Our grantmaking supports organizations improving transit and urban quality of life, strengthening neighborhoods, and building stronger, more accessible regions.

We offer several grant opportunities including our annual open call and a rolling grant program known as Dispatch grants.

How we fund:

Open Call

TransitCenter’s largest funding program is our annual open call. The next call for proposals will be in early 2017.

Dispatch Grants

Dispatch grants are available on a rolling basis to support timely opportunities and organizational capacity building. TransitCenter accepts proposals from civic organizations improving transit in their own communities. Read a description of the grant program and download the application here. Submit to

Trick Out My Trip

In 2015 and 2016, TransitCenter andioby funded communities around the country to implement ideas for improving their transit experience and to strengthen the relationship between communities and their transit agencies.


View an interactive map of our 2015 grant making.

Selected Dispatch Grants

    • Circulate San Diego Transit Oriented Development Policy Research

      Circulate San Diego is preparing a detailed research paper outlining a variety of tools that the City of San Diego can adopt to reduce barriers to TOD. Along with a stakeholder group of real estate developers, land use experts, and affordable housing nonprofits, they will conduct press conferences, discussion panels, roundtables, and community town hall meetings to further the reports findings and recommendations.
    • Transportation Alternatives Leveraging the L-train Shutdown for Lasting Transit Improvements

      Transportation Alternatives is organizing citizens, stakeholder groups, coalition partners, and elected officials along key corridors to ensure that transportation solutions to the coming shutdown of the L-train serve local communities and usher lasting, ambitious improvements to the city’s bus network and street environments.
    • Coalition for Smarter Growth Staff and Organizational Development

      The Coalition for Smarter Growth’s staff members will attend national transportation conferences, participate in communications training, and take organized field trips throughout the DC region to gain experiential knowledge about transit issues and develop their advocacy agenda.

2015 Open Call

In 2015, TransitCenter awarded nine major grants totaling $838,700. The applicants were ranked on their potential impact to improve public transportation, originality, and applicants’ track records, as well as their consistency with TransitCenter’s own programming.

The following projects were chosen to receive the nine grant awards:

      • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA: “Scaling Up Co-Creative Planning of Transit Corridors,” which will pilot new methods of engaging the public in transportation planning.
      • TransForm, Oakland, CA: “Stopping Highway Expansion and Improving Funding for Transit,” advocacy for improving transportation in the busy corridor between San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
      • National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), based in approximately 30 cities nationwide: “Developing Leadership for Transit Streets, “ a series of training seminars for local officials and transit agency staff to apply the soon-to-be-released NACTO Design Guidelines for Transit Streets (also commissioned in part by TransitCenter) to improve streets for transit vehicles and riders.
      • Open Plans, New York, NY: “Streetfilms Series: How Transit Agencies are Addressing Challenges,” a set of short films documenting interesting projects and programs at various transit agencies around the country.
      • Transportation for America, Washington, DC: “State-level Policy Network for Transit Financing,” an educational peer-to-peer network for state legislators and state government officials who deal with transportation policy.
      • National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), Boston, MA, Kansas City, MO, Salt Lake City, UT, Sacramento, CA and Washington, DC: “Advancing Scenario-based Planning,” a training program for staff of metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to enable improved decision-making about transportation investments.
      • New York University, New York, NY: “Intelligent Paratransit,” an effort to improve the information technology, costs and service quality for transit service for the elderly and citizens living with disabilities in New York City.
      • Alta Planning and Design, Portland, OR: “Evaluating Transportation Demand Management Results,” a research and peer networking approach to creating performance metrics for programs intended to influence the demand for transportation.
      • State Sustainable Transportation Institute, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI: “New tools for understanding trip-making and accessibility,” an applied research project to improve forecasting techniques for transportation services.