Federal Formula Grant Program for Rural Areas

The Federal Formula Grant Program for Rural Areas (also called “Section 5311”) supports capital and operating expenses for public transportation services that are scheduled for and operated in non-urbanized areas (population under 50,000).

Currently, 49 systems across the state receive these federal funds to operate bus or shared-ride taxi systems providing public transportation for rural residents.

Annual funding amounts per system are equalized via formula statewide, combining grants from the Federal Formula Grant Program for Rural Areas, State Urban Mass Transit Operating Assistance Program as well as Federal Formula programs for Urban Areas.

Approximately one-half of total annual operating expenses for Wisconsin transit systems are reimbursed through state and federal grants.

WisDOT awards Section 5311 formula grant funds via the annual Public Transit Assistance Program (PTAP). This program’s application is made available online in WisDOT’s BlackCat® Grant Management System each fall.


Steve Hirshfeld
(608) 267-0209

Kevin Lange
(608) 266-2365