Public Transit: Observations on Recent Changes to the Capital Investment Grant Program

The Federal Transit Administration's (FTA’s) Capital Investment Grant program provides roughly $2 billion in appropriated funds each year to help states, cities, and localities plan and build new or extensions to existing fixed-guideway transit systems. Under this program, project sponsors—usually local transit agencies—have typically applied for their projects to receive federal funding as either a New Starts or a Small Starts project. In 2012, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Act (MAP-21) created a new category of eligible projects called Core Capacity Improvement projects and also revised the process proposed projects must follow to be eligible for and receive federal funding. MAP-21 included a provision for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to biennially review FTA’s and the Department of Transportation’s (DOT's) implementation of this program. This report discusses: (1) FTA’s progress in implementing changes to the program required by MAP-21 and (2) how selected project sponsors view the MAP-21 changes and FTA's implementation of those changes. To conduct this review, GAO reviewed the relevant provisions of pertinent laws and FTA’s policy guidance, interviewed FTA officials and representatives from 13 project sponsors representing 17 of 52 projects participating in the program, and visited the sites of two Core Capacity Improvement projects. Project sponsors and locations visited were selected based on previous experience in the program, among other things. In written comments, DOT emphasized its commitment to improve and streamline the Capital Investment Grant program.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 37p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01598405
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-16-495
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 28 2016 2:30PM