Capital Investment Grant Program

The Section 5309 Capital Investment Grant program (CIG) is the major funding source for rail and bus expansion projects nationwide. MTC advocates in Washington D.C. for robust CIG funds in annual federal spending bills and plays a critical role in developing consensus among Bay Area transit partners about which transit projects should pursue highly competitive CIG funding.

Karl Nielsen

MTC has helped secure CIG funding for nearly every recent major transit expansion in the Bay Area. The Bay Area’s project priorities are outlined in MTC’s Regional Transit Expansion Program.

Capital Investment Grant Program has three funding categories:

  • New Fixed Guideway Projects: Rail extensions or new rail or bus rapid transit systems with a minimum cost of $300 million or total funding request above $100 million
  • Core Capacity Projects: Improvements to an existing rail system that increases capacity by at least 10%
  • Small Starts: Lower cost rail or bus rapid transit projects


Federal Transportation Administration Grants

MTC distributes Federal Transportation Administration grants, including New Starts funds, that pay for projects to maintain and modernize the Bay Area’s transit network.

Muni Central Subway

New Starts helped fund the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Central Subway project, which added new stations and better access for communities along the route.

Transit Core Capacity Challenge Grants

MTC’s Transit Core Capacity Challenge Grants pay for capital improvements to the Bay Area’s three largest transit systems — investing transit dollars where they can make the biggest difference.