Skip Link

Section 5310

man in red jacket helping older woman out of passenger seat of car

FTA Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities

Program Purpose

This program is intended to enhance the mobility for seniors and persons with disabilities by providing funds for programs to serve the special needs of transit-dependent populations beyond traditional public transportation services and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complementary paratransit services.


Funds are apportioned to states (recipients and designated recipients) for urbanized and rural areas based on the number of older adults and people with disabilities in the areas. They are allocated based on the following percentages: 60% to Designated Recipients in large urbanized areas (over 200,000 in population); 20% to States for small urbanized areas (under 200,000 in population but over 50,000); and 20% to States for rural areas (under 50,000 in population).

Local Match Requirements

“Local match” is state or local funds required by the federal government to complement federal funds for a project. Section 5310 has local match requirements that vary depending on the project. These range from 20% for capital projects to 50% for operating expenses. No match is required to support program administration. In addition, there are exceptions to the general, federal local-match requirements based on projects related to the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Clean Air Act. Exceptions may also be based on the amount of federal land in federally identified states.

Eligible Recipients and Designated Recipients

Eligible recipients include state agencies, typically the State Department of Transportation. Urbanized areas can now have Designated Recipients, in addition to or instead of the state agency. Designated Recipients can be the Metropolitan Planning Organization, a transportation provider, or other type of service agency. A Designated Recipient may apply directly to FTA for a Section 5310 grant for itself and on behalf of subrecipients. The Designated Recipient for Section 5310 in a large urbanized area over 200,000 in population may or may not be the same agency as the Designated Recipient for Section 5307 funds.

The State agency (e.g., Department of Transportation) designated by the Governor of the State has the authority and responsibility for administering the Section 5310 program in urbanized areas under 200,000 in population and rural areas. The State is the only Direct Recipient for Section 5310 funds in rural areas and small urbanized areas.

Subrecipients may include states or local government authorities, private non-profit organizations, or operators of public transportation that receive a grant indirectly through a recipient.

Program Requirements – Coordinated Planning

Coordination among transportation and human services providers is a requirement for Section 5310 grantees.

Older adults and individuals with disabilities must be included in development of the plan. Representation from public, private and non-profit transportation providers and human services transportation providers must also be included. The plan must be coordinated to the maximum extent possible with transportation services assisted by other federal departments and agencies. All projects that are funded must be included in the plan.

Eligible Projects

In some communities, public transportation services do not meet all of the needs of older adults and people with disabilities. Section 5310 is designed to fill those gaps in public transit. It funds activities to support the provision of transportation services to meet the specialized needs of older adults and people with disabilities when public transportation is insufficient, inappropriate, or unavailable. They should improve access to fixed-route services and decrease reliance on ADA complementary paratransit. Projects can also provide alternatives to public transportation projects that assist older adults and people with disabilities with transportation. The FTA encourages projects that are open to the public as a means of avoiding unnecessary segregation of services.

Administration, capital, and operating expenses are currently all eligible for reimbursement under Section 5310.

  • At least 55% must be used on capital, public transportation projects 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.
  • The remaining 45% can be spent for other eligible purposes including capital and operating expenses as well as New Freedom-type projects.
  • At most, 10% is allowed for program administration and to provide technical assistance.

Under MAP-21, Mobility Management is an eligible capital expense. In order to qualify, it must be carried out by eligible subrecipients, and be planned, designed, and implemented in a way that meets the special needs of people with disabilities and older adults. Other capital expenses include purchase- of-service agreements and private taxi, shared-ride, and exclusive-ride service.

For more information click here: