generally, awards for operating and capital projects may not exceed 90% of the total project costs unless a tribe can demonstrate a financial hardship in its application. Matching funds must be from local, non-federal sources.

Competitive grants awarded through this program do not replace or reduce state funds that Indian tribes receive through the FTA Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program.

Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants include federally recognized Indian tribes or Alaska Native villages, groups, or communities as identified by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), U.S. Department of the Interior.

Applicants must be located and provide service in a rural area with a population of 50,000 or less. A service area may include portions of urban areas; however, the tribal transit service must begin in and serve rural areas.

Grants for operating projects are only available in limited circumstances to applicants who meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Tribes without existing transit services
  • Tribes who received a Tribal Transit Program formula allocation of less than $20,000 in fiscal year (FY) 2019

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

Buildings and Facilities • Capacity Building • Equipment • New Program • Operating Costs and Staffing

Application Process

Application instructions and other information about the online application process can be found in the funding announcement.

Applicant webinar recording
Tribal Transit Program supplemental form


For programmatic or technical questions:
Amy Fong

Rural Awards

Examples of past awards rural communities received in FY 2020 are described on the program website.

Topics This Program Addresses

American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians • Infrastructure • Transportation