All applicants are encouraged to work with other interested parties that may use or be affected by proposed projects. Projects are evaluated, in part, on an applicant's demonstrated efforts to coordinate with other parties such as government agencies, transportation providers, and social service groups. Any coordination aspects of the project should be noted in the project description and evidenced through other appropriate documentation, such as partnership agreements and cooperative operational arrangements. Projects that do not demonstrate coordination will generally not be awarded, unless specific circumstances that prevent coordination (such as the need to transport agency clients with specific mobility assistance needs) are clearly outlined in the proposal.
Eligible subrecipients for Traditional Section 5310 Projects include:
- Private nonprofit organization; or
- State or local governmental authority that:
- is approved by a state to coordinate services for seniors and individuals with disabilities; or
- certifies that there are no nonprofit organizations readily available in the area to provide the service.
Eligible subrecipients for other eligible Section 5310 activities include:
- a state or local governmental authority
- a private nonprofit organization
- an operator of public transportation that receives a Section 5310 grant indirectly through a recipient
In Northeastern Illinois, the RTA Service Boards (CTA, Metra, and Pace), as FTA Direct Recipients, are allowed to apply for and receive grants directly from the FTA. Once the RTA awards a Section 5310 grant to a Service Board, they can then apply directly to the FTA for those funds. All other applicants receiving an award through the RTA-administered program becomes a grant subrecipient of the RTA. Subrecipients must be able to certify and demonstrate the ability to meet federal requirements regarding these programs during the application process.
Note: Rolling stock is not considered eligible for consideration under RTA calls for projects. IDOT is responsible for project selection and the award of Section 5310 funded paratransit vehicles in Northeastern Illinois and the RTA is responsible for all other Section 5310 projects. IDOT, through its Consolidated Vehicle Program (CVP), selects and awards paratransit vehicles to eligible applicants. For information regarding CVP, please contact Zoe.Keller@illinois.gov.
Eligible projects include those that are planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities when public transportation is insufficient, inappropriate, or unavailable. It may also be used for public transportation projects that exceed the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended (ADA) that improve access to fixed‐route service and decrease reliance by individuals with disabilities on complementary paratransit, and for alternatives to public transportation that assist seniors and individuals with disabilities.
No less than 55 percent of funds awarded for Northeastern Illinois by fiscal year must be obligated to “traditional” Section 5310 projects. Traditional projects are those public transportation projects planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities when public transportation is insufficient, unavailable, or inappropriate.
In order for a project to receive funding from the traditional category of funds, it must be a capital project related to 5310-funded vehicles and the sub-recipient must either be a non-profit agency or a local unit of government that certifies no non-profit organizations are readily available in the area to provide services. An operating project may also be funded from the traditional category of funds, provided the service is implemented by a non-profit agency, which contracts out services to a third party.
Previously RTA funded projects include coordinated paratransit services, volunteer driver program, expansion of an existing service, and general public demand responsive paratransit service. A complete list of previously funded Section 5310 subrecipients and project descriptions are available on RTAMS.
Detailed guidance regarding eligible projects from FTA on the Section 5310 Program can be found in the most recent Section 5310 Program Circular 9070.1G.
Project Management and Reporting Requirements
The RTA, as the designated recipient of Section 5310 funding, is responsible for overseeing and administering the Section 5310 Program in Northeastern Illinois. Section 5310 subrecipients must have the staffing capability to manage the project and comply with reporting requirements for the Section 5310 Program. Reporting shall be required throughout the duration of the active project. Subrecipients are responsible for submitting quarterly reports to the RTA, in addition to any other reports as may be required. RTA will provide the reporting forms to the Section 5310 subrecipients. Reports submitted must be accurate, complete, and timely. Subrecipients will also be required to submit monthly invoices for reimbursement in a timely manner. RTA staff will also conduct on-site compliance reviews at the beginning of the project and every three years thereafter.
The RTA encourages applicants to apply for mobility management funding to staff a Mobility Manager position to lead administration of individual projects. This funding can be used to fund a staff position that is responsible for administering the program (partner coordination, invoice preparation and submittal, reporting preparation and submittal) and can be the main point of contact for RTA staff. Mobility management is funded at 80 /20 (80% federal, 20% local).
Failure to comply with federal requirements may affect future funding and result in the loss of approved funding.