Accessibility (5310 Grant Program) Information

Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities

RTC is pleased to announce a Call for Projects under the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Federal Transit Administration Section 5310 grant program.  The goal of the Program is to improve mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities by removing barriers to transportation services and expanding transportation options. Projects should be targeted toward these two population groups although there may be additional benefits to the general public.

To support the transit industry during the COVID-19 public health emergency, on December 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA), was signed into law allocating an additional $66,562 to the RTC under the 5310 Program for operating expenses at 100% federal share, with no local match requirement.

Under this new law, CRRSAA also waived the local share requirement for the apportioned unobligated formula funds available to RTC under the Section 5310 program.  For Capital/Mobility projects this would typically require an 80/20 match, and for Operating projects a 50/50 match.  Therefore, eligible subrecipients will not be required to provide a local match during the two-year project cycle. 

The total funding available for this two-year period that begins on October 1, 2021 includes:

YEARCAPITAL
(55%)
OPERATING
(45%)
TOTAL
1 (FY 19)204,139167,022371,161
2 (FY 20)210,986172,624383,610
$415,125$339,646
TOTAL FORMULA 5310 AVAILABLE FUNDING$754,771
CRRSAA$66,562$66,562
TOTAL 2-YEAR 5310 FUNDING$821,333
YEARCAPITAL/MOBILITY
MANAGEMENT (55%)
OPERATING (45%)
1 (FY 19)204,139167,022
2 (FY 20)210,986172,624
CRRSAA   66,562
 $415,125$406,208

Program Overview

The Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program is a federal program that 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. 

To be funded, project applications must support the goals and strategic objectives found in the RTC’s recently developed and updated Coordinated Human Services Public Transportation Plan (CTP), approved by the RTC’s Board of Commissioners on December 18, 2020.  These goals represent a regional strategy to increase personal mobility and travel options for those with special transportation needs in the Reno-Sparks region, including seniors and individuals with disabilities. You are encouraged to review the plan here.

Eligible Applicants

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, as required by the CTP, 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

Project Management and Reporting Requirements

The RTC, as the designated recipient of Section 5310 funding, is responsible for overseeing and administering the Section 5310 Program in the urbanized area of Washoe County. Section 5310 subrecipients must have the staffing capability to manage the project and comply with reporting requirements for the Section 5310 Program.

Successful applicants will be notified in writing of their selection and the amount of grant funds awarded. Entities selected to receive grant funding will be required to enter into a contract with the RTC. Entities are obligated to fulfill the requirements of the contract, including complying with all applicable Federal Transit Administration requirements, which include, but are not limited to civil rights, procurement, and/or drug and alcohol testing when commercial driver’s licenses are required. In addition, all services or work carried out under a contract awarded, as a result of this Call for Projects, must be completed within the scope, time frames, and funding limitations specified by the contract. Upon signature and execution of the contract by RTC, a copy of the executed contract will be returned to the applicant.

Grant recipients will be required to submit monthly and/or quarterly Project Status/Milestone Reports as determined by RTC by the 15th of the subsequent month. Reporting shall be done via email.  Project Milestone/Status Reports shall include, at a minimum: work accomplished and the current status for each project task; work activities anticipated for the following month by task; existing or anticipated problems that may affect the project schedule and proposed solutions; updated project schedule with milestones and deliverables; and project performance measures. RTC will provide the reporting forms to the Section 5310 subrecipients to successful applicants.

The RTC 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 RTC staff. Mobility management qualifies for Capital funding.   

RTC 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.

Project Eligibility

No less than 55 percent of funds awarded for Washoe County 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 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.

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.

  • Proposed projects must be new or expand/enhance an existing program or service.
  • FTA 5310 funds cannot be used to supplant existing funding.
  • Proposed project expenses must exceed a minimum of $50,000, each grant year.
  • All projects must be derived from the RTC’s Coordinated Human Services Public Transportation Plan (CTP).
  • Applicants must have management oversight and control over the operations of contracted service and purchased equipment.
  • Active Non-profit status must be provided.
  • All proposed projects must be ready to proceed.

VEHICLE ELIGIBILITY

  • Awarded vehicles must be used primarily for elderly persons and/or persons with disabilities.
  • Vehicles must be procured through the RTC utilizing the State of Nevada contract/list of approved vendors.
  • Comprehensive maintenance plan is required. – Comprehensive maintenance plan is required – https://purchasing.nv.gov/Contracts/Documents/Vehicle_Purchases/
  • A driving training program is required.
  • Vehicles proposed for replacement must meet or exceed their useful life and be in active service during the applicant’s normal days and hours of operation.

SERVICE ELIGIBILITY

  • Applicants must be able to document that the proposed service will serve additional persons or trips, expand the service area or hours, and/or increase the number or frequency of trips.
  • Applicants must explain growth and basis for trip projections.

Project Selection Process

All projects will be competitively selected through this open call for projects.  Applications submitted will be reviewed by RTC staff for eligibility and then referred to a Selection Committee comprised of representatives from the Cities of Reno and Sparks, Washoe County, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and low income and human services agencies for evaluation based on the project selection criteria.  Upon completion of the project evaluations, the projects will be presented to the RTC Board at its June 18, 2021 meeting for approval.

Project Selection Criteria

Each project proposal will be screened for completeness and timeliness. Proposals that are deemed incomplete or arrive after the deadline will not be reviewed. Complete proposals will undergo a two-step screening and evaluation process.

The initial screening process will seek to confirm basic requirements such as agency, program, and project eligibility, as well as consistency with the RTC’s Coordinated Human Services Public Transportation Plan (CPT).

Projects that meet these basic eligibility requirements will then be evaluated based on the following scoring criteria:

COORDINATION, PARTNERSHIP & OUTREACH (maximum of 20 points)

  • To what extent the project demonstrates coordination among various entities.
  • To what extent the project involves the private sector. 

NEEDS & BENEFITS (maximum of 50 points)

  • To what extent the project meets a regional transportation need.
  • To what extent the project responds to the federal evaluation criteria.
  • To what extent the project demonstrates a new or innovative idea that cannot be replicated elsewhere in the region.
  • The number of seniors, persons with disabilities and/or those with limited incomes the project proposes to serve or benefit. 
  • The number of trips this project will provide.

PROJECT READINESS (maximum of 30 points)

  • The project’s overall cost-effectiveness.
  • To what extent the application identifies reasonable strategies for on-going funding.
  • The feasibility of the project and the project’s ability to meet/comply with federal reporting requirements.

Total maximum points available equals 100.  Eligible projects must exceed the minimum threshold amount of $50,000 per year to qualify for funding. Projects may be recommended for approval at a lesser funding amount and/or reduced scope than originally requested, in order to achieve a fair and equitable distribution of funding and to support as many eligible projects as possible for the duration of the programming period (2 years).  If the RTC deems it necessary to reduce the project scale/scope in order to align the project with budgetary constraints, the RTC will consult with the applicant.  RTC staff may also contact the applicant to obtain clarification on the application, as deemed necessary.

As noted above, projects recommended for funding will be brought to the RTC’s Board for final approval on June 18, 2021. Applicants will be notified of the final awards after the Board takes action on the recommended project selections.

Application Process

Call for Projects Key Dates
March 15, 2021Call for Projects Released
April 26, 2021Applications Due at Noon
April 27-May 28, 2021Project Application Review
June 18, 2021RTC Board Adoption of 5310 Projects, update to CTP
July 23, 2021RTIP & STIP Amendment to include updated CTP Projects, RTC Board Meeting
No later than July 31Submit Section 5310 Grant Application to FTA
August/SeptemberFTA Grant Award
SeptemberExecute Project Agreements with subrecipients
October 1, 2021Projects begin

Federal/Local Matching Requirements

Due to the availability of federal relief funding under CRRSA, there will be no match requirements for this next two-year cycle period.  Applicants are though required to provide a reasonable cost estimate for the project and demonstrate their ability to fund the project at the time of applying.  While a match is not required, applicants demonstrating an ability to provide a match may receive a more favorable rating.

Application Process

Project Submission

Project proposals must be submitted via email to Jennifer Meyers, Project Manager to jmeyers@rtcwashoe.com.

Project Deadline

Project proposals must be received by Noon, on Monday, April 26, 2021.

Please make sure your application is complete. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Project sponsors are encouraged to submit their proposals far enough in advance of the submission deadline to allow RTC staff to review proposals for completeness.

APPLY HERE

Pre-Application Assistance

Prospective project sponsors interested in learning more about the Call for Projects are encouraged to contact Jennifer Meyers at jmeyers@rtcwashoe.com or by phone (775)332-9513 with questions about the programs or prospective projects. 

Additional Resources

The 5310 program provides transportation services for seniors and individuals with disabilities. Only projects addressing these needs will be considered for funding. More information about the 5310 program can be found in the Federal Circular 9070.1G at the following web address: http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/C9070_1G_FINAL_circular_4-20-15(1).pdf

In order for a project to qualify for funding it must provide service in the Reno/Sparks urbanized area of Washoe County. Any proposed project providing service outside of this area will not be considered for funding.


5310 Program Document Downloads