Pennsylvania Safe Routes to School Program
Helping students, schools and communities take steps in the right direction
SRTS Infrastructure Funding
Funding for Capital Improvements to Create Safer Routes to School
As part of Pennsylvania’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, PennDOT makes federal-aid highway funds available to school districts, schools, municipalities, county government, and planning partners to address infrastructure projects that provide safer walking and bicycling routes. These funds are intended to benefit elementary and middle school children in kindergarten through the eighth grade.
Since the inception of the federal SRTS program in 2005, PennDOT has committed nearly $17 million in SRTS funding to 30 capital improvement projects that will enable and encourage children to safely walk or bicycle to school.
Center for Program Development, Safe Routes to School
Who is eligible to receive SRTS infrastructure funding from PennDOT?
Infrastructure funding through the federal SRTS program is only available to the following project sponsors:
•planning partners – metropolitan planning organization (MPOs) and rural planning organizations (RPOs)
At a minimum, the school and municipality must be a part of each application.
What projects are eligible for infrastructure funding?
According to Section 1404(f)(1)(A) of the SRTS enabling legislation, SAFETEA-LU, eligible infrastructure projects include the planning, design, and construction of infrastructure-related projects that will substantially improve the ability of students to walk and bicycle to school, including:
•traffic calming and speed reduction improvements
•pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements
•on-street bicycle facilities
•off-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities
•secure bicycle parking facilities
•traffic diversion improvements in the vicinity of schools
The bulleted items above represent a general list of eligible improvements. Any questions about project eligibility should be directed to Chris Metka, PennDOT’s Safe Routes to School coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org). Final eligibility determinations will be made by PennDOT in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration.
Funding may only be used for infrastructure projects that physically exist within the public right-of-way.
When is the next round of infrastructure funding available?
Currently, the next round of infrastructure has not been determined. Continue to check this website for updates, and be sure to sign up for e-mail notices to receive updates about the SRTS program.
Are there any required matching funds?
No matching funds are required for the federally funded portion of an SRTS project.
How is the funding distributed?
The SRTS program is a 100 percent reimbursement program, which means program funds are intended to reimburse project costs incurred by the project sponsor. However, these funds may only be used to reimburse costs that are incurred after the project funding has been secured.
How can my school or municipality improve its chances of being awarded infrastructure funding?
Pennsylvania, like other states, continues to receive record requests for SRTS funding. In fact, the national ratio of requested to available funding is approximately 3 to 1. With this in mind, it is important that applicants demonstrate that they now have or are in the process of creating a comprehensive SRTS project that efficiently addresses the barriers to walking and bicycling.
It is critical that applicants show that their proposed projects combine both infrastructure and noninfrastructure components. In fact, on the application for infrastructure funding, project sponsors must describe noninfrastructure activities that the school has coordinated in the past and plans for the future. Such projects can serve as a “match” to the infrastructure funding. The school’s participation ensures that projects are sustainable and that the limited funding is spent effectively.
In addition, when proposing improvements to make safer routes to school, the applicant should show that the solutions proposed in the infrastructure project address legitimate concerns that may have been identified either in parent surveys or through a walkability audit.
For more on what makes a successful SRTS program, go to How to Create a Successful SRTS Project.
Infrastructure Funding Resources
Frequently asked questions – This section of the website provides some common questions and answers about SRTS infrastructure funding.
FHWA Guidance for the SRTS Program – This document from the Federal Highway Administration provides guidance to states and other stakeholders on how to implement and administer SRTS programs.
- Comprehensive Guide to Safe Routes to School in Pennsylvania
– This guide developed by the PA SRTS Resource Center provides information on all the resources, materials, training, and funding available through the SRTS program.2.9 Meg | 1/13/2014
- Federal SRTS Implementation Manual
– This manual provides pertinent information about Pennsylvania’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program in one convenient document. It provides guidance about PennDOT policies throughout the project development process so that project funding is not jeopardized.820.67 K | 1/13/2014
- Federal SRTS Implementation Manual