FTA Announces Changes to National Transit Database Census Reporting

Published on: April 7, 2022

FTA is announcing changes to National Transit Database (NTD) reporting requirements, which will change to conform with new data to be defined by the Census Bureau following the 2020 Census.

The decennial designation of new urban areas by the Census Bureau has a number of impacts on FTA’s grantees. The Census Bureau’s calculation of the population and land area for each urban area are direct components of several FTA funding formulas. Additionally, the Census Bureau’s designation of urban areas determines whether each grantee is located in a very large urban area (over 1 million in population), a large urban area (over 200,000 in population), a small urban area (between 50,000 and 200,000 in population), or a rural area (any other area) for purposes of FTA programs. These classifications in turn determine what funding formulas are used by FTA in apportioning formula grants, what data is used in calculating those formulas, the role of the State DOT in administering FTA’s funding, and the types of projects that will be eligible expenses under FTA grants.

Each year, federally supported transit systems report data to the NTD indicating what urbanized areas and rural areas they serve, and how they provide service to those areas. If the Census Bureau publishes new urbanized area definitions before October 1, 2022, as expected, transit operators will be required to update certain NTD reporting forms based on the new Census urbanized areas as an addendum to their annual reports. FTA will use the updated data from the Census Bureau and the NTD in the apportionment of formula grants for Fiscal Year 2023. If the Census Bureau releases new urbanized area definitions on or after October 1, 2022, then FTA will not require the addendum and will instead integrate the new urbanized area definitions into the 2022 NTD reporting process and the apportionment of formula grants for Fiscal Year 2024.

In January, FTA published a proposed National Transit Database – Federal Register Notice detailing those changes and seeking input.

National Transit Database (NTD)
NTD Reporting Forms
Federal Register: National Transit Database Census Reporting Clarifications

to request a different date or venue for this course — or request a new course entirely.