Grassroots organizing, and the broader work of local coalitions can make the difference when communities seek to protect and expand public transportation service. APTA provides grants to help the fight for public transportation.

Eligibility

Any local public transportation coalition is eligible, provided it has the support of the local APTA member(s) and makes a pledge to become a member in good standing of the National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates (NAPTA) before receiving a grant. Membership in NAPTA is free. For this grant program, a coalition is defined as a collection of groups and/or individuals joined together for the common purpose of promoting public transit. An APTA public transit system member may apply for the funds on behalf of a coalition, or a coalition may apply directly for the funds. Grant applications will be solicited until November 3, 2021.

Important Dates

Deadlines and grant requirement dates are as follows:

  • Completed applications must be submitted by: November 3, 2021
  • Grant awardees will be announced on or about: January 2022
  • Grantees are required to submit an Interim Report detailing project progress by: March 30, 2022
  • Grantees are required to submit a Final Report and invoice detailing the full expenditure of funds by: June 15, 2022

Grant Funding Amounts

Grant amounts awarded to coalitions generally range from $5,000 to $10,000. However, projects with a major focus on equity and inclusion may be considered for additional funding as part of APTA’s identified priorities. Matching funds are not currently required as a condition of grant approval.

Priority Considerations

  • Prioritizing equitable transportation strategies that improve access for traditionally disadvantaged groups (e.g., low-income populations, immigrant populations, individuals with mobility concerns) including improved infrastructure and fare affordability;
  • Incorporating methods that emphasize the importance of public engagement in advancing equity and advocacy, both virtual and in-person;
  • Promoting sustainably equitable transportation policies that mitigate the impacts of climate change on underserved populations traditionally affected by such changes;
  • Promoting safe access to transportation with improvement to pedestrian and public transit infrastructure; and
  • Assisting communities with strong support from Members of Congress of the Congressional District or State, or communities with a Partisan Voting Index of five or less.

Application Elements

Your application should address the following questions:

    1. Describe the project in detail.
      1. What phase of the project are you in? (e.g., research, exploratory, or execution)?
      2. What is your fundraising plan? Do you have other sources of funding in addition to the proposed APTA grant?
      3. How will APTA funds specifically advance your project?
    2. How will the project inform the identified APTA priority considerations?
      1. What is the level of community involvement in the project?
      2. Please provide examples of how you will engage the community during the project (e.g., community organizers, phone banking, digital, mail advertising, polling).
    3. What is the implementation process for the project? What critical actions will advance the project?
    4. What is the viability of the campaign team and plan (e.g., team competency, plan mechanisms, and path to victory)?
    5. What is the projected outcome of the project?
    6. Please submit a letter of support from a local APTA member (e.g., public transit agency, city department of transportation, or metropolitan planning organization).

Finally, please provide a timeline and budget for the proposed project in addition to responses to the listed questions.

Program Evaluation

Grantees will be required to submit measurable outputs (e.g., number of touches such as phone calls, doors knocked, literature dropped) as part of interim and final reporting, showing methods and outcomes in a PowerPoint format. Grantees will be expected to participate in periodic NAPTA virtual meetings to share progress of project with APTA. APTA funds are meant to be a complementary (not primary) source of funding, unless they used as seed money for a larger effort to raise funds.

Full Suite of Services Available

APTA has additional services that winning applicants may access, including support from the APTA Center for Transportation Excellence—which can provide talking points, campaign assistance, messaging guidance, and campaign infrastructure counsel.

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