Appendix C – Planning and Project Development Resources

[Appendix C: Planning and Project Development Resources (PDF)]

The following provides a summary of FTA and industry websites, publications, and other resources which are available to provide further guidance on the planning and development of major transit capital investments.

Metropolitan and Systems Planning

Metropolitan and Statewide Planning Programs. FTA.

Summarizes the metropolitan planning process and provides links to other planning resources.

Metropolitan Capacity Building Program. FTA/FHWA.

Provides assistance to staff and officials of regional transportation planning agencies to address the demands of increasingly complex transportation issues.

A Guide to Metropolitan Planning Under ISTEA: How the Pieces Fit Together. FTA/FHWA. 1995.

Provides a framework for linking the various elements of ISTEA’s transportation planning process together in a comprehensive manner as well as information, suggestions, and examples of ways to carry out the process.

Final Rule on Metropolitan and Statewide Planning. FTA/FHWA. 1993.

23 CFR Part 450

Describes the Federal requirements for metropolitan planning, the context of which establishes the need for undertaking an alternatives analysis study.

Alternatives Analysis

Technical Methods for Transit Project Planning. FTA. 1991.

Describes the technical activities and guiding principles of the alternatives analysis study process, including study organization and management, definition and evaluation of alternatives, travel demand forecasting and analysis, and financial planning.

Guidebook for Transportation Corridor Studies: A Process for Effective Decision-Making. National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 435. 1999. Available from the Transportation Research Board.

Provides planning professionals and transportation decisionmakers with practical tools and guidance for designing, organizing, and managing corridor and subarea planning studies.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Process

The Environmental Process. FTA.

Summarizes the NEPA process for transit capital projects, describes FTA NEPA responsibilities, and provides useful links to other environmental resources.

Final Rule on Environmental Impact and Related Procedures. FTA/FHWA. 1987. 

Prescribes the policies and procedures of FTA and FHWA for implementing NEPA.

Technical Planning Methods

Documentation of SUMMIT Software. FTA. Available early 2003 at

Provides a review of travel demand forecasting techniques and transferable parameters for application in simplified planning analysis.

Fare Policies, Structures and Technologies. Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 10. 1996. Available from the Transportation Research Board.

Provides guidance to transportation planners, managers, on the effects of transit fare policy, structure, and technology.

Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual. TCRP Web Document 6. 1999.

Provides a consolidated and generally accepted set of transit-capacity and quality-of-service definitions, principles, practices, and procedures for planning, designing, and operating vehicles and facilities.

Rail Transit Capacity. TCRP Report 13. 1996. Available from the Transportation Research Board.

Describes appropriate methodologies for estimating the capacity of future rail systems and modifications of existing systems.

Financial Planning

Guidance on Transit Financial Plans. FTA. 1999.

Describes good practices in financial planning for transit agencies and defines the content and scope of an adequate transit financial plan.

Financial Contractor Guidelines and Standards. FTA. 2002. Available early 2003.

Provides guidance on conducting financial assessments for FTA's New Starts program, including a discussion of key financial planning factors which FTA considers in its evaluation.

Funding Strategies for Public Transportation. TCRP Report 31. 1998. Available from the Transportation Research Board.

Describes the current state of funding for public transportation in the United States, the various circumstances that have contributed to today’s funding environment, and specific strategies that transit agencies are pursuing to identify new sources of funding.

Project and Grants Management

Project Management. FTA.

Summarizes FTA project management requirements and provides links to related guidance and information.

FTA Circular 5200.1A Full Funding Grant Agreements Guidance. FTA. 2002.

Describes FTA procedures and grantee responsibilities for the development and execution of the FFGA instrument.

New Starts Program and Requirements

Planning, Development, and Funding for New Starts Projects. FTA.

A summary of FTA’s New Starts program and project development process, with links to other related topics.

New Starts – An Introduction to FTA’s Capital Investment Program. [PDF] FTA. 1999.

An introductory brochure to the New Starts program and project development process.

Final Rule on Major Capital Investment Projects. [PDF] FTA. 2000.

Regulations on the manner in which FTA evaluates and rates candidate New Starts projects.

Reporting Instructions for the Section 5309 New Starts Criteria. FTA. 2002.

Provides guidance on how to calculate the measures used by FTA to evaluate New Starts projects.

Guidance on Before and After Studies. FTA. Available early 2003.

Provides guidance to candidate New Starts project sponsors on the data collection, documentation, and analytical activities necessary to prepare a Before and After Study which expands insights into the actual costs and impacts of major transit investments and the methods used to estimate them.