Public Transportation Grant Programs and Awards

WSDOT's Public Transportation Division administers grants that help local transportation providers improve access and mobility. These grant programs provide more than $250 million per biennium to support community-based public transportation. Funds are provided to public, for-profit and non-profit service providers. Grant-funded projects include:

  • service (e.g. transit; paratransit; transportation for the elderly, people with disabilities and rural communities; commute trip reduction)
  • equipment (e.g. new buses, vanpool vans)
  • infrastructure (e.g. transit centers, park and ride lots, transit signal priority systems, transit lanes) 

Who receives public transportation grants?

The following types of organizations qualify for at least some of WSDOT's public transportation grants:

  • Cities
  • Counties
  • Non-profit agencies
  • Port authorities
  • Private operators
  • Senior centers
  • Special districts, such as schools and ports
  • State agencies
  • Transits
  • Tribal governments

What types of grants are awarded?

Funding for the Consolidated Grant Program improves public transportation within and between rural communities, provides transportation services between cities, purchases new buses and other equipment, and provides public transportation service for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

Funding for the Formula Grant Program improves public transportation for Washington residents, with particular emphasis on persons with disabilities, seniors, children and people in rural areas.

Funding for the Regional Mobility Grant Program improves transit mobility, creates transit-oriented infrastructure and reduces congestion on our most heavily traveled roadways.

Funding for the Vanpool Investment Program allows transit agencies to expand and/or replace their fleets of public vanpool vehicles.

What is WSDOT's role in managing the grants?

WSDOT's grants staff are responsible for:

  • Managing both state and federal public transportation grants including project selection and funding distribution.
  • Working with each grantee to finalize project scope, budget and grant agreements.
  • Monitoring grantees for performance and compliance with state and federal regulations through reporting, financial tracking and site visits.
  • Assisting in vehicle purchases and maintaining vehicle inventories.
  • Providing training and technical assistance to grant recipients in the form of transportation planning, contract management and marketing.
  • Reporting to the Washington State Legislature and the Federal Transit Administration on performance of state and federally funded projects.

When can public transportation providers apply for grants?

Timelines for all funding awards (state and federal) align with the state biennium. This allows applicants to submit their proposals for all types of grant funding just once every two years, rather than apply separately for each type of grant program.

Grant Resources


If you have any questions or would like more information about public transportation grants, please send us an email.