NCHRP 20-65/Task 58 [Completed]
Documentation of FTA Section 5310 Recipients and Projects Before the Enactment of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)
[ NCHRP 20-65 (Research for the AASHTO Standing Committee on Public Transportation) ]
| Project Data
||Mr. Sean G. Libberton|
The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) significantly impacted the use of federal funding for transit services in rural areas that serve seniors and disabled passengers. Although MAP-21 increased funding available under a broadened Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities program, this expansion largely reflected its absorption of the Section 5317 New Freedom program, which was established under the preceding authorization, Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). More significantly, MAP-21 changed the way Section 5310 funds were distributed to areas within each state. Under SAFETEA-LU, the Section 5310 program was allocated by formula directly to state departments of transportation (DOT) or other designated state agencies based upon the number of elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities within each state. These funds could be used anywhere in the state, at the discretion of the recipient agency. MAP-21, on the other hand, directs that 60 percent of program funding be used in urbanized areas with a population over 200,000; 20 percent in urbanized areas of between 50,000 and 200,000 population; and 20 percent in rural areas.
The purpose of the research supporting this report is to gain a better understanding of the extent to which the distribution of Section 5310 funds authorized under SAFETEA-LU corresponds to MAP-21’s Section 5310 formula. The report documents and presents the results of an analysis on the immediate impacts of MAP-21’s new funding formula for the Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities program. MAP-21 directs that 60 percent of program funding be used in urbanized areas with a population over 200,000; 20 percent in urbanized areas of between 50,000 and 200,000 in population; and 20 percent in rural areas. Previously, under SAFETEA-LU, Section 5310 funds were distributed to a single designated recipient in each state (typically the state DOT) that had discretion to award funds anywhere in the state where transportation needs were deemed to be the greatest. This analysis reviews 5310 funding allocations by state from FY 2009 through FY 2013 and compares distribution percentages to large urban, small urban, and rural areas under SAFETEA-LU and MAP-21. A survey of state DOTs was also undertaken to collect historical data and was supplemented by interviews with officials from a broad subset of states. The data collected to support this research revealed the MAP-21 formula to be inconsistent with how states allocated Section 5310 funding under SAFETEA-LU. Specifically, every state that participated in this research directed more than 20 percent of their annual Section 5310 funding to rural areas in the final three years of SAFETEA-LU and, collectively, allocated almost 50 percent of Section 5310 resources to rural areas. The study concludes that under the MAP-21 formula for Section 5310, rural and small urban areas have lost the greatest amount of funding despite continuing to display the greatest need.