Todd Talks Funding!

Part 2 of 3
By: Todd Allen
Director of Government & Community Relations

In this three-part blog series, I will  be feeding you fun facts on funding.


Diverse federal, state, and local revenue sources are critical in support of services provided by public and human service transportation agencies across the United States.

Many of these agencies’ funding opportunities come in the form of public, private, non-profit, and foundation grants. Monitoring existing revenue streams and catching other new, varied funding opportunities is critical for any agency to secure revenue and sustain services. As part of this process, many organizations  (large, medium, and small) leverage multiple resources in seeking both existing and new grant funds for a wide range of purposes.

How does this occur? By being actively engaged in utilizing existing resources as well as seeking new funding resources on an ongoing basis.

It’s like the sport of fishing – it takes time, passion, and persistence. Maintaining this daily vigilance will eventually pay dividends.

Funding Resources

There are a variety of organizations that provide transportation grant funding and provide connections to these resources. Funding opportunities may be available for:

  • Technology
  • Planning
  • Administration
  • Training
  • Operations
  • Transportation services (i.e. customer trips)
  • Mobility management
  • Capital
  • Advocacy
  • And many more

How these grants are made available is subject to its host and purpose for the funding opportunity.

Depending on the grantor, funding is based on formats, such as:

  • Formula
  • Discretionary
  • Specific purpose
  • And many other methods

Funding may come with requirements that must be understood and agreed upon prior to its acceptance.

Understanding the purpose, eligibility, and other requirements for the grant is critical. Time spent doing so won’t be time wasted!

When seeking funding, consider resources such as: peers, federal funders, and trade associations (among others). 


First, peers in the industry are an invaluable resource. Peer networking enables incredible knowledge transfer to share funding and other information across the industry. Peer resources an individual could contact may be within the current organization, community, region, state, and existing or related industries. If unfamiliar with resource options, take time to discuss and learn funding options, requirements, and contacts from peers. 

Federal Funders

Second, US federal agencies provide a myriad of funding for public and human services transportation programs. Based on a 2011 analysis by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), there were over 80 federal agencies that funded various transportation programs. US public and human service transportation providers are federally funded by the FTA, US Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) and other agencies for specific purposes. 

To learn more about resources from these organizations, visit their websites, read social media, and make calls to regional or Washington, D.C. offices.

Federal agency resources:

Trade Associations

Third, industry trade associations are a great method to seek and learn resources. Many national, regional, and state organizations have staff and dedicated resources to share information on grant funding. Examples of industry trade associations include:


Remaining actively engaged in monitoring public and human service transportation funding options daily is critical to the organization’s future. How to do this?  Maintain regular, ongoing dialogue with funding agencies, such as:

Maintaining relationships with these partners, illustrating services provided and funding needs communicates the organization’s interests for the future.

The key takeaway for this section? Stay engaged on all fronts!

How to Find Grant Resources?

To receive additional information on grant resources, please visit the links provided within this blog.

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