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Funding for community transportation

Looking for funding for a community transportation service or coordination effort? Check out these federal, state, foundation, and other funding opportunities.

Table of Contents

Apply today! Upcoming deadlines

  • MassDOT's Community Transit Grant Program - funding for vehicles, operating expenses, or mobility management projects to enhance mobility for older adults and people with disabilities. New applicants must attend a training. Trainings are scheduled in different locations around the state between May 13 and May 24. The grant application will open May 28 and close at 5pm on June 25.

Federal funding

Federal Transit Administration

  • The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is the primary source of federal funding for public transit and community transportation programs
  • The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act is the current federal legislation that guides FTA funding.
    • Note: Some funding streams that were available under previous legislation are no longer available. Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) funding was previously available for employment transportation for welfare recipients and low-income people, and New Freedom funding was available for transportation for people with disabilities. Under the FAST Act, these projects no longer have their own dedicated funding streams
  • MassDOT's Rail and Transit Division administers many federal FTA programs at the state level, including through the Community Transit Grant Program

Special Initiatives

Other Federal Agencies

  • Besides FTA, other federal agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services (including the Administration on Aging), Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Labor also provide some funding for transportation
  • This GAO report identifies 80 federal funding sources and reviews federal and state efforts to coordinate these funding streams
  • is the official government site for information on federal grants and funding

State funding

Community Transit Grant Program
Massachusetts distributes federal and state funds for community transportation through MassDOT’s Community Transit Grant Program. This includes the Mobility Assistance Program, a state funding source for improved transportation services for seniors and people with disabilities. Transit authorities, state agencies, municipalities, non-profits, and for-profits can apply to MassDOT for capital or operating assistance.

MArtap offers Helping Hand mini-grants annually to support transit services in rural and small urban areas.

Community Compact
The Baker-Polito administration's Community Compact initiative provides technical assistance - and sometimes funding - to cities and towns that pledge to implement best practices, which may include transportation, age-friendly policies, and other topics.

State Contract Opportunities
Some state contracts for community-based services include some funding for transportation. To check for upcoming procurements, visit COMMBUYS, the Commonwealth's electronic procurement system, which provides free, around-the-clock access to all bid documents valued over $50,000 issued by Massachusetts executive departments.


Build a relationship with foundations in your area to see if your programs could be eligible for funding now or in the future.

Find a Foundation

Example Foundations

Other funding sources

Local Sponsors

  • Local banks have sponsored vehicles and transportation services in some regions of Massachusetts
  • Many restaurants are willing to partner with nonprofits to host fundraisers where some of the profits from a meal go to your organization
  • Corporate giving programs based in Massachusetts may be a source of funds or volunteers

Soliciting Donations

  • Crowdfunding sites provide a platform to raise funds from individual donors in support of a defined project

Applying for grants

Grant writing tips

Data sources for background information



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