VTCLI – Frequently Asked Questions
Applicants, Partners and Applications
Q: Who can apply for a VTCLI grant?
A: Applicants must be eligible to receive FTA §5309 funding, that is a public agency, such as a transit authority, city/county government, metropolitan planning organizations, the State or a Native American Tribe.
Q: Where can I look up potential transportation partners for a project under this initiative?
A: To find public transit providers in urban or rural areas, the American Public Transportation Association provides state lists by county and by metropolitan area. This information may be accessed at http://www.apta.com/resources/links/unitedstates/Pages/default.aspx. To find partners who are active in planning and coordinating transportation with other services, visit the National Resource Center's "Coordination Map" which has state agency contacts and known lead agencies and partners in coordinated transportation planning and delivery, as well as with other state-specific information and resources.
Q: How can I find potential Veterans organizations to partner with on this initiative?
Most national Veterans Service Organizations have state and local chapters who may be ideal partners for the VTCLI. See the VSO information on the VTCLI Resources page. You can also use the Department of Veterans Affairs Location tool to find the nearest VA facilities in your community.
Q: I am not part of a public agency, can I participate in developing the proposal?
A: Yes. While the official applicant and recipient of the funds must be an eligible public agency, organizations engaged in transportation or veterans issues are encouraged to participate in the application process and even lead the development of a community’s proposal.
Q: What if my community already has a transportation one-call center?
A: Communities with existing one-call centers are encouraged to apply for a VTCLI grant to expand their services. Such communities should detail how the planning and design process will incorporate veterans groups and needs that have not been addressed by the current one-call services
Q: What can the VTCLI grant pay for?
A: The VTCLI grant program can be used for capital expenses of a one-call center such as hardware, software, in-vehicle technology, facility-related costs, engineering and design.
Q: Is it appropriate to use consultants and/or vendors of hardware and software in the preparation of grant proposals?
A: The NOFA specifically provides for the use of consultants in the design and implementation of one-call centers—but such expenses are considered eligible for reimbursement only if incurred after the applicant is selected to receive a grant award. Otherwise, if an applicant wishes to use a consultant to help prepare the proposal, FTA will not pay for those services under this grant, since there is no "pre-award authority" in this discretionary program as there is with other FTA formula transit capital grants.
Eligible applicants developing grant proposals may, on the other hand, ask vendors of hardware, software, and services to voluntarily provide technical information on products and their costs as a basis for the independent cost estimates required by FTA. Note that these documents may not be used to develop specifications that arbitrarily exclude other vendors from responding to a competitive procurement for products or services that may be funded by the grant. Nor can this assistance be construed as a quid pro quo for assisting in the preparation of the grant application. Refer to FTA Circular 4220.1F, "Third Party Contracting Guidance" for details.
Q: Will I be able to purchase vehicles or transportation services with a VTCLI grant?
A: No. Neither vehicles nor purchased services (capital cost of contracting) will be eligible under the VTCLI grant program. Communities in need of accessible vehicles or services are encouraged to identify additional FTA funding and indicate this in their application when asked about leveraging additional funding.
Q: Is a local match required?
A: Yes and no. The VTCLI Section 5309 capital grants require a 20% local match. The match may be cash or in kind and come from the state, locality or private sources. The Section 5312 research grants do not require a local match.
Q: What are the guidelines for using human services contract revenue, donated or in-kind contributions, and other forms of "soft match" for the local share of a VTCLI grant?
A: The Section 5309 program, from which the VTCLI grant funds come, allows in-kind contributions and the market value of real property integral to the project to be counted as cash toward local share but does not allow volunteer drivers as an eligible source of local match.
From State Transit Guidance:
In-Kind and Other Soft Match
In limited circumstances, local governments and other agencies may use in-kind and/or other contributed services as soft match for projects. Office space, staff services, contract expenses, and other local operating costs may be allowable in-kind match to certain grant funded projects . . . . . In addition, real property may also be used toward the local share of certain capital projects. (Resource Guide for Transit and Transit-Related Programs, Florida DOT, p. 17, December 2005. http://www.floridartap.org/pdfs/TransitResourceGuide.pdf)
Contact Us: VeteransTransportation@dot.gov