|(a) Purpose. Section 5311, Federal Transit Act (49
U.S.C. §5311), authorizes the Secretary of the U.S. DOT to make
grants for public transportation projects in rural areas. The department
has been designated by the governor to administer the §5311 program.
(b) Goal and objectives. The department's goal in administering
the §5311 program is to promote the availability of cost-effective,
efficient, and coordinated passenger transportation services to the
general public in rural areas using the most efficient combination
of financial and other resources. To achieve this goal, the objectives
of the department are to:
(1) promote the development and maintenance of a network
of general public transportation services, including intercity services,
in rural areas throughout the state, in partnership with local officials;
(2) fully integrate the §5311 program with other
federal, state, and local resources that are designed to serve rural
(3) improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and safety
of §5311 systems through the provision of technical assistance;
(4) include private sector operators in the overall
plan to provide public transportation services; and
(5) minimize negative impacts from changes in public
transportation district boundaries.
(c) Department role. The department acts as the designated
recipient for all §5311 funds apportioned to the state and has
an oversight responsibility for all rural transit services within
the state. The department, however, recognizes the subrecipients as
partners who shall retain control of daily operations. As the administering
agency, the department will:
(1) develop application materials and disseminate information
to prospective applicants and other interested parties;
(2) allocate the available program funds in a fair
and equitable manner as described in subsection (f) of this section
(the department will not provide §5311 funds to more than one
transit system in a geographical area);
(3) develop evaluation criteria and select projects
(4) prepare the state's annual program of projects
and funding application and submit that material to the FTA for approval;
(5) negotiate and execute contracts with local §5311
(6) prepare requests for federal reimbursement, and
process payment requests from §5311 subrecipients;
(7) monitor and evaluate the progress of ongoing transportation
operations, including compliance with federal regulations; and
(8) provide technical assistance to §5311 subrecipients
to aid them in improving transit services.
(d) Eligible subrecipients. State agencies, local public
entities, private nonprofit organizations, Native American tribes
and organizations, and operators of public transportation services
are eligible to receive §5311 funds through the department. Private
for-profit operators of public transportation services may participate
in the program through contracts with eligible subrecipients. An entity
must be a rural transit district to receive §5311 funds except
that private for-profit operators of public transportation services
and entities that are not rural transit districts are eligible to
receive §5311 funds through the department under the intercity
bus program, as set forth in subsections (f)(2) and (h) of this section.
(e) Eligible expenses. The department will follow FTA
Circular 9040.1G, or its latest version, to determine eligible §5311
(f) Allocation of funds. As part of its administration
of the §5311 program, the department is charged with ensuring
that there is a fair and equitable distribution of funds within the
state (FTA Circular 9040.1G or its latest version). After receipt
of annual §5311 program apportionment totals, the department
will allocate §5311 funds in the following manner and order.
(1) State Administration. The department will use not
more than 10 percent of the annual federal apportionment to defray
its expenses incurred for the administration of the §5311 program.
(2) Intercity bus allocation. Unless the chief executive
officer of the state or the executive officer's authorized designee
certifies to the Secretary of the U.S. DOT that the intercity bus
service needs of the state are being adequately met, the department
will allocate not less than 15 percent of the annual §5311 federal
apportionment for the development and support of intercity bus transportation
facilities and services providing access and connections to rural
areas. If it is determined that all or a portion of the set-aside
monies is not required for intercity bus service, those funds will
be applied to the formula apportionment process described in paragraph
(4) of this subsection. Procedures for determining if a certification
of adequacy is warranted are as follows.
(A) The department will review all data on intercity
bus service availability, including outstanding requests from intercity
operators and rural transit districts, and levels of service.
(B) The department will consult with affected intercity
bus service providers and rural transit districts.
(C) Based on the findings of subparagraphs (A) and
(B) of this paragraph, the commission, the governor or the governor's
authorized designee may certify to the adequacy of intercity bus service.
(3) Discretionary allocation. After the allocation
of funds under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, up to 10
percent of the remaining funds will be available to the commission
for award at any time during the fiscal year on a pro rata basis,
competitively, a combination of both pro rata basis and competitively,
or as a one-time award. Funds may be used to address rural transit
district service and capital development needs, changes in transit
district boundaries, unforeseen funding anomalies, emergency services
response and recovery needs, changes in economic conditions or availability
of assets significantly impacting current year operational expenses,
or other needs as determined by the commission.
(4) Rural Transit District Total Allocation. Excluding
the amounts allocated under paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection,
the commission will allocate to rural transit districts in accordance
with this paragraph the balance of the annual §5311 federal apportionment
and any program funds that were available for award in the previous
fiscal year under paragraph (3) of this subsection but not awarded.
(A) Subrecipients will receive a baseline allocation.
The amount of a subrecipient's baseline allocation is the amount of §5311
funds that the subrecipient received for federal Fiscal Year 2021
and will not be reduced by the performance adjustment under paragraph
(5) of this subsection.
(B) Each rural transit district will receive a subrecipient
growth allocation amount based on proportional share using the following
(i) population of the district - 50 percent;
(ii) land area of the district - 25 percent;
(iii) total vehicle miles in the district - 15 percent;
(iv) number of low-income individuals residing in the
district - 10 percent.
(C) For the purposes of subparagraph (B)(i) of this
paragraph, population is determined using the most recent federal
decennial census except that beginning September 1, 2027, the director
may choose to use population information from the Texas Demographic
Center for periods between the publication of federal decennial census
(5) Performance Adjustment. The total allocation computed
for a rural transit district under paragraph (4) of this subsection
is subject to adjustment for performance in accordance with this paragraph,
except as provided by subparagraph (A) of that paragraph.
(A) The performance measures used for performance adjustments
under this paragraph are:
(i) the rural transit district's ridership increasing
by two percent or more; and
(ii) the district's operating costs per total vehicle
hours not exceeding the annual average of those costs for the district,
plus one standard deviation, computed over a 10-year period but excluding
any year in which a federal major disaster declaration was applicable
to the district.
(B) For each performance measure not achieved, a rural
transit district's total allocation will be reduced by five percent.
(C) A rural transit district that achieves both performance
measures will receive an additional allocation amount computed by
dividing the total amount of reductions for all under subparagraph
(B) of this paragraph by the total number of rural transit districts
that achieve both performance measures.
(D) The director, in any year, may waive the application
of the performance adjustment under this paragraph to a rural transit
district or a group of rural transit districts based on unique conditions
that negatively affect the performance of the district or group, including
natural disaster, pandemic, or another event that specifically affects
the service level of the district or group.
(6) Census Adjustment.
(A) If part of a transit district's service area is
changed due to declaration by the United States Census Bureau or the
service area is otherwise altered, the department and that subrecipient
shall negotiate an appropriate adjustment in the funding year or any
subsequent year, using population and land area factors.
(B) If a previously designated urbanized area is declared
rural by the United States Census Bureau, a public transportation
subrecipient serving that area must apply for funds in accordance
with paragraph (7) of this subsection.
(7) Application and contract. Prior to receiving funds
a subrecipient must complete and comply with all application requirements,
rules, and regulations applicable to the §5311 program. A completed
application must be submitted, in a form prescribed by the department,
and document the need and demand for general public passenger transportation
services. A contract shall be for no less than 12 months unless authorized
by the department.
(8) Review of Allocation Provisions. Prior to allocating §5311
funds for FY 2028, the department will review the allocations of §5311
funds for the preceding five fiscal years to determine whether paragraphs
(1) - (5) of this subsection need to be adjusted for the fair and
equitable distribution of those funds for FY 2028.
(g) Program of projects. All projects for a fiscal
year will be identified in accordance with the allocation rules included
in subsection (f) of this section. After commission approval of the
allocation, these projects will be submitted to the FTA as the annual
program of projects for the fiscal year.
(h) Intercity bus program solicitations. For funding
from allocations made under subsection (f)(2) of this section, request
for proposals will be issued for projects complying with FTA definitions
of intercity bus transportation. To ensure a balanced investment in
access and connectivity to intercity bus travel, the department may
establish investment targets among eligible applicant groups or project
types prior to solicitation of project proposals.
(i) Federal emergency relief funds. If federal emergency
relief funds are apportioned to the department through the §5311
program, the commission will distribute those funds in a manner consistent
with relief funding objectives.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §31.36 adopted to be effective September 21, 1989, 14 TexReg 4601; amended to be effective July 20, 1992, 17 TexReg 4891; amended to be effective September 23, 1993, 18 TexReg 6109; amended to be effective January 13, 1994, 19 TexReg 90; amended to be effective August 11, 1994, 19 TexReg 5876; amended to be effective March 22, 1996, 21 TexReg 2096; amended to be effective December 11, 1997, 22 TexReg 12092; amended to be effective February 15, 2001, 26 TexReg 1365; amended to be effective April 17, 2003, 28 TexReg 3080; amended to be effective September 1, 2004, 29 TexReg 6734; amended to be effective June 20, 2005, 30 TexReg 3606;amended to be effective July 20, 2006, 31 TexReg 5675; amended to be effective February 21, 2008, 33 TexReg 1380; amended to be effective October 21, 2010, 35 TexReg 9372; amended to be effective November 21, 2013, 38 TexReg 8253; amended to be effective December 6, 2017, 42 TexReg 6815; amended to be effective November 16, 2022, 47 TexReg 7562