Transit Planning

LCTC Transit Planning Responsibilities

1. Funding

State Transit Assistance (STA)

The State Transit Assistance (STA) fund was created under Chapter 161 of the Statutes of 1979 (SB 620), and revised by Chapter 322 of the Statutes of 1982 (AB 2551), and Chapter 105 of the Statutes of 1989 (SB 300). The fund provides a second source of Transportation Development Act (TDA) funding for transportation planning and mass transportation purposes as specified by the Legislature. Funds for the program are derived from the statewide sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel.

The money is appropriated to the State Controller by the Legislature, for allocation by formula to each TPA, to the five county transportation commissions, and to the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board (MTDB). The formula allocates 50 percent of the funds according to population and the remaining 50 percent is allocated according to operator revenues from the prior fiscal year. STA allocations are deposited in each of the regional transportation planning entity’s STA fund.

STA funds are allocated to the operators within the county. The allocations are based on the operator’s share of revenues when compared with all of the other operators in the state. The allocation must be made in a resolution adopted by the TPA’s governing board. The county auditor in accordance with the allocation instructions in the resolution makes payments from the STA fund.

STA funds may not be allocated to fund administration or streets and roads projects. Operators receiving STA funds must meet qualifying criteria based on the subsidy per revenue vehicle hour received in the previous year taking into consideration the change in the Consumer Price Index within the operator’s region. In those areas where the LTF apportionment restriction applies (counties over 500,000 population as of the 1970 Federal Decennial Census), a claimant may not receive STA funds unless all of its LTF apportionment is allocated.

For guidance on the use of STA funds, please refer to the TDA GuideBook located at the following location.

Mass Transportation Programs (5310, 5316, 5317)

5310- Elderly and Disabled Specialized Transit Program 
This capital grants funding program was established by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA Section 5310) for meeting the transportation needs of elderly persons and persons with disabilities; in areas where public mass transportation services are otherwise unavailable, insufficient, or inappropriate. It allows for the procurement of accessible vans and busses; communication equipment; mobility management activities; and computer hardware and software for eligible applicants. More information, applications, and guidance are included at the following location:

5316- Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) 
The purpose of this grant program is to develop transportation services designed to transport welfare recipients and low income individuals to and from jobs and to develop transportation services for residents of urban centers and rural and suburban areas to suburban employment opportunities. Emphasis is placed on projects that use mass transportation services. Grants may finance capital projects and operating costs of equipment, facilities, and associated capital maintenance items related to providing access to jobs; promote use of transit by workers with nontraditional work schedules; promote use by appropriate agencies of transit vouchers for welfare recipients and eligible low income individuals; and promote use of employer-provided transportation including the transit pass benefit program. More information, applications, and guidance are included at the following location:

5317- New Freedom 
The New Freedom Program is intended to fill the gaps between human services and public transportation services previously available and to facilitate the integration of individuals with disabilities into the workforce and full participation in the community. The formula grant program aims to provide additional tools to overcome existing barriers facing Americans with disabilities seeking integration into the work force and full participation in society. Lack of adequate transportation is a primary barrier to work for individuals with disabilities. More information, applications, and guidance are included at the following location:

FTA Section 5311 (Rural Transit and Procurement)

This program (49 U.S.C. 5311) provides formula funding to states for the purpose of supporting public transportation in areas of less than 50,000 in population. It is apportioned in proportion to each state’s non-urbanized population. Funding may be used for capital, operating, state administration, and project administration expenses. Each state prepares an annual program of projects, which must provide for fair and equitable distribution of funds within the states, including Indian reservations, and must provide for maximum feasible coordination with transportation services assisted by other federal sources.

Funds may be used for capital, operating, and administrative assistance to state agencies, local public bodies, and nonprofit organizations (including Indian tribes and groups), and operators of public transportation services. The state must use 15 percent of its annual apportionment to support intercity bus service, unless the Governor certifies that these needs of the state are adequately met. Projects to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Clean Air Act, or bicycle access projects, may be funded at 90 percent federal match. The maximum FTA share for operating assistance is 50 percent of the net operating costs. More information, applications, and guidance are included at the following location:

2. Unmet Transit Needs

Pursuant to the Transportation Development Act, the LCTC (through the SSTAC) is required to identify unmet transit needs in the county before making any funding allocations for any transportation project or program not directly related to public transportation, bicycling, and walking. The TDA outlines the Unmet Transit Needs process and gives guidance for making claims and allocations, not directly related to public transportation services. For guidance on the unmet transit needs process, please refer to the TDA GuideBook located at the following location.

Multiple definitions have been developed to assist counties interpret what is considered an unmet transit needs and can be found at:

3. Record Keeping

As noted above in the administration portion of these responsibilities, the TDA provides minimal guidance for record keeping and is limited to county auditor record keeping. As it pertains to the LCTC, TDA program record keeping guidelines and guidance shall be developed and maintained and placed in the “Policies and Procedures” section of this handbook. Specific to the TDA, the LCTC is responsible for the keeping of all records as it pertains to transit programs developed in accordance with the TDA.

4. Claims

As noted in the TDA, the LCTC, under the direction of the Commission, may adopt rules and regulations supplemental to, and consistent with, those of the department (DOT) to further delineate procedures for the submission of claims and stating criteria by which they will be analyzed and evaluated. Essentially, the LCTC will develop their own claim procedures to claim money for overall system operation. It is the responsibility of the LCTC to submit claims for money by a pre-designated date developed by the LCTC and adopted by the LCTC in order to receive compensation or reimbursement.