Project Development flow chart:
Planning and project development for New Starts projects is a continuum of analytical activities carried out as part of the metropolitan planning and National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) review processes. Systems planning results in the identification and prioritization of transportation corridors in greatest need of more detailed planning and analysis. Alternatives analysis focuses on a specific transportation need (or set of needs), identifies alternative actions to address these needs, and generates information needed to select an option for further engineering and implementation. Once a locally preferred alternative is selected and adopted in the region's long range plan, the project sponsor may request FTA entrance into preliminary engineering (PE). PE includes additional engineering analysis and results in the completion of all environmental requirements. PE also typically marks the beginning of FTA's project management oversight function. The next stage of development is final design, which also requires FTA approval. It is within final design that candidate projects are considered by FTA for a Full Funding Grant Agreement.