49 USC 5301: Policies and purposes
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49 USC 5301: Policies and purposes Text contains those laws in effect on June 23, 2024
From Title 49-TRANSPORTATIONSUBTITLE III-GENERAL AND INTERMODAL PROGRAMSCHAPTER 53-PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

§5301. Policies and purposes

(a) Declaration of Policy.-It is in the interest of the United States, including the economic interest of the United States, to foster the development and revitalization of public transportation systems with the cooperation of both public transportation companies and private companies engaged in public transportation.

(b) General Purposes.-The purposes of this chapter are to-

(1) provide funding to support public transportation;

(2) improve the development and delivery of capital projects;

(3) establish standards for the state of good repair of public transportation infrastructure and vehicles;

(4) promote continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive planning that improves the performance of the transportation network;

(5) establish a technical assistance program to assist recipients under this chapter to more effectively and efficiently provide public transportation service;

(6) continue Federal support for public transportation providers to deliver high quality service to all users, including individuals with disabilities, seniors, and individuals who depend on public transportation;

(7) support research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects dedicated to assisting in the delivery of efficient and effective public transportation service; and

(8) promote the development of the public transportation workforce.

( Pub. L. 103–272, §1(d), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 785 ; Pub. L. 109–59, title III, §§3002(b)(4), 3003, Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1545 ; Pub. L. 112–141, div. B, §20003, July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 622 .)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
5301(a) 49 App.:1607(a) (1st sentence). July 9, 1964, Pub. L. 88–365, 78 Stat. 302 , §8(a) (1st sentence); added Nov. 6, 1978, Pub. L. 95–599, §305(b), 92 Stat. 2743 ; Apr. 2, 1987, Pub. L. 100–17, §310, 101 Stat. 227 ; restated Dec. 18, 1991, Pub. L. 102–240, §3012, 105 Stat. 2098 .
5301(b) 49 App.:1601(a). July 9, 1964, Pub. L. 88–365, §2, 78 Stat. 302 ; Dec. 18, 1991, Pub. L. 102–240, §3005, 105 Stat. 2088 .
  49 App.:1601b. Nov. 26, 1974, Pub. L. 93–503, §2, 88 Stat. 1566 .
5301(c) 49 App.:1601a (1st sentence). Oct. 15, 1970, Pub. L. 91–453, §1, 84 Stat. 962 .
5301(d) 49 App.:1612(a). July 9, 1964, Pub. L. 88–365, 78 Stat. 302 , §16(a); added Oct. 15, 1970, Pub. L. 91–453, §8, 84 Stat. 967 ; Dec. 18, 1991, Pub. L. 102–240, §3021(1), 105 Stat. 2110 .
5301(e) 49 App.:1610(a) (1st sentence). July 9, 1964, Pub. L. 88–365, §14(a) (1st sentence), 78 Stat. 308 ; Sept. 8, 1966, Pub. L. 89–562, §2(a)(1), 80 Stat. 715 ; restated Oct. 15, 1970, Pub. L. 91–453, §6, 84 Stat. 966 .
5301(f) 49 App.:1601(b).
  49 App.:1601a (last sentence).

In subsection (b)(1), the words "the predominant part" in 49 App.:1601(a)(1) and "lives in urban areas" in 49 App.:1601b(1) are omitted because of the restatement. The words "metropolitan and other" in 49 App.:1601(a)(1) are omitted as surplus.

In subsection (b)(2), the words "housing, urban renewal, highway, and other", "being", "the . . . provision of", and "transportation and other" in 49 App.:1601(a)(2) are omitted as surplus.

In subsection (b)(4), the words "the early 1970's" are substituted for "recent years" in 49 App.:1601b(4), and the words "minimal mass transportation service" are substituted for "this essential public service", for clarity.

In subsection (b)(5), the word "particularly" in 49 App.:1601b(5) is omitted as surplus.

In subsection (b)(6), the words "were . . . in the early 1970's" are substituted for "now" in 49 App.:1601b(6) for clarity. The words "engaged in", "actually", and "comprehensive" in 49 App.:1601b(6) are omitted as surplus.

In subsection (b)(9), the word "many" in 49 App.:1601(b)(7) is omitted as surplus.

In subsection (c), the text of 49 App.:1601a (1st sentence words after semicolon) is omitted as executed.

In subsections (d) and (e), the words "hereby declared to be" are omitted as surplus.

In subsection (d), the words "to ensure that mass transportation can be used by elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities" are substituted for "in the planning and design of mass transportation facilities and services so that the availability to elderly persons and persons with disabilities of mass transportation which they can effectively utilize will be assured" to eliminate unnecessary words. The words "the field of" and "(including the programs under this chapter) . . . contain provisions" are omitted as surplus.

In subsection (e), the words "carrying out" are substituted for "construction of", and the word "capital" is added, for consistency in the revised chapter. The reference to section 5310 of the revised title is added for clarity because a loan or grant made under section 5310 is deemed to have been made under section 5309.

In subsection (f)(5), the words "local" and "to exercise the initiative necessary" are omitted as surplus.


Editorial Notes

Amendments

2012-Pub. L. 112–141 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to policies, findings, and purposes.

2005-Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–59, §3003(a), amended heading and text of subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "It is in the interest of the United States to encourage and promote the development of transportation systems that embrace various modes of transportation and efficiently maximize mobility of individuals and goods in and through urbanized areas and minimize transportation-related fuel consumption and air pollution."

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 109–59, §3003(b), substituted "two-thirds" for "70 percent" and "urbanized areas" for "urban areas".

Subsecs. (b)(4), (6) to (9), (d). Pub. L. 109–59, §3002(b)(4), substituted "public transportation" for "mass transportation" wherever appearing.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 109–59, §3003(c), substituted "a" for "an urban" and struck out "under sections 5309 and 5310 of this title" before period at end.

Pub. L. 109–59, §3002(b)(4), substituted "public transportation" for "mass transportation".

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 109–59, §3003(d)(1), substituted "public transportation equipment" for "mass transportation equipment" and "both public transportation companies and private companies engaged in public transportation" for "public and private mass transportation companies".

Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 109–59, §3003(d)(2), substituted "public transportation systems" for "urban mass transportation systems" and "both public transportation companies and private companies engaged in public transportation" for "public and private mass transportation companies".

Subsec. (f)(3). Pub. L. 109–59, §3003(d)(3), substituted "public transportation systems" for "urban mass transportation systems" and "public transportation companies or private companies engaged in public transportation" for "public or private mass transportation companies".

Subsec. (f)(5). Pub. L. 109–59, §3003(d)(4), substituted "public" for "urban mass".


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of 2012 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–141 effective Oct. 1, 2012, see section 3(a) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as an Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment note under section 101 of Title 23, Highways.

Federal Transit Administration Grants

Pub. L. 117–2, title III, §3401, Mar. 11, 2021, 135 Stat. 72 , provided that:

"(a) Federal Transit Administration Appropriation.-

"(1) In general.-In addition to amounts otherwise made available, there are appropriated for fiscal year 2021, out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $30,461,355,534, to remain available until September 30, 2024, that shall-

"(A) be for grants to eligible recipients under sections 5307, 5309, 5310, and 5311 of title 49, United States Code, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus; and

"(B) not be subject to any prior restriction on the total amount of funds available for implementation or execution of programs authorized under sections 5307, 5310, or 5311 of such title.

"(2) Availability of funds for operating expenses.-

"(A) In general.-Notwithstanding subsection (a)(1) or (b) of section 5307 and section 5310(b)(2)(A) of title 49, United States Code, funds provided under this section, other than subsection (b)(4), shall be available for the operating expenses of transit agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus public health emergency, including, beginning on January 20, 2020-

"(i) reimbursement for payroll of public transportation (including payroll and expenses of private providers of public transportation);

"(ii) operating costs to maintain service due to lost revenue due as a result of the coronavirus public health emergency, including the purchase of personal protective equipment; and

"(iii) paying the administrative leave of operations or contractor personnel due to reductions in service.

"(B) Use of funds.-Funds described in subparagraph (A) shall be-

"(i) available for immediate obligation, notwithstanding the requirement for such expenses to be included in a transportation improvement program, long-range transportation plan, statewide transportation plan, or statewide transportation improvement program under sections 5303 and 5304 of title 49, United States Code;

"(ii) directed to payroll and operations of public transportation (including payroll and expenses of private providers of public transportation), unless the recipient certifies to the Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration that the recipient has not furloughed any employees;

"(iii) used to provide a Federal share of the costs for any grant made under this section of 100 percent.

"(b) Allocation of Funds.-

"(1) Urbanized area formula grants.-

"(A) In general.-Of the amounts made available under subsection (a), $26,086,580,227 shall be for grants to recipients and subrecipients under section 5307 of title 49, United States Code, and shall be administered as if such funds were provided under section 5307 of such title.

"(B) Allocation.-Amounts made available under subparagraph (A) shall be apportioned to urbanized areas based on data contained in the National Transit Database such that-

"(i) each urbanized area shall receive an apportionment of an amount that, when combined with amounts that were otherwise made available to such urbanized area for similar activities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, is equal to 132 percent of the urbanized area's 2018 operating costs; and

"(ii) for funds remaining after the apportionment described in clause (i), such funds shall be apportioned such that each urbanized area that did not receive an apportionment under clause (i) shall receive an apportionment equal to 25 percent of the urbanized area's 2018 operating costs.

"(2) Formula grants for the enhanced mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities.-

"(A) In general.-Of the amounts made available under subsection (a), $50,000,000 shall be for grants to recipients or subrecipients eligible under section 5310 of title 49, United States Code, and shall be apportioned in accordance with such section.

"(B) Allocation ratio.-Amounts made available under subparagraph (A) shall be allocated in the same ratio as funds were provided under section 5310 of title 49, United States Code, for fiscal year 2020.

"(3) Formula grants for rural areas.-

"(A) In general.-Of the amounts made available under subsection (a), $317,214,013 shall be for grants to recipients or subrecipients eligible under section 5311 of title 49, United States Code, and shall be administered as if the funds were provided under section 5311 of such title, and shall be apportioned in accordance with such section, except as described in paragraph (B).

"(B) Allocation ratio.-Amounts made available under subparagraph (A) to States, as defined in section 5302 of title 49, United States Code, shall be allocated to such States based on data contained in the National Transit Database, such that-

"(i) any State that received an amount for similar activities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus that is equal to or greater than 150 percent of the combined 2018 rural operating costs of the recipients and subrecipients in such State shall receive an amount equal to 5 percent of such State's 2018 rural operating costs;

"(ii) any State that does not receive an allocation under clause (i) that received an amount for similar activities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus that is equal to or greater than 140 percent of the combined 2018 rural operating costs of the recipients and subrecipients in that State shall receive an amount equal to 10 percent of such State's 2018 rural operating costs; and

"(iii) any State that does not receive an allocation under clauses (i) or (ii) shall receive an amount equal to 20 percent of such State's 2018 rural operating costs.

"(4) Capital investments.-

"(A) In general.-Of the amounts made available under subsection (a)-

"(i) $1,425,000,000 shall be for grants administered under subsections (d) and (e) of section 5309 of title 49, United States Code; and

"(ii) $250,000,000 shall be for grants administered under subsection (h) of section 5309 of title 49, United States Code.

"(B) Funding distribution.-

"(i) In general.-Of the amounts made available in subparagraph (A)(i), $1,250,000,000 shall be provided to each recipient for all projects with existing full funding grant agreements that received allocations for fiscal year 2019 or 2020, except that recipients with projects open for revenue service are not eligible to receive a grant under this subparagraph. Funds shall be provided proportionally based on the non-capital investment grant share of the amount allocated.

"(ii) Allocation.-Of the amounts made available in subparagraph (A)(i), $175,000,000 shall be provided to each recipient for all projects with existing full funding grant agreements that received an allocation only prior to fiscal year 2019, except that projects open for revenue service are not eligible to receive a grant under this subparagraph and no project may receive more than 40 percent of the amounts provided under this clause. The Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration shall proportionally distribute funds in excess of such percent to recipients for which the percent of funds does not exceed 40 percent. Funds shall be provided proportionally based on the non-capital investment grant share of the amount allocated.

"(iii) Eligible recipients.-For amounts made available in subparagraph (A)(ii), eligible recipients shall be any recipient of an allocation under subsection (h) of section 5309 of title 49, United States Code, or an applicant in the project development phase described in paragraph (2) of such subsection.

"(iv) Amount.-Amounts distributed under clauses (i), (ii), and (iii) of subparagraph (A) shall be provided notwithstanding the limitation of any calculation of the maximum amount of Federal financial assistance for the project under subsection (k)(2)(C)(ii) or (h)(7) of section 5309 of title 49, United States Code.

"(5) Section 5311(f) services.-

"(A) In general.-Of the amounts made available under subsection (a) and in addition to the amounts made available under paragraph (3), $100,000,000 shall be available for grants to recipients for bus operators that partner with recipients or subrecipients of funds under section 5311(f) of title 49, United States Code.

"(B) Allocation ratio.-Notwithstanding paragraph (3), the Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration shall allocate amounts under subparagraph (A) in the same ratio as funds were provided under section 5311 of title 49, United States Code, for fiscal year 2020.

"(C) Exception.-If a State or territory does not have bus providers eligible under section 5311(f) of title 49, United States Code, funds under this paragraph may be used by such State or territory for any expense eligible under section 5311 of title 49, United States Code.

"(6) Planning.-

"(A) In general.-Of the amounts made available under subsection (a), $25,000,000 shall be for grants to recipients eligible under section 5307 of title 49, United States Code, for the planning of public transportation associated with the restoration of services as the coronavirus public health emergency concludes and shall be available in accordance with such section.

"(B) Availability of funds for route planning.-Amounts made available under subparagraph (A) shall be available for route planning designed to-

"(i) increase ridership and reduce travel times, while maintaining or expanding the total level of vehicle revenue miles of service provided in the planning period; or

"(ii) make service adjustments to increase the quality or frequency of service provided to low-income riders and disadvantaged neighborhoods or communities.

"(C) Limitation.-Amounts made available under subparagraph (A) shall not be used for route planning related to transitioning public transportation service provided as of the date of receipt of funds to a transportation network company or other third-party contract provider, unless the existing provider of public transportation service is a third-party contract provider.

"(7) Recipients and subrecipients requiring additional assistance.-

"(A) In general.-Of the amounts made available under subsection (a), $2,207,561,294 shall be for grants to eligible recipients or subrecipients of funds under sections 5307 or 5311 of title 49, United States Code, that, as a result of COVID–19, require additional assistance for costs related to operations, personnel, cleaning, and sanitization combating the spread of pathogens on transit systems, and debt service payments incurred to maintain operations and avoid layoffs and furloughs.

"(B) Administration.-Funds made available under subparagraph (A) shall, after allocation, be administered as if provided under paragraph (1) or (3), as applicable.

"(C) Application requirements.-

"(i) In general.-The Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration may not allocate funds to an eligible recipient or subrecipient of funds under chapter 53 of title 49, United States Code, unless the recipient provides to the Administrator-

     "(I) estimates of financial need;

     "(II) data on reductions in farebox or other sources of local revenue for sustained operations;

     "(III) a spending plan for such funds; and

     "(IV) demonstration of expenditure of greater than 90 percent of funds available to the applicant from funds made available for similar activities in fiscal year 2020.

"(ii) Deadlines.-The Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration shall-

     "(I) not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Mar. 11, 2021], issue a Notice of Funding Opportunity for assistance under this paragraph; and

     "(II) not later than 120 days after the application deadline established in the Notice of Funding Opportunity under subclause (I), make awards under this paragraph to selected applicants.

"(iii) Evaluation.-

     "(I) In general.-Applications for assistance under this paragraph shall be evaluated by the Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration based on the level of financial need demonstrated by an eligible recipient or subrecipient, including projections of future financial need to maintain service as a percentage of the 2018 operating costs that has not been replaced by the funds made available to the eligible recipient or subrecipient under paragraphs (1) through (5) of this subsection when combined with the amounts allocated to such eligible recipient or subrecipient from funds previously made available for the operating expenses of transit agencies related to the response to the COVID–19 public health emergency.

     "(II) Restriction.-Amounts made available under this paragraph shall only be available for operating expenses.

"(iv) State applicants.-A State may apply for assistance under this paragraph on behalf of an eligible recipient or subrecipient or a group of eligible recipients or subrecipients.

"(D) Unobligated funds.-If amounts made available under this paragraph remain unobligated on September 30, 2023, such amounts shall be available for any purpose eligible under sections 5307 or 5311 of title 49, United States Code."

Contracting Out Study

Pub. L. 105–178, title III, §3032, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 385 , as amended by Pub. L. 105–206, title IX, §9009(v), July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 861 , provided that a study of the effect of contracting out mass transportation operation and administrative functions was to be arranged between the Secretary of Transportation and the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences no later than 6 months after June 9, 1998, and made available funds for fiscal year 1999.

Commute-to-Work Benefits

Pub. L. 102–240, title VIII, §8004, Dec. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 2206 , provided that:

"(a) Findings.-The Congress finds that-

"(1) current Federal policy places commuter transit benefits at a disadvantage compared to drive-to-work benefits;

"(2) this Federal policy is inconsistent with important national policy objectives, including the need to conserve energy, reduce reliance on energy imports, lessen congestion, and clean our Nation's air;

"(3) commuter transit benefits should be part of a comprehensive solution to national transportation and air pollution problems;

"(4) current Federal law allows employers to provide only up to $21 per month in employee benefits for transit or van pools;

"(5) the current 'cliff provision', which treats an entire commuter transit benefit as taxable income if it exceeds $21 per month, unduly penalizes the most effective employer efforts to change commuter behavior;

"(6) employer-provided commuter transit incentives offer many public benefits, including increased access of low-income persons to good jobs, inexpensive reduction of roadway and parking congestion, and cost-effective incentives for timely arrival at work; and

"(7) legislation to provide equitable treatment of employer-provided commuter transit benefits has been introduced with bipartisan support in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

"(b) Policy.-The Congress strongly supports Federal policy that promotes increased use of employer-provided commuter transit benefits. Such a policy 'levels the playing field' between transportation modes and is consistent with important national objectives of energy conservation, reduced reliance on energy imports, lessened congestion, and clean air."