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Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU (2009)

Chapter: How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU

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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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Suggested Citation:"How Funding for Rural Passenger Transportation Has Grown with SAFETEA-LU." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23004.
×
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5 In meeting the research objectives, the team encountered a number of challenges. As reported in the Task 1 Report, we explored state department of transportation websites, internet searching, and preexisting knowledge of state databases, and we found a number of examples of state expenditures and activities in support of increased rural transit services. However, such data is not consistently readily available. A list of available and potential state data sources found through this search is attached as Appendix B. However, these were not found for every state and, even for those states with annual reports, the data are not consistent. The research team also identified a variety of materials that help to tell the story of what is happening in some states; however, these could not be used to build a national perspective. It should be acknowledged that in meeting the research objectives, the team encountered a number of data gaps. There is currently little readily-available (online) information on the service levels provided with New Freedom, Indian Tribal Transportation, and Transit in the Parks programs. More data are available on Section 5311 and JARC program impacts, possibility because monitoring and reporting systems for these programs were already in place before the passage of SAFETEA-LU. Even so, there is no comprehensive set of service data that can be used to describe achievements attributable to SAFETEA-LU since there is no “before” data to compare to the “after” data. While detailed information throughout the life of the JARC program are available: • data from the rural NTD are only available for 2006 and 2007 (“after”) and only cover the S.5311 and S.5311(f) services, and • service data on S.5310 are not collected (although they will be in the future) Further, because of the lag time between the availability of new funding and when it is spent, detailed data on service improvements for both existing and new programs are limited to only a few years. HOW FUNDING FOR RURAL PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION HAS GROWN WITH SAFETEA-LU How has federal funding for passenger transportation in rural areas grown since SAFETEA-LU was passed? What has been authorized? What has been obligated to spend on existing and new passenger services in rural areas? The sections that follow use a combination of national, state, and local data and information to answer these questions. It is important to keep in mind that:

6 • Funding has grown, but it took a number of years to get the grants in place so only a few years of service improvements are available to review. • Some of the funding increases were used to cover costs that increased due to inflation. Costs rose between 2004 and 2008; from 2004 - 2008 the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 16%. -- Fuel costs doubled from 2004 – 2008 (only coming down again at the end of 2008). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2004 to 2008, the cost of diesel fuel increased 132%. -- Vehicles costs also rose during that period. Most notably, the average cost of a S.5310 vehicle increased 17% from 2004 to 2006 alone (Table 1). Federal Apportionments and Obligations Since SAFETEA-LU Table 2 presents the Federal apportionments for the programs which benefit rural transit since the passage of SAFETEA-LU.2 Table 3 presents the funds obligated for these programs from FY 2003 through FY 2007.3 Appendix C presents details for funding obligations from 2004-2007. Finally, Table 4 presents a history of the number of buses purchased with funds from each program. As shown, authorized levels for existing programs increased substantially: • Section 5311 – The S.5311 program increased 74% from $239M in 2004 to almost $416M in 2008. (Note that data on actual obligations shows that the intercity bus, Section 5311(f), portion of Section 5311 increased from $22M in 2004 to over $45M in 2007). • Section 5310 – Funding for S.5310 increased 40% from $90M in 2004 to almost $127M in 2008. This funding is for both rural and urban areas and a breakout is not available. 2Beginning in FY 2007, current-year apportionments for the S. 5310 and S.5311 programs were supplemented by re-apportionments from the previous year. 3The research team is working with FTA to use TEAM data to update the information on obligated funds to 2008.

Year <30 ft. bus Van Sedan/Station Wagons Total Funding Vehicles Average Cost 2004 $38,642 $28,358 $16,083 $60,237,615 1,812 $33,244 2005 $41,724 $29,922 $21,953 $77,976,236 2,192 $35,573 2006 $45,062 $32,315 $33,145 $84,182,262 2,158 $39,009 2007 $44,928 $30,061 $31,325 $73,558,642 2,014 $36,524 Change 2004-2007 16% 6% 95% 22% 11% 10% Change 2004-2006 17% 14% 106% 40% 19% 17% Table 1: Average Cost per Vehicle - Section 5310 Program (Federal Share Only) Unit Cost/Vehicle

Section 5320: Transit in the Parks Total Nonurbanized Total Nonurbanized Total FY 2002 Apportionment $84,930,000 $226,411,000 n.a. $125,000,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. FY 2003 Apportionment $90,167,000 $238,955,000 n.a. $104,318,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. FY 2004 Apportionment $90,361,000 $238,501,111 n.a. $104,381,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. FY 2005 Authorized $94,527,000 $250,890,000 n.a. $124,000,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. FY 2006 Total Available $110,880,000 $368,517,600 $7,920,000 $136,620,000 $27,324,000 $77,220,000 $15,444,000 $22,000,000 Less Oversight $554,400 $1,920,600 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 Reapportioned $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 Total Apportionment $110,325,600 $366,597,000 $7,920,000 $136,620,000 $27,324,000 $77,220,000 $15,444,000 $22,000,000 FY 2007 Total Available $117,000,000 $385,920,000 $10,000,000 $144,000,000 $28,800,000 $81,000,000 $16,200,000 $23,000,000 Less Oversight $585,000 $2,020,000 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $115,000 Reapportioned $244,554 $2,277,688 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 Total Apportionment $116,659,554 $386,177,688 $10,000,000 $144,000,000 $28,800,000 $81,000,000 $16,200,000 $22,885,000 FY 2008 Total Available $127,000,000 $417,240,000 $12,000,000 $156,000,000 $31,200,000 $87,500,000 $17,500,000 $25,000,000 Less Oversight $635,000 $2,190,000 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $125,000 Reapportioned $358,652 $943,489 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 Total Apportionment $126,723,652 $415,993,489 $12,000,000 $156,000,000 $31,200,000 $87,500,000 $17,500,000 $24,875,000 8 Table 2: SAFETEA-LU Apportionments of Benefit to Rural Transit Programs Section 5317: New Freedom Program Section 5310: Special Needs for Elderly Individuals & Individuals with Disabilities Section 5311: Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Section 5311 (c): Indian Tribal Transportation Section 5316: Job Access and Reverse Commute Program

Program FY 2004 FY 2005 FY 2006 FY 2007 Section 5310* $173,454,751 $152,329,940 $162,826,924 $157,195,598 Section 5311 $242,371,125 $284,333,073 $416,178,446 $486,891,662 Section 5311(c) - Tribal Section 5311(f) - Intercity $21,790,920 $20,620,728 $40,375,974 $45,338,853 Section 5316 - JARC** $17,336,086 $43,928,404 $25,988,157 $28,005,616 Section 5317 - New Freedom* $1,269,027 $9,323,916 Section 5320 - Transit in Parks $1,423,639 $8,825,000 From Table 5-200X: RURAL AND UNDER 50,000 Capital Program $94,401,953 $209,355,575 $245,421,746 $208,719,159 Non-urbanized Area Formula $242,371,125 $284,333,073 $422,650,544 $493,714,436 Alternative Analysis not included not included 990,000 $500,000 Planning (Metro, State, Alter. Analysis) not included 129,204,258 134,169,236 $153,829,829 Clean Fuels not included not included 226,710 $6,687,500 New Freedom not included not included 288,226 $3,051,233 National Research - - - $2,506,552 Emergency Supplemental $1,027,287 $30,555,000 $41,014,569 - JARC $17,410,649 $43,928,404 $25,988,157 $28,005,616 Alt. Transportation/Parks & Public Land not included not included $1,273,639 $4,125,000 Misc. FHWA Transfer Projects $6,365,115 $8,943,500 $3,560,965 $2,980,500 RTAP $4,471,197 $5,291,243 not included*** not included*** SUB-TOTAL $366,047,326 $711,611,053 $875,583,792 $904,119,825 *Includes both urban and rural obligations. **Rural obligations only. ***Though not included in Table 5-2006, Table 38-2006 indicates FY 2006 RTAP was $6,470,098. ***Though not included in Table 5-2007, the FTA website indicates FY 2007 RTAP was $7,884,805; included under S.5311 9 Table 3: Obligations by Program

Program FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005 FY 2006 FY 2007 Section 5310* 1,998 1,837 2,220 2,200 2,204 Section 5311 746 419 722 1,039 1,211 Section 5311(c) - Tribal na na na na na Section 5311(f) - Intercity *** *** *** *** *** Section 5316 - JARC* 108 23 76 49 87 Section 5317 - New Freedom* 0 0 0 3 23 Section 5320 - Transit in Parks 0 0 0 5 14 Section 5309 - Capital Program** *** 1,077 1,155 1,201 NA TOTAL 2,852 3,356 4,173 4,497 *Includes both urban and rural purchases. **Rural and under 50,000 purchases only (per Tables 19-200X) ***No breakout. Total Rural or State DOTs (per Tables 11-200X) 3,811 3,334 4,460 4,468 4,222 Section 5311 - "COMMUTER/INTERCITY BUS" 18 4 4 10 NA Per Tables 36-200X, included within total Section 5311 - may or may not be attributable to Section 5311(f) - these funds could also purchase smaller vehicles. Table 4: Number of Vehicles Purchased by Program

11 • Section 5316 (JARC) – In addition to being allocated by formula for the first time, the funding for JARC increased from $104M in 2004 to $156M in 2008. Twenty percent, or $27M-31M, was made available for services in non- urbanized areas. New Programs were funded at the following levels: • Section 5311(c) (Tribal Transit) – This new program was funded at $8M in 2006, increasing to $12M in 2008. • Section 5317 (New Freedom) – This program was funded at $77M in 2006, increasing to $87.5M in 2008. As with JARC, 20% or $15-$17.5M is available for service in non-urbanized areas. Details on Program Funding Levels Existing Programs Section 5311 – Non-Urbanized Area Formula Program: The Section 5311 experienced the following funding increases under SAFETEA-LU. • Apportionments increased 74% from 2004 to 2008. • Obligations increased significantly beginning in 2006. • A significant number of new vehicles were bought after SAFETEA-LU with 1,039 in 2006 and 1,211 in 2007 up from an average annual purchase of 629 vehicles from 2003-2005. • NTD indicates that there were 1,326 rural transit operators in 2006 and 1,325 in 2007. Data are not available on how many rural operators there were prior to 2006/SAFETEA-LU. • NTD also indicates that 2,233 (71%) were served under Section 5311 in 2006 and 2,275 (72%) were served in 2007. This research indicates that by 2008, 2,421 counties have rural public transit services funded under Section 5311, Section 5316 and/or Section 5317 (over 77% of all counties). Data on counties services prior to 2006/SAFELEA-LU are not available, although the FTA program performance measurement document indicated the 1994 baseline was 60%.

12 • Table 5 shows that as the funding has increased, the split among operating, capital and other has remained relatively stable from 2002 to 2007 for the S.5311 program obligations. Amount Percent Amount Percent Amount Percent 2002 $54,341,505 20% $148,367,282 54% $72,387,622 26% $275,096,409 2003 $53,581,454 20% $139,535,951 54% $66,614,171 26% $259,731,576 2004 $49,296,149 20% $133,094,954 55% $59,980,022 25% $242,371,125 2005 $59,925,730 21% $170,982,342 60% $53,425,001 19% $284,333,073 2006 $89,747,600 22% $247,104,681 59% $79,326,165 19% $416,178,446 2007 $117,669,943 24% $277,141,777 56% $98,902,716 20% $493,714,436 Table 5: Section 5311 Obligations by Year and Category TotalYear Capital Operating Other Section 5311(f) – Intercity Bus Program: Under SAFETEA-LU, the Section 5311(f) grew from $22M obligated in 2004 to $40M in 2006 and $45M in 2007. As shown in Table 6, as the funding has increased, there appears to be a recent shift in 2007 toward spending more on capital and less on operating. The rural NTD data indicate that about $19M S.5311(f) in spending were reported for 2007; $15M in capital, and $3.7M in operating. Amount Percent Amount Percent Amount Percent 2002 $7,262,189 32% $7,047,457 32% $8,045,135 36% $22,354,781 2003 $5,235,863 26% $9,128,535 44% $6,273,067 30% $20,637,465 2004 $6,818,613 31% $10,471,951 48% $4,500,356 21% $21,790,920 2005 $4,963,380 24% $10,276,160 50% $5,381,188 26% $20,620,728 2006 $11,421,902 28% $25,003,050 62% $3,951,022 10% $40,375,974 2007 $19,125,570 42% $21,904,007 48% $4,309,276 10% $45,338,853 Table 6: Section 5311(f) Intercity Obligations by Year and Category TotalYear Capital Operating Other Section 5310 – Elderly and Disabled Capital Program: Funding for the S.5310 increased under SAFETEA-LU, but it appears that some of the increase in funding was impacted by inflation.

13 • Funding for apportionments increased 40% from 2004 to 2008. Since inflation increased 17% over that time, the increase allowed for only modest increases in the number of vehicles that could be purchased; some states could only maintain, but not appreciably expand programs. • Obligations increased beginning in 2006. Section 5309 in Rural Areas: The Section 5309 Capital Program provides a significant number of vehicles used in rural transit. But while funding has increased, as with Section 5310, much of the increase in funding covered the increase in costs affected by inflation. • Funds obligated more than doubled from $94M in 2004 to $205M in 2007. • The number of vehicles increased only 12% from 1,077 vehicles in 2004 to 1,201 vehicles in 2006. (Figures are not available for 2007 or 2008) • Overall, apparently, the increase in funding covered the increased cost of vehicles plus a marginal increase in the number or vehicles that could be purchased. Section 5316 - JARC: Under SAFETEA-LU, the major change in the S.5316 program was that program funds are now distributed to states and urbanized areas by formula and there is a specific set-aside for rural areas (20%). As a result of this change, JARC funding for rural areas actually decreased with SAFETEA-LU. By moving JARC from a discretionary program (largely funded through ear-marks) to a formula-based program, SAFETEA-LU also resulted in shift in funding among the states; those states with highly-funded JARC programs prior to enactment of SAFETEA-LU lost funding when funding began to be distributed by formula, while other states gained. • Funding for JARC apportionments as a whole increased 50% from 2004 to 2008 ($104M to $156M). However, funding for rural areas is set at 20% of the total. In 2004 and 2005, rural areas were obligated an average of about $31M annually which is equivalent to the rural apportionment for 2008. • Obligations for JARC in rural areas decreased from $44M in 2005 to $26M in 2006. New Programs Section 5317 – New Freedom Program: One new program under SAFETEA-LU was another state-administered program - New Freedom – intended to serve persons with disabilities with services beyond those required under ADA. The program

14 apportions 20% of the total for use in rural areas. The total apportionment for 2006 was $77M in 2006; $15.4M of which was for non-urbanized areas; of the $81M apportioned in 2007, $16.2M was apportioned for non-urbanized areas; and of the $87.5M for 2008, 17.5M was for non-urbanized areas. This program has been slow to get off the ground with only $288,226 obligated in 2006 in rural areas. FTA reports a total of $1.7M in New Freedom federal funds which were awarded in rural areas in 2006 and 2007. Section 5311(c) – Tribal Transit Program: The Section 5311(c) program also was new under SAFETEA-LU (as a takedown from Section 5311). These grants are direct from the federal level to the local tribal units. Even though it is new, the program was able to get off the ground more quickly than the state-administered programs, partly because the program did not have to comply with the new Coordinated Planning requirements included in SAFETEA-LU. • Funding started at $7.92M in 2006 and increased to $12M in 2008. • Even though this is a new program, projects have been selected and funds obligated to the apportioned amount. In 2006, the program funded 63 projects ($7.92M); 65 projects in 2007 ($10M) and 71 projects in 2008 ($12M). • There is basically a one year lag time between the time the funds are apportioned and the award to local grantees. Section 5320 – Transit in the Parks: This is another program with direct grants from the federal level to federal, state, and local grantees. The program had a funding level of $22.0M in 2006, $22.9M in 2007, and $24.9M in 2008. In 2007, $16.2M of the funds was for non-urbanized areas, while in 2008, $17.5M was for non-urbanized areas. In 2006, the program had obligated only $1.4M in rural areas. Time Required for Service Expansions When considering the affect that increased federal funding under SAFETEA-LU has had on rural transit services, it is important to consider the time that elapses between when the legislation is enacted and when new services are provided. The data in Table 3 show how the obligations have lagged behind the apportionments. The legislative/funding timeline is as follows:

15 • Authorizations – Federal financing of rural programs begins with the enactment of surface transportation authorizing legislation, in this case SAFETEA-LU was enacted in 2005.4 • Apportionments – The authorized amounts were apportioned to various states, by the formulas specified in SAFETEA-LU. These apportionments give State DOTs a “budget authority” that may be equal to or lower than the original authorized level. • Obligations – Obligations can only occur when a project is approved and a project agreement is executed. The obligated funds represent the dollars that States, tribes, or other grantees have requested for specific projects. • Reimbursement5 – Finally, once States incur costs for a project (local systems have spent dollars to operate the service), they request reimbursement from the federal system (and would be reported on NTD). The time that elapses from authorization to actual service delivery may be a year or even two. As of the end of FFY08, there was still a great deal of unobligated funds for rural transit programs (Table 7). This is especially true for the new programs. Many states were not able to spend all of their funding in the first years of the new programs and are carrying over funds from one year to the next. Looking at recent research done by the project team, it would appear that factors contributing to this lag time include: • State DOT staffing levels of the transit divisions are limited, • The need for states to create new program guidance, grant application, and project selection procedures, • The need for states and local operators to comply with Coordinated Planning requirements in SAFETEA-LU, and • The lack of state and local funding to match the increase in federal dollars. 4 For a specified period of years, the authorizing act sets upper limits (authorizations) on the amount of funds that can be made available to the Secretary of Transportation to carry out the programs included in the act. 5 The programs under SAFETEA-LU are reimbursement programs – states don’t drawdown funds for particular projects until costs have been incurred.

Program Begin Balance Obligations Available Balance Percent Available S.5310 (Urban and Rural) $234,544,957 $153,933,234 $83,892,707 36% S.5311 (Rural Only) $663,323,393 $536,485,061 $128,218,219 19% Rural Transit $640,698,424.82 $518,558,626.00 $123,536,975.82 19% Tribal Transportation $13,173,992 $10,452,237 $2,721,755 21% RTAP $9,450,976 $7,474,198 $1,959,488 21% $12,419,632 $5,633,053 $6,786,830 55% $78,003,063 $38,197,600 $41,606,417 53% $46,805,007 $21,515,737 $25,357,235 54% *Excludes program administration. 16 Table 7: FY08 - FTA Obligations Section 5317 - New Freedom (Rural Only) Section 5320 - Transit in the Park (Urban and Rural) Section 5316 and 3037 - JARC (Rural Only)*

17 The states were asked in which fiscal year they began to increase funding as a result of SAFETEA-LU as shown in Table 8: Most of the states report that they increased funding under their existing Section 5311, Section 5310, and Section 5311(f) programs in 2006. In fact, 68% of the states report that they have increased funding for intercity bus as a result of SAFETEA-LU. This is corroborated with the FTA data showing the obligations under these programs by year. However, while some grants were made for the new New Freedom and Transit in the Park grants in 2006, the real implementation began in 2007, although 37% of the states indicated that they saw a decrease in S.5316 funding for rural areas. For the JARC programs, most new services were implemented in 2007. This is consistent with the FTA data showing that • Section 5317 (New Freedom) - $77M apportioned and only $1.2M obligated in 2006. • Section 5320 (Transit in the Park) - $22M apportioned for 2006 and only $1.4M obligated. The time lag makes it difficult to identify specific changes in rural public and intercity bus transportation. This is especially true for the new programs, the Section 5317 New Freedom program and the Section 5320 Transit in the Parks program, since these programs required creation of new program management processes/procedures. S. 5311 S.5310 S.5311(f) S.5316 (JARC) S.5317 (NF) SFY 2005 19% 31% 18% SFY 2006 50% 39% 46% SFY 2007 25% 8% 36% SFY 2008 0% 8% 0% Have Not Yet Increased Funding 6% 15% 0% Program 37% decreased funding for JARC no grants until 2006 Table 8 State Survey When State Began to Increase Funding as Result of SAFETEA-LU

18 The states report that the requirement for new coordinated planning process delayed implementation of the New Freedom in some States. Financial Data from Rural National Transit Database NTD is the FTA's primary national database for statistics on the transit industry and recipients of the Section 5311 program are required by statute to submit data to the NTD. The rural NTD requirement was implemented only recently and the first data from the rural NTD is available for FY 2006; data are currently available for 2006 and 2007. Under the NTD, separate forms (and therefore separate data) are completed for each rural provider of general public transit service. The NTD collects key financial and non-financial operating information on each rural general public transit provider. Additionally, the NTD capture information on two statewide data items: 1. The number of counties within the State, and 2. The number of counties with transit service funded, in whole or in part, with FTA Other Than Urbanized Area Formula Program funds (S.5311). FTA provided the project team with the 2006 and 2007 rural NTD data down to the system-level. It is cautioned that rural NTD data only cover information on public transit funded through Section 5311 and Section 5311(f). Information on service under the Section 5310, New Freedom and JARC programs are only included in the rural NTD to extent that S.5311 grantees also receive this funding. Further, subrecipients that receive both rural and urban (S.5307) funds do not submit under the rural NTD system. These data were used to explore the financial and service characteristics of rural transit operators in those years. Since the 2006 NTD captures actual service provided in 2006, the data represent a baseline of services just after SAFETEA-LU funding increases were available. Since the States indicate that the increase in spending attributable to SAFETEA-LU for the S.5311 program were initiated in FY 2006, these data effectively represent the “after” SAFETEA-LU funding was available. Table 9 provides a summary of the rural NTD data for 2006 and 2007. As shown, rural transit operators spent about $812M (federal, state, and local funds) in 2006 and this rose to over $1B in 2007.

Number of Operators 1,326 1,325 Number of Counties Served 2,233 71% 2,275 72% (of all U.S. Counties) (of all U.S. Counties) Financial Characteristics Operating/Administrative Expenses $812,489,257 $1,004,246,706 Operating Revenue $238,657,079 29% $270,216,854 27% Farebox $70,921,336 9% $76,323,782 8% Contract $167,735,743 21% $193,893,072 19% Operating Subsidies $618,324,048 $748,428,146 Federal $211,375,410 34% $257,350,509 34% State $167,924,461 27% $192,751,020 26% Local $239,024,177 39% $298,326,617 40% Capital Expenses** $112,286,969 $169,341,238 Federal $81,655,101 73% $107,598,851 64% State $14,950,077 13% $23,855,637 14% Local $15,681,791 14% $37,886,750 22% Service Characteristics Annual Vehicle Miles 424,661,839 434,686,239 Unlinked Passenger Trips 114,993,479 115,048,055 Active Vehicles** 19,099 18,443 ADA Accessible Vehicles 12,960 13,306 Percent Accessible 68% 72% Trips per Vehicle 6,021 6,238 Intercity Bus Operating Grants Capital Grants Vehicle Miles Unlinked Trips **Assuming 5-7 year life have to replace 3,200 per year @100,000 per vehicle would require $320M. Source: Rural NTD data, edited and summarized. 19 2,986,037 2006 Data 2007 Data Table 9: Rural NTD Data - Summary $3,739,246 $14,999,385 20,408,295

20 Financial and Service Data from the State Survey Table 10 presents the data collected from the states responding to the project’s survey (21 states). As indicated: • Section 5311 – Actual Section 5311 spending increased substantially; from 2004 to 2008, annual spending more than doubled. From 2005 to 2008, Section 5311 annual spending increased by 55%, with a 13% increase in the number of passenger trips provided and a 16% increase in the number of vehicles being operated. • Section 5310 – Under Section 5310, actual spending also increased, but not as dramatically. From 2004-2008, annual spending under Section 5310 increased 31%, while from 2005-2008, spending increase 56%. • Section 5311(f) – Spending for intercity service under Section 5311(f) has also grown. As indicated above, some states have created new state intercity bus programs and others have increased the amount of funding under existing programs. From 2004 – 2008, annual funding for these programs increased about 2/3rds. Note: From the rural NTD data, we know that NTD reporters under Section 5311(f), received $3.7M in operating grants and almost $15M in capital grants. Section 5316 – The impact of SAFETEA-LU on JARC program has been uneven among the states. While funding for the program increased overall, the impact of state programs has depended on whether the state was receiving more funding while the program was still discretionary. Those states that saw a decrease in funding due to formulization, either decreased funding to local programs or, when possible, used other Section 5311 or state funds as a substitute for federal funds in efforts to maintain services. Thus, there is only a modest increase in annual spending under this program (27%) from 2004 to 2008 among survey respondents (44% had statewide JARC programs prior to SAFETEA-LU/83% of those saw a decrease in their federal JARC funding). It may also be that the impact of the allocation among urban/small urban and rural has had a disproportionately negative impact on rural areas. Many of the discretionary grants to states were targeted to rural areas – they were spending more than the $27-31M allocated to rural areas. • Section 5317 – Because this is a new program, very little data were available from the states. The earliest program dollars hit the streets appears to be 2007.

Dollars Spent One-Way Trips Vehicles Section 5311 n = 14 SFY 2004 SFY 2005 26% SFY 2006 42% 3% 7% SFY 2007 24% 5% 5% SFY 2008 1% 4% 3% SFY 2009 (est) 6% 2004-2008 102% 2005-2008 55% 13% 16% Section 5310 n=11 SFY 2004 SFY 2005 17% SFY 2006 16% -2% 4% SFY 2007 -2% -2% 4% SFY 2008 92% 2% 1% SFY 2009 (est) -44% 2004-2008 31% 2005-2008 56% -1% 10% Section 5311(f) n=9 SFY 2004 13% SFY 2005 65% SFY 2006 21% 10% 18% SFY 2007 -26% 5% 4% SFY 2008 113% 10% 9% SFY 2009 (est) 2004-2008 67% 2005-2008 66% 28% 34% Section 5316 - JARC n=7 SFY 2004 SFY 2005 -68% SFY 2006 -35% 0.10% 0% SFY 2007 849% 39% na SFY 2008 -35% 17% 12% SFY 2009 (est) 65% 2004-2008 27% 2005-2008 301% 62% na Section 5317 - NF n=9 SFY 2004 SFY 2005 SFY 2006 SFY 2007 first year SFY 2008 -31% SFY 2009 (est) 54% 2006-2008 434% Percent Increase Table 10: Summary of State Program Changes -- from Survey 21

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TRB’s Transportation Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Web-Only Document 46: Rural Transit Achievements: Assessing the Outcomes of Increased Funding for Rural Passenger Services under SAFETEA-LU (the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users) explores data and information on the changes in rural public and intercity bus transportation that have resulted from the increases in funding made available through SAFETEA-LU. The summary of the report is available online as TCRP Research Results Digest 93.

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