Texas Intercity Bus Study
Opportunities to Provide Input
The Intercity Bus Study includes a consultation process that involves input from intercity bus providers, public transit operators, regional planners, and other stakeholders.
Representatives of stakeholder organizations are invited to provide their insights about intercity bus travel by participating in the appropriate survey:
The study team will be reaching out to each intercity bus provider to request their input. We will also be inviting stakeholders representing various types of organizations to participate in virtual stakeholder meetings/focus groups to be held in March and April 2021.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Public Transportation Division (PTN), together with a consultant, is currently developing an Intercity Bus Study. The overarching goal of this study is to provide TxDOT with details about the state’s intercity bus needs and services, needed to determine TxDOT’s strategic priorities for the program. The study will:
- Identify all currently/recently operated ICB services across Texas (TxDOT-funded or not)
- Summarize the performance of currently funded services
- Identify service gaps (both current and pre-pandemic)
The study is intended to inform TxDOT’s decision-making process re: managing the Texas Intercity Bus (ICB) funding program to address transit needs across the state.
Texas Intercity Bus (ICB) Funding Program (5311(f))
TxDOT PTN manages the Texas Intercity Bus (ICB) program utilizing the state’s apportionment under the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5311(f) program (described below). This program is designed to strengthen the connections between rural areas and the larger regional or national intercity bus system. ICB also supports the system's infrastructure. Our objectives for the ICB program are:
- Support connections between rural areas and the larger regional or national system of ICB service
- Support services responding to the intercity travel needs of residents in rural areas
- Support the infrastructure needs of the ICB network through planning and marketing assistance and capital investments
Projects within this program:
- Support and promote the coordination of public transportation services across jurisdictions and program areas
- Coordinate transit service between rural and urbanized areas, and between agencies that provide human service transportation and other types of public transportation.
TxDOT may prioritize ICB operating projects and small-scale investments to access points in rural areas which connect to rural service providers. Such projects can include “feeder” service to connect rural areas to the intercity bus network, as well as such infrastructure improvements as passenger shelters service by intercity bus or feeder service. Feeder service may be operated on a fixed route or demand response basis.
ICB program grants are selected through the Coordinated Call for Projects for. Eligible grantees are primarily operators of public transportation services, including private operators of public transportation services. In 2020, several Texas ICB projects were also funded by FTA Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
What does 5311(f) mean?
5311(f) is a subsection of the overall FTA Section 5311 program of assistance for public transportation serving rural (non-urbanized) areas. Each state must spend at least 15% of its annual apportionment for the development and support of intercity bus transportation, unless it can certify, after consultation with intercity bus service providers, that the intercity bus needs of the state are being adequately met. A unique provision of this program is the ability to use the value of connecting unsubsidized intercity bus service as the local match for operating project.
What Does Intercity Bus Mean?
Intercity bus service carries passengers over long distances between cities, towns, and other populated areas. The FTA defines Section 5311(f)-eligible intercity bus services to have the following characteristics:
- Open to the general public
- Provide a meaningful connection to the national intercity bus network
- Shared stations
- Coordinated schedules
- Interline ticketing (if appropriate)
- Fixed-route, fixed-schedule (unless they are “feeder services”)
- Have space for baggage
Services funded under this program must also be accessible to people with disabilities (i.e., meet applicable ADA requirements).
Strategic Programs Coordinator
TxDOT Public Transportation Division