Side by Side Comparison of Reporting Requirements for New Starts, Small Starts, Very Small Starts, and "Exempt" Projects

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July 2007

Prepared by:
Federal Transit Administration
Office of Planning and Environment
US Department of Transportation

Reporting Item Required Information New Starts Small Starts Very Small Starts Exempt
Project Background          
Project Description

Project Description Template

Case for the Project Document *

Narrative, Data, Maps, Graphics

Certification of Technical Methods and Planning Assumptions

Signed Certification

Documentation of existing, benefiting transit riders in corridor

Data, methodology, maps of affected routes, evidence of benefit for affected riders 

Project Maps          
Project Site Map


Vicinity Map


Capital Costs          
Standard Cost Categories, including schedule, inflation, and funding

SCC Worksheets

Annualized Cost Worksheets for Build and Baseline

SCC Worksheets

Travel Forecasts **          
User Benefits Forecasts

Summit Reports 

Thematic Maps and Legend 

Summit Output 

Summary of Travel Forecasts 

Travel Forecast Template, Narrative, Data (as necessary) 

Operating and Maintenance Costs          
Summary of O&M Cost Productivities

Narrative, Data 

Project Justification          
Mobility Improvements

Mobility Improvements and Cost Effectiveness Template

Cost Effectiveness (2030)

Mobility Improvements and Cost Effectiveness Template

Cost Effectiveness (Opening Year)

Cost Effectiveness for Small Starts Template

Annualization Factor Justification

 Narrative, Data

Transit Supportive Existing Land Use and Future Patterns          
Quantitative Land Use Information for New Starts

Quantitative Land Use Information Template 


Qualitative Land Use Information for New Starts 

Qualitative Land Use Information Template, Narrative, Data, Maps 

Quantitative Land Use Information for Small Starts 

Quantitative Land Use Information for Small Starts Template 

Qualitative Land Use Information for Small Starts 

Qualitative Land Use Information for Small Starts Template 

Other Factors (Optional)          
Evidence of Economic Development, Congestion Pricing, and other project benefits

Narrative, Data, Maps 

Local Financial Commitment ***          
Financial Plan Summary

Finance Template

Checklist for Financial Submittals


20-year Capital Operating Plan 

Financial Plan, 20-Year Cash Flow 

20-year Operating Financial Plan 

Financial Plan, 20-Year Cash Flow 

Evidence of Agency Financial Condition 

Audited Financial Statements 

Evidence that Project O&M Costs are within 5% of Systemwide O&M Costs 

O&M Cost Analysis


Supporting Financial Documentation

Narrative, Plans, Data, etc.


* Evaluated as an "Other Factor"; submission of any "Other Factor" is optional.

** Simplified travel forecasting procedures and results may be acceptable for Small Starts projects. Sponsors should discuss such procedures with FTA.

*** Assumes Small Starts/Very Small Starts qualify for streamlined financial evaluation. If not, New Starts financial reporting requirements must be met, but only covering the period up to including the opening year.