Apportionments and Allocations FY 1996

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Number 60-58139

[Federal Register: November 24, 1995 (Volume 60, Number 226)]
[Notices]
[Page 58139-58174]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

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Part III

Department of Transportation

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Federal Transit Administration

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Fiscal Year 1996 Apportionments and Allocations; Notice

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

FTA Fiscal Year 1996 Apportionments and Allocations

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Related Agencies
Appropriations Act, 1996 (Pub. L. 104-50), signed into law by President
Clinton on November 15, 1995, provides fiscal year 1996 appropriations
for the Federal Transit Administration transit assistance programs.
Based upon this Act, this Notice contains a comprehensive list of
apportionments/allocations of the various transit programs.
This Notice includes the apportionment of fiscal year 1996 funds
for the Urbanized Area Formula Program, the Nonurbanized Area Formula
Program, the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program, the Capital
Program for Fixed Guideway Modernization, the Metropolitan Planning
Program and the State Planning and Research Program, based on the 1996
DOT Appropriations Act and Federal transit laws. This Notice also
contains the allocations of funds for the New Starts and Bus categories
under the Capital Program. Statutory limitations on the use of
operating assistance are also included in this Notice. For the first
time, this Notice also includes the funding level authorized by the
Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) for
each program.
In addition, the FTA policy regarding pre-award authority to incur
project costs, as well as other pertinent information, is included in
this Notice.
Public Law 103-272, signed by President Clinton on July 5, 1994,
codifies Federal transit laws under title 49, chapter 53, of the United
States Code. This Notice uses the codified citations.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The appropriate FTA Regional
Administrator for grant specific information and issues; Janet Lynn
Sahaj, Director, Office of Resource Management and State Programs,
(202) 366-2053, for general information about the Urbanized Area
Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5307), the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program
(49 U.S.C. 5311), the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program (49
U.S.C. 5310), or the Capital Program (49 U.S.C. 5309); or Sam
Zimmerman, Director, Office of Planning Operations, (202) 366-2360, for
general information concerning the Metropolitan Planning Program (49
U.S.C. 5303) and State Planning and Research Program (49 U.S.C.
5313(b)).

Supplementary Information:

Table of Contents

I. Codification of Federal Transit Laws
II. Background
III. Overview of Appropriations for Grant Programs
A. General
B. ISTEA Authorized Program Levels
C. Project Management Oversight
IV. Departmental Initiatives
A. Livable Communities Initiative
B. Intelligent Transportation Systems
C. Expanded Capital Eligibility
D. FTA Home Page on Internet
V. Urbanized Area Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5307)
A. Total Urbanized Area Formula Apportionments
B. Data Used for Urbanized Area Formula Apportionments, and
Fiscal Year 1995 Apportionment Adjustment
C. Adjustments for Energy and Operating Efficiencies
D. Repayment of Temporary Matching Fund Waivers
E. Urbanized Area Formula Fiscal Year 1996 Apportionments to
Governors
F. Urbanized Area Formula Operating Assistance Limitations
G. Statewide Operating Assistance Limitations
H. Designated Transportation Management Areas
I. Urbanized Area Formula Funds Used for Highway Purposes
VI. Nonurbanized Area Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5311) and Rural
Transit Assistance Program (RTAP) (49 U.S.C. 5311(b)(2)
A. Nonurbanized Area Formula Program
B. RTAP Program
VII. Elderly and Persons With Disabilities Program (49 U.S.C. 5310)
VIII. Surface Transportation Program ``Flexible'' Funds Used for
Transit Purposes (Title 23, U.S.C.)
A. Transfer Process
B. Matching Share for Flexible Funds
C. Other Funds Transferred to FTA
IX. Capital Program (49 U.S.C. 5309)
A. Fixed Guideway Modernization
B. New Starts
C. Bus
a. Fiscal Year 1996 Allocations
b. Fiscal Year 1997 FTA Priorities for Allocation of
Discretionary Bus Funds
D. Capital Program Circular
X. Unit Values of Data for Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula
Program, Section 5311 Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, and Section
5309(m)(1)(A) Fixed Guideway Modernization Formula
XI. Metropolitan Planning Program (49 U.S.C. 5303) and State
Planning and Research Program (49 U.S.C. 5313(b))
A. Metropolitan Planning Urbanized Area Program
B. State Planning and Research Program
C. Data Used for Metropolitan Planning and State Planning and
Research Apportionments
D. Planning Emphasis Areas (PEAs)
XII. Period of Availability of Funds
XIII. Notice of Pre-Award Authority To Incur Project Costs
A. Background
B. Current Coverage
C. Conditions
D. Environmental and Other Requirements
XIV. Electronic Grant Making and Management Initiatives: Fiscal Year
1996 and Beyond
A. Background
B. On-Line Grantee Program
C. Electronic Grant Making and Management (EGMM)
D. Electronic Signature of Certifications and Assurances
E. Future EGMM Expansion
XV. Quarterly Approval of Grants
XVI. Grant Application Procedures
Tables
1. FTA FY 1996 Appropriations and ISTEA Authorizations for Grant
Programs
2. FTA FY 1996 Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula
Apportionments and ISTEA Authorized Levels
3. FTA FY 1996 Section 5311 Nonurbanized Area Formula
Apportionments, Section 5311(b) Rural Transit Assistance Program
(RTAP) Allocations, and ISTEA Authorized Levels
4. FTA FY 1996 Section 5310 Elderly and Persons With
Disabilities Apportionments and ISTEA Authorized Levels
5. FTA FY 1996 Section 5309(m)(1)(A) Fixed Guideway
Modernization Formula Apportionments and ISTEA Authorized Levels
6. FTA FY 1996 Section 5309(m)(1)(B) New Start Allocations and
ISTEA Authorized Levels
7. FTA FY 1996 Section 5309(m)(1)(C) Bus Allocations and ISTEA
Authorized Levels
8. FTA FY 1996 Section 5303 Metropolitan Planning and Section
5313(b) State Planning and Research Apportionments, and ISTEA
Authorized Levels
9. Unit Values of Data--FTA FY 1996 Section 5307 Urbanized Area
Formula, Section 5311 Nonurbanized Area Formula, and Section
5309(m)(1)(A) Fixed Guideway Modernization Formula Apportionments

I. Codification of Federal Transit Laws

On July 5, 1994, President Clinton signed Public Law 103-272, which
codifies Federal transit laws at title 49, chapter 53 of the United
States Code. The enactment of Public Law 103-272 repeals the FT Act of
1992, as amended (the Act), without substantive changes to programs.
The original meaning of the Act's provisions are unchanged by this
codification, even though the new Public Law 103-272 language, in some
instances, differs from that of the Act. The codification now includes
laws enacted through July 5, 1994.

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Additional provisions enacted after that date, and revisions to title
49, chapter 53, will be reflected in subsequent legislation now being
drafted in Congress. This Notice accordingly uses the new form of
citation. Listed below are the most commonly used citations:

Subject

49 U.S.C Section

Former Federal Transit Act citation

Capital Program

5309

Section 9

Metropolitan Planning Program

5303

Section 8

Urbanized Area Formula Program

5307

Section 9

Transit Employee Protective Certification

5333(b)

Section 13(c)

National Transit Database*

5335

Section 15

Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program

5310

Section 16

Nonurbanized Area Formula Program

5311

Section 18

Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP)

5311(b)(2)

Section 18(h)

State Planning and Research Program

5313(b)

Section 26(a)(2)

II. Background

Urbanized Area Formula Program funds are apportioned by statutory
formula to urbanized areas and to the Governors to provide capital,
operating and planning assistance in urbanized areas. Nonurbanized Area
Formula Program funds are apportioned by statutory formula to the
Governors for capital and operating assistance in nonurbanized areas.
The Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program funds are apportioned
by statutory formula to the Governors to provide capital assistance to
organizations providing transportation service for the elderly and
persons with disabilities. Fixed Guideway Modernization Formula funds
are apportioned by statutory formula to specified urbanized areas for
capital improvements in rail and other fixed guideways. Funds
appropriated for the Metropolitan Planning Program are apportioned by a
statutory formula to the Governors for allocation by them to
Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in urbanized areas or
portions thereof. Appropriated funds for the State Planning and
Research Program also are apportioned to States by a statutory formula.
New Start funds identified for specific projects in the 1996 DOT
Appropriations Act and all Bus fund allocations in its accompanying
Conference Report are also included in this Notice.

III. Overview of Appropriations for Grant Programs

A. General

In fiscal year 1996, the appropriation for the Urbanized Area
Formula Program and the Nonurbanized Area Formula Programs is
$2,001,315,905. Of this amount, 94.50 percent ($1,891,243,530) is made
available to the Urbanized Area Formula Program, and 5.50 percent
($110,072,375) is made available to the Nonurbanized Area Formula
Program. The other program appropriations contained in this Notice are
as follows: $4,500,000 for the Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP);
$51,609,095 for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program;
$39,500,000 for the Metropolitan Planning Program; $8,250,000 for the
State Planning and Research Program; and $1,665,000,000 for the Capital
Program. Of the Capital Program amount, $666,000,000 is for Fixed
Guideway Modernization, $666,000,000 is for New Starts, and
$333,000,000 is for Bus.
Table 1 displays the amounts appropriated for these programs,
including adjustments and final apportionment/allocation amounts. The
text following this table provides a narrative explanation for the
funding levels and other factors affecting these apportionments/
allocations.

B. ISTEA Authorized Program Levels

For the first time, FTA is publishing the formula apportionment and
allocation tables that compare the maximum program level proposed in
the ISTEA authorization law for fiscal year 1996 and the actual program
funds appropriated by Congress for fiscal year 1996. The first set of
columns shows the actual appropriation as apportioned for this fiscal
year, and the second set of columns shows the authorization level. The
funding level available to an urbanized area or State for obligation is
the appropriated amount as apportioned to the area. The authorized
level does not represent funds that are actually available during the
fiscal year. Rather, it reflects the maximum dollar amount authorized
in ISTEA for which funds can be appropriated by Congress for a
particular fiscal year.

C. Project Management Oversight

49 U.S.C. 5327 allows the Secretary of Transportation to use not
more than one-half of one percent of the funds made available under the
Capital Program, the Urbanized Area Formula Program, the Nonurbanized
Area Formula Program, the National Capital Transportation Act, as
amended, and an additional one-quarter of one percent of Capital
Program funds, to contract with any person to oversee the construction
of any major project under these statutory programs and to conduct
safety, procurement, management and financial reviews and audits.
Therefore, one-half of one percent of the funds appropriated for the
Urbanized Area Formula Program, the Nonurbanized Area Formula Programs
and the National Capital Transportation Act, as amended, for fiscal
year 1996, and three-quarters of one percent of Capital Program funds
have been reserved for these purposes before apportionment of the
funds.

IV. Departmental Initiatives

A. Livable Communities Initiative

The FTA developed the Livable Communities Initiative to encourage a
stronger link between transit and communities. FTA is promoting the
development of community-sensitive transit facilities and services in
order to increase transit ridership, improve personal mobility and
enhance the quality of life in communities. Active community
involvement in the planning and design process is essential in
developing more community-sensitive transit, and planning methods need
to be more responsive to community concerns.
Community-sensitive transit is customer-friendly, community-
oriented and designed to function effectively within the community.
Customer-friendly transit provides readily available information,
safety and security measures. Real time customer information,
monitoring devices, help zones and improved lighting are illustrative
characteristics. Community-oriented transit makes its transfer points
both origins and destinations of trips through the provision of on-site
services such as child care, public safety, health care and retail
conveniences. Well

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designed transit, from the perspective of more livable communities,
improves pedestrian access, increases the person-carrying capacity of
local transportation networks, and reflects the aesthetic and historic
character of communities. More community-sensitive transit may result
in increased transit ridership, reduced single occupant vehicle trips
and improved air quality. In fiscal year 1995, FTA awarded a number of
capital grants to implement projects which reflected the
characteristics of community-sensitive transit.
The Livable Communities Initiative recognizes the important role
that local land use and transportation policy can play in improving the
effectiveness of transit. These are important tools in promoting
transit facilities and services which help to make communities more
livable. Mixed use development around transportation nodes combined
with parking management, priority access for transit vehicles and
transit pass programs can significantly reduce auto trips and increase
transit ridership. FTA is asking transit agencies to work with local
governments, employers and the business community in implementing
transit supportive land use and transportation strategies through the
metropolitan planning process.
FTA urges grantees to incorporate the concepts of the Livable
Communities Initiative into the planning and capital projects financed
with Federal assistance identified in this Notice and funds transferred
as permitted by the flexible funding provisions of ISTEA. In addition,
FTA urges grantees to consider incorporating quality design and art
into transit projects funded with FTA assistance. FTA Circular
C9400.1A, Design and Art and Transit Projects, June 9, 1995 provides
more detail on this matter.

B. Intelligent Transportation Systems

The Department of Transportation is actively promoting the
development of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) which apply
advanced computer, communication, information and navigation
technologies to surface transportation systems. ITS technologies
improve customer service and make accurate information available to the
traveling public, thus enabling travelers to make more informed
transportation decisions, thereby improving the operational efficiency
of transit services.
Customer services are improved through real-time information on bus
and train arrival, reducing the stress of waiting for vehicles to
arrive; in-vehicle signs and enunciator systems which inform passengers
of upcoming stops and other relevant information; hold notification to
vehicles at change-mode points; emergency response systems which
decrease delays in responding to problems; and easier access through
the use of electronic fare cards which eliminate specialized passes,
cash fares or tokens. For example, the Milwaukee County Transit
Authority reports on-time schedule adherence improved from 90 percent
to 94 percent, thus increasing customer service reliability.
Operational efficiency of transit operations can also be improved
using these technologies. Automatic Vehicle Location technology has
helped the Kansas City Area Transit Authority decrease capital costs by
approximately $1.8 million and operating costs by $400,000 annually.
The planned introduction of Smart Cards in the Metropolitan Atlanta
Rapid Transit Authority rail stations as estimated will save
approximately $2.4 million in annual cash handling costs.
It is important that transit agencies consider the application of
these more advanced technologies as current planning and capital
programs are developed. Authorities planning to purchase equipment such
as radios, in-vehicle signs, etc. should consider the inclusion of
state-of-the-art technologies in their programs.
Applications of these technologies are fully enhanced if the
transit systems are compatible with similar technologies introduced in
traffic management systems being acquired by city traffic departments.
Traveler information systems for all customers are enhanced by
providing both transit and highway information. Such systems include
data which is readily and freely shared between the transit and highway
ITS systems.
By integrating these systems, a ``Core Infrastructure'' of
technology will be created providing maximum benefits to all travelers,
and specifically to those who use transit within metropolitan areas.
Elements of these systems are currently being purchased.
As requests for funding assistance are received by the FTA and
other USDOT modal administrations, they will be reviewed with an intent
toward ensuring that all surface transportation modes using or planning
ITS systems share data to realize the fullest advantages of these
systems. Metropolitan Planning Organizations, state Departments of
Transportation, and transit authorities are encouraged to cooperate in
the planning of ITS systems to ensure that they are able to share data
and are expandable to accept new applications with minimal additional
cost. It is important that decision makers keep their options open in
specifying and procuring ITS systems so future enhancements may be
readily added onto systems without costly conversion or modification.
To achieve the full benefits of ITS in metropolitan areas, it is
important that the component elements be able to ``talk'' with each
other and thereby share data.
In specifying and procuring ITS systems FTA urges grantees to
incorporate the ability to share data between highway and transit
elements and to keep future expansion options open.
For further information, please contact the appropriate FTA
Regional Administrator.

C. Expanded Capital Eligibility

Bus Overhaul: Effective March 31, 1996, bus overhauls will be
eligible for capital assistance. At FTA's request, the 1996 DOT
Appropriations Act amended 49 U.S.C 5302(a)(1)(B) and (C) to remove the
requirement that bus rehabilitation or bus remanufacturing must extend
the economic life of the bus. This change is intended to encourage the
maintenance and improvement of bus rolling stock assets. Such overhaul
work can be contracted out or performed directly by transit personnel,
and will apply to all revenue service buses. FTA intends to issue
guidance regarding the implementation of bus overhauls as a capital
expenditure.
Associated Capital Maintenance Items: FTA has revised the procedure
for determining whether spare parts to be acquired under the Urbanized
Area Formula Program and the Capital Program are eligible for capital
funding. Under 49 U.S.C. 5307(b)(4), certain spare parts are considered
an eligible capital expense if these items cost at least one-half of
one percent of the current fair market value of the rolling stock on
which the items are to be used. Previously, FTA required that the
current fair market value of rolling stock for which the equipment is
to be used was the cost of new rolling stock. Consistent with the
statute, FTA has revised the method of determining the current fair
market value of rolling stock that serves as the basis for the spare
parts eligibility calculation. It is now based on the current average
vehicle value of a recipient's fleet of vehicles. Spare parts to be
purchased for a bus fleet are eligible for capital funding if they cost
at least one-half of one percent of the straight line depreciated value
of the average fleet vehicle or the depreciated value of a comparable
bus of the same age and type.

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D. FTA Home Page on the Internet

FTA in its efforts to provide better customer service and broaden
the availability of FTA information has established an FTA Home Page on
the Internet. This apportionment Notice as well as recently issued FTA
circulars (Section 5309 Capital Program: Grant Application
Instructions--C9300.1, September 29, 1995; Grant Management Guidelines,
C5010.1B, September 7, 1995; and Third Party Contracting Requirements,
C4220.1C, October 1, 1995) will be contained therein.
The FTA Home Page may be reached through the DOT Home Page at the
following address: http://www.dot.gov. Once in the DOT Home Page, click
on the ``Browse the DOT Administrations'' button and then scroll down
to FTA and click. The FTA Home Page may also be accessed by using the
worldwide web (www). The FTA direct www address is: http://www.dot.gov/
dotinfo/fta/index.html.

V. Urbanized Area Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5307)

A. Total Urbanized Area Formula Apportionments

In addition to the appropriated fiscal year 1996 Urbanized Area
Formula funds of $1,891,243,530, the apportionment also includes
$1,030,920 in deobligated funds authorized by 49 U.S.C. 5308 which have
become available for reapportionment for the Urbanized Area Formula
Program as provided by 49 U.S.C. 5336(i).
Table 2 displays the amount apportioned for the Urbanized Area
Formula Program. After the one-half percent for oversight is reserved
($9,456,218), the amount appropriated for this program is
$1,881,787,312. The funds to be reapportioned, described in the
previous paragraph, were then added. Thus, the total amount apportioned
for this program is $1,882,818,232.

B. Data Used for Urbanized Area Formula Apportionments, and Fiscal Year 1995 Apportionment Adjustment

Data from the 1994 National Transit Database (49 U.S.C. 5335)
Report Year submitted in late 1994 and early 1995 have been used to
calculate the fiscal year 1996 Urbanized Area Formula apportionments
for urbanized areas 200,000 in population and over. The population and
population density figures used in calculating the Urbanized Area
Formula are from the 1990 Census.
An adjustment has been made to the apportionment for one urbanized
area because of a correction to data from the 1993 National Transit
Database that were used to compute the fiscal year 1995 Urbanized Area
Formula apportionments published in the Federal Register of October 12,
1994 (59 FR 51758). The difference between the corrected apportionment
and the previously published apportionment resulted in a decrease, and
the necessary adjustment has been made to the area's apportionment for
fiscal year 1996.

C. Adjustments for Energy and Operating Efficiencies

49 U.S.C. 5336(b)(2)(E) provides that, if a recipient of Urbanized
Area Formula Program funds demonstrates to the satisfaction of the
Secretary that energy or operating efficiencies would be achieved by
actions that reduce revenue vehicle miles but provide the same
frequency of revenue service to the same number of riders, the
recipient's apportionment under 49 U.S.C. 5336(b)(2)(A)(i) shall not be
reduced as a result of such actions. One recipient has submitted data
acceptable to FTA in accordance with this provision. Accordingly, the
revenue vehicle miles used in the Urbanized Area Formula database to
calculate the fiscal year 1996 Urbanized Area Formula apportionment
reflect the amount the recipient would have received without the
reductions in mileage.

D. Repayment of Temporary Matching Fund Waivers

In accordance with the Temporary Matching Fund Waiver provision
authorized by 49 U.S.C. 5307(i)(3) grantees were able to request a
Federal share of 100 percent up to the area's total apportionment. Four
grants or amendments were awarded which employed the temporary waiver
of local matching funds for Urbanized Area Formula grants approved in
fiscal years 1992 and 1993. The local share amounts for these grants
were to be repaid by March 30, 1994. If not repaid, the amount owed
would be deducted from the area's fiscal years 1995 and 1996 Urbanized
Area Formula apportionments.
All affected grantees opted to have their future apportionments
reduced rather than repay funds. The local share payment amount for
each project was determined by dividing the project's total
disbursement amount through September 30, 1994, by the project's total
Federal capital obligations. The calculated percentage was then applied
to the amount of the project's original local share that was waived. Of
the calculated amount determined for repayment, 50 percent was deducted
from the fiscal year 1995 Urbanized Area Formula apportionment. The
remaining 50 percent is deducted from fiscal year 1996. The dollar
amounts published in this Notice reflect these fiscal year 1996
adjustments, and the affected areas have been so advised.

E. Urbanized Area Formula Fiscal Year 1996 Apportionments to Governors

The total Urbanized Area Formula apportionment to the Governor for
use in areas under 200,000 in population for each State is shown on
Table 2. Table 2 also contains the total apportionment amount
attributable to each of the urbanized areas within the State. The
Governor may determine the allocation of funds among the urbanized
areas under 200,000 in population with one exception. As further
discussed below in Section H, funds attributed to an urbanized area
under 200,000 in population, located within the planning boundaries of
a transportation management area, must be obligated in that area.

F. Urbanized Area Formula Operating Assistance Limitations

The fiscal year 1996 limitations on the amount of Urbanized Area
Formula funds that may be used for operating assistance are shown on
Table 2 with the fiscal year 1996 apportionment.
The operating assistance limitations for all urbanized areas have
been adjusted by 49 U.S.C. 5336(d)(2) to reflect the increase in the
Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all urban consumers during the most
recent calendar years. The CPI Detailed Report, December 1994,
published by the Department of Labor (DOL), establishes that the
calendar year 1994 CPI increase for all urban consumers is 2.7 percent.
This increase was applied against the base operating assistance
limitation calculated in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5336(d)(2).
This adjustment results in an overall national fiscal year 1996
authorized operating assistance limitation level of $1,112,922,445.
However, the 1996 DOT Appropriations Act limits the nationwide
availability for operating assistance to a maximum of $400,000,000.
Further, it maintains the level of transit operating assistance to
urbanized areas of less than 200,000 in population at seventy-five
percent of the amount of operating assistance such areas received in
fiscal year 1995. Accordingly, the operating assistance limitation
published in this Notice takes into account both the 1996 DOT
Appropriations Act and Federal transit laws. Therefore, the higher
operating assistance limitation as authorized under Federal transit
laws

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($1,112,922,445) was reduced to the $400,000,000 required by the 1996
DOT Appropriations Act by taking a pro rata reduction across all
categories of grantees. Further, the operating assistance limitation to
urbanized areas less than 200,000 in population was adjusted to
$92,949,803 or seventy-five percent of the amount of their fiscal year
1995 level of $123,933,070. The remaining $307,050,197 of the
$400,000,000 was prorated to urbanized areas above 200,000 in
population, as authorized by the 1996 DOT Appropriations Act.
Consistent with the 1996 Conference Report, the Secretary hereby
directs each area of 1,000,000 or more in population to give priority
consideration to the impact of reductions in operating assistance on
smaller transit authorities operating within the area, and to consider
the needs and resources of such transit authorities when the limitation
is distributed among all transit authorities operating in the area.

G. Statewide Operating Assistance Limitations

49 U.S.C. 5307(f) specifies that in any case in which a statewide
agency or instrumentality is responsible under State laws for the
financing, construction and operation, directly, by lease, contract or
otherwise, of public transportation services, and when such statewide
agency or instrumentality is the designated recipient of FTA funds, and
when the statewide agency or instrumentality provides service among two
or more urbanized areas, the statewide agency or instrumentality shall
be allowed to apply for operating assistance up to the combined total
permissible amount of all urbanized areas in which it provides service,
regardless of whether the amount for any particular urbanized area is
exceeded. However, the amount of operating assistance provided for
another State or local transportation agency within the affected
urbanized areas may not be reduced.

H. Designated Transportation Management Areas

All urbanized areas over 200,000 in population have been designated
as transportation management areas (TMAs), in accordance with 49 U.S.C.
5305. These designations were formally made in a Federal Register
Notice dated May 18, 1992 (57 FR 21160), signed by the Federal Highway
Administrator and the Federal Transit Administrator. Additional areas
may be designated as TMAs upon the request of the Governor and the MPO
designated for such area or the affected local officials. As of October
1, 1995, two additional TMAs have been formally designated: Petersburg,
Virginia, comprised solely of the Petersburg, Virginia, urbanized area;
and Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc, California, which were
combined and designated as one TMA.
Guidance for setting the boundaries of TMAs is contained in the
joint transportation planning regulations codified at 23 CFR part 450
and 49 CFR part 613. In some cases, the TMA boundaries which have been
established by the MPO for the designated TMA also include one or more
urbanized areas with less than 200,000 in population. Where this
situation exists, the discretion of the Governor to allocate urbanized
area formula program ``Governor's Apportionment'' funds for urbanized
areas with less than 200,000 in population is restricted.
As required by 49 U.S.C. 5307(a)(2), a recipient(s) must be
designated to dispense the Urbanized Area Formula funds attributable to
TMAs. Those urbanized areas that do not already have a designated
recipient must name one and notify the appropriate FTA regional office
of the designation. This would include those urbanized areas with less
than 200,000 in population that may receive TMA designation
independently, or those with less than 200,000 in population which are
currently included within the boundaries of a larger designated TMA. In
both cases, the Governor would only have discretion to allocate
Governor's Apportionment funds attributable to areas which are outside
of designated TMA boundaries. In order for the FTA and Governors to
know which urbanized areas under 200,000 in population are included
within the boundaries of an existing TMA, and so that they can be
identified in future Federal Register notices, each MPO whose TMA
planning boundaries include these smaller urbanized areas is asked to
identify such areas to the FTA. This notification should be made in
writing to the Associate Administrator for Program Management, Federal
Transit Administration, 400 7th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, no
later than July 1 of each fiscal year. To date, FTA has been notified
of the following urbanized areas with less than 200,000 in population
that are included within the planning boundaries of designated TMAs:

Designated TMA

Small urbanized area included in TMA boundaries

Baltimore, Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

Denton, Texas; Lewisville, Texas

Houston, Texas

Galveston, Texas; Texas City, Texas

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Monessen, Pennsylvania; Steubenville-Weirton, OH-WV-PA (PA portion)

Seattle, Washington

Bremerton, Washington

Washington, DC-MD-VA

Frederick, Maryland (MD portion)

I. Urbanized Area Formula Funds Used for Highway Purposes

Urbanized Area Formula funds apportioned to a TMA, except for those
amounts which can be used for the payment of operating expenses, are
also available for highway projects if the following three conditions
are met: (1) such use must be approved by the MPO after appropriate
notice and opportunity for comment and appeal are provided to affected
transit providers; (2) in the determination of the Secretary, such
funds are not needed for investments required by the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990; and (3) funds may be available for
highway projects under title 23, U.S.C., only if funds used for the
State or local share of such highway projects are eligible to fund
either highway or transit projects.
Urbanized Area Formula funds which are designated for highway
projects will be transferred to and administered by the Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA). The MPO should notify FTA of its intent to
program FTA funds for highway purposes.

[[Page 58145]]

VI. Nonurbanized Area Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5311) and Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP) (49 U.S.C. 5311(b)(2))

A. Nonurbanized Area Formula Program

The fiscal year 1996 Nonurbanized Area Formula apportionments total
$111,152,194. The Governor's apportionments are displayed on Table 3. A
total of $110,072,375 is appropriated for the Nonurbanized Area Formula
Program. After deducting the one-half percent for oversight ($550,362),
the fiscal year 1996 apportionment also includes $1,630,181 in prior
year deobligated funds which have become available for reapportionment
under this program. These funds provide capital, operating and
administrative assistance for areas less than 50,000 in population.
The population figures used in calculating these apportionments are
from the 1990 Census. The apportionments for the States of Illinois and
Oklahoma have been adjusted to compensate for incorrect population
figures used in the fiscal year 1995 apportionments.
Each State must spend no less than 15 percent of its fiscal year
1996 Nonurbanized Area Formula apportionment for the development and
support of intercity bus transportation, unless the Governor certifies
to the Secretary that the intercity bus service needs of the State are
being adequately met. Fiscal year 1996 Nonurbanized Area Formula grant
applications must reflect this level of programming for intercity bus
or include a certification from the Governor.

B. RTAP Program

The fiscal year 1996 RTAP allocations to the States totaling
$4,571,903 are also displayed on Table 3. This amount includes
$4,500,000 in fiscal year 1996 appropriated funds, and $71,903 in prior
year deobligated funds which have become available for reallocation for
this program. The funds are allocated to the States to undertake
research, training, technical assistance, and other support services to
meet the needs of transit operators in nonurbanized areas. These funds
are to be used in conjunction with the States' administration of the
Nonurbanized Area Formula Program.

VII. Section 5310 Elderly and Persons With Disabilities Program

A total of $51,703,234 is apportioned to the States for fiscal year
1996 for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program. In addition
to the fiscal year 1996 appropriation of $51,609,095, the fiscal year
1996 apportionment also includes $94,139 in prior year unobligated
funds which have become available for reapportionment for the Elderly
and Persons with Disabilities Program. The apportionment for
Connecticut is adjusted to restore fiscal year 1995 funds which were
not obligated due to an administrative error. Table 4 shows each
State's apportionment.
The formula for apportioning these funds uses 1990 Census
population data for persons aged sixty-five and over and for persons
with disabilities.
The funds provide capital assistance for transportation for elderly
persons and persons with disabilities. Eligible capital expenses may
include, at the option of the recipient, the acquisition of
transportation services by a contract, lease, or other arrangement.
While the assistance is intended primarily for private non-profit
organizations, public bodies that coordinate services for the elderly
and persons with disabilities, or any public body that certifies to the
State that non-profit organizations in the area are not readily
available to carry out the service, may receive these funds.
These funds may be transferred by the Governor to supplement the
Urbanized Area Formula or Nonurbanized Area Formula capital funds
during the last 90 days of the fiscal year. 3

VIII. Surface Transportation Program ``Flexible'' Funds Used for Transit Purposes (Title 23, U.S.C.)

A. Transfer Process

``Flexible'' DOT funds, such as Surface Transportation Program
(STP) funds, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds, or
others, which are designated for use in transit projects, are
transferred from the FHWA to FTA after which FTA approves the project
and awards a grant. Flexible funds designated for transit projects must
result from the local and state planning and programming process, and
must be included in an approved State Transportation Improvement
Program (STIP) before the funds can be transferred. In order to
initiate the transfer process, the grantee must submit a completed
application to the FTA Regional Office, and must notify the state
highway/transportation agency that it has submitted an application
which requires a transfer of funds. Once the state highway/
transportation agency determines that the state has sufficient
obligation authority, the State agency notifies FHWA that the funds are
to be used for transit purposes and requests that the funds be
obligated by FHWA as a transfer project to FTA. The flexible funds
transferred to FTA will be placed in an urbanized area or state account
for one of the three existing formula programs--Urbanized Area, Elderly
and Persons with Disabilities, or Nonurbanized Area.
The flexible funds are then treated as FTA formula funds, although
they retain a special identifying code. They may be used for any
purpose eligible under these FTA programs except for operating
expenses. All FTA requirements are applicable to transferred funds.
Flexible funds should be combined with regular FTA formula funds in a
single annual grant application.

B. Matching Share for Flexible Funds

The provisions of Title 23, U.S.C. regarding the non-Federal share
apply to Title 23 funds used for transit projects. Thus, flexible funds
transferred to FTA retain the same matching share that the funds would
have if used for highway purposes and administered by the FHWA.
There are three instances in which a higher than 80 percent Federal
share would be maintained. First, in States with large areas of Indian
and certain public domain lands, and National Forests, parks and
monuments, the local share for highway projects is determined by a
sliding scale rate, calculated based on the percentage of public lands
within that state. This sliding scale, which permits a greater Federal
share, but not to exceed 95 percent, is applicable to transit projects
funded with flexible funds in these public land states. FHWA develops
the sliding scale matching ratios for the increased Federal share.
Secondly, commuter carpooling and vanpooling projects and transit
safety projects using flexible funds administered by FTA may retain the
same 100 percent Federal share that would be allowed for ride-sharing
or safety projects administered by the FHWA. The third instance
includes the 100 percent Federal safety projects; however, these are
subject to a nationwide ten percent program limitation.

C. Other Funds Transferred to FTA

Certain demonstration projects authorized in Title 23 are specified
to be used for transit projects and are more appropriately administered
by FTA. In such cases, FHWA has transferred the funds to FTA for
administration. Since these funds are not STP flexible funds, they are
transferred into the appropriate Capital Program category (Bus, New

[[Page 58146]]
Starts, or Fixed Guideway Modernization) for obligation and are
administered as Capital projects.

IX. Capital Program (49 U.S.C. 5309)

A. Fixed Guideway Modernization

Fixed Guideway Modernization funds are allocated by formula.
Statutory percentages were established to allocate the first
$497,700,000 to 11 fixed guideway areas. The next $70,000,000 is
allocated one-half to these 11 urbanized areas and one-half to other
urbanized areas with fixed guideways which are at least seven years old
on the basis of the Urbanized Area Formula Program fixed guideway tier
formula factors. The remaining funds are allocated to all of these
urbanized areas as one universe. For fiscal year 1996, $666,000,000 was
appropriated for fixed guideway modernization. After deducting the
three-quarter percent for oversight ($4,995,000), $661,005,000 is
available for apportionment to the specified urbanized areas for Fixed
Guideway Modernization funding.
Table 5 displays these apportionments. Fixed Guideway Modernization
funds apportioned for this section must be used for capital projects to
modernize or improve fixed guideway systems.
All urbanized areas with fixed guideway systems that are at least
seven years old are eligible to receive Fixed Guideway Modernization
funds. A request for the start-up service dates for fixed guideways has
been incorporated into the National Transit Database reporting system
to ensure that all eligible fixed guideway data is included in the
calculation of these apportionments. A threshold level of more than one
mile of fixed guideway is required to receive Fixed Guideway
Modernization funds. Therefore, urbanized areas reporting one mile or
less of fixed guideway mileage under the National Transit Database are
not included.

B. New Starts

The fiscal year 1996 appropriation for New Starts is $666,000,000.
In addition, Congress reprogrammed $21,361,250 in unobligated New Start
funds originally provided in fiscal year 1993, for a total of
$687,361,250. The entire amount was allocated to projects specified
within the 1996 DOT Appropriations Act. The actual amount of
unobligated fiscal year 1993 New Start funds available for
reprogramming is only $18,361,250, thereby reducing the total amount
available in fiscal year 1996 to $684,361,250. This amount is further
reduced by $4,995,000 (three quarter percent of $666,000,000 for
oversight), leaving $679,366,250 available for allocation to areas. The
reductions were prorated against all projects. Table 6 displays the
allocations by area and also shows prior year unobligated allocations
for New Starts.

C. Bus

a. Fiscal Year 1996 Allocations

The fiscal year 1996 appropriation for Bus is $333,000,000 for the
purchase of buses, bus-related equipment and paratransit vehicles, and
for the construction of bus-related facilities. After deducting the
three-quarter percent for oversight ($2,497,500), $330,502,500 remains
available for projects. The Conference Report accompanying the 1996 DOT
Appropriations Act earmarked all of the fiscal year 1996 Bus funds to
specified states or localities for bus and bus-related projects. In
three instances where funds were earmarked to States, the funds were
further suballocated to local entities within these states. The
Conference Report also includes the multi-year ISTEA earmarks. In
addition, the conferees direct those transit systems in the State of
New York receiving Bus discretionary allocations in areas over 200,000
population for the express purpose of providing fixed-route transit
services, to purchase alternative fueled buses.
Because the three-quarter percent for oversight was subtracted from
the amount appropriated, each bus project identified in the Conference
Report receives three-quarter percent less than the funding level
contained in the report. No funds remain available for discretionary
allocation by the Federal Transit Administrator. Table 7 displays the
allocations of the fiscal year 1996 Bus funds by area and also shows
prior year unobligated earmarks for the Bus Program.

b. Fiscal Year 1997 FTA Priorities for Allocation of Discretionary Bus Funds

FTA is opposed to the congressional earmarking of the discretionary
bus program because it tends to favor certain areas year after year and
limits the ability of the Administration to focus these resources to
address critical national bus needs, including a backlog of grant
applications to the FTA for discretionary bus funding totalling over
$488 million. The FTA has established two priority areas for the use of
capital bus funds, and as future funds are available for allocation,
the FTA Administrator will follow these priorities: (1) Bus replacement
for transit systems with significantly overaged transit fleets; and (2)
projects that would assist areas in meeting the fixed route bus and
paratransit requirements under the ADA.
Overaged Bus Transit fleets. The Federal useful life standard for
full sized transit buses is 12 years, meaning that the FTA will not
participate in the replacement of a standard transit bus that has not
met its 12 year useful life. The national average age for bus fleets is
8.3 years, which is well above the six year national average required
to maintain the national transit bus fleet at 12 years. Some individual
transit systems are operating bus fleets significantly above the
national average. It is an Administration priority to use discretionary
resources to assist such areas where formula capital resources
available are also being used for bus replacement purposes but are
insufficient to meet all of the bus replacement needs.
ADA Requirements for Bus Systems. It is also an Administration
priority to assist public transit systems to come into full compliance
with the ADA. This means using bus capital funds to purchase accessible
fixed-route buses as well as paratransit vehicles. This emphasis is
particularly important in light of the January 26, 1997, deadline for
full compliance with the ADA paratransit service requirements.
Other Considerations. In the allocation of funding according to the
priorities discussed above, consideration will be given to applications
which are complete and have met all Federal requirements and to areas
that have programmed all of their formula resources. Consideration will
also be given to an equitable distribution of funds among areas of
different sizes, as well as to a geographic distribution of funding.
Fiscal Year 1997 Capital Bus Funding Requests. FTA invites transit
authorities to submit applications for fiscal year 1997 capital bus
funding during fiscal year 1996, with the realization that funds
appropriated by Congress in FY 1997 may again be fully earmarked. The
information acquired by FTA in this application process will be fully
shared with appropriations committees during the fiscal year 1997
appropriations process to assist them in their decision-making.

D. Capital Program Circular

FTA has issued a new circular (Section 5309 Capital Program Grant
Application Instructions, C9300.1, September 29, 1995) to provide
program information and guidance in the preparation of grant
applications for the Capital Program.

[[Page 58147]]

X. Unit Values of Data for the Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula and Section 5311 Nonurbanized Area Formula Programs, and Section 5309(m)(1)(A) Fixed Guideway Modernization Formula

For technical assistance purposes, the dollar unit values of data
derived from the computations of the Urbanized Area Formula and
Nonurbanized Area Formula Programs, and the Fixed Guideway
Modernization Formula apportionments are included in this Notice on
Table 9. To determine how a particular apportionment amount was
developed, areas may multiply their population, population density, and
data from the National Transit Database by these unit values.

XI. Metropolitan Planning Program (49 U.S.C. 5303) and State Planning and Research Program (49 U.S.C. 5313(b))

A. Metropolitan Planning Urbanized Area Program

The fiscal year 1996 Metropolitan Planning apportionments to States
for MPOs to be used in urbanized areas total $39,500,000. A basic
allocation of 80 percent of this amount ($31,600,000) is distributed to
the States based on the State's urbanized area population for
subsequent State distribution to each urbanized area, or parts thereof,
within each State. A supplemental allocation of the remaining 20
percent ($7,900,000) is also provided to the States based on an FTA
administrative formula to address planning needs in the larger, more
complex urbanized areas. Table 8 contains the final State
apportionments for the combined basic and supplemental allocations.
Each State, in cooperation with the MPOs, must develop an allocation
formula for the combined apportionment which distributes these funds to
MPOs representing urbanized areas, or parts thereof, within the State.
This formula, which must be approved by the FTA, must ensure to the
maximum extent practicable that no MPO is allocated less than the
amount it received by administrative formula under the Metropolitan
Planning Program in fiscal year 1991 (minimum MPO allocation). Each
State formula must include a provision for the minimum MPO allocation.
Where the State and MPOs desire to use a new formula not previously
approved by FTA, it must be submitted to the appropriate FTA Regional
Office for prior approval.

B. State Planning and Research Program

The fiscal year 1996 apportionments for the State Planning and
Research Program total $8,250,000. Final State apportionments for this
program are also contained on Table 8. This is the fifth year of a
consolidated program which is apportioned to the States for the purpose
of such activities as planning, technical studies and assistance,
demonstrations, management training and cooperative research. In
addition, a State may authorize a portion of these funds to be used to
supplement planning funds allocated by the State to its urbanized areas
as the State deems appropriate.

C. Data Used for Metropolitan Planning and State Planning and Research Apportionments

Population data from the 1990 Census is used in calculating these
apportionments. The Metropolitan Planning funding provided to urbanized
areas in each State by administrative formula in fiscal year 1991 was
used as a ``hold harmless'' base in calculating funding to each State.

D. Planning Emphasis Areas (PEAs)

The PEAs are aids to the States and MPOs in the development of
planning work programs. They are advisory and are intended to serve
FTA, FHWA, and the rest of the Department as a means of helping to meet
national transportation needs and implementing national transportation
policy. The last PEAs were issued by the FTA and the FHWA on July 11,
1994, for Federal fiscal years 1994 and 1995. These remain in effect
until changed, which is expected some time during the first quarter of
fiscal year 1996.
The PEAs currently under development will address common problems
that have been identified during ongoing reviews of metropolitan (and
State) planning processes and will also highlight program objectives
identified in FTA and FHWA strategic plans. These include, but are not
limited to, financial planning/innovative financing, public
participation/environmental justice, transportation data/modeling,
Intelligent Transportation Systems, multimodalism, and the need for
community sensitive transportation that considers social,
environmental, economic, land-use and other quality of life factors
early in the transportation planning and development process.

XII. Period of Availability of Funds

The funds apportioned under the Urbanized Area Formula Program,
Fixed Guideway Modernization Formula, Metropolitan Planning and State
Planning and Research Programs in this Notice will remain available to
be obligated by FTA to recipients for three (3) fiscal years following
fiscal year 1996. Any of these apportioned funds unobligated at the
close of business on September 30, 1999, will revert to FTA for
reapportionment under these respective programs. Funds apportioned to
nonurbanized areas under the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program,
including RTAP funds, will remain available for two (2) fiscal years
following fiscal year 1996. Any such funds remaining unobligated at the
close of business on September 30, 1998, will revert to FTA for
reapportionment among the States under the Nonurbanized Area Formula
Program. Funds allocated to States under the Elderly and Persons with
Disabilities Program in this Notice must be obligated by September 30,
1996. Any such funds remaining unobligated as of this date will revert
to FTA for reapportionment among the States under the Elderly and
Persons with Disabilities Program. The 1996 DOT Appropriations Act
includes a provision requiring that fiscal year 1996 New Starts and Bus
funds not obligated for their original purpose as of September 30,
1998, shall be made available for other discretionary projects within
the respective categories of the Capital Program. Similar provisions in
the 1994 and 1995 DOT Appropriations Acts required that fiscal year
1994 Bus and New Start funds that are not obligated by September 30,
1996, shall also be made available for other discretionary Bus or New
Start projects, respectively, and fiscal year 1995 Bus and New Start
funds unobligated by September 30, 1997, shall be made available for
other discretionary Bus or New Start projects, respectively.

XIII. Notice of Pre-Award Authority to Incur Project Costs

A. Background

FTA is engaged in an ongoing effort to streamline and simplify the
administration of its programs. To this end, the agency has expanded
the authority extended to grantees to incur costs for operating
assistance projects prior to grant award to cover planning and capital
costs as well. In fiscal year 1994 FTA extended this authority to non-
operating projects funded with current year apportioned formula funds.
This automatic pre-award spending authority permitted a grantee to
incur costs on an eligible transit capital or planning project without
prejudice to possible future Federal participation in the cost of the
project or projects. Because this provision worked so well to reduce
the paperwork burden on both the grantee and FTA regional offices in

[[Page 58148]]
fiscal year 1995, FTA further broadened this authority.

B. Current Coverage

In fiscal year 1996, authority to incur costs for Fixed Guideway
Modernization Formula, Metropolitan Planning, Urbanized Area Formula,
Elderly and Persons with Disabilities, Nonurbanized Area Formula, and
State Planning and Research in advance of possible future Federal
participation applies to fiscal year 1996 FTA funds apportioned in this
Notice for the programs listed above, as well as funds to be
apportioned in fiscal year 1997. Carryover amounts for these programs
are also included in this authority. This pre-award authority is also
extended to projects intended to be funded with STP or CMAQ funds
transferred to FTA in fiscal years 1996 and 1997, provided that the
projects are included in a Federally approved STIP. The flexible funds
do not have to be transferred to FTA before the authority can be used.
This pre-award authority also applies to Bus funds identified in this
Notice. The pre-award authority does not apply to Capital New Start
funds.

C. Conditions

Similar to the FTA Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) authority, the
conditions under which this authority may be utilized are specified
below:

  • (1). This pre-award authority is not a legal or moral commitment
    that the project(s) will be approved for FTA assistance or that the FTA
    will obligate Federal funds. Furthermore, it is not a legal or moral
    commitment that all items undertaken by the applicant will be eligible
    for inclusion in the project(s).
  • (2). All FTA statutory, procedural, and contractual requirements
    must be met.
  • (3). No action will be taken by the grantee which prejudices the
    legal and administrative findings which the Federal Transit
    Administrator must make in order to approve a project.
  • (4). Local funds expended by the grantee pursuant to and after the
    date of this authority will be eligible for credit toward local match
    or reimbursement if the FTA later makes a grant for the project(s) or
    project amendment(s).
  • (5). The Federal amount of any future FTA assistance to the grantee
    for the project will be determined on the basis of the overall scope of
    activities and the prevailing statutory provisions with respect to the
    Federal-local match ratio at the time the funds are obligated.
  • (6). For funds to which this authority applies, the authority
    expires with the lapsing of fiscal year 1997 funds.

D. Environmental and Other Requirements

FTA emphasizes that all of the Federal grant requirements must be
met for the project to remain eligible for Federal funding. Some of
these requirements must be met before pre-award costs are incurred,
notably the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA). Compliance with NEPA and other environmental laws or executive
orders (e.g., protection of parklands, wetlands, historic properties)
must be completed before state or local funds are advanced for a
project expected to be subsequently funded with FTA funds. Depending on
which class the project is included under in FTA's environmental
regulations (23 CFR part 771) the grantee may not advance the project
beyond planning and preliminary engineering before FTA has approved
either a categorical exclusion (refer to 23 CFR part 771.117(d)), a
finding of no significant impact, or a final environmental impact
statement. The conformity requirements of the Clean Air Act (40 CFR
part 51) also must be fully met before the project may be advanced with
non-Federal funds.
Similarly, the requirement that a project be included in a
transportation improvement program, Federal procurement procedures, as
well as the whole range of Federal requirements, must be followed for
projects in which Federal funding will be sought in the future. Failure
to follow any such requirements could make the project ineligible for
Federal funding. In short, this increased administrative flexibility
requires a grantee to make certain that no Federal requirements are
circumvented thereby. If a grantee has questions or concerns regarding
the environmental requirements, or any other Federal requirements that
must be met before incurring costs, it should contact the appropriate
regional office.
Before an applicant may incur costs either for activities expected
to be funded by New Start funds, or for activities requiring funding
beyond fiscal year 1997, it must first obtain a written LONP from the
FTA. To obtain an LONP, a grantee must submit a written request
accompanied by adequate information and justification to the
appropriate FTA regional office.

XIV. Electronic Grant Making and Management Initiatives: Fiscal Year 1996 and Beyond

A. Background

As a result of the National Performance Review and the FTA
strategic planning process, the FTA is implementing a series of
automation improvements in the grant making and management process
which are designed to improve customer service and efficiency of
program delivery. Known as the Electronic Grant Making and Management
(EGMM) initiative, steps are underway to provide a streamlined
electronic interface between grantees and FTA which will allow complete
electronic application submission, review, approval, and management of
all grants. The ultimate goal is to have in place a fully electronic,
paperless process for awarding and managing Federal transit assistance
programs involving grants and cooperative agreements.

B. On-Line Grantee Program

The On-Line Grantee Program is now available to all grantee
agencies to enable them to access the FTA Grants Management Information
System (GMIS) data base via a toll free telephone connection. This
program was initially designed to permit grantees to inquire about the
status of grants only, but has now been expanded to all registered
grantees for filing their required quarterly financial status and
narrative progress reports and to make annual certifications and
assurances through GMIS. Over 470 of FTA's approximately 700 grantees
are currently ``on line''.

C. Electronic Grant Making and Management (EGMM)

This initiative streamlines the entire FTA grant making and
management process through a paperless electronic grant application,
review, approval, acceptance and management process. The Department of
Labor has agreed to participate in the program and receive requests for
Transit Employee Protective Certification of projects, as well as issue
the Transit Employee Protective Certifications electronically for the
EGMM pilot program participants.
During fiscal year 1995, 22 grantee agencies participated in the
FTA EGMM pilot program. The pilot grantees successfully tested and
utilized the EGMM system to electronically develop, submit, and manage
their grants during the full life cycle of the grant via grantee
computer station connections to the FTA GMIS computer using a modem and
toll free telephone connection. FTA is continuing to implement the EGMM
system during fiscal year 1996 through the inclusion of additional
grantee agencies. Any transit agency interested in participating in any
aspect of the EGMM program should contact the appropriate FTA Regional
Office.

[[Page 58149]]

D. Electronic Signature of Certifications and Assurances

The FTA is required by 49 U.S.C. 5307 as well as other laws and
regulations to obtain specific certifications and assurances for its
programs. In fiscal year 1995, FTA compiled the certifications and
assurances applicable to the FTA programs into one document published
in the Federal Register. Grantees are now able to sign one document
annually certifying to all the certifications and assurances applicable
to FTA grants. During fiscal year 1996, all EGMM grantee participants
and on-line grantee participants will be able to provide this
certification electronically, completely eliminating paper
certification.

E. Future EGMM Expansion

FTA has several activities under consideration to expand the
functional content of EGMM, including the following: an enhanced
distributive PC-based system, a mechanism to facilitate electronic
submission, review, approval and management of statewide transportation
improvement programs; electronic development, review, approval and
management of unified planning work programs; and a more comprehensive
electronic library system.
Through these initiatives, FTA hopes to more effectively and
efficiently serve our customers. We appreciate and look forward to the
continued support of our grantee agencies as we look for additional
ways to improve delivery of the mass transit program.

XV. Quarterly Approval of Grants

The FTA has established a quarterly approval and release cycle for
processing grants. All Urbanized Area Formula, Nonurbanized Area
Formula, Elderly and Persons with Disabilities, Capital, Metropolitan
Planning, and State Planning and Research grants are processed on a
quarterly basis. This includes grants using STP or CMAQ funds.
If completed applications are submitted to the appropriate FTA
Regional Office no later than the first business day of the quarter,
FTA will award grants by the last business day of the quarter.
In order to expedite the grant approval process within the
quarterly approval structure, grants which are complete and have
received the required Transit Employee Protective Certification will be
approved before the end of the quarter. There are only two factors
which would delay FTA approval of the project beyond the end of a
quarter. First is a failure by DOL to issue a Transit Employee
Protective Certification where such certification is a prerequisite to
a grant approval, and second is the failure of FHWA to actually
transfer flexible funds.
For an application to be considered complete, all required
activities such as inclusion of the project in a locally approved
Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), a Federally approved State
Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), intergovernmental reviews,
environmental reviews, all applicable civil rights, anti-drug, clean
air requirements and submission of all requisite certifications and
documentation must be completed. The application must be in approvable
form with all required documentation and submissions on hand, except
for the labor protection certification which is issued by DOL.
Incomplete applications will not be processed, but if the missing
components are supplied, applications will be considered in the next
quarter.
It is the policy of FTA to expedite grant application reviews and
speed program delivery by reducing the number of grant applications. To
this end, FTA strongly encourages grant applicants to submit only one
application per fiscal year for each formula program. The single
application should contain the fiscal year's capital (including
flexible funds), planning and operating elements.
Applications for the first quarter should be submitted to the FTA
Regional Office within five business days of this Notice. The first-
quarter grants will be released on or before December 30, 1995.

XVI. Grant Application Procedures

All applications for FTA funds should be submitted to the
appropriate FTA Regional Office. Formula grant applications should be
prepared in conformance with the following FTA Circulars: Urbanized
Area Formula--C9030.1A, September 18, 1987; Nonurbanized Area Formula--
C9040.1C, November 3, 1992; Elderly and Persons with Disabilities--
C9070.1C, December 23, 1992; and Section 5309 Capital Program: Grant
Application Instructions--C9300.1, September 29, 1995. Applications for
STP ``flexible'' fund grants should be prepared in the same manner as
the apportioned funds under the Urbanized Area Formula, Nonurbanized
Area Formula, or Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Programs.
Guidance on preparation of applications for Metropolitan Planning, and
State Planning and Research funds may be obtained from each FTA
Regional Office. Also available are newly revised editions of the Grant
Management Guidelines, C5010.1B, September 7, 1995; and Third Party
Contracting Requirements, C4220.1C, October 1, 1995. Copies of
circulars are available from FTA Regional Offices, and revised
circulars are also available on the FTA Home Page on the Internet.

Issued on November 17, 1995.
Gordon J. Linton,
Administrator.

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Table 7A-GIF (14K)

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Table 7B- HTML (16K)
Table 7B- GIF (25K)

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Table 8- HTML (15K)
Table 8- GIF (40K)

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Table 9- HTML (15K)
Table 9- GIF (22K)

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[FR Doc. 95-28803 Filed 11-21-95; 11:07 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-C

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