[Federal Register: September 30, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 188)]
[Notices]               
[Page 50273-50275]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr30se09-119]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

Docket No. FTA-2009-0010]

 
Urbanized Area Formula Program: Proposed Circular

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of Proposed Circular.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has placed in the 
docket and on its Web site, proposed guidance in the form of a circular 
to assist grantees in implementing the Urbanized Area Formula Program 
(Section 5307). The Urbanized Area Formula Program provides grants for 
capital, planning, and some operating projects in urbanized areas. By 
this notice, FTA invites public comment on the proposed circular 
9030.1D, Urbanized Area Formula Program: Program Guidance and 
Application Instructions for the program.

DATES: Comments must be submitted by November 30, 2009. Late-filed 
comments will be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the docket number 
[FTA-2009-0010] by any of the following methods:
    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the online instructions for submitting comments on the U.S. Government 
electronic docket site.
    2. Fax: 202-493-2251.
    3. Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave., 
SE., Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    4. Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New 
Jersey Ave., SE., Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: You must include the agency name (Federal Transit 
Administration) and Docket number (FTA-2009-0010) for this notice at 
the beginning of your comments. You should submit two copies of your 
comments if you submit them by mail. If you wish to receive 
confirmation that FTA received your comments, you must include a self-
addressed stamped postcard. Note that all comments received will be 
posted without change to http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.regulations.gov including any personal 
information provided and will be available to internet users. You may 
review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register 
published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477). Docket: For access to the 
docket to read background documents and comments received, go to 
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.regulations.gov at any time or to the U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., Docket Operations, M-30, 
West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590 between 
9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Henrika Buchanan-Smith, Office of 
Program Management, Federal Transit Administration, 1200 New Jersey 
Ave., SE., East Building, Fourth Floor, Washington, DC 20590, phone: 
(202) 366-5080, fax: (202) 366-7951, or e-mail, Henrika.Buchanan-
Smith@dot.gov; or Richard Wong, Office of Chief Counsel, Federal 
Transit Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., East Building, Fifth 
Floor, Washington, DC 20590, phone: (202) 366-0675, fax: (202) 366-
3809, or e-mail, Richard.Wong@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Overview
II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis
    A. Chapter I--Introduction and Background
    B. Chapter II--Program Overview
    C. Chapter III--General Program Information
    D. Chapter IV--Program Development
    E. Chapter V--Coordinated Planning

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    F. Chapter VI--Program Management and Administrative 
Requirements
    G. Chapter VII--Other Provisions
    H. Appendices

I. Overview

    This notice provides a summary of proposed changes to FTA Circular 
9030.1C, Urbanized Area Formula Program: Grant Application 
Instructions. The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation 
Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Public Law 109-59, signed 
into law on August 10, required changes to the Urbanized Area Formula 
Program (Section 5307 program). FTA is updating the existing circular, 
developed in 1998, to reflect changes in the law. The final circular, 
when adopted, will supersede the existing circular.
    This document does not include the proposed circular; an electronic 
version is available on FTA's Web site, at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fta.dot.gov. 
Paper copies of the circular may be obtained by contacting FTA's 
Administrative Services Help Desk, at (202) 366-4865.
    Readers familiar with the existing FTA Circular 9030.1C will notice 
that FTA is proposing a complete reorganization to make this circular 
consistent with the style of other circulars FTA is updating. 
Substantive changes in content are discussed in the chapter-by-chapter 
analysis.

II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis

A. Chapter I--Introduction and Background

    Chapter I of the proposed circular is an introductory chapter and 
covers general information about FTA and how to contact us, briefly 
reviews the authorizing legislation for the Urbanized Area Formula 
program (a.k.a. ``Section 5307 program''), provides information about 
Grants.gov, includes definitions applicable to the program and provides 
a brief program history. The definitions section is new to this 
circular, and includes definitions related to the Section 5307 program. 
Where applicable, we have used the same definitions found in 
rulemakings or other circulars to ensure consistency.
    In the existing circular, Chapter I includes a number of topics 
that have been relocated in the proposed circular. We have renamed the 
existing section, ``Other Funds Available for Transit Projects,'' as 
``Relationship to Other Programs'' for consistency with other 
circulars, and moved the section to Chapter II. We propose moving the 
information regarding ``flexible funds'' to the ``Relationship to Other 
Programs'' section in proposed Chapter II, and propose moving 
information on apportionments and local and federal share to Chapter 
III. In addition, we have removed or streamlined some information in 
the existing Chapter I. For example, we propose removing the section on 
``Codification of Federal Transit Laws'' as it is no longer pertinent, 
and we have incorporated the information in the section, ``Grant 
Application Process'' into other sections of the proposed circular.

B. Chapter II--Program Overview

    Chapter II of the existing circular, ``Applicant Eligibility'' is 
limited to a discussion about designated recipients. This information 
has been updated and is included in the proposed Chapter II, in 
addition to more detail about the Urbanized Area Formula program. 
Chapter II of the proposed circular starts with the statutory authority 
for the Urbanized Area Formula program, followed by the goals of the 
program, recipient designation, the roles of the designated recipient 
and FTA, a discussion about transportation management areas, FTA 
oversight, and the relationship of the Urbanized Area Formula Program 
to other FTA programs. The information found in this proposed chapter 
is consistent with other circulars FTA has recently updated.

C. Chapter III--General Program Information

    Chapter III of the existing circular, ``Eligible Grant 
Activities,'' addresses eligible capital, operating and planning 
activities, as well as pre-award authority, letters of no prejudice, 
and advance capital project authority. Eligible projects continue to be 
in Chapter III and the lists have been updated consistent with changes 
made by SAFETEA-LU. Advance capital project authority also remains in 
Chapter III. Transportation development credits (formerly referred to 
as toll revenue credits) has been added to the proposed Chapter III to 
provide a calculation method that is consistent with the method used by 
FHWA. We propose moving preventive maintenance into Appendix E due to 
the length and complexity of the topic. We propose moving pre-award 
authority, and letters of no prejudice to Chapter IV. Additional 
information addressed in the proposed Chapter III includes 
apportionments, funds availability, and local and federal share. All of 
these sections have been updated to be consistent with the law and with 
the format of other recently revised FTA circulars.

D. Chapter IV--Program Development

    The existing Chapter IV, ``Apportionments'' addresses how funds are 
apportioned under the urbanized area formula, as well as transfers of 
apportionments. These sections have been moved to the proposed Chapter 
III. The proposed Chapter IV, ``Program Development,'' addresses the 
role of the designated recipient and the metropolitan planning 
organization (MPO), applicants other than designated recipients, pass-
through arrangements (formerly found in Chapter II); subarea allocation 
and transfer of funds for highway projects (formerly found in Chapter 
IV), planning requirements (formerly in Appendix A); program of 
projects and public participation requirements, and certifications and 
assurances (formerly found in Chapter V), and undertaking projects in 
advance, a catch-all section for pre-award authority, and letters of no 
prejudice (formerly found in Chapter III).
    FTA has revised each of these sections to reflect changes in 
statutes, regulations, and/or FTA policy. We also propose streamlining 
some sections, such as planning, while expanding others, such as 
certifications and assurances, to provide more detailed information.

E. Chapter V--Coordinated Planning

    The proposed Chapter V addresses the coordinated planning process 
required for the Section 5310, Elderly Individuals and Individuals with 
Disabilities formula program; the Section 5316, Job Access and Reverse 
Commute (JARC) program; and the Section 5317, New Freedom program. 
Often the designated recipient for the Urbanized Area Formula program 
will also be the designated recipient for one or more of these human 
services transportation programs. The proposed Chapter V contains 
substantially the same information as that found in FTA Circular 
9040.1F, Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant 
Application Instructions.
    The information found in the existing Chapter V, ``Requirements 
Associated with Urbanized Area Formula Program Grants'' has all been 
relocated to other chapters or eliminated. The section, ``National 
Transit Database Reporting System'' has been updated and moved to the 
proposed Chapter VI. We have provided a link to the FTA Web site as 
well as to the Transportation Electronic Award Management (TEAM) 
system, where applicants can find the instructions. We propose moving 
the ``Certification Procedures'' to the proposed Chapter IV. The 
section on

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``FTA Oversight'' has been updated and moved to the proposed Chapter 
II. The ``Certifications Particular to the Urbanized Area Formula 
Program'' section has been renamed, ``Certifications Required by 49 
U.S.C. 5307'' and moved to Chapter IV. We propose moving the updated 
information on program of projects and public participation 
requirements to Chapter IV.
    Finally, we propose eliminating the ``Alphabetical List of Other 
Requirements.'' The substance of that section has been moved to other 
chapters. Updated information related to ``Associated Capital 
Maintenance Items,'' ``New Technology Introduction'' and ``Lease vs. 
Buy Considerations'' can be found in Chapter III, under ``Capital 
Projects;'' updated information on ``Buses,'' ``Bus Facilities'' and 
``Fixed Guideway Rolling Stock,'' is in proposed Chapter VI. We have 
consolidated the information on buses and rolling stock and renamed the 
section, ``Requirements Related to Rolling Stock and Equipment.'' We 
propose removing the section on ``New Starts;'' information on how the 
New Starts program relates to the Urbanized Area Formula program is in 
Chapter II. Updated information on the rest of the content of existing 
Chapter V is in proposed Chapter VII.

F. Chapter VI--Program Management and Administrative Requirements

    The content of existing Chapter VI, ``Application Instructions,'' 
has been updated, streamlined, and moved to Appendix A. The proposed 
Chapter VI contains information on the TEAM system, Electronic Clearing 
House Operation (ECHO system, and, as previously discussed, information 
on the National Transit Database, requirements related to vehicles and 
equipment, and requirements related to facilities. The information in 
this chapter is consistent with that found in other recently updated 
FTA circulars.

G. Chapter VII--Other Provisions

    Chapter VII of the existing circular contains instructions for 
preparing a project budget. This information has been updated and moved 
to Appendix B, consistent with other recently revised FTA circulars. 
The proposed Chapter VII is similar to the ``Other Provisions'' 
chapters in other FTA circulars, and summarizes a number of FTA-
specific and other Federal requirements that FTA grantees are held to 
in addition to the program-specific requirements and guidance provided 
in the circular. As previously stated, some of the information has been 
relocated from the existing Chapter V's ``Alphabetical Listing of Other 
Requirements.'' Other sections, including charter bus, commercial 
driver's license, and the presidential coin act are new to this 
circular. Recipients should use this chapter, in conjunction with FTA's 
``Master Agreement'' and the current fiscal year ``Certifications and 
Assurances,'' to assure that they have met all requirements. Recipients 
may contact FTA Regional Counsel for more detail about these 
requirements.

G. Appendices

    The proposed appendices are intended as tools for developing a 
grant application. Appendix A specifically addresses steps and 
instructions for preparing a grant application, including pre-
application and application stages. This information is comparable to 
Chapter VI, ``Application Instructions,'' in the existing circular, 
although it has been updated and reorganized. Appendix A also includes 
an application checklist. Proposed Appendix B provides budget 
information, including a sample budget, and compares with the 
information found in Chapter VII, ``Instructions for Preparing a 
Project Budget,'' in the existing circular. Proposed Appendix C 
compares with existing Appendix D, ``Operating Assistance Projects,'' 
in the existing circular. Proposed Appendix D, which compares with 
existing Appendix F, ``Forms and Representative Documents,'' in the 
existing circular (except the documents we propose removing, as 
described below), contains samples of an Authorizing Resolution, 
Opinion of Counsel, Fleet Status, Proceeds from the Sale of Public 
Transportation Assets, Like-Kind Exchange Example and Sample 
Supplemental Agreement. Proposed Appendix E contains a description of 
the preventive maintenance program, and is new to this circular. 
Proposed Appendix F contains updated contact information for all of 
FTA's regional and metropolitan offices; this information is in Chapter 
VIII of the existing circular.
    We propose removing most of the contents of Appendix A of the 
existing circular, ``Transportation Planning Process,'' and instead 
including a paragraph referencing the planning regulations in Chapter 
IV of the proposed circular. We propose removing most of the content of 
existing Appendix B, ``Apportionment Formula,'' and relocating the 
basic formula in Chapter III of the proposed circular. We propose 
removing the content of existing Appendix C, ``New Start Development 
Process,'' and direct readers to the most recent revision of FTA 
Circular 9300, ``Capital Investment Program Guidance and Application 
Instructions,'' for information on New Starts.
    We have relocated the existing Appendix D, ``Operating Assistance 
Projects'' to proposed Appendix C. The information has been updated, 
and we propose moving the sections relating to eligible projects and 
federal/local share to Chapter III. We propose removing the existing 
Appendix E, ``Procedures Related to Flexible Funding'' and we have 
relocated the substance to Chapter II and Appendix A. The existing 
Appendix F, ``Forms and Representative Documents'' compares to the 
proposed Appendix D. We have removed some of the sample forms, namely 
the Application, Lobbying Disclosure Form, Project Milestone Schedule 
and Subregional Allocation. The application is submitted and reviewed 
entirely online in TEAM and all the forms can be viewed online. The 
lobbying form is also available online. We propose removing the 
existing Appendix G, which contains information on certifications and 
assurances, much of which has been moved to proposed Chapter IV. We 
propose removing the Sample Certifications and Assurances, as this is 
something that is updated every year and available on FTA's Web site. 
We propose moving the information in Appendix H, ``Interest as an 
Eligible Capital Cost'' to the proposed Chapter III with other eligible 
projects.
    FTA seeks public comment on the changes within proposed FTA 
Circular 9030.1D.

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 25th day of September 2009.
Peter Rogoff,
FTA Administrator.
[FR Doc. E9-23584 Filed 9-29-09; 8:45 am]