You are here

Urbanized Area Formula Grants - 5307

Entrance to MBTA subway station

Program Overview

The Urbanized Area Formula Funding program (49 U.S.C. 5307) makes federal resources available to urbanized areas and to governors for transit capital and operating assistance in urbanized areas and for transportation-related planning. An urbanized area is an incorporated area with a population of 50,000 or more that is designated as such by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.

Eligible Recipients

Funding is made available to designated recipients that are public bodies with the legal authority to receive and dispense federal funds. Governors, responsible local officials and publicly owned operators of transit services shall designate a recipient to apply for, receive, and dispense funds for urbanized areas pursuant to 49USCA5307(a)(2). The governor or governor's designee acts as the designated recipient for urbanized areas between 50,000 and 200,000.

For urbanized areas with 200,000 in population and over, funds are apportioned and flow directly to a designated recipient selected locally to apply for and receive Federal funds. For urbanized areas under 200,000 in population, the funds are apportioned to the governor of each state for distribution. 

Eligible Activities

Eligible activities include: planning, engineering, design and evaluation of transit projects and other technical transportation-related studies; capital investments in bus and bus-related activities such as replacement, overhaul and rebuilding of buses, crime prevention and security equipment and construction of maintenance and passenger facilities; and capital investments in new and existing fixed guideway systems including rolling stock, overhaul and rebuilding of vehicles, track, signals, communications, and computer hardware and software. In addition, associated transit improvements and certain expenses associated with mobility management programs are eligible under the program. All preventive maintenance and some Americans with Disabilities Act complementary paratransit service costs are considered capital costs.

For urbanized areas with populations less than 200,000, operating assistance is an eligible expense. Urbanized areas of 200,000 or more may not use funds for operating assistance unless identified by FTA as eligible under the Special Rule.

Statutory Reference

49 U.S.C. 5307

Funding Availability

Funds are available the year appropriated plus five years. 

Allocation of Funding

Funding is apportioned on the basis of legislative formulas. For areas of 50,000 to 199,999 in population, the formula is based on population and population density. For areas with populations of 200,000 and more, the formula is based on a combination of bus revenue vehicle miles, bus passenger miles, fixed guideway revenue vehicle miles, and fixed guideway route miles as well as population and population density.


The federal share is not to exceed 80 percent of the net project cost for capital expenditures. The federal share may be 90 percent for the cost of vehicle-related equipment attributable to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Clean Air Act. The federal share may not exceed 50 percent of the net project cost of operating assistance.


Grant Type: 
Submit Feedback >