Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation

Commuter Assistance Program Grants



Commuter Assistance Program (CAP) is the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) statewide grant program for programs and projects that provide information on commute options to the public, encourage the use of transit, vanpooling, carpooling, and telework, mitigate congestion on Virginia’s highways and roads, and improve air quality.

CAP also help Virginia’s transportation system operate more efficiently by moving more people without increasing congestion. These benefits are achieved by increasing vehicle occupancy, reducing single occupant vehicle trips, increasing transit, carpool and vanpool ridership, increasing telework, shifting trips from peak to off-peak periods, and reducing vehicle miles traveled.

CAP Application Guidance:

Grants are awarded through a competitive application process. DRPT’s Program Application Guidance document details all of DRPT’s grant programs, eligible recipients, and eligible projects and expenses. Grant awards are included in DRPT’s Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP) which is reviewed and approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

CAP consists of two individually administered grant programs:

  • CAP Operating Assistance
  • CAP Project Assistance

Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) CAP Application Resources:

Key CAP Application Dates:

December 1: The grant application period opens.

February 1: Applications are due.

February-April: DRPT evaluates applications.

April-May: DRPT completes application evaluation and develops the draft Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP) which contains funding for public transportation and commuter assistance programs and services.

June: The Commonwealth Transportation Board adopts the Six-Year Improvement Program, and DRPT notifies applicants of approved grants.

July 1: Fiscal Year begins – grant contracts are executed.

Commuter Assistance Program (CAP) Operating Assistance:

CAP Operating Assistance program provides funding to support operation of local and regional commuter assistance programs that reduce single occupant vehicle trips and increase carpool, vanpool, and transit use. The overall goal of the program is to mitigate traffic congestion throughout Virginia.

The commuter assistance programs provide the following types of services:

  • Ridematching services that match commuters and travelers in carpools, vanpools, and transit options.
  • Commuter assistance websites, mobile applications, and phone numbers.
  • Trip planning.
  • Guaranteed/Emergency Ride Home programs to help commuters get home when they carpool, vanpool, or use transit to work and they have to unexpectedly leave early or work late.
  • Marketing and promotion of travel options to residents, commuters, employers, and employees in Virginia.

Grant Match Requirements: 80% State/20% Local

Commuter Assistance Program (CAP) Project Assistance:

CAP Project Assistance is a competitive grant program that supports local, regional, and statewide commuter assistance projects that mitigate congestion and reduce single-occupant vehicle trips. This is an outcome-focused grant program which requires all candidate projects to demonstrate that they will achieve measurable reductions in congestion by eliminating single occupancy vehicle (SOV) trips.

CAP Project Assistance supports (but are not limited to) the following types of projects:

Employer outreach projects that:

  • Increase the number of private sector employers providing commuter benefits to employees commute to work via public transportation or vanpools.
  • Increase the number of private sector employers providing assistance to employees commuting in carpools and vanpools.
  • Increase the number of private sector employees commuting via transit, carpools, or vanpools
  • Vanpool assistance projects that form new vanpools, increase the overall number of vanpools, and increase the number of vanpool riders in Virginia.

Marketing projects that increase transit ridership

Grant Match Requirements: 80% State/20% Local

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