The Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program is a federal program which aims to improve mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities by removing barriers to transportation service and expanding transportation mobility options. This program supports transportation services planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special transportation needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities.
The RTA’s Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Plan (HSTP), as required by FTA, sets forth policies and strategies for the Section 5310 program in Northeastern Illinois. Projects approved by the RTA Board for inclusion in the Section 5310 Program of Projects are incorporated into the HSTP Plan.
For a project to be considered eligible for Section 5310 funding it must be included in the locally developed Public Transit- Human Services Coordinated Plan (HSTP). The HSTP was updated and approved by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Board in October 2013 in accordance with federal requirements. The HSTP for Northeastern Illinois includes the six-county RTA region, comprising Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties, plus the urbanized portions of Kendall County, Sandwich Township (DeKalb County), Somonauk Township (DeKalb County), and Aux Sable Township (Grundy County).
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the RTA are co-designated recipients for Northeastern Illinois. The co‐designation status has been approved by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Northeastern Illinois. IDOT, through its Consolidated Vehicle Program (CVP), selects and awards paratransit vehicles to eligible applicants. For information on IDOT’s Section 5310 CVP program and funding cycle contact Zoe.Keller@illinois.gov. The RTA is responsible for all other Section 5310 projects, solicited through a bi-annual call for projects.
For more information on the RTA’s Section 5310 Program:
All applicants are encouraged to work with other interested parties that may use or be affected by proposed projects. Projects are evaluated, in part, on an applicant's demonstrated efforts to coordinate with other parties such as government agencies, transportation providers, and social service groups. Any coordination aspects of the project should be noted in the project description and evidenced through other appropriate documentation, such as partnership agreements and cooperative operational arrangements. Projects that do not demonstrate coordination will generally not be awarded, unless specific circumstances that prevent coordination (such as the need to transport agency clients with specific mobility assistance needs) are clearly outlined in the proposal.
Eligible subrecipients for Traditional Section 5310 Projects include:
a. Private nonprofit organization; or
b. State or local governmental authority that:
- is approved by a state to coordinate services for seniors and individuals with disabilities; or
- certifies that there are no nonprofit organizations readily available in the area to provide the service.
Eligible subrecipients for other eligible Section 5310 activities include:
- a state or local governmental authority
- a private nonprofit organization
- an operator of public transportation that receives a Section 5310 grant indirectly through a recipient
In Northeastern Illinois, the RTA Service Boards (CTA, Metra, and Pace), as FTA Direct Recipients, are allowed to apply for and receive grants directly from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Once the RTA awards a Section 5310 grant to a Service Board, they can then apply directly to the FTA for those funds. All other applicants receiving an award through the RTA-administered program becomes a grant subrecipient of the RTA. Subrecipients must be able to certify and demonstrate the ability to meet federal requirements regarding these programs during the application process.
Project Management and Reporting Requirements
The RTA, as the designated recipient of Section 5310 funding, is responsible for overseeing and administering the Section 5310 Program in Northeastern Illinois. Section 5310 subrecipients must have the staffing capability to manage the project and comply with reporting requirements for the Section 5310 Program. Reporting shall be required throughout the duration of the active project. Subrecipients are responsible for submitting quarterly reports to the RTA, in addition to any other reports as may be required. RTA will provide the reporting forms to the Section 5310 subrecipients. Reports submitted must be accurate, complete, and timely. Subrecipients will also be required to submit invoices and monthly project status reports, indicating performance on project scope and other items required by RTA.
The RTA encourages applicants to apply for mobility management funding to assist in the administration of the program. This funding can be used to fund a staff position that is responsible for administering the program (partner coordination, invoice preparation and submittal, reporting preparation and submittal) and can be the main point of contact for RTA staff. Mobility management is funded at 80 /20 (80% federal, 20% local).The RTA encourages applicants to apply for mobility management funding to assist in the administration of the program. This funding can be used to fund a staff position that is responsible for administering the program (partner coordination, invoice preparation and submittal, reporting preparation and submittal) and can be the main point of contact for RTA staff. Mobility management is funded at 80 /20 (80% federal, 20% local).
RTA staff will also conduct on-site compliance reviews once the project has begun.
Failure to comply with federal requirements may affect future funding and result in the loss of approved funding.
Note: Rolling stock is not considered eligible for consideration under RTA calls for projects. IDOT is responsible for project selection and the award of Section 5310 funded paratransit vehicles in Northeastern Illinois and the RTA is responsible for all other Section 5310 projects. IDOT, through its Consolidated Vehicle Program (CVP), selects and awards paratransit vehicles to eligible applicants. For information regarding CVP, please contact Zoe.Keller@illinois.gov.
Eligible projects include those that are planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities when public transportation is insufficient, inappropriate, or unavailable. It may also be used for public transportation projects that exceed the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended (ADA) that improve access to fixed‐route service and decrease reliance by individuals with disabilities on complementary paratransit, and for alternatives to public transportation that assist seniors and individuals with disabilities.
No less than 55 percent of funds awarded for Northeastern Illinois by fiscal year must be obligated to “traditional” Section 5310 projects. Traditional projects are those public transportation projects planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities when public transportation is insufficient, unavailable, or inappropriate.
In order for a project to receive funding from the traditional category of funds, it must be a capital project related to 5310-funded vehicles and the sub-recipient must either be a non-profit agency or a local unit of government that certifies no non-profit organizations are readily available in the area to provide services. An operating project may also be funded from the traditional category of funds, provided the service is implemented by a non-profit agency, which contracts out services to a third party.
Previously RTA funded projects include coordinated paratransit services, volunteer driver program, expansion of an existing service, and general public demand responsive paratransit service. A complete list of previously funded Section 5310 subrecipients and project descriptions are available on RTAMS.
Detailed guidance regarding eligible projects from FTA on the Section 5310 Program can be found in the most recent Section 5310 Program Circular 9070.1G.
Project Selection Process
All projects will be competitively selected through this open call for projects. Applications submitted will be reviewed by RTA staff for eligibility and then referred to a Project Selection Team (PST) for evaluation based on the criteria included in the following section. The PST is made up of staff from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the RTA, and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). Upon completion of the project evaluations, a recommended Program of Projects will be released for an approximately thirty day public comment period. Following the public comment period, the RTA Board will be presented the Program of Projects for approval.
Projects may be recommended for approval at a lesser funding amount and reduced scope than originally requested, in order to achieve a fair and equitable distribution of funding and support as many eligible projects as possible for the duration of the programming period (2 years). If the PST deems it necessary to reduce the project scale/scope in order to align the project with budgetary constraints, the PST will consult with the applicant. RTA staff may also contact the applicant to obtain clarification on the application as it deems necessary.
Project Evaluation Criteria
The Project Selection Team will evaluate the projects based on the following criteria taking into account the entire application as submitted.
|1. Proposed project addresses: (a) public transportation projects planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities when public transportation is insufficient, inappropriate, or unavailable; (b) public transportation projects that exceed the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.); (c) public transportation projects that improve access to fixed route service and decrease reliance by individuals with disabilities on complementary paratransit; and (d) alternatives to public transportation that assist seniors and individuals with disabilities with transportation.||Eligible /
|2. Project application identifies and addresses an unmet need identified in the Human Services Transportation Plan (HSTP). This should include: (1) a description of the project; (2) identification of the unmet needs (which is/are addressed by the project); (3) how the project will address the unmet need(s), e.g., in terms of serving new riders, a new area, a new day and/or times, a higher frequency, less advance notice, more driver assistance, etc.; and (4) an estimated quantification of benefits. Any additional obligations, e.g., the provision of ADA complementary paratransit as a result of implementing a new fixed bus route in a previously unserved area, should be noted.||Eligible /
|3. Local match will be supplied.||Eligible /
|Consistency with the HSTP and CMAP ON TO 2050||Point Value|
4. Project employs one or more strategies that:
|5. Project markets to the target population and promotes public awareness.||0-10|
|6. Project utilizes or coordinates with existing public transportation providers and private human service agencies; or reflects partnerships with non-transit entities and/or private non-profit/for profit organizations. Please refer to “eligible applicants” section of the website for more details on this criteria.||0-20|
|7. Applicant will provide more than required match.||0-15|
|8. Applicant currently operates a 5310-funded project.||0-15|
|9. Applicant demonstrates ability to implement proposed project and manage federally-funded grants.||0-10|
|Performance Measures||Point Value|
|10. Applicant provides plan for assessing the proposed project’s performance through the course of the grant.||0-10|
The Call for Projects is currently open. The total funding available for FY2018 & FY2019 is approximately $9MM. Applications must be received by the RTA no later than Noon on Thursday, May 2, 2019 and are to be submitted via e-mail to Section5310@rtachicago.org. You will receive a confirmation e-mail upon receipt of your submittal. If you have any questions regarding the program or developing your application, please contact Fluturi Demirovski at 312-913-3239 or at Section5310@rtachicago.org.
The application form can be downloaded here:
Applicants are encouraged to directly consult with the appropriate Service Board(s) on proposed projects that could affect existing transit operations or transit facilities. Contact information for each Service Board is as follows:
|Donald Gismondi||Holly Lown Waters||Lorraine Snorden|
|Call for Projects Key Dates|
|March 21, 2019||Call for Projects Released|
|May 2, 2019||Applications Due at Noon|
|June 27 - July 1-6, 2019||Public Comment Period|
|August / September 2019||Presentation of Recommended Program of Projects (POP) to CMAP|
|August 15, 2019||Recommended POP presented to RTA Board|
Federal/Local Matching Requirements
Applicants are required to provide a reasonable cost estimate for the project and demonstrate the ability to fund the project at the time of applying. An operating project, whether classified as a traditional Section 5310 project or not, must provide a 50% local funding match in accordance with the HSTP. Capital and mobility management projects require a 20% local match. Items classified as administrative activities are funded at 100%, requiring no local match. All of the local match must be provided from sources other than Federal DOT funds. Examples of sources of local match that may be used include the following:
- State or local appropriations
- Other non-DOT Federal funds
- Dedicated tax revenues
- Private donations
- Revenue from human service contracts
- Net income generated from advertising and concessions
Farebox revenue may not be used as local match. Farebox revenue is considered income and is deducted from total operating cost to determine the net cost of the activity.
FY2016 & FY2017 Approved Program of Projects
The RTA Board approved the following FY2016 & FY2017 Program of Projects at the August 24, 2017 Board Meeting.
|APPLICANT NAME||PROJECT TITLE||PROJECT DESCRIPTION||ESTIMATED PROJECT BUDGET||FEDERAL SHARE|
|Association for Individual Development||Ride in Kane (RIK) Phase 15 & 16||The Ride in Kane project coordinates paratransit services in Kane County into a centralized system that optimizes transportation resources for older adults and persons with disabilities. The sponsors of this project include multiple private non-profit organizations and local units of government. Currently there are 20 private, non-profit organizations and local units of government participating in the program. This is an existing Section 5310 funded project.||$1,964,883||$1,572,907|
|City of Naperville||Ride DuPage to Work||This project continues to operate as part of the Ride DuPage program. Older adults are afforded increased employment opportunities by providing them with transportation to jobs outside of their own town and at times that may extend beyond traditional work hours. Seven local governments sponsor the service. This is an existing Section 5310 funded project.||$1,671,384||$835,692|
|DuPage County||Transportation to Work||The Transportation to Work Program is a demand responsive service under the existing Ride DuPage system designed to provide persons with disabilities with greater opportunities to obtain and maintain employment through affordable transportation. This is an existing Section 5310 funded project.||$1,021,724||$510,862|
|Lake County Division of Transportation||Ride Lake County Central Dial-a-Ride||The service provides expanded dial-a-ride transportation in Lake County to persons with disabilities and older adults residing in central Lake County. Five municipalities and Lake County sponsor the project. This is an existing Section 5310 funded project.||$239,626||$119,813|
|Lake County Division of Transportation||Ride Lake County West||The service provides expanded dial-a-ride transportation in six townships primarily for persons with disabilities and older adults in the western portion of Lake County. The townships, in cooperation with the Lake County Coordinated Transportation Services Committee, and Lake County sponsor the project. This is an existing 5310 funded project.||$642,500||$321,250|
|Little City Foundation||Transportation to Work||This project provides transportation for seniors and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, who are enrolled with Little City, to places of employment, community activities, Special Olympics regional competitions, and medical appointments. This is an existing Section 5310 funded project.||$920,000||$460,000|
|County of Kendall||Kendall Area Transit||This is a general public, demand responsive paratransit service that provides service predominately for senior citizens and persons with disabilities in the urban portions of Kendall County. This is an existing Section 5310 funded project.||$600,000||$300,000|
|County of McHenry||McRide||McRide program provides coordinated dial-a-ride service to individuals with disabilities and individuals 60 years or older. Funding is recommended to fund this existing Section 5310 project.||$1,680,000||$840,000|
|Ray Graham Association for People with Disabilities||Ensuring Access to the Community for People with Disabilities||Individuals with disabilities are transported from their homes to Community Learning Centers and to a variety of other activities including grocery shopping, medical appointments, volunteer opportunities and recreational activities.||$2,717,340||$1,358,670|
|Will County||Will Ride||This program provides transportation and mobility management services for persons with disabilities and older adults residing in eastern Will County townships. The program is an outgrowth of the county’s coordinated paratransit plan funded through the RTA’s former sub-regional Planning program.||$566,000||$283,000|
|Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)||Tactile Signage at CTA Bus Stops||This proposed project would install 10,712 tactile signs at all bus stop poles where CTA public information signs are currently posted to provide information about the exact bus stop location to customers who are blind or have visual or cognitive disabilities. CTA has a total 10,727 bus stops of which 10,712 have public information signs posted.||$475,437||$380,350|
|Pace Suburban Bus||Phase VI Regional Call Center||Phase VI of Pace's Regional Call Center takes reservations for dial a ride and demand response services to seniors and individuals with disabilities. The Call Center provides comprehensive mobility management services that improve the coordination and operation of transportation services.||$2,216,885||$1,773,508|