Safe Routes to School
The Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS) is a federally funded reimbursement program that was established in August 2005 by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act - A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). Section 1404 of the legislation provides funding for State Departments of Transportation to create and administer SRTS. Section 1404 of the Act also provides the details of the SRTS program. The SRTS program eligible under SAFETEA-LU, Section 1404 Safe Routes to School Program (23 USC 402 note), has been continued under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) legislation enacted in July 2012 and Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act enacted in December 2015.
Under the most recent legislation, funding does not provide for a standalone SRTS Program. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has elected to continue funding the SRTS program separately. The SRTS program is funded through the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Federal Aid Program and is being administered by the NJDOT, in partnership with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), and the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO).
The federal-aid SRTS program provides federal-aid highway funds to State Departments of Transportation. The main objectives of the program are to:
- Enable and encourage children in grades K-8, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school
- Make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age
- Facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.
County, municipal governments, school districts, and schools are eligible to apply to the program. Nonprofit organizations are eligible as direct grant recipients for this solicitation. However, non-profit organizations may partner with a local public agency that will assume responsibility and administration for the grant.
The SRTS Program provides funding for infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects, as described below.
Infrastructure projects include the planning, design, and construction or installation of sidewalks, crosswalks, signals, traffic-calming, and bicycle facilities.
NJDOT will solicit SRTS grant applications for infrastructure projects only. The Safe Routes to School Application Guidance explains the infrastructure program’s eligibility requirements, guides the applicant through the application, and describes the process by which projects are selected.
All applicants will be required to submit their applications online using SAGE (System for Administering Grants Electronically).
Non-infrastructure projects include activities such as public awareness campaigns, walk and bike to school events and training, traffic education and enforcement, and student lessons on bicycle and pedestrian safety, health, and the environment. Federal regulations require that States devote at least 10% of SRTS funding to the non-infrastructure component of the program.
The NJDOT has partnered with the New Jersey Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) to administer a new statewide education and encouragement program using Safe Routes to School Federal SAFETEA-LU funds. The goal of the program is to educate and encourage more children to walk and bike to school. For more information about the program, please contact the TMA in your area.
NJDOT is pleased to announce the SRTS Design Assistance Program. This pilot program makes available consultant engineering services to assist Local Public Agencies (LPA’s) with the development of plans, specifications, and estimates (PS&E) for their SRTS projects. Recipients of NJDOT’s 2022 SRTS grants are eligible to participate in the program. The program was developed by NJDOT as part of the FHWA’s Every Day Counts initiative and is intended to shorten time, reduce costs, and improve quality in the delivery of NJDOT SRTS projects.
NJDOT has established a pool of engineering design consultants through a quality-based selection process. This pool can aid LPAs in the project delivery process by reducing the time required to procure professional services, ensure the consultant selection process is compliant with federal Brooks Act requirements, and provides the LPA with NJDOT prequalified, cost basis approved designers to aid in the development of PS&E submissions for their eligible SRTS project.
Information is available for the three firms in the current consultant pool:
Some highlights of the SRTS Design Assistance Program are:
- Participation in the SRTS Design Assistance Program is at the sole discretion of the LPA.
- Recipients of 2022 SRTS grants are eligible to participate in the program.
- NJDOT will participate in eligible design costs if an LPA elects to participate in the program.
- The SRTS Design Assistance Program is a reimbursement program.
- Costs and fees for the work to be performed will be negotiated by the LPA with the firm of their choice.
- Contracts for the work to be performed will be between the LPA and the firm. All federal requirements apply.
- Total costs and fees shall not exceed $750,000.
Please contact NJDOT’s Local Aid and Economic Development at (609) 963-2021 if you are an eligible SRTS recipient interested in the SRTS Design Assistance Program. Questions regarding the 2012 and 2018 grant recipients Design assistance program may also be directed to (609) 963-2021.
The New Jersey Safe Routes to School email list is a great way to share information, trade ideas, publicize upcoming events, communicate successes, and get help with a problem or issue in your school or community. The list also features news from around New Jersey and nationally. Membership is open to anyone interested in the bicycle and pedestrian environments in New Jersey. Your email will not be shared with any other group. We hope you will find the information useful and helpful! Sign up for the newsletter here.