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U.S. Department of Transportation

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is the federal body that oversees national transportation agencies, programs, and administrations, managing passengers and freight moved by air, by land, and by water. Among other agencies, it includes:

DOT offers billions of dollars in grants and subsidies each year; several programs that may be of interest to rural transportation authorities are highlighted below.

RAISE Discretionary Grants
Previously known as the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant program, the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program is a competitive, federally-funded program awarding local and regional infrastructure grants. At least 30% of BUILD funds must go to areas of persistent poverty. Eligible projects are capital projects that include road or bridge projects, public transportation projects, passenger and freight rail transportation projects, port infrastructure investments, and intermodal projects. Grant funding is allowable for up to 100% of the costs of rural projects.

Mobility Services for All Americans
The Mobility Services for All Americans initiative was created to encourage collaboration between paratransit service providers, social service agencies, and local governments that provide transportation services for people living with disabilities, seniors, and low-income families. It promotes the use of Intelligent Transportation Systems to help coordinate transportation for all eligible consumers.

Resources to Learn More

Federal Resources for Sustainable Rural Communities
Identifies resources from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture that may be of use to rural communities. Includes information about funding, approaches to infrastructure planning and construction, and economic development. While not restricted to transportation issues, this document highlights the integral role of transportation systems in building an environmentally and economically sustainable community. A partner document, Supporting Sustainable Rural Communities, provides some performance measures that can be used to measure success.
Organization(s): Partnership for Sustainable Communities
Date: 2012