Programming and Grants

The Programming and Grants section of VTA's Congestion Management Agency is charged with countywide fund programming and administration for Federal and State transportation grant recipients.

    Call for Projects

    Lifeline Transportation Program

    Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) established the Lifeline Transportation Program to improve mobility for low-income residents of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties. Funds are distributed to each county based on each county's proportional share of Bay Area residents living in poverty.

    In Santa Clara County, the Social Services Agency of the County of Santa Clara and VTA jointly administer the Lifeline Transportation Program. A Joint Lifeline Transportation Committee solicits, reviews, and recommends projects to the VTA Board, the County Board of Supervisors and MTC.

    To access the Cycle 5 Lifeline application and supporting documents, please click on the link below.

    Lifeline Transportation Program Cycle 5 Documents

    This grant opportunity is now closed.

    OneBayArea Grant (OBAG) Program

    MTC's framework for programming 2018-2022 Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBGP) and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds is called the "OneBayArea Grant” Program (OBAG).

    The OneBayArea Grant Program integrates the region’s federal transportation program with California’s climate law (Senate Bill 375, Steinberg, 2008) and the Sustainable Communities Strategy. Funding distribution to the counties considers progress toward achieving local land-use and housing policies by:

    • Rewarding jurisdictions that accept housing allocations through the Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) process and support housing through transportation projects.
    • Supporting the Sustainable Communities Strategy for the Bay Area by promoting transportation investments in Priority Development Areas (PDAs).
    • Allowing flexibility to invest in transportation categories such as Transportation for Livable Communities, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, local streets and roads preservation, safe routes to school, and mobility management.

    OBAG Program documents

    ​​This grant opportunity is now closed.

    Priority Development Area (PDA) Planning Grant Program

    The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has directed that each Congestion Management Agency design its Priority Development Area (PDA) planning program to emphasize and support growth in housing, employment, and transportation within its PDAs.

    VTA staff has developed a PDA Planning Grant program with the goal of enabling transit-oriented housing and employment growth in Santa Clara County’s PDAs. The PDA Planning Program is an initiative to fund comprehensive planning in PDAs that will result in intensified land uses around public transit hubs and bus and rail corridors in Santa Clara County.

    The purpose of the PDA Planning Grants is to provide local jurisdictions with assistance in planning and creating vibrant places with adequate housing for all income levels, a mix of uses, access to jobs, and multi-modal transportation infrastructure. VTA envisions that these grants will help local jurisdictions enhance their planning activities to enable developments in the planned or potential PDAs.

    PDA Planning Grant Program Documents 

    This grant opportunity is now clos​​​ed.

    TDA Article 3 Program

    The 2014 TDA Article 3 call for projects is now closed.

    Transportation Fund for Clean Air (TFCA) County Program Manager Fund

    The County Program Manager Fund is a part of the Transportation Fund for Clean Air (TFCA) grant program, which is funded by a $4 surcharge on motor vehicles registered in the Bay Area. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) administers these funds in the nine-county Bay Area. Funds are available for allocation to alternative fuels, arterial management, bicycle, and trip-reduction projects that reduce vehicle emissions.

    The management district returns 40% of TFCA funds to the county in which they are collected for allocation by a “program manager.” This fund is called the TFCA Program Manager Fund (TFCA 40%). VTA is the program manager for Santa Clara County and project sponsors apply directly to VTA for funding. The VTA Board of Directors allocates these funds to projects in Santa Clara County, subject to approval by the district. To be approved by district, all TFCA projects must conform to its board-adopted policies, cost-effectiveness requirements, which are explained in the “County Program Manager Fund Expenditure Plan Guidance.” 

    Public agencies in Santa Clara County can apply for TFCA County Program Manager funds through VTA. At the discretion of VTA, non-public entities may also be eligible to apply for these funds, but only for certain clean air vehicle projects. Detailed information and an application form can be found here:

    This grant opportunity is now clos​​​ed.

    Vehicle Emissions Reductions Based at Schools (VERBS) Program

    The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) created a funding program Climate Initiative Safe Routes to School Program that focuses on reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) by promoting walking, biking, transit, and carpooling to school. Each county receives federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds based on local total school enrollment.

    The VTA Board of Directors established the Vehicle Emissions Reductions Based at Schools (VERBS) program to distribute these funds. ​

    This grant opportunity is now clos​​​ed.

    Bicycle Expenditure Program (BEP)

    The Bicycle Expenditure Plan, part of VTA's Bicycle Program was first adopted in 2000 by the VTA Board of Directors as the funding mechanism for countywide bicycle projects. The program is the bicycle element of the Valley Transportation Plan, Santa Clara County’s Long Range Transportation Plan. It allocates approximately $165 million to fund 80 bicycle projects for the projected 2010-2035 time period.

    There are no grant opportunities at this time.

    Programming and Grants Responsibilities

    • Carrying out VTA’s legally mandated Congestion Management Agency responsibilities for programming and monitoring certain Federal, State and Local grant funds.
    • Assuring that VTA maintains its own eligibility as a transportation agency for State and Federal grant funds.
    • Submitting the annual State and Federal Grant requests that fund the majority of VTA’s non‐Measure A Capital program and up to 25% of its annual operating budget.

    The Programming and Grants section contributes to VTA's organizational success by:

    • Positioning the agency as a key player and partner in regional transportation funding, resulting in enhanced visibility and influence.
    • Developing and recommending funding strategies for VTA’s long‐range and short‐range service initiatives.
    • Assuring that VTA obtains the grant funding to which it is entitled.