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Federal Transit Administration

1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590


Deputy Administrator(vacancy)
Executive DirectorMatthew J. Welbes

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), formerly the Urban Mass Transportation Administration, was established as an operating administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation by section 1 of Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1968 (5 U.S.C. app. 1), effective July 1, 1968. The FTA helps America's communities by developing improved public transportation and providing financial assistance to State and local governments to finance public transportation systems and carry out national transit goals and policy.


Alternatives Analysis

The Alternatives Analysis program provides grants to help identify public transportation needs and the costs and benefits of various transportation strategies for a defined travel corridor. The results of these studies may be the selection of a locally preferred transportation alternative, which is the first step for developing viable projects for possible future funding under the New Starts and Small Starts program.

Capital Investment

The Capital Investment program helps finance the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, and improvement of facilities and equipment for public transportation service in urban areas. The Capital Investment program makes available three types of funds: fixed guideway modernization funds for rolling stock renewal, safety-related improvements, and signal and power modernization; new and small starts funds for construction of new fixed guideway systems or extensions to existing fixed guideway systems or corridor based rapid bus systems; and bus and bus facilities funds for the acquisition of buses and rolling stock, ancillary equipment, and the construction of bus facilities.

Clean Fuels Grants

The Clean Fuels Grants program helps nonattainment and maintenance areas achieve or maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and carbon monoxide, and it supports emerging clean fuel and advanced propulsion technologies for transit buses and markets for those technologies. The program funds purchasing or leasing clean fuel buses, including buses that employ a lightweight composite primary structure and vans for use in revenue service; constructing or leasing clean fuel bus facilities, including electrical recharging facilities and related equipment; and projects involving clean fuel, biodiesel, hybrid electric, or zero emissions technology buses.

Elderly Persons and Persons With Disabilities

The Transportation for Elderly Persons and Persons With Disabilities program provides financial assistance to private nonprofit agencies for the transportation needs of elderly persons and persons with disabilities in places where public services are unavailable, insufficient, or inappropriate; to public bodies approved by the State to coordinate services for elderly persons or persons with disabilities; and to public bodies that certify to the Governor that no nonprofit corporation or association is readily available in an area to provide the service. Funds are allocated by formula to the States. Local organizations apply for funding through a designated State agency.

Job Access and Reverse Commuting

The Job Access and Reverse Commute program addresses the transportation challenges faced by welfare recipients and low-income persons seeking or maintaining employment. The program provides capital and planning and operating expenses for projects that transport low income individuals to and from jobs and employment-related activities and for projects that support reverse commuting. Many new entry level jobs are located in suburban areas: Low-income individuals have difficulty accessing these jobs from their inner city, urban, or rural neighborhoods. Many entry level-jobs also require working late or on weekends when conventional transit services are either reduced or nonexistent. Many employment related-trips also are complex, involving multiple destinations.

New Freedom

The New Freedom formula grants program supports new public transportation services that surpass the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The program makes capital and operating funding available to private nonprofit organizations, State and local governmental authorities, and operators of public transportation services, including private operators of public transportation services. Eligible projects must benefit individuals with disabilities: Projects must assist them with transportation—including transportation to and from jobs and employment services—and remove barriers to transportation.

Nonurban Area Assistance

The Other Than Urbanized Areas formula grants program provides funding to States to support public transportation in rural areas—with populations under 50,000. The program enhances people's access in nonurbanized areas to health care, shopping, education, employment, public services, and recreation; assists in the maintenance, development, improvement, and use of public transportation systems in nonurbanized areas; encourages and facilitates the most efficient use of all transportation funds used to provide passenger transportation in nonurbanized areas through the coordination of programs and services; helps develop and support intercity bus transportation; and promotes the participation of private transportation providers in nonurbanized transportation.


The Office of Planning and Environment supports the development of information that Federal, State, and local officials use to make transportation investment decisions. With FHWA partners, the Office co-administers a national planning program that provides funding, guidance, oversight, and technical support to State and local transportation agencies. The FTA's 10 region offices and FHWA's 52 division offices work to convey the program to State and local governments and other transportation agencies.

Research and Technology

The FTA conducts research, development, demonstration, deployment, and evaluation projects to improve public transportation services. The FTA administers the Bus Testing, International Public Transportation, National Research and Technology, and Transit Cooperative Research Programs. Through the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program, the Administration works with public transportation agencies to implement new strategies for lowering greenhouse gas emissions and to reduce energy use within transit operations. The FTA has five priority research areas: bicycles and transit, bus rapid transit, environmental sustainability, livable and sustainable communities, and state of good repair.

Rural Transit Assistance

The Rural Transit Assistance Program provides a funding source to help design and implement training and technical assistance projects and other support services tailored to meet the needs of transit operators in nonurbanized areas. States, local governments, and providers of rural transit services can receive program funds. States may use the funds to support nonurbanized transit activities in four areas: training, technical assistance, research, and related support services.


The Office of Transit Safety and Oversight administers a national safety program and oversees compliance with it. Based on FTA legislative, policy, and regulatory requirements, the program helps further the nationwide provision of transit service that is equitable, reliable, and safe.

Training and Technical Assistance

The Administration funds the National Transit Institute at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Working with the Institute, the FTA develops and offers training courses on transit operations, planning, workforce performance, and productivity. Institute courses are offered at locations nationwide on a variety of subjects. Current course offerings are posted online.

Transit in Parks

The Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program provides funding for alternative transportation projects in and around National Parks and other Federal recreation areas. Alternative transportation includes bicycle, ferry, pedestrian trail, shuttle bus, and other forms of public or nonmotorized transportation. These projects reduce congestion, protect sensitive natural and cultural treasures, and enhance visitor experience. Funding is awarded through a competitive process to units of Federal land management agencies and to State, local and tribal government agencies.

Sources of Information

Business Opportunities

Procurement-related information and resources are available on the FTA Web site.

Career Opportunities

FTA fills vacancies in its Washington, DC, headquarters and regional offices. The FTA relies on attorneys, congressional relations specialists, engineers, environmental specialists, planners, program management specialists, research program specialists, and other professionals to carry out its mission.

In 2016, the FTA ranked 228th among 305 agency subcomponents in the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places To Work Agency Rankings.

Environmental Justice

The FTA posts answers to questions related to environmental justice on its Web site.


The FTA has a calendar of events on its Web site.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The FOIA grants public access to the content of certain records that are held by the offices, agencies, corporations, administrations, commissions, boards, and services of the Federal Government's executive branch. Some records that contain sensitive commercial, governmental, and personal information are protected from disclosure. | Email:

The FTA maintains an electronic reading room. Before submitting a FOIA request, information seekers should search for the desired document or record in the reading room to determine whether it is accessible immediately, without charge.


The FTA maintains a National Transit Database glossary on its Web site.


The FTA provides grants to local public transit systems. It invests billions of dollars each year to support and to expand public transit services. It provides annual formula grants to transit agencies nationwide, as well as discretionary funding in competitive processes.


A brief history of mass transit is available on the FTA Web site.

National Transit Database

U.S. transit ridership has grown by more than 20 percent in the last decade. To keep track of the industry and provide public information and statistics as growth continues, the National Transit Database records the asset, financial, and operating conditions of transit systems. Phone, 888-252-0936. | Email:


The FTA posts news releases on its Web site.

Regional Offices

Contact information for the 10 regional offices is available on the FTA's Web site.

Research / Innovation

Research projects assess new operational processes, expand public-private partnerships, fund demonstration grants for low or no emissions buses, improve traveler experiences, and test systems that monitor safety. Research and innovation reports and publications are available on the FTA Web site.

Social Media

The FTA maintains a channel on YouTube, as well as accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


A subscription form is available on the FTA Web site to sign up for email updates.

For further information, contact the Federal Transit Administration, Office of Communications and Congressional Affairs, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Phone, 202-366-4043.