Grant programs and awards

This is where you can learn about grant programs and awards that help public transportation providers across the state deliver projects that address access, efficiency and the environment.

We play a key role in the state and federal grant programs that provide more than $250 million per biennium to support community-based public transportation. Funds are provided to public agencies and to nonprofit and for-profit transportation service providers. Grant-funded projects include:

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

Public transportation grant recipients

The following types of organizations qualify for at least some of WSDOT's public transportation grants: cities, counties, nonprofit agencies, private operators, senior centers, special districts (such as schools and ports), state agencies, transit agencies, and tribes.

WSDOT's role

  • Facilitates stakeholder and public engagement and grant policy development.
  • Manages competitive project selection and formula allocations.
  • Works with grantees to finalize project scope, budget and grant agreements.
  • Works with grantees to develop performance measurement plans and report performance.
  • Monitors grantees for delivery and compliance with state and federal regulations through reporting, financial tracking and site visits.
  • Assists with vehicle purchases and vehicle inventories.
  • Provides training and technical assistance.
  • Reports to the public, Washington State Legislature and the Federal Transit Administration.

Grant resources

Title VI tools:

  • The LEP Language Map App is maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice and can be used to identify limited English proficiency (LEP) populations by county. See page 6 of the instructions to use the tool.
  • EJSCREEN is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency and can be used to identify various demographic variables, including race. Pair the “Report Widget” feature (see instructions page 31) and the Get 2014-2018 ACS report link (see instructions page 45) to create a report of the selected area with U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) data in PDF format.
  • The Washington Tracking Network’s Information by Location tool is maintained by the Washington State Department of Health and can be used to identify persons with disabilities populations.

Sign up for grant updates

To stay informed about WSDOT public transportation grants, you can register for updates by selecting “Public Transportation Grants” under “Funding” in the GovDelivery menu

View information on the 21 transit-related projects we administer authorized by the multimodal portion of the Connecting Washington transportation funding package.

Consolidated grants provide funds for public transportation improvements within and between rural communities; transportation services between cities; purchases of new buses and equipment; and public transportation services to seniors and people with disabilities.

This program supports projects that help people connect with fixed-route public transportation services, including buses, ferries, rail, water taxis, tribal transit and vanpools.

Green Transportation Capital grants provide funding to transit agencies for cost-effective capital projects that reduce the carbon intensity of the Washington transportation system.

Find information on Move Ahead Washington, the new state transportation funding package that provides $3 billion for public transportation over the next 16 years. Move Ahead Washington funding will add support to existing programs and lead to the development of new programs.

Paratransit/Special Needs grants sustain and expand services to people with disabilities. Rural Mobility grants support public transportation in rural and small urban areas.

Paratransit/Special Needs and Rural Mobility competitive grants cannot be applied for independently. WSDOT awards these grants as part of the Consolidated Grant program.

These transit formula grants sustain and expand services to people with disabilities, seniors children and people living in rural areas.

This grant supports local efforts to improve connectivity between counties and regional population centers as well as to reduce transportation delay. This program includes four eligible project types: vehicle and equipment purchases, capital construction, operations, and transportation demand management.

These competitive and transit formula grants support rural and small urban areas. Grant recipients use these funds to purchase or enhance vehicles and facilities as well as support operations.

The Rural Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) provides funding from the Federal Transit Administration 5311(b)(3) program to assist with design and implementation of training and technical assistance projects and other support services for transportation operators in non-urbanized areas. Rural public transportation operators receive training and technical assistance through the program.

This grant supports projects that increase transit ridership and improve transit riders' travel experience through collaboration among agencies in the central Puget Sound region.

These grants provide funding to support operating and capital expenses of transit agencies in Washington state.

Commute trip reduction grants are for local jurisdictions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep the busiest commute routes flowing. Local jurisdictions work with employers, who develop and manage their own programs based on locally adopted goals.

This intercity bus service connects rural communities to major transportation hubs and urban centers, filling gaps in the public transportation network and making travel more accessible, reliable and convenient.

The purpose of the Tribal Transit Mobility Grant program is to provide for the transportation needs of tribal communities.

Vanpool Investment Program grants support vanpool programs at transit agencies across Washington.

We are hiring!

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Improved access to 98.2 miles of upstream fish habitat

through 15 fish passage projects in 2021.

28% increase in the value of exports and imports 

from $90.2 billion in 2020 to $115.5 billion in 2021.