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Funding Applicant FAQs

This page contains information about the STIF application process from start to finish. 

Key Terms​

  • Qualified Entity (QE) - mass transit districts, transportation districts, counties without either a mass transit or transportation district, and federally-recognized tribes. Map of ODOT QEs.
  • Public Transportation Service Provider (PTSP) - cities, counties, Qualified Entities, special districts, intergovernmental entities, and any other political subdivision or municipal or public corporation that provides public transportation services.
  • Sub-Recipient – any entity that has entered into an agreement with a recipient in order to complete one or more tasks specified in the agreement between the recipient and ODOT. These entities include nonprofits, private for-profits, and public entities.

Formula F​und

  • Only a Qualified Entity may submit a STIF Plan.
  • Sub-recipients are eligible to receive STIF Formula funding through their Qualified Entity by submitting project proposals to the Qualified Entity's Advisory Committee.
  • These sub-recipients can include Public Transportation Service Providers and nonprofits, private for-profits, and public entities.
  • Two or more Qualified Entities may jointly manage the STIF funds disbursed to them. See OAR 732-040-0040 for additional details pertaining to joint management of funds.
  • A Qualified Entity may wish to consult their regional transit coordinator​ on the options for establishing Sub-Recipient or contractor relationships for projects identified in the STIF Plan.

Discretionary and Intercommunity Discretionary

  • Only Public Transportation Service Providers, as defined in OAR 732-040-0005(24), are eligible applicants. See OAR 732-040-0005 for additional definitions. Non-profit transit providers and for-profit transit providers are not eligible. Eligible STIF Discretionary Fund applicants may contract with a non-profit or for-profit transit provider following procurement requirements applicable to the source(s) of project funding.
  • Under OAR 732-044-0020, potential recipients of STIF Discretionary Funds are required to meet, or demonstrate the capacity to meet, the following qualifications as applicable to the type of project being funded:
    • Be an entity eligible to enter into agreements
    • Have the legal, managerial, and operational capacity to perform the project within the agreed schedule
    • Not be debarred or suspended from receiving federal grants
    • Maintain compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations including, but not limited to, those pertaining to passenger transportation, civil rights, labor, insurance, safety, and health, as applicable
    • Comply with applicable laws, Oregon Administrative Rules, and the policies of the applicable grant fund
    • Proper use of STIF funds
    • Perform the project in a safe, prudent, and timely manner

​The STIF Plan serves as the application for STIF Formula funding. Formula Fund requirements are specified in Oregon Administration Rules (OARs) Chapter 732, Divisions 40 and 42.

The following guidance documents outline the STIF Formula Fund application process, provides guidance for complying with the rules, and provides instructions for completing and submitting the STIF Plan.

See Technical Resources page for trainings

Discretionary and Intercommunity​

The following document provides guidance and application instructions for two separate Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Public Transportation Division (PTD) solicitations:

  • Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF) Discretionary Program solicitation, funded using five percent of the funds from the Oregon STIF employee payroll tax.
  • Statewide Transit Network Program solicitation, funded from two sources: Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5311(f) funds and four percent of the funds from the Oregon STIF employee payroll tax, known as the STIF Intercommunity Discretionary Fund.

See Technical Resources page for trainings​

  • Formula Fund: STIF funding may be used to finance investments and improvements in public transportation services, except for light rail capital expenses. STIF may be used for public transportation purposes that support the effective planning, deployment, operation, and administration of public transportation programs including, but not limited to, the following:
    • Creation of new systems and services with origins, destinations or stops in Oregon;
    • Maintenance or continuation of systems and services, under certain circumstances; and
    • Planning for and development of a Local Plan or future STIF Plan to improve public transportation service.

STIF moneys are primarily intended to fund the expansion or improvement of public transportation in Oregon and priority will be given to plans that improve or expand services.

  • STIF moneys are not intended to supplant local funding sources to maintain existing services. A STIF Plan that proposes to use STIF funding to replace local funding to maintain an existing service may result in denial of the funding request.
  • Discretionary and Intercommunity Fund: Projects eligible to receive grants under the STIF Discretionary and Intercommunity Discretionary Funds include, but are not limited to, capital projects such as vehicles, facilities, equipment and technology, as well as mobility management, planning, research, and pilot projects.  STIF Discretionary funds may not be used to support ongoing operations.. STIF funding is not available for light rail capital expenses.

Formula Fund STIF Plan Review Process

Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) approval of a STIF Plan is required in order to receive STIF Formula funding. Under the Formula Fund program, STIF Plans may be submitted only with the approval of the Qualified Entity's (QE) Governing Body. STIF Plans must be signed by a person with the authority to enter into legally binding agreements on behalf of the QE. A charter or resolution typically specifies who has authority to enter into legally binding agreements. Once STIF Plans are submitted to ODOT by the Governing Bodies of the QEs, ODOT reviews the plans for completeness and provides them to the PTAC. The PTAC then reviews and makes a recommendation to the OTC on whether to approve the plans. Once the OTC has reviewed and decided whether to approve or reject the proposed STIF Plans, ODOT notifies the QEs of the OTC Plan decisions.

This report is submitted to PTAC, in accordance with OAR 732-042-0025, in order to inform its recommendation to the OTC about whether to approve or reject all or a portion of a QE submitted STIF Plan for Formula funding.

Discretionary and Statewide Transit Network Grant Award Process

ODOT will administer grant awards through deliverables-based grant agreements. Funds are disbursed on a quarterly basis upon submittal of satisfactory progress reports and expenditure documentation. Oregon Statewide Transit Network and STIF Discretionary investment priorities are guided by:

  • Oregon Public Transportation Plan
  • Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) Chapter 732, Divisions 40 and 44 
  • FTA Circular 9040.1G (for Section 5311(f) funds)

The major steps in the project selection process are depicted in the STIF Discretionary Fund and Statewide Transit Network Program Solicitation Schedule. After PTSPs submit grant applications to ODOT, they are reviewed for completeness, applicant eligibility and project eligibility consistent with OARs 732-044-0005, 732-044-0015, and 732-044-0020 and with federal requirements, where relevant. ODOT then forwards eligible applications to relevant Area Commissions on Transportation (ACTs) for review and comment and to Qualified Entities for review, recommendation, and, potentially, project prioritization following consultation with STIF Advisory Committees. The ODOT Project Selection Committee will then review the applications, QE recommendations, and ACT comments and provide a ranked list of project applications recommended for funding to PTAC. PTAC will consider the Selection Committee's ranked list, QE recommendations, and ACT comments and will make a funding recommendation to the OTC. The OTC will review and make a final funding determination.

Additional resources, including the program evaluation criteria can be found in the STIF Discretionary and Statewide Transit Network Program Guidance.​

​The Formula Fund Reporting Requirements Overview document is for QEs and Public Transportation Service Providers (PTSPs) to become familiar with the quarterly and annual reporting requirements for STIF Formula projects. Reporting for STIF Discretionary and Statewide Transit Network funds has been incorporated into the quarterly Agency Periodic Report (APR). Formula Fund Quarterly Reporting: The quarterly reporting requirements are outlined in OAR 732-042-0035(1), which states “Quarterly Reports: Using a form provided by the Agency, each Qualified Entity [(QE)] shall prepare a quarterly report to [ODOT] which details Project progress, outcomes achieved, and expenditures of STIF Formula Fund moneys by itself and its Sub-Recipients." The STIF Plan Report (SPR) is the form in the Oregon Public Transit Information System (OPTIS) where quarterly reports are submitted.  

  • Formula Fund Annual Reporting: Each Qualified Entity (QE) receiving Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF) funds is required to submit an Annual STIF Low-Income Tax Mitigation Report, detailing any actions taken by Public Transportation Service Providers (PTSPs) located within the area of that QE to mitigate the impact of the STIF tax on passengers who reside in low-income communities. The annual reporting requirements outlined in OAR 732-040-0025 include the following three additional reports: 1) low-income mitigation actions, 2) annual QE budget, and 3) annual audit reports. This table shows the Qualified Entities (QEs) and their applicable Public Transportation Service Providers (PTSPs) for this reporting requirement:
  • Discretionary and Intercommunity Discretionary Funds Quarterly Reporting: The recipients of STIF Discretionary, STIF Intercommunity Discretionary and FTA Section 5311(f) funds are required to prepare a quarterly report to the Oregon Department of Transportation (Agency) which details expenditures, project progress, updates to vehicle asset information, and outcomes achieved with discretionary STIF funds. Reports must detail outcomes for both the recipient and sub‐recipients. (See OAR 732-044-0040(1)(a)).

Discretionary and Intercommunity Funds Annual Reporting: On an annual basis, QEs are required to report on low income tax mitigation actions. This covers actions taken by any PTSP located within the area of the QE to mitigate the impact of the STIF tax on passengers who reside in low-income communities. Each PTSP receiving STIF funds must complete this form and return it to the appropriate QE. The identified QE will use collected responses to complete its Annual STIF Low-Income Tax Mitigation Report. Each PTSP will only need to submit one Low-income Mitigation form per year, regardless of how many STIF grant agreements that PTSP has with the Agency.  QEs bundle PTSP low-income mitigation responses and attach them with their 4th quarter SPR.

See Reporting and Technical Resources​ page for more information about STIF reporting.

​Any Qualified Entity or Public Transportation Service Provider, as defined under OAR 732-040-0005, that receives STIF money, is required to be audited on the use of those funds per OAR 732-040-0015. Consistent with guidance provided by the Oregon Secretary of State, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) developed Agreed-Upon Procedures (AUP) for the program audit of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF).

The following AUP engagement requirements are established in accordance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) AT-C Section 215. These represent the minimum procedures required for STIF programs. These agreed upon procedures, revised June 2021, are to be added to the STIF Recipient's annual financial statement audit process. Entities engaging in the audit may include additional STIF procedures as applicable to the STIF.

​Each fiscal year ODOT updates the STIF allocation estimate, which forecasts the funding that is likely to be available to Qualified Entities for the Formula, Discretionary, and Intercommunity Discretionary Funds.

Formula Fund:

Discretionary and Intercommunity:

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Maggie Charles
STIF Formula Fund Coordinator

Patrick DePriest
STIF Intercommunity Fund Coordinator

David Graf
STIF Fund Manager

Learn about and contact your Regional Transit Coordinators