In December 2022, the U.S. Census designated a portion of the Core Area of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (MSB) as an "urbanized area" or UZA. Along with the new designation comes a change in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding allocations. Currently, non-profit transit and health and human service organizations operate transit in the borough and rely on FTA 5311 Rural Transit funding for operations. Within the UZA, 5311 funding is no longer allowed, and providers must instead utilize FTA 5307, or Urban Transit, funds. Unlike the 5311 Rural Transit funds, the 5307 funds cannot be given directly to a non-profit organization. Instead, FTA and the State of Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (AKDOT&PF) will work with the borough to assign a direct recipient to receive the funds. A direct recipient must be a local governmental organization who, in our case, will facilitate pass-through grant funding or will contract transit providers for services in the UZA.
The MSB is currently in the process of designing a direct recipient program structure. The program would set the MSB, or another local governmental entity, up to be the direct recipient of FTA 5307 funds, providing a way for transit providers within the UZA to continue receiving funding for operations, and preventing a gap in transit services for borough residents. The federal fiscal cycle begins October 1, 2023, and planning staff is working hard alongside AKDOT and R&M Consulting to have a proposed program structure by the start of the new fiscal year.
If you have any questions about Transit Development please don't hesitate to reach out!