The Federal Transit Administration provides ADOT formula FTA and Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds for small urban and rural areas annually through the capital assistance program. For FY 2012, the matching ratio is 80 percent federal funds with a 20 percent local match. Program funds are used for capital assistance, the purchase of vehicles, related equipment and operating funds statewide. In addition, mobility management awards are available to assist agencies and communities with their coordination efforts. Eligible recipients include private nonprofit and public agencies that provide transportation to the elderly and disabled. Examples include senior centers and programs for the physically, mentally (including seriously mental ill or SMI) and developmentally disabled (DD) populations. The utilization of special transportation includes
- medical appointments.
- nutrition appointments.
- adult day care facilities.
- education and training.
- service appointments, such as banking, social services, etc.
- shopping trips.
The 5310 Program has private nonprofit (PNP) agencies or groups. Public agencies may function as grant recipients where no PNPs exist to provide the service, or the state determines such funding is in the best interest of coordination in the region. Moreover, American Indian communities have been very active in the program.
Successful applications are initially adjudicated through a regional application evaluation and screening process, which includes ADOT and non-ADOT transportation and human service professionals. The 5310 Program utilizes the assistance of Council of Government (COG) and Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) planning offices to screen applicants within the state's nine planning regions. ADOT then makes the final decision regarding awards based on this input and available budget. Reviewers look at the proposals from the perspective of a number of evaluation factors, including expressed need for service and/or equipment, population served, financial capability to support funding, existing fleet inventories, coordination efforts and previous performance.
All projects funded under this program must be included in a locally developed, coordinated public transit-human services transportation planning process. Coordination is a key element that is now required for all FTA programs. To be awarded grant assistance, successful applicants must be included in the Regional Coordination Plan for their area and have participated in related coordination activities, such as coordination meetings.