Section 5310: Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program

Call for Projects open through April 22, 2021

The Section 5310 Call for Projects is open from Monday, March 22 through Thursday, April 22, 2021. The RTA invites local governments, private non-profit organizations, and transportation providers to apply for FY2020 and FY2021 Section 5310 funding through an open competitive process described below.

Application and Program Overview

The total funding available for FY2020 & FY2021 is approximately $10.9 million.  This number includes appropriations for Section 5310 from the most recent federal COVID relief bill, the American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARP).  Applications are due at noon on April 22, 2021, and may be submitted via email to Section5310@rtachicago.org. If you have any questions regarding the program or developing your application, please contact Fluturi Demirovski at 312-913-3239 or via e-mail at Section5310@rtachicago.org.

APPLY: Download the application form.

Call for Projects Timeline
March 22, 2021 Call for Projects opens
April 22, 2021 Applications due at noon
July 2021 Public comment 
August/September 2021 Presentation of Recommended Program of Projects (POP) to CMAP
August 19, 2021 Recommended POP presented to RTA Board

 

 

 

 


 

Program Overview

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 and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are co-designated recipients of Section 5310 funds 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.

Explore an interactive map with details on ten operating projects that have been awarded funding through the program, some of which have been supported by the Section 5310 program for over a decade.

For more information on the RTA’s Section 5310 Program:

Human Services Transportation Plan

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. 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 RTA originally created and adopted the HSTP in 2007 and later updated the plan in 2013 to bring it in line with new regulations enacted under MAP-21. In 2021, the RTA updated the HSTP in an effort to keep it in line with current needs and FTA requirements. The updated HSTP will allow the RTA to continue to access Section 5310 funding.

The FTA requires that projects selected for funding under the Section 5310 program be “included in a locally developed, coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan” and that the plan be “developed and approved through a process that included participation by seniors, individuals with disabilities, representatives of public, private and nonprofit transportation and human services providers and other members of the public.”  A locally developed, coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan (HSTP) identifies the transportation needs of individuals with disabilities, seniors and people with low incomes; provides strategies for meeting those local needs; and prioritizes transportation services and projects for funding and implementation.

Main elements of the HSTP include a demographic analysis and assessment, an inventory of existing transportation providers in the region, identification of gaps in mobility needs, development of strategies, activities and projects to address the needs and revise local program policies, and project selection process. The RTA’s HSTP Project Advisory Committee (PAC) served as the project steering committee for the project.  The PAC is made up of staff from Pace, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the six counties in the RTA region, and individuals from organizations that represent persons with disabilities and older adults. 

The PAC recommended nine coordinated transportation goals to address the prioritized needs:

  1. Establish mobility management and travel training networks
  2. Expand service areas and hours
  3. Coordinate fare media and implement capped fares for certain trips
  4. Coordinate volunteer driver support programs
  5. Improve access to suburban jobs for residents with low incomes
  6. Expand consolidated vehicle procurement types
  7. Explore collaboration/consolidation of similar services
  8. Establish a regional 1 call/1 click service
  9. Create an accessibility infrastructure database

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Eligible Applicants and Projects

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:

  • Private nonprofit organization; or
  • 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 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.

Eligible Projects

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.

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Project Selection Process and Evaluation Criteria

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 seven representatives: two representatives from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), two from the RTA and two from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and one from Easterseals. Upon completion of the project evaluations, a recommended Program of Projects will be released for a 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.

Eligibility Assessment

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 /
Not Eligible
 
2.  Project application identifies and addresses an unmet need identified in the Human Services Transportation Plan (HSTP). This should include:
(a) which goal this project will implement
(b) description of the project
(c) how the project will address the goal(s)
(d) identification of performance measures that can track success of the project
Eligible /
Not Eligible
3.  Local match supplied. Eligible /
Not Eligible
If an existing project, score 4a only, or new project, score 4b only Point Value

4a. Project supports existing project  that supports a goal from the HSTP; and 
 one or more strategies that:

(a) Demonstrates coordination between one or more partnering agencies

(b) Creates an improvement in services for the target population

(c) Continues an essential transportation function for the target population

4b. Project is new project that supports a goal from the HSTP; and

(a) Demonstrates coordination between one or more partnering agencies

(b) Creates an improvement in services for the target population

(c) Continues an essential transportation function for the target population

0-20

(a) 0-10

(b) 0-5

(c) 0-5

 

0-20

(a) 0-10

(b) 0-5

(c) 0-5

5.  Project provides or applying for mobility management function in a particular county or portion of the region. 0-20
   
6.  Project markets to target population and promotes public awareness   0-10
  Point Value
7.  Project utilizes/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 0-20
8.  Applicant demonstrates ability to implement proposed project and manage federally-funded awards 0-10
For existing applicant, score 9a and 9b only, for new applicant, score 10 only Point Value

9a. Applicant provides plan for assessing the proposed project's performance through the course of the grant (performance measures)
 

9b. Reporting for existing program demonstrates performance in line with or exceeding prior estimate.(Not applicable for new applicants)

0-10

0-10

  Point Value
10.  Applicant provides plan for assessing the proposed project’s performance through the course of the grant (performance measures) - New applicant only. 0-20

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Other Details

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. For examples of other sources of local match, please view the CCAM Federal Fund Braiding Guide. 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. 

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).

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.

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FY2018-FY2019 SECTION 5310 PROGRAM OF PROJECTS

On August 22, 2019, the RTA Board approved eleven projects totaling $9,111,584 in federal funding. For more information on a particular project, click on the applicant name in the chart below to view the project application. 
 

Applicant

Project Title

Description and Justification

Total Estimated Budget

Federal Share

AID Ride in Kane Phase 17 & 18 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 17 private, non-profit organizations and local units of government participating in the program.   This is an existing Section 5310 project. $5,000,992 $2,502,996
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.  This is an existing Section 5310 project. $1,320,000 $660,000
Clearbrook Community Connections for Adults with Disabilities This project provides transportation services to more than 8,000 children & adults with Intellectual/developmental disabilities.  Clients are transported to work, school, day programs, medical appointments, community recreation, and other activities.  This is a new Section 5310 project. $200,000 $100,000
CTF Illinois CTF Illinois Transportation Services for People with Disabilities This project provides transportation support to children and adults with diverse disabilities.  The door to door transportation supports are a vital service that allows persons enrolled at CTF greater access to their daily supports including vocational, community employment, educational, fine arts, and advocacy.  This is a new Section 5310 project. $200,000 $100,000
DuPage County Transportation to Work The Transportation to Work Program is an existing project that provides demand-responsive transportation to and from work for persons with disabilities.  The project operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year and serves all of DuPage County.  This is an existing Section 5310 project. $984,000 $492,000
Little City Foundation Transportation Program This project provides transportation for seniors and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, who are enrolled with Little City, to places of employment, community-based programs, Special Olympics regional competitions, and medical appointments.  This is an existing Section 5310 funded project. $1,088,194 $544,097
Kendall County 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 project. $640,000 $320,000
McHenry County McHenry County Service Integration & Coordination Project (McRide) McRide program provides coordinated dial-a-ride service to individuals with disabilities and individuals 60 years or older.  This is an existing Section 5310 project.   $2,400,000 $1,200,000
Ray Graham Association RGA Comprehensive Association Program 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.  This is an existing Section 5310 project. $1,533,054 $766,527
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.  This is an existing Section 5310 project. $320,000 $160,000
Pace Phase VII Regional Call Center 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.  This is an existing Section 5310 project $2,832,455 $2,265,964

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