The following list of federal and non-federal grant programs acts as a guide for communities looking for funding sources for rail station development.  If you know of another useful program to add to this growing list, please contact us.

The grant program information comes from federal government agency websites, the federal government’s web-based grants clearinghouse (www.grants.gov) and other sources, such as state program websites. We arranged the information in a simple and consistent layout. All grant opportunities are grouped by federal agency/organization. The sample ordering below starts with the first line of a typical entry and ends with the last line:

  • Federal agency/organization name
  • Name of department within the agency (if multiple grant programs exist under a department, the department name is stated once, at the top of the listing)
  • Name of the program with relevant web link
  • Filing date
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Description of the program
  • Actual example of how funds were used (we tried to always use real examples, but where none were found we have suggested a manner in which the funds might be utilized)
  • Financing for the program
  • Funding for the listed fiscal year

This package is a distillation of the numerous, often lengthy documents issued by each agency. If a program seems appropriate for your needs, visit the agency website and read the official, detailed grant listing posted. Most of the necessary forms for each program can be found at www.grants.gov or by following the web link for each listing.

Note that grant opportunities might be pursued alone; in unison with neighboring communities within the state or region; or with a state department of transportation as part of a larger investment in passenger rail. Although numerous options are listed, many communities have found success with certain programs such as the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Alternatives grants and the Federal Transit Administration’s Bus and Bus Facilities grants.

It is always wise to consult your local federal agency representative and/or your state department of transportation before undertaking any project. Staff can review a proposal with a critical eye to how it may fit into funding programs and metropolitan, regional and state transportation plans. To receive federal funds, project proposals must be approved by state officials and placed on a State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) or a Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP).

Under each program listing, there is an example of how funds were used for a specific project. The cited examples include station improvement projects funded under various federal transportation bills:

  • Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), FY 1992-1997
  • Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), FY 1998-2004
  • Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act:  A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), FY 2005-2009
  • Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), FY 2013-2014
  • Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, FY 2016-2020

 

Federal Grant Programs

  1. Fixed Guideway Capital Investment Grants (“New Starts”) (Sec. 5309) – Federal Transit Administration
  2. Bus and Bus Facilities Grants (Sec. 5339) – Federal Transit Administration
  3. Urbanized Area Formula Grants (Sec. 5307 and 5340) – Federal Transit Administration
  4. Formula Grants for Rural Areas (Sec. 5311) – Federal Transit Administration
  5. Metropolitan and Statewide and Non-Metropolitan Transportation Planning Grants (Sec. 5303, 5304, 5305) – Federal Transit Administration
  6. Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program (Sec. 5324) – Federal Transit Administration
  7. State of Good Repair Grants (Sec. 5337) – Federal Transit Administration
  8. Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program – Federal Highway Administration
  9. Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program: Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set-Aside – Federal Highway Administration
  10. Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) – U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary
  11. Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) – Environmental Protection Agency
  12. Community Development Block Grants – Department of Housing and Urban Development
  13. Economic Adjustment Assistance Program – U.S. Economic Development Administration

Federal Loan Programs

  1. Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) – U.S. Department of Transportation

Federal Tax Credit  Programs

  1. Historic Preservation Tax Credits – National Park Service

Non-Federal Grants for Rail Station Development

  1. National Trust Preservation Funds
  2. The Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation
  3. The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors

Resources for Transit-Oriented Development

The Federal Transit Administration has launched an online hub for information and ideas to help users shape transit-oriented development (TOD) projects. The website includes a database of TOD research, information about funding and financing options for TOD projects, and opportunities for TOD professionals to connect with one another.

  1. National Resources & Technical Assistance For Transit-Oriented Development