Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation

MERIT: Special Projects

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) administers several Special Projects described on this page.

Additional information on the goals, eligibility requirements, and application process for each of these programs can be found in the FY22 Transit and Commuter Assistance Grant Application Manual


Demonstration Project Assistance:
The Demonstration Project Assistance program is a competitive grant program that is meant to support local efforts to improve transit reliability, access to housing and employment centers, and public transportation mobility options.  Demonstration projects also serve as examples and opportunities for learning and replication for other transportation agencies throughout the Commonwealth.  

The projects that are eligible for this program fall under two categories:

Type 1: New Service: The deployment of new traditional public transportation services such as:

  • New service in an area or market not currently served by public transportation
  • New service that provides additional connections to areas that are currently served

Type 2: Technology and InnovationThe deployment of projects designed to test the "proof of concept" for new technologies used in the provision of public transportation services.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • The deployment or testing of autonomous vehicle technology
  • The deployment of a micro-transit demand response system
  • The deployment of new Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) solutions that would augment the provision of service and/or data collections

Grant Match Requirements: 80% State/20% Local

Program Resources: TBD


Technical Assistance:
The Technical Assistance grant program supports studies, plans, research, data collection, and evaluation projects to help improve and public transportation or commuter assistance services.  This program can be used to conduct a wide range of planning and technical analysis tasks that are needed as part of a decision making or evaluation process.

The goal of the program is to help grantees answer questions related to the provision of public transportation services and commuter assistance programs. This includes, but is not limited to providing technical analysis and guidance on operations, service delivery, customer service, expansions of service, and program delivery.

Grant Match Requirements: 50% State/50% Local

Program Resources: TBD


Public Transportation Intern Program:
The Public Transportation Intern Program supports the hiring of interns who are interested in pursuing careers in public transportation. It intends to increase awareness of public transportation as a career choice for aspiring managers, maintenance and operations staff, marketing employees, and other specializations within public transportation and commuter assistance agencies.  The grant program enables qualified people to gain experience in all facets of public transportation operations through hands-on work.

Post-collegiate internships and pre-graduate training are both eligible for program funding. Applicants are responsible for conducting an open recruitment process and selecting a qualified individual that fulfills the purpose and intent of the program. This program is not intended for staff augmentation, and such applications will not be considered for funding.

Grant Match Requirements: 80% State/20% Local

Program Resources: TBD



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