California Department of Transportation

Division of RAIL AND Mass Transportation


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Department of Transportation Division of Mass Transportation, MS #39
P.O. Box 942874 Sacramento, CA 94274-0001

PHONE: (916) 654-8811
FAX: (916) 654-9366
TTY: 711

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New Freedom (NF -- FTA Section 5317)

Bruce Plowman
Branch Chief
(916) 657-3875

Program Overview

The New Freedom program goals are to provide new public transportation services to overcome existing barriers facing Americans with disabilities seeking integration into the workforce and full participation into society while expanding the transportation mobility options available to persons with disabilities beyond requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101, et seq.).

The final Circular FTA C 9045.1, effective May 1, 2007, incorporates provisions of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). This requires projects selected for funding be derived from a locally developed, coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan (Coordinated Plan) and that the plan be “developed through a process that includes representatives of a public, private, and non-profit transportation and human service providers and participation by members of the public”.

Eligible Applicants

Provide services that enhance and improves mobility options for individuals with disabilities as described under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101, et seq).


Successful applicants enter into a project agreement with Caltrans that stipulates the terms and conditions under which the project and equipment must be administered, procured and operated. The agreement remains in effect until the project is completed and formal disposition of the equipment has been made with the approval of Caltrans in accordance with Federal grant standards.

Section 5317 grantee agencies are required to furnish quarterly reports based on the execution agreement. Caltrans also makes periodic inspections of local projects to verify equipment condition and appropriate use of funding.

Funding Availability for Fiscal Year 2013

Caltrans released a call for projects on November 15, 2012, to solicit project proposals for grant awards under the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) JARC and NF programs. Approximately $1.8 million will be available under the JARC program to improve access to transportation services for employment related for low-income individuals as well as support transportation services for reverse commute from urbanized and non-urbanized areas to suburban employment opportunities. The NF program will have approximately $1.43 million to award projects to help reduce barriers to transportation services and expands mobility options for Americans with Disabilities. Small urban project applications are due to the regional transportation planning agencies on March 29, 2013, and all applications will be due to Caltrans on April 19, 2013.


    DMT's Procurement & Grants Management office provides public agencies and private non-profit organizations with the opportunity to purchase transit vehicles at the lowest possible price. Purchases through DMT are in full compliance with State requirements and the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA's) Third Party Contracting Guidance, FTA Circular 4220.1F.

    Contracts are in place for ADA compliant low-floor minivans; narrow-body cutaways; wide-body cutaways; and medium duty transit buses. Specific information related to vehicle types and contracts are available by selecting the appropriate link below. The contracts, specifications and supporting documents are also downloadable, providing needed information for vehicle ordering.


Headquarters' Section 5317 Staff Contacts

Please send any comments and suggestions via email to Branch Chief - FTA Section 5317 - New Freedom Program