FTA Fiscal Year 1997 Apportionments and Allocations; Notice

Printer Friendly Version


[PDF Version]

[Federal Register: October 7, 1996 (Volume 61, Number 195)]
[Notices]              
[Page 52499-52538]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 52499]]

_______________________________________________________________________

Part II

Department of Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

Federal Transit Administration

_______________________________________________________________________

FTA Fiscal Year 1997 Apportionments and Allocations; Notice

[[Page 52500]]

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

FTA Fiscal Year 1997 Apportionments and Allocations

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1997 (Pub. L. 104-205 ), signed into law by President Clinton on September 30, 1996, provides fiscal year 1997 appropriations for the Federal Transit Administration transit assistance programs. Based upon this Act, this Notice contains a comprehensive list of apportionments and allocations of the various transit programs.
    This Notice includes the apportionment of fiscal year 1997 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 1997 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. As in fiscal year 1996, 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.
    For the first time, for information purposes, this Notice also contains the estimated state apportionment of fiscal year 1997 funds for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Metropolitan Planning Program and State Planning and Research Program.
    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; Melton Baxter, Manager, Urbanized Area Formula Program and FTA Apportionments, 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 Robert Stout, Director, Office of Planning Operations, (202) 366-6385, 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
    B. Intelligent Transportation Systems
    C. ADA Paratransit Service Implementation
    D. Consolidated Planning Grant
    E. Transit Oriented Development
    F. 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
    C. Adjustments for Energy and Operating Efficiencies
    D. Designation of New Urbanized Area
    E. Urbanized Area Formula Fiscal Year 1997 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. Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP)
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
X. Unit Values of Data for Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Program,, Section 5311 Nonurbanized Area Formula Programs, 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. FHWA Metropolitan Planning Program and State Planning and Research Program
    E. 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
1997 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 1997 appropriations and ISTEA authorizations for grant programs
    2. FTA FY 1997 section 5307 urbanized area formula apportionments and ISTEA authorized levels
    3. FTA FY 1997 section 5311 nonurbanized area formula apportionments, section 5311(b) rural transit assistance program (RTAP) allocatons, and ISTEA authorized levels
    4. FTA FY 1997 section 5310 elderly and persons with disabilities apportionments and ISTEA authorized levels
    5. FTA FY 1997 section 5309(m)(1)(A) fixed guideway modernization formula apportionments and ISTEA authorized levels
    6. FTA FY 1997 section 5309 new start allocations
    7. FTA FY 1997 section 5309(m)(1)(C) bus allocations
    8. FTA FY 1997 section 5303 Metropolitan Planning Program and section 5313(b) state planning and research program
    9. FHWA FY 1997 Metropolitan Planning Program and FY 1997 State Planning and Research Program
    10. Federal Transit Administration--Unit values of data--FY 1997 formula grant 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.

[[Page 52501]]

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. Additional provisions enacted after that date, and revisions to title 49, chapter 53, will be reflected in
subsequent legislation now being considered 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     
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capital Program..........................  5309                        
Metropolitan Planning Program............  5303                        
Urbanized Area Formula Program...........  5307                        
Transit Employee Protective Certification  5333(b)                     
National Transit Database................  5335                        
Elderly and Persons with Disabilities      5310                        
 Program.                                                              
Nonurbanized Area Formula Program........  5311                        
Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP)..  5311(b)(2)                  
State Planning and Research Program......  5313(b)                     
------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 1997 DOT
Appropriations Act and Bus fund allocations in the accompanying Conference Report are also included in this Notice.

III. Overview of Appropriations for Grant Programs

A. General

    In fiscal year 1997, the appropriation for the Urbanized Area Formula Program and the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program is $2,093,143,761. Of this amount, 94.50 percent ($1,978,020,854) is made available to the Urbanized Area Formula Program, and 5.50 percent ($115,122,907) 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 Tra Transit Assistance Program (RTAP); $56,041,239 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 $1,900,000,000 for the Capital Program. Of the Capital Program amount, $760,000,000 is for Fixed Guideway Modernization, $760,000,000 is for New Starts, and $380,000,000 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

    As in fiscal year 1996, FTA is publishing the formula apportionment and allocation tables that compare the maximum program level proposed in the ISTEA authorization law for fiscal year 1997 and the actual program funds appropriated by Congress for fiscal year 1997. 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 Program and the National Capital Transportation Act, as amended, for fiscal year 1997, 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

    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 incorporates on-site services such as child care, public safety, health care and retail conveniences. Well-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 1996, 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

[[Page 52502]]

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. ITS technologies improve transit operating efficiency and make transit customer-friendly and easier to use.
    ITS represents a significant step in the advancement of transit technology, and demonstration projects of the past few years have proven that significant benefits are possible. These initial successes have set the stage for the broader ITS deployments being developed today. As transit ITS expands from research and demonstration to full-
scale implementation, transit operators around the country are recognizing that ITS offers as much--if not more--to the transit industry as it does to other transportation modes.
    ITS improves transit operational efficiency in a variety of ways. In Kansas City, 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 introduction of Smart Cards in the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid
Transit Authority rail stations is estimated to save $2.4 million in annual cash handling costs. Several transit operators are also exploring the use of ITS vehicle location technology to assist with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance by coordinating timed transfers between fixed-route and paratransit services.
    ITS improves customer service in a variety of ways. For example, at bus stops: letting customers know if the bus just left or is about to arrive; on board vehicles: using in-vehicle signs and enunciator systems informing passengers of upcoming stops; at transfer points: sending hold notification to vehicles so passengers do not miss their
transfers; during emergencies: using an emergency response system to direct immediate help to vehicles in distress; and at the farebox: enabling patrons to use a common fare card for all transit services in a region.
    It is important that transit agencies consider the application of these ITS technologies as current planning and capital programs are developed. Authorities planning to purchase equipment such as radios, in-vehicle signs, fare boxes, passenger counters or any other electronic hardware, should consider the gains from integrating state-
of-the-art technologies.
    Applications of ITS technologies are enhanced if they are integrated among multiple transit agencies and with ITS traffic management systems. 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, an ``Intelligent Transportation Infrastructure'' of technology will be created providing maximum benefits to all travelers, including those who use transit within metropolitan areas.
    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, design, acquisition, deployment and operation of ITS systems and to recognize the great potential of transit ITS applications. These organizations are also encouraged to ensure that transit ITS is fully integrated among transit agencies and with other ITS applications such as traffic management and traffic information systems. It is important that decision makers keep their options open in specifying and procuring ITS systems so future enhancements and modal integrations may be readily added onto systems without costly modifications.
    It is critical that consideration of ITS technologies occur within the context of the planning process, which includes long range planning, regional planning studies, corridor and subarea studies (major investment studies), preliminary engineering, operations planning and management systems. These considerations should be reflected in the transportation plan, the Transportation Improvement Program, and Unified Planning Work Program. Central to this process is the identification of problems and their underlying causes so that appropriate solutions can be found. ITS strategies should be considered along with traditional alternatives which address transportation
problems. In this way the costs and benefits of ITS and other strategies can be assessed so that the optimum mix of solutions can be determined.
    For further information, please contact the appropriate FTA Regional Administrator.

C. ADA Paratransit Service Implementation

    Reduction of Paperwork for ADA Paratransit Plan Updates. To reduce
paperwork and the administrative burden of regulation, on May 21, 1996
(see 61 Federal Register 25409), the DOT amended its regulation, 49 CFR
Part 37, implementing the transportation provisions of the Americans
with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The DOT eliminated the annual ADA
paratransit plan update submission requirement, 49 CFR Section
37.135(c), for those systems that have fully implemented ADA
paratransit service. In 1996, almost all of the 530 systems report full
implementation. ADA paratransit service is to be fully implemented by
January 26, 1997. Full implementation means that all of the six ADA
paratransit service requirements listed in Section 37.131 (service
area, response time, fares, trip purpose, hours/days of service, and
capacity constraints) have been met. If the transit authority has fully
implemented these requirements, an annual update or progress report is
no longer required. Further, the public hearing on the annual plan
update is no longer required. All that is required of an FTA grantee is
to complete the fiscal year 1997 Annual List of Certifications and
Assurances, Category I, part G, which is an Assurance of
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability. However, if the ADA

[[Page 52503]]

paratransit service requirements will not be met by January 26, 1997,
an applicant for funding must notify the appropriate FTA regional
office in writing, submit a 1997 plan update to FTA by January 26,
1997, and submit a temporary time extension request to FTA to continue
to remain eligible for federal funding. As of October 1, 1996, the FTA
has not received any requests for a temporary time extension based on
undue financial burden during the last three years.

D. Consolidated Planning Grant (CPG)

    Beginning in fiscal year 1997, FTA and FHWA will offer the states
the opportunity to participate in a pilot Consolidated Planning Grant
(CPG) program. This concept is consistent with the American Association
of State Highway and Transportation Officials policy endorsing
consolidation of FHWA and FTA planning funds and with comments received
from our customers during ISTEA outreach meetings.
    A consolidated grant will accomplish three important goals. First,
it will result in one set of grant application and reporting procedures
and one billing process, thereby streamlining the program. Second, the
non-mode-specific nature of a consolidated grant will enhance the
multimodal approach to transportation planning envisioned in ISTEA and
the joint planning regulations. Finally, as the two agencies move
toward greater streamlining, the cooperative effort required for
unified delivery will reduce duplication of effort and increase FHWA
and FTA staff time available for customer service.
    In response to suggestions to streamline and consolidate the
highway and transit planning programs, FTA and FHWA will initiate a
pilot program to demonstrate this consolidated grant concept and invite
the states' participation in the pilot. The CPG is intended to
incorporate some of the most ``customer-friendly'' aspects of the FTA
and FHWA separate processes. Under this pilot, the State's FHWA
Metropolitan Planning funds and, at a State's request, the planning
portion of FHWA's State Planning and Research funds and other Title 23,
USC funds that may be used for metropolitan and statewide planning
(i.e. Minimum Allocation, Funding Restoration, National Highway System
(NHS), and/or STP), would be made available to FTA, similar to the
process used for flexible STP funds. For information purposes,
estimates of the FHWA Metropolitan Planning funds and the FHWA State
Planning and Research funds, 75% of which is available for planning,
are included in Table 9. The FHWA funds would be combined with FTA's
counterpart planning funds and awarded electronically as a consolidated
grant through FTA's Electronic Grant Making and Management (EGMM)
System. States would submit a single claim for reimbursement to FTA.
FHWA/FTA oversight and administrative responsibilities will be mutually
agreed to by the affected field offices. Currently, all states are
connected to the FTA Grants Management Information System which
supports EGMM. EGMM software, training and support are available at no
cost for any state wishing to utilize EGMM to apply for and receive
consolidated planning grant funds.
    Both the FTA and the FHWA view this pilot as a critical element in
our efforts to ``redefine government'' and provide better customer
service. We will receive expressions of interest through either the FTA
Regional Office or FHWA Division Office.

E. Transit-Oriented Development

    FTA is encouraging local governments and transit agencies to
implement transit-oriented development around transit sites. This type
of development includes mixed uses, carefully managed parking and good
pedestrian access, and is within easy walking distance of the transit
facilities.
    Transit-Oriented Development on property owned by transit agencies
promotes transit use and provides a source of income for transit
operations. For example, some transit agencies lease air rights or
ground space at transit stations for retail centers, day care
facilities or news stands. To facilitate greater opportunities for
joint development at transit sites, DOT has approved individual
exceptions to the Federal government's Common Grant Rule for transit
agencies in Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon; and Atlanta, Georgia.
These three pilots may now involve the sell of unneeded property for
transit-oriented development on that property, and use the income for
transit-related capital and operational purposes.

F. 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 FTA program
circulars (Section 5309 Capital Program: Grant Application
Instructions--C9300.1, September 29, 1995; Section 18 Program
Guidance--9040.1C (now Section 5311 Nonurbanized Area Formula Program),
November 3, 1992; Section 16 Capital Assistance Program Guidance,
9070.1C, (now Section 5310 Elderly and Persons with Disabilities
Program), December 23, 1992; Grant Management Guidelines, C5010.1B,
September 7, 1995; and Third Party Contracting Requirements, C4220.1D,
April 15, 1996) are contained therein.
    The FTA Home Page may be reached through the DOT Home Page at the
following address: http://www.fta.dot.gov.

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

A. Total Urbanized Area Formula Apportionments

    In addition to the appropriated fiscal year 1997 Urbanized Area
Formula funds of $1,978,020,854, the apportionment also includes
$8,031,253 in deobligated funds 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 project management
oversight is reserved ($9,890,104), the amount appropriated for this
program is $1,968,130,750. The funds to be reapportioned, described in
the previous paragraph, have then been added. Thus, the total amount
apportioned for this program is $1,976,162,003.

B. Data Used for Urbanized Area Formula Apportionments

    Data from the 1995 National Transit Database (49 U.S.C. 5335)
Report Year submitted in late 1995 and early 1996 have been used to
calculate the fiscal year 1997 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.

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

[[Page 52504]]

accordance with this provision. Accordingly, the revenue vehicle miles
used in the Urbanized Area Formula database to calculate the fiscal
year 1997 Urbanized Area Formula apportionment reflect the amount the
recipient would have received without the reductions in mileage.

D. Designation of New Urbanized Area

    In fiscal year 1996, Flagstaff, Arizona, was designated an
urbanized area by a special census review. This newly urbanized area is
included for the first time in the Arizona Governor's apportionment for
urbanized areas under 200,000 in population and is no longer eligible
for inclusion in Section 5311 grants obligated in fiscal year 1997 and
beyond.

E. Urbanized Area Formula Fiscal Year 1997 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 1997 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 1997 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 1995,
published by the Department of Labor (DOL), establishes that the
calendar year 1995 CPI increase for all urban consumers is 2.5 percent.
This increase was applied against the base operating assistance
limitation calculated in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5336(d)(2). In
addition, Flagstaff, Arizona, the new urbanized area designated by
special census, has been given an operating assistance limitation of
two-thirds of its apportionment, consistent with the provision of 49
U.S.C. 5336(d)(1).
    These adjustments result in an overall national fiscal year 1997
authorized operating assistance limitation level of $1,140,989,706.
However, the 1997 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 1997 DOT
Appropriations Act and Federal transit laws. Therefore, the higher
operating assistance limitation as authorized under Federal transit
laws ($1,140,990,224) was reduced to the $400,000,000 required by the
1997 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 operating assistance limitation of
$85,791 for Flagstaff, Arizona (a newly designated urbanized area) was
then added, thereby increasing the fiscal year 1997 level for these
areas to $93,035,594. The remaining $306,964,406 of the $400,000,000
was prorated to urbanized areas above 200,000 in population, as
authorized by the 1997 DOT Appropriations Act.
    Consistent with the 1997 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, 1996, 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

[[Page 52505]]

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:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  Small urbanized area included in TMA 
        Designated 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.

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 1997 Nonurbanized Area Formula apportionments to
the states totaling $116,158,383 are displayed in Table 3. Of the
$115,122,907 appropriated, one-half percent ($575,615) was reserved for
project management oversight. In addition to the current appropriation,
the funds available for apportionment included $1,611,091 consisting of
deobligated funds from fiscal years prior to 1994.
    The population figures used in calculating these apportionments are
from the 1990 Census. The database for the State of Arizona has been
adjusted to account for Flagstaff, Arizona, a newly designated
urbanized area that is no longer eligible for Nonurbanized Area Formula
grants.
    The Nonurbanized Formula Program provides capital, operating and
administrative assistance for areas less than 50,000 in population.
Each State must spend no less than 15 percent of its fiscal year 1997
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 1997 Nonurbanized Area Formula grant
applications must reflect this level of programming for intercity bus
or include a certification from the Governor.

B. Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP)

    The fiscal year 1997 RTAP allocations to the States totaling
$4,566,568 are also displayed on Table 3. This amount includes
$4,500,000 in fiscal year 1997 appropriated funds, and $66,568 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. Elderly and Persons With Disabilities Program (49 U.S.C. 5310)

    A total of $56,059,007 is apportioned to the States for fiscal year
1997 for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program. In addition
to the fiscal year 1997 appropriation of $56,041,239 the fiscal year
1997 apportionment also includes $17,768 in prior year unobligated
funds which have become available for reapportionment for the Elderly
and Persons with Disabilities Program. 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.

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

[[Page 52506]]

(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
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 1997, $760,000,000 was
appropriated for fixed guideway modernization. After deducting the
three-quarter percent for oversight ($5,700,000), $754,300,000 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 1997 appropriation for New Starts is 760,000,000.
In addition, Congress reprogrammed $56,956,000 in unobligated New
Starts funds originally appropriated in fiscal years 1992 and 1995,
yielding an overall total of $816,956,000. This entire amount was
allocated to projects specified in the 1997 DOT Appropriations Act.
After applying the three-quarter percent reduction to the appropriated
amount ($760,000,000) for project management oversight, $811,256,000
remains available for allocation. The amount of the project management
oversight reduction ($5,700,000) is subtracted on a prorata basis from
all 54 projects specified in the 1997 legislation. The final allocation
for these projects is contained in Table 6 of this Federal Register
Notice. Also provided in the table are prior year unobligated
allocations for New Starts.

C. Bus

    The fiscal year 1997 appropriation for Bus is $380,000,000 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 ($2,850,000), $377,150,000 remains
available for projects. The Conference Report accompanying the 1997 DOT
Appropriations Act earmarked all of the fiscal year 1997 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.
    Because the three-quarter percent for project management 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 1997
Bus funds by area and also shows prior year unobligated earmarks for
the Bus Program.

X. Unit Values of Data for the Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula,
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

[[Page 52507]]

apportionments are included in this Notice on Table 10. 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 1997 Metropolitan Planning apportionments to States
for MPOs to be used in urbanized areas total $40,172,643. This amount
includes $39,500,000 in fiscal year 1997 apportioned funds, and
$672,643 in prior year deobligated funds which have become available
for reallocation for this program. A basic allocation of 80 percent of
this amount $32,138,114 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 $8,034,529 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 1997 apportionments for the State Planning and
Research Program total $8,279,228. This amount includes $8,250,000 in
fiscal year 1997 apportioned funds, and $29,228 in prior year
deobligated funds which have become available for reallocation to this
program. Final State apportionments for this program are also contained
on Table 8. This is the sixth 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. FHWA Metropolitan Planning Program and State Planning and Research
Program

    For information purposes, the estimated State apportionments for
the FHWA Metropolitan Planning Program and State Planning and Research
Program are contained in Table 9.

E. 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. These remain in effect until changed, which is expected some time
during early fiscal year 1997.
    The PEAs currently under development will highlight program
objectives identified jointly by FTA and FHWA including, but not
limited to: ITS, multimodalism, innovative services, innovative
financing, partnering, and the need for community sensitive
transportation planning that considers social, environmental, economic,
land-use and other quality of life factors early in the 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 1997. Any of these apportioned funds unobligated at the
close of business on September 30, 2000, 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 1997. Any such funds remaining unobligated at the
close of business on September 30, 1999, 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,
1997. 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 Cost

A. Background

    FTA is engaged in an ongoing effort to streamline and simplify the
administration of its programs. To this end, the agency 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.

B. Current Coverage

    In fiscal year 1997, authority to incur costs for Fixed Guideway
Modernization Formula, Metropolitan

[[Page 52508]]

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 1997 FTA funds apportioned in this Notice for the programs
listed above. 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 year 1997, provided that the projects are included in a
Federally approved STIP. Pre-award authority applies to flexible funds
prior to transfer to FTA if the conditions below are met. This pre-
award authority also applies to Capital 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 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 1997 and Beyond

A. Background

    As a result of the National Performance Review and the FTA
strategic planning process, the FTA will continue to implement a series
of automation improvements in the planning, development, 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 graphic user 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, user-friendly, 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 enables grantee agencies to access the
FTA Grants Management Information System (GMIS) data base via a toll
free telephone connection. With this access grantee agencies can
inquire about grant and fund status, file required financial and
narrative grant status reports and make annual certifications and
assurances through GMIS. Over 480 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. During Fiscal Year
1996, 34 grantee agencies participated in the FTA EGMM program. These
grantees utilized EGMM 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
a toll free telephone connection. Any agency interested in
participating in the EGMM program should contact the appropriate FTA
Regional Office.

D. Electronic Signature of Certifications and Assurances

    The FTA is required by U.S.C. 5307 as well as other laws and
regulations to obtain specific certifications and assurances for its
programs. Annually, since fiscal year 1995, FTA compiled the
certifications and assurances applicable to the FTA programs into one
document published in the Federal Register. Grantees are able to sign
one document annually certifying to all the certifications and
assurances applicable to FTA grants. During fiscal year 1997, we
encourage all EGMM grantee participants and on-line grantee
participants to provide this certification electronically, completely
eliminating paper certification.

E. Future EGMM Activities

    There are two initiatives in the development stages that FTA hopes
will

[[Page 52509]]

result in more efficient and effective customer service.
    (1) The FTA is working with the FHWA to develop single agency
delivery of metropolitan and state planning funds utilizing the FTA
EGMM grant delivery system. FTA and FHWA will pilot test the concept of
a consolidated planning grant during fiscal year 1997.
    (2) FTA has contracted for the development of graphic user
interface software in order to make interface with the EGMM system more
user friendly.
    We appreciate and look forward to the continued support of our
grantees agencies as we seek additional ways to improve delivery of the
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 from
the Department of Labor (DOL) 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, 1996.

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 revised editions of the Grant
Management Guidelines, C5010.1B, September 7, 1995; and Third Party
Contracting Requirements, C4220.1D, April 15, 1996. Copies of circulars
are available from FTA Regional Offices. Circulars are also available
on the FTA Home Page on the Internet.

    Issued on: September 30, 1996.
Gordon J. Linton,
Administrator.

BILLING CODE 4910-57-P

[[Page 52510]]

Table 1: FY 1997 APPROPRIATIONS AND ISTEA AUTHORIZATIONS FOR GRANT PROGRAMS


[[Page 52511]]

 


[[Page 52512]]

 


[[Page 52513]]

 


[[Page 52514]]

 


[[Page 52515]]

 


[[Page 52516]]

 


[[Page 52517]]

 


[[Page 52518]]

 


[[Page 52519]]

 


[[Page 52520]]

 


[[Page 52521]]

 

[[Page 52522]]

 


[[Page 52523]]

 


[[Page 52524]]

 


[[Page 52525]]

 


[[Page 52526]]

Table 3: FY 1997 SECTION 5311 NONURBANIZED AREA FORMULA
    APPORTIONMENTS, SECTION 5311(b)


[[Page 52527]]

Table 4: FY 1997 SECTION 5310 ELDERLY AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
    APPORTIONMENTS AND ISTEA AUTHORIZED LEVELS


[[Page 52528]]

Table 5: FY 1997 SECTION 5309(m)(1)(A) FIXED GUIDEWAY MODERNIZATION
    APPORTIONMENTS AND ISTEA AUTHORIZED LEVELS


[[Page 52529]]

Table 6: FY 1996 SECTION 5309(m)(1)(B) NEW START ALLOCATIONS


[[Page 52530]]

 


[[Page 52531]]

 


[[Page 52532]]

 


[[Page 52533]]

 


[[Page 52534]]

 


[[Page 52535]]

 


[[Page 52536]]

Table 8: FY 1997 SECTION 5303 METROPOLITAN PLANNING PROGRAM
    AND SECTION 5313(b) STATE PLANNING AND RESEARCH PROGRAM


[[Page 52537]]

Table 9: FY 1997 METROPOLITAN PLANNING PROGRAM AND FY 1997
    STATE PLANNING AND RESEARCH PROGRAM


[[Page 52538]]

Table 10: Unit Values of Data Fiscal Year 1997 Formula
    Grant Apportionments


[FR Doc. 96-25248 Filed 10-4-96; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-C

 

 

A A A    Bookmark and Share