Section 5310 – Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program

Federal Transit Grant 5310 is a federal funding program administered by the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) that supports the transportation needs of individuals with disabilities and older adults. The program is designed to enhance mobility options and improve transportation services for these populations, helping them maintain their independence and participate fully in their communities. 

Eligible applicants include public transportation providers, government entities, and non-profit organizations. Eligible projects include purchasing accessible vehicles, providing mobility management services, and improving infrastructure such as sidewalks and bus stops. The funding for this program is provided by the federal government and distributed through a competitive grant process.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Funding Opportunities

The 2023 5310 Call for Projects is closed. 

There was $13.2 million available for this call for projects, covering funding from Fiscal Year 2022, and funding for Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024. Notice of awards can be found here.

The RTA will not issue another call for projects until February 2025. The Call for Projects process is outlined here.

Contact information for program: [email protected]

5310 Call for Projects Webinar Presentation 

The 5310 program provides funding for a variety of transportation-related projects, including the purchase of accessible vehicles, provision of mobility management services, and improvement of infrastructure such as sidewalks, curb cuts, and bus stops. Eligible applicants include public transportation providers, government entities, and non-profit organizations.

The program is funded by the federal government, and funding is distributed through a competitive grant process. The FTA awards grants to eligible applicants based on a number of factors, including the applicant’s proposed project and its alignment with the program’s goals and priorities.

In addition to improving mobility options for seniors and individuals with disabilities, the 5310 program also aims to support local communities in meeting the transportation needs of their residents. By investing in transportation infrastructure and services, the program helps create more accessible, sustainable, and livable communities.

Overall, the 5310 program plays a critical role in promoting accessible transportation and supporting the mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Through this program, communities can work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable transportation system, where all individuals have access to the transportation options they need to live their lives to the fullest.    

Key Information

Eligible Applicants

Organizations that are eligible to apply for Section 5310 funding:

  •  State or local governmental authorities
  •  Non-profit organizations
  • Operators of public transportation

Applicants that operate eligible projects to serve communities or parts of communities in the Detroit or Ann Arbor urbanized areas are eligible to apply for Section 5310 funding through this regional call for projects. Applicants that currently receive Section 5310 funding through the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for services provided outside of those two urbanized areas will continue to apply by responding to project solicitations issued by MDOT.

RTA will be limiting applications to one per agency and project type. For example, one agency can apply for both vehicle replacement and operations, but not for that and other new services.

Eligible Projects Services and programs that utilize Section 5310 funding must be designed to meet the specific needs of older adults and people with disabilities, including:
  • Public transportation projects planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities when public transportation is insufficient, inappropriate, or unavailable
  • Public transportation projects that exceed the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.);
  • Public transportation projects that improve access to fixed-route service and decrease reliance on complementary paratransit; and
  • Alternatives to public transportation projects that assist seniors and individuals with disabilities with transportation.
  • Other types of individuals may use Section 5310 services, but those services must be designed, planned, and implemented to address the specific needs of older adults and people with disabilities, not merely to serve those rider groups along with others.
Projects should fall within the following categories:
  • Vehicles
  •  Mobility Management
  • Other Capital (Software/Hardware/Facilities/Shop Equipment/Pedestrian Improvements)
  • Operating
Local Funding Requirements
FTA requires a state/local match to access federal funds. Capital projects are funded at an 80 percent federal share with a 20 percent state or local match. and is matched with at least a 50 percent state or local share. MDOT typically provides the match required to access federal capital funds; this is subject to change at any time by MDOT, in which case the subrecipient would be responsible for providing the local match (or would forfeit its awarded funds). The match required to access operating funds is provided by a local share. Subrecipients are responsible for providing a 50 percent non-federal share of operating assistance projects. Project Selection Criteria The project selection committee will evaluate applications from potential sub-recipients using the following criteria and scoring system:
Need and Benefits (maximum 45 points)
  • Consistency with and support for needs, strategies, and solutions identified in the regional Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan (CHSTP)
  • Extent to which the project eliminates transportation barriers or improves mobility for older adults and people with disabilities
  • Extent to which the project provides additional benefits or addresses the needs of target groups
  • Vehicle useful life exceeded in miles and years (current thresholds will be provided)
  • Vehicle useful life greatly exceeds the threshold (current thresholds will be provided)
  • Amount of unspent 5310 funds greater than two years old
  • Utilization of existing 5310 services (ridership, vehicle miles, or hours)
Coordination and Partnerships (maximum 20 points)
  • Extent to which the project utilizes or coordinates with existing public transportation providers or non-profit organizations, or other partner agencies
  • Extent to which the applicant’s current vehicles or services are used to provide coordinated services and/or shared with another agency’s clients
  •  Extent to which the project contributes to the development of coordinated transportation services in the region
  • Extent of local support (for example, the role of local organizations in the proposed project, letters of support, results of public outreach, overmatch of local share)
Project Readiness (maximum 35 points) For sub-recipients: A letter of commitment from a direct recipient that states that they will act as a pass-thru for federal funds. Direct recipients are AAATA, DDOT, DTC, RTA, and SMART.
  • Reasonableness and completeness of the applicant’s financial plan
  • Project sustainability beyond the grant period
  •  Reasonableness and completeness of the project implementation plan and schedule
  • Experience the applicant has that demonstrates ability to execute the type of transportation project listed in the application
  • Demonstration of the applicant’s technical capacity
  • Number of years the agency has provided transportation services
  • Number of projects the agency has carried out that are similar to the project listed
Highly Competitive Projects (maximum 10 extra points)
  •  Joint application submitted by more than one sub-recipient
  •  Vehicle sharing between organizations
  • Purchase of service from an existing sub-recipient
  • New or innovative program or service applications addresses multiple needs, strategies, or solutions identified in the regional CHSTP

Resources and Tools

Various resources and tools are available to help applicants prepare for funding. Here are a few examples:
  • FTA Website: The FTA website provides a wealth of information on the 5310 program, including program guidelines, application deadlines, and eligibility criteria. It also includes resources on the grant application process.
  • Technical Assistance: The RTA will provide technical assistance to applicants who are seeking funding through the 5310 program. Technical assistance may include support from RTA staff or access to resources such as webinars.
  • National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC): The NADTC provides technical assistance, training, and resources to support transportation services for seniors and individuals with disabilities. The center offers a variety of resources on topics such as mobility management, accessible transportation, and partnership development.
  • National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM): The NCMM provides technical assistance and resources to support the development and implementation of mobility management programs. These programs aim to improve access to transportation for all individuals, including seniors and individuals with disabilities.
By leveraging these resources and tools, applicants can better understand the 5310 program requirements and develop strong grant proposals that effectively address the mobility needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities.
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