FTA Fiscal Year 1998 Apportionments, Allocations, and Program Information

Revised Notice of June 24, 1998 [HTML] [PDF]

Number 62 64456
12-05-97

[Federal Register: December 5, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 234)]
[Notices]
[Page 64455-64501]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr05de97-126]

[[Page 64455]]


Part IV

Department of Transportation


Federal Transit Administration


FTA Fiscal Year 1998 Apportionments, Allocations and Program
Information; Notice

[[Page 64456]]

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

FTA Fiscal Year 1998 Apportionments, Allocations and Program
Information

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Related Agencies
Appropriations Act, 1998 (Pub. L. 105-66), was signed into law by
President Clinton on October 27, 1997. Pending further consideration of
a multi-year authorization next Spring, Congress has passed a six-month
extension of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of
1991 (ISTEA), known as the Surface Transportation Extension Act of
1997. This act, signed by President Clinton on December 1, 1997,
provides additional funding authorizations for the transit, highway,
and highway safety programs for the period October 1, 1997, through
March 31, 1998. The previous authorizations, under ISTEA, were
effective through September 30, 1997.

Funding for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is derived
from two sources: the general funds of the Treasury and motor fuel
taxes deposited into the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust
Fund. The 1998 DOT Appropriations Act provides $240,000,000 in general
funds for the formula programs under 49 U.S.C. Sections 5307, 5311, and
5310. It also provides general funds in the amount of $52,250,000 for
the transit planning and research programs of 49 U.S.C. Sections 5303,
5313(b), and 5311(b). The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 1997
provides an additional $1,328,400,000 for formula programs in the form
of contract authority from the Mass Transit Account for a total of
$1,568,400,000 for the formula programs.

The capital programs are funded exclusively with trust funded
resources. The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 1997 provides
$1,131,600,000 in new contract authority, consisting of $452,640,000
each for the Fixed Guideway Modernization and New Starts categories and
$226,320,000 for the Bus category. The obligational authority for New
Starts when combined with $392,000,000 in unobligated contract
authority for New Starts remaining under ISTEA exceeds the obligation
limitation in the 1998 DOT Appropriations Act of $800,000,000.
Therefore, this notice contains allocations to make $800,000,000 for
New Starts available for obligation.

This Notice contains (1) a listing of the full amount of the fiscal
year 1998 apportionments and allocations for the formula, capital, and
transit planning and research programs, including both trust funds and
general funds, based on the 1998 Appropriations Act and Federal transit
laws; and (2) a listing of apportionments and allocations based on the
fiscal year 1998 available funds for the Urbanized Area Formula
Program, the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, the Elderly and Persons
with Disabilities Program, the Rural Transit Assistance Program, the
Capital Program, the Metropolitan Planning Program, and the State
Planning and Research program, in accordance with the 1998 DOT
Appropriations Act and the Surface Transportation Extension Act of
1997. As soon as authorizing legislation covering the remainder of the
fiscal year, April 1, 1998, through September 30, 1998, has been
enacted, the entire apportionment will be made available. If the
reauthorization act affects the distribution of funds within the
programs, FTA will republish the apportionments and allocations in
their entirety, taking the provisions of both the 1998 DOT
Appropriations Act and the reauthorization act into consideration. In
any case, even though the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 1997
provides contract authorizations for the period October 1, 1997,
through March 31, 1998, funding is available to grantees throughout the
typical period of availability for each specific program. For example,
Urbanized Area Formula Program funding is available to the grantees for
fiscal year 1998 plus the next three years through fiscal year 2001. In
the interim, grantees are able to obligate the fiscal year 1998
available apportionments, allocations, and carryover balances remaining
under the various FTA formula and capital programs.

Also included in this Notice is a listing of prior year unobligated
earmarks for the Section 5309 New Starts and Bus Programs as in
previous year notices. In addition, the FTA policy regarding pre-award
authority to incur project costs, as well as other pertinent program
information, is included.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The appropriate FTA Regional
Administrator for grant-specific information and issues; Patricia
Levine, Director, Office of Resource Management and State Programs,
(202) 366-2053, for general information about the Urbanized Area
Formula Program, the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, the Elderly and
Persons with Disabilities Program, the Rural Transit Assistance
Program, or the Capital Program; or Robert Stout, Director, Office of
Planning Operations, (202) 366-6385, for general information concerning
the Metropolitan Planning Program and the State Planning and Research
Program.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. BACKGROUND
  2. OVERVIEW OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR GRANT PROGRAMS
    1. General
    2. Funds Available for Obligation
    3. Project Management Oversight
  3. EXPANDED DEFINITION OF CAPITAL
    1. Preventive Maintenance
    2. Operating Assistance for Urbanized Areas Less Than 200,000 In
      Population
  4. DEPARTMENTAL INITIATIVES
    1. FTA Home Page on the Internet
    2. State Infrastructure Banks
  5. SECTION 5307 URBANIZED AREA FORMULA PROGRAM
    1. Total Urbanized Area Formula Apportionments
    2. Data Used for Urbanized Area Formula Apportionments
    3. Adjustments for Energy and Operating Efficiencies
    4. Urbanized Area Formula Fiscal Year 1998 Apportionments to
      Governors
    5. Urbanized Area Formula Operating Assistance Limitations
    6. Statewide Operating Assistance Limitations
    7. Designated Transportation Management Areas
    8. Urbanized Area Formula Funds Used for Highway Purposes
  6. SECTION 5311 NONURBANIZED AREA FORMULA
    PROGRAM AND SECTION 5311(b) RURAL TRANSIT
    ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (RTAP)
    1. Nonurbanized Area Formula Program
    2. Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP)
  7. SECTION 5310 ELDERLY AND PERSONS WITH
    DISABILITIES PROGRAM
  8. SURFACE TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM
    ``FLEXIBLE'' FUNDS USED FOR TRANSIT
    PURPOSES (Title 23, U.S.C.)
    1. Transfer Process
    2. Matching Share for Flexible Funds
    3. Other Funds Transferred to FTA
  9. SECTION 5309 CAPITAL PROGRAM
    1. Fixed Guideway Modernization
    2. New Starts
    3. Bus
  10. UNIT VALUES OF DATA FOR SECTION 5307 URBANIZED
    AREA FORMULA PROGRAM, SECTION 5311 NONURBANIZED
    AREA FORMULA PROGRAM, AND SECTION 5309 FIXED
    GUIDEWAY MODERNIZATION PROGRAM
  11. SECTION 5303 METROPOLITAN PLANNING PROGRAM
    AND SECTION 5313(b)
    STATE PLANNING AND RESEARCH PROGRAM
    [[Page 64457]]
    1. Metropolitan Planning Program
    2. State Planning and Research Program
    3. Data Used for Metropolitan Planning Apportionments and State
      Planning and Research Apportionments
    4. FHWA Metropolitan Planning Program and State Planning and
      Research Program
    5. Local Match Waiver for Job Access Planning Activities
    6. Planning Emphasis Areas
    7. Federal Planning Certification Reviews
    8. Consolidated Planning Grant
  12. PERIOD OF AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS
  13. NOTICE OF PRE-AWARD AUTHORITY TO INCUR PROJECT COSTS
    1. Background
    2. Current Coverage
    3. Conditions
    4. Environmental, Planning and Other Requirements
  14. RAIL FIXED GUIDEWAY SYSTEMS: STATE SAFETY
    OVERSIGHT (49 CFR PART 659)
  15. ELECTRONIC GRANT MAKING AND MANAGEMENT INITIATIVES
    1. Background
    2. Graphical User Interface
    3. Fiscal Year 1998 Emphasis
  16. 1998 ANNUAL LIST OF CERTIFICATIONS AND ASSURANCES
  17. QUARTERLY APPROVAL OF GRANTS
  18. GRANT APPLICATION PROCEDURES TABLES
    • 1. FTA FY 1998 APPROPRIATIONS AND FUNDS AVAILABLE
      FOR GRANT PROGRAMS
    • 2. FTA FY 1998 SECTION 5307 URBANIZED AREA FORMULA
      APPORTIONMENTS
    • 3. FTA FY 1998 SECTION 5311 NONURBANIZED AREA FORMULA
      APPORTIONMENTS, AND SECTION 5311(b) RURAL TRANSIT
      ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (RTAP) ALLOCATIONS
    • 4. FTA FY 1998 Section 5310 elderly and persons with
      disabilities apportionments
    • 5. FTA FY 1998 sectuib 5309 fixed guideway modernization
      apportionments
    • 6. FTA FY 1998 section 5309 new start allocations
    • 6A. FTA prior year unobligated section 5309 new start
      allocations
    • 7. FTA FY 1998 section 5309 bus allocations
    • 7A. FTA prior year unobligated section 5309 BUS allocations
    • 8. FTA FY 1998 section 5303 metropolitan planning apportionments
      and section 5313(b) state planning and research apportionments
    • 9. Unit values of data--FTA FY 1998 formula grant apportionments

I. 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, operating and administrative 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 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 1998 DOT
Appropriations Act and Bus fund allocations in the accompanying
Conference Report are also included in this Notice.

II. Overview of Appropriations for Grant Programs

A. General

In fiscal year 1998, the appropriation and obligation limitation
for the Urbanized Area Formula Program and the Nonurbanized Area
Formula Program is $2,437,780,611. Of this amount, 94.50 percent
($2,303,702,677) would be available to the Urbanized Area Formula
Program, and 5.50 percent ($134,077,934) would be available to the
Nonurbanized Area Formula Program. The other program appropriations
contained in this Notice are as follows: $4,500,000 for the Rural
Transit Assistance Program (RTAP); $62,219,389 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 $2,000,000,000 in obligation limitation for the Capital
Program. Of the Capital Program amount, $800,000,000 is for Fixed
Guideway Modernization, $800,000,000 is for New Starts, and
$400,000,000 is for Bus.

Table 1 displays the amounts of obligation limitation and
appropriations for these programs, including adjustments and final
apportionment and allocation amounts. Also included is a listing of
amounts for the formula and capital programs based on the fiscal year
1998 available funds. The following text provides a narrative
explanation for the funding levels and other factors affecting these
apportionments and allocations.

B. Funds Available for Obligation

Because the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 1997 only
provides contract authority through March 31, 1998, FTA is publishing
both (1) the apportionment and allocation tables that contain the full
program levels in the DOT Appropriations Act for fiscal year 1998; and
(2) the apportionments and allocations based on the fiscal year 1998
available funds for the various programs. The column titled ``FY 1998
Apportionment'' includes both trust funds (contract authority) and
general funds, and does not represent the amount that is actually
available for obligation at this time. Rather, it reflects the total
dollar amount of obligation limitation and appropriations in the 1998
DOT Appropriations Act, once a full year contract authority is made
available. Only funds shown in the column titled ``FY 1998 Available
Apportionment,'' may be obligated pending further reauthorizing
legislation.

C. Project Management Oversight

49 U.S.C. Section 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.

The 1998 DOT Appropriations Act states ``That none of the funds in
this Act shall be available for the execution of contracts under
section 5327(c) of title 49, United States Code, in an aggregate amount
that exceeds $15,000,000.'' Accordingly, the Project Management
Oversight (PMO) amount takes into account both the 1998 DOT
Appropriations Act and Federal transit laws. The obligation limitation
and appropriations for the Sections 5307, 5311, and 5309 Programs, and
the National Capital Transportation Act, as amended, total
$4,637,780,611. The higher amount as authorized under Federal transit
laws was reduced to the $15,000,000 required by the 1998 DOT
Appropriations Act by taking a pro rata reduction across all categories
of the four programs. Therefore, .32343056 of one percent of the funds
appropriated within the obligation limitation and appropriation for the
Urbanized Area Formula Program; the Nonurbanized
[[Page 64458]]
Area Formula Program; the Capital Program; and the National Capital
Transportation Act, as amended, for fiscal year 1998, have been
reserved for these purposes before apportionment of the funds.

III. Expanded Definition of Capital

A. Preventive Maintenance

Effective for fiscal year 1998, preventive maintenance will be
eligible for Federal assistance as a capital expense with a Federal/
local share ratio of 80/20 in the FTA formula programs. Thus preventive
maintenance is an eligible capital cost under the Section 5307
Urbanized Area Formula Program; the Section 5310 Elderly and Persons
with Disabilities Program; and the Section 5311 Nonurbanized Area
Formula Program. This provision does not apply to the Section 5309
Capital Program. This change implements Section 316 of the 1998 DOT
Appropriations Act, in which Congress amended the definition of an
eligible capital project under the FTA formula programs to add
preventive maintenance.

Since the DOT Appropriations Act covers only Federal fiscal year
1998, this new policy applies only to funds within the obligation
limitation and appropriation in the DOT Appropriations Act for fiscal
year 1998. It does not apply to carryover funds apportioned in previous
years.

Preventive maintenance costs for fiscal year 1998 are defined as
all maintenance costs. For general guidance as to the definition of
eligible maintenance costs, the grantee should refer to the definition
of maintenance in the most recent National Transit Database (NTD)
reporting manual. During fiscal year 1998 a grantee may continue to
request assistance for capital expenses under the FTA policies
governing associated capital maintenance items (spare parts),
maintenance of vehicles leased under contract, and vehicle overhauls;
or a grantee may choose to capture all maintenance under preventive
maintenance, and also may continue to request operating assistance
within the grantee's operating assistance limitation at the 50/50 match
share. However, a grantee may not count the same costs twice.
Preventive maintenance costs eligible for FTA capital assistance from
fiscal year 1998 appropriations are those costs incurred by a grantee
within a local fiscal year ending during calendar 1997, or thereafter.
If a grantee purchases service instead of operating service directly,
and maintenance is included in the contract for that purchased service,
then the grantee may apply for capital assistance under preventive
maintenance for the actual maintenance costs of the purchased service.

For accounting purposes, the grantee is cautioned not to confuse
the fact that an item generally considered to be an operating expense
is now eligible for FTA capital assistance. Generally accepted
accounting principles and the grantee's accounting system determine
those costs that are to be accounted for as operating costs. The
National Transit Database Reporting System (NTD) follows generally
accepted accounting principles, and so a grantee reporting to the NTD
must report the operating costs the grantee has incurred as operating
regardless of grant eligibility as capital. Nevertheless, under
provisions of the fiscal year 1998 Appropriations Act, some of those
operating costs, while continuing to be accounted for as operating
costs in the grantee's accounting records, are now eligible for FTA
capital assistance.

B. Operating Assistance for Urbanized Areas Less Than 200,000
in Population

Section 316 of the 1998 DOT Appropriations Act further amended the
definition of a capital project to include ``financing the operating
costs of equipment and facilities used in mass transportation in
urbanized areas with a population of less than 200,000''.

A grantee in an urbanized area of less than 200,000 in population
may elect to employ this amended definition of capital and request 80
percent Federal assistance for funding net operating expenses, or the
grantee may choose to use the fiscal year 1998 operating assistance
limitations published in this notice and apply for operating assistance
at the 50 percent Federal share. If operating expenses are applied for
as capital costs, the operating assistance limitation does not apply.
The net operating expenses eligible for capital funding under the
amended definition of capital will be determined according to guidance
in FTA Circular 9030.1B, Appendix D. As for preventive maintenance,
only fiscal year 1998 funds may be used for operating assistance as a
capital cost.

IV. Departmental Initiatives

A. FTA Home Page on the Internet

FTA provides extended customer service by making available transit
information on the FTA Home Page web site, including this Apportionment
Notice. Also posted on the web site are FTA program circulars:
C9030.1B, Urbanized Area Formula Program: Grant Application
Instructions, dated October 10, 1996; C9040.1D, Nonurbanized Area
Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions, dated May
8, 1997; C9070.1D, Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program
Guidance and Application Instructions, dated October 22, 1997; C9300.1,
Capital Program: Grant Application Instructions, dated September 29,
1995; 4220.1D, Third Party Contracting Requirements, dated April 15,
1996; C5010.1B, Grant Management Guidelines, dated September 7, 1995;
and C8100.1B, Program Guidance and Application Instructions for
Metropolitan Planning Program Grants, dated October 25, 1996. The
fiscal year 1998 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances is also
posted on the FTA web site. Other documents on the FTA web site of
particular interest to public transit providers and users include the
1996 Statistical Summaries of FTA Grant Assistance Programs, and the
National Transit Database Profiles.

The FTA Home Page may be accessed at: http://www.fta.dot.gov/. FTA
circulars and other guidance are at: http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_circulars_guidance.html.

Grantees should check our web site frequently to keep up to date on
new postings.

B. State Infrastructure Banks

The State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) pilot program was authorized in
the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995. It allows the
creation of state-level institutions that can use Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA) and FTA funds to make loans and loan guarantees
(and other forms of credit enhancement) to transit and highway
projects. The SIBs may earn interest on deposits of Federal funds, and
they may charge below-market interest rates on long-term loans.

In 1996, ten (10) states were designated to establish SIBs. On June
19, 1997, an additional 29 states were designated to participate in the
SIB Pilot Program. The Secretary of Transportation has awarded
$150,000,000 in capitalization funding to these 29 designated states.

V. Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Program

A. Total Urbanized Area Formula Apportionments

In addition to the appropriated fiscal year 1998 Urbanized Area
Formula funds of $2,303,702,677, the apportionment also includes
$7,162,381 in deobligated funds which have become available for
reapportionment for the Urbanized Area Formula
[[Page 64459]]
Program as provided by 49 U.S.C. 5336(i).

Table 2 displays the amount apportioned for the Urbanized Area
Formula Program. After the .32343056 of one percent for PMO is reserved
($7,450,879), the amount appropriated for this program is
$2,296,251,798. The funds to be reapportioned, described in the
previous paragraph, have then been added. Thus, the total amount
apportioned for this program is $2,303,414,179.

Table 2 also shows by urbanized area and state the amount of funds
which are currently available. The total of $1,444,234,826 includes
$1,441,735,458 in fiscal year 1998 trust funded contract authority and
general fund appropriation, $7,162,381 in deobligated funds from
previous years which have become available for reapportionment, minus
$4,663,013 for PMO. The available operating assistance limitation in
the amount of $150,000,000 is also shown on Table 2.

B. Data Used for Urbanized Area Formula Apportionments

Data from the 1996 NTD (49 U.S.C. 5335) Report Year submitted in
late 1996 and early 1997 have been used to calculate the fiscal year
1998 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 accordance with this provision. Accordingly, the
revenue vehicle miles used in the Urbanized Area Formula database to
calculate the fiscal year 1998 Urbanized Area Formula apportionment
reflect the amount the recipient would have received without the
reductions in mileage.

D. Urbanized Area Formula Fiscal Year 1998 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 G, 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.

E. Urbanized Area Formula Operating Assistance Limitations

The fiscal year 1998 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 1998 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 1996,
published by the Department of Labor (DOL), establishes that the
calendar year 1996 CPI increase for all urban consumers is 3.3 percent.
This increase was applied against the base operating assistance
limitation calculated in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5336(d)(2).

These adjustments result in an overall national fiscal year 1998
authorized operating assistance limitation level of $1,178,642,366.
However, the 1998 DOT Appropriations Act limits the nationwide
availability for operating assistance to a maximum of $150,000,000.
Further, it maintains the level of transit operating assistance to
urbanized areas of less than 200,000 in population at 75 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 1998 DOT Appropriations Act and
Federal transit laws. Therefore, the higher operating assistance
limitation as authorized under Federal transit laws ($1,178,642,366)
was reduced to the $150,000,000 required by the 1998 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 75 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 under 200,000 in fiscal year
1996), was then added to the amount of the fiscal year 1995 level,
thereby increasing the fiscal year 1998 level for these areas to
$93,035,594. The remaining $56,964,406 of the $150,000,000 was prorated
to urbanized areas above 200,000 in population, as authorized by the
1998 DOT Appropriations Act.

Consistent with the 1998 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.

F. 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.

G. 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.
Section 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, 1997, two additional TMAs have been formally designated:
Petersburg, Virginia, comprised solely of the Petersburg,
[[Page 64460]]
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 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 Seventh 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:

Designated TMA Small urbanized area included in TMA boundaries
Baltimore, Maryland Annapolis, Maryland.
Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas Denton, Texas.
Lewisville, Texas.
Houston, Texas Galveston, Texas.
Texas City, Texas.
Orlando, Florida Kissimmee, Florida.
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).

H. 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 of 1990 (ADA); 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. Section 5311 Nonurbanized Area Formula Program and Section 5311(b) Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP)

A. Nonurbanized Area Formula Program

The fiscal year 1998 Nonurbanized Area Formula apportionments to
the states totaling $134,819,045 are displayed in Table 3. Of the
$134,077,934 appropriated, .32343056 of one percent ($433,649) was
reserved for PMO. In addition to the current appropriation and
obligation limitation, the funds available for apportionment include
$1,174,760 in deobligated funds from fiscal years prior to 1996.

Table 3 also shows a state-by-state apportionment of the amount of
funds which are currently available. The total of $84,813,897 includes
$83,910,529 in fiscal year 1998 trust funded contract authority and
general fund appropriation, $1,174,760 in prior year carryover
available to be reapportioned, minus $271,392 for PMO.

The population figures used in calculating these apportionments are
from the 1990 Census.

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 1998
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 1998 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 1998 RTAP allocations to the states totaling
$4,678,778 are also displayed on Table 3. This amount includes
$4,500,000 in fiscal year 1998 appropriated funds, and $178,778 in
prior year deobligated funds, which have become available for
reallocation for this program.

Table 3 also shows a state-by-state allocation of RTAP funds. RTAP
is totally general funded in fiscal year 1998; therefore, the entire
appropriated amount of $4,500,000 is currently available plus $178,778
in reapportioned funds.

[[Page 64461]]

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. Section 5310 Elderly and Persons With Disabilities Program

A total of $62,221,661 is apportioned to the states for fiscal year
1998 for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program. In addition
to the fiscal year 1998 appropriation of $62,219,389, the fiscal year
1998 apportionment also includes $2,272 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.

Table 4 also shows a state-by-state allocation of the amount of
funds which are currently available. The total of $42,756,285 includes
$42,754,013 in fiscal year 1998 trust funded contract authority and
general fund appropriation, and $2,272 in reapportioned funds.

The formula for apportioning these funds uses 1990 Census
population data for persons aged 65 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 metropolitan and state planning and programming
process, and must be included in an approved State Transportation
Improvement Program (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,
Nonurbanized Area, or Elderly and Persons with Disabilities.

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 10 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. Section 5309 Capital Program

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 1998, there is a
$800,000,000 obligation limitation for fixed guideway modernization.
After deducting the .32343056 of one percent for oversight
($2,587,445), $797,412,555 would be available for apportionment to the
specified urbanized areas for Fixed Guideway Modernization funding.
Table 5 displays these apportionments.

Table 5 also shows a state and area allocation of the fiscal year
1998 funds which are currently available. The total of $451,176,024
includes $452,640,000 in fiscal year 1998 trust funded contract
authority, minus $1,463,976 for PMO, distributed on a pro rata basis as
directed in the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 1997.

Funds apportioned for this section must be used for capital
projects to modernize or improve fixed guideway systems. The expanded
definition of capital to include preventive maintenance does not apply
to the Fixed Guideway Modernization Program.

All urbanized areas with fixed guideway systems that are at least
seven years old are eligible to receive Fixed Guideway Modernization
funds. A
[[Page 64462]]
request for the start-up service dates for fixed guideways has been
incorporated into the NTD 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 NTD are not included. Urbanized areas should be aware
that the formula allocating Fixed Guideway Modernization funds may be
changed under a new authorization act.

B. New Starts

The fiscal year 1998 obligation limitation for New Starts is
$800,000,000.

The Project Management Oversight (PMO) reduction was applied to
this amount and subtracted on a pro rata basis from all 65 projects
specified in the 1998 DOT Appropriations Act. For fiscal year 1998,
this amount is $2,587,445. This amount was computed by applying
.32343056 of one percent to the obligation limitation. After
subtracting this amount from the $800,000,000, a total of $797,412,555
is available for obligation. The final allocation for each of these
projects, which also reflects the PMO reduction, is contained in Table
6 of this Federal Register notice.

The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 1997 provides
$452,640,000 for New Starts. This obligational authority for New Starts
when combined with $392,000,000 in unobligated contract authority for
New Starts remaining under ISTEA exceeds the obligation limitation in
the 1998 Appropriations Act of $800,000,000. Therefore, $800,000,000
minus $2,587,445 for PMO is currently available.

Prior year unobligated appropriations for New Starts in the amount
of $299,434,442 remain available for obligation in fiscal year 1998.
These allocations are displayed in Table 6A.

C. Bus

The fiscal year 1998 obligation limitation for Bus is $400,000,000.
In addition Congress reprogrammed $975,000 in unobligated Bus funds
originally appropriated in fiscal year 1995, yielding an overall total
of $400,975,000. This entire amount was allocated to projects specified
in the 1998 DOT Appropriations Act. After deducting the .32343056 of
one percent for oversight ($1,293,722) from the 1998 appropriated
amount ($400,000,000), $399,681,278 remains available for projects.

The Conference Report accompanying the 1998 DOT Appropriations Act
earmarked all of the fiscal year 1998 Bus funds to specified states or
localities for bus and bus-related projects. Where funds were earmarked
to states, in most cases, there were additional suballocations to local
entities. In Louisiana the suballocation is included in the Conference
Report; however, a letter dated October 14, 1997, from Chairman Frank
R. Wolf of the House Appropriations Committee clarifies the amount of
suballocations within the State. This clarification is reflected in the
Bus allocations displayed in Table 7.

The conference report directs the FTA to make available to the
state of Michigan for the procurement of buses and bus-related
equipment funds ($4,000,000) originally provided in the fiscal year
1995 Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations
Act for a passenger intermodal transit center in Detroit, Michigan.

The Conferees also direct the FTA to reallocate funds in the amount
of $4,962,500, made available in Public Law 103-331 for the Twin Cities
Central Corridor project and not obligated by the end of fiscal year
1997, and make these funds available for similar bus and bus facilities
projects in the Twin Cities Central Corridor.

Also shown in Table 7 is a state and area allocation of the fiscal
year 1998 funds which are currently available. The total of
$226,563,012 includes $226,320,000 in fiscal year 1998 trust funded
contract authority, $975,000 in reprogrammed funds, minus $731,988 for
PMO.

All bus projects must be eligible for FTA funding under FTA
Circular 9300.1 in order to be approved by FTA. In previous years,
there have been funds allocated for projects which were subsequently
found to be ineligible for FTA assistance. Applicants with projects
listed in Table 7 are advised to consult early in the fiscal year with
the appropriate regional office regarding the project to ensure its
eligibility for funding. This early consultation is especially critical
when exercising pre-award authority.

Because the .32343056 of one percent for PMO was subtracted from
the amount appropriated, each bus project identified in the Conference
Report receives .32343056 of one 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 1998 Bus funds by state and area.

Prior year unobligated appropriations for Bus in the amount of
$188,761,911 remain available for obligation in fiscal year 1998, and
are displayed in Table 7A.

X. Unit Values of Data for the Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula
Program, Section 5311 Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, and Section
5309 Capital Fixed Guideway Modernization

For technical assistance purposes, the dollar unit values of data
derived from the computations of the Urbanized Area Formula Program,
the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, and the Capital Fixed Guideway
Modernization apportionments are included in this Notice in Table 9. To
determine how a particular apportionment amount was developed, areas
may multiply their population, population density, and data from the
NTD by these unit values.

XI. Section 5303 Metropolitan Planning Program and 5313(b) State
Planning and Research Program

A. Metropolitan Planning Program

The fiscal year 1998 Metropolitan Planning apportionment to states
for MPOs to be used in urbanized areas totals $39,625,587. This amount
includes $39,500,000 in fiscal year 1998 appropriated funds, and
$125,587 in prior year deobligated funds which have become available
for reallocation for this program. A basic allocation of 80 percent of
this amount ($31,700,470) is distributed to the states based on a
statutory formula for subsequent state distribution to each urbanized
area, or parts thereof, within each state. A supplemental allocation of
the remaining 20 percent ($7,925,117) 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
[[Page 64463]]
desire to use a new formula not previously approved by FTA, the state
or MPO must submit the new formula to the appropriate FTA Regional
Office for prior approval.

The Metropolitan Planning Program is totally general funded in
fiscal year 1998; therefore, the entire appropriated amount of
$39,500,000 is currently available plus $125,587 in reapportioned
funds.

B. State Planning and Research Program

The fiscal year 1998 apportionment for the State Planning and
Research Program totals $8,472,086. This amount includes $8,250,000 in
fiscal year 1998 appropriated funds, and $222,086 in prior year
deobligated funds which have become available for reallocation to this
program. Final state apportionments, based on a statutory formula for
this program, are also contained on Table 8. These funds may be used
for a variety of purposes such 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.

The State Planning and Research Program is totally general funded
in fiscal year 1998; therefore, the entire appropriated amount of
$8,250,000 is currently available plus $222,086 in reapportioned funds.

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

Last year, estimated apportionments for the corresponding FHWA
planning programs were provided along with the FTA apportionments. This
year, no information will be available for the FHWA apportionments
since their programs have not been reauthorized.

E. Local Match Waiver for Job Access Planning Activities

Federal, state, and local welfare reform initiatives may require
the development of new and innovative public and other transportation
services to ensure that former welfare recipients have adequate
mobility for reaching employment opportunities. In recognition of the
key role that transportation plays in ensuring the success of welfare-
to-work initiatives, FTA and FHWA are permitting the waiver of the
local match requirement for job access planning activities undertaken
with Metropolitan Planning Program and State Planning and Research
Program funds. FTA and FHWA will support requests for waivers when they
are included in metropolitan Unified Planning Programs and State
Planning and Research Programs and meet all other appropriate
requirements.

F. Planning Emphasis Areas

This notice includes newly developed transportation Planning
Emphasis Areas (PEAs). The PEAs were prepared to advise state and local
officials and transit operators of the national issues that warrant
consideration in carrying out the metropolitan and statewide
transportation planning process. The four major PEA themes were
developed to promote general consistency between the planning
initiatives being advanced in the metropolitan and statewide planning
processes and national policy goals likely to be included in the
reauthorized transportation legislation, as well as consistency with
the USDOT Strategic Plan currently being finalized. Consideration of
the PEAs in each state and metropolitan area, as appropriate in the
Unified Planning Work Programs and State Planning Work Programs, is
expected to reflect their unique challenges and goals. The Office of
Planning anticipates working with a broad cross-section of stakeholders
in preparing clarifying language and possible ways to relate the PEAs
to the statewide and metropolitan planning processes.

Goals developed as part of USDOT's strategic planning process are
designed to ensure the highest quality of surface transportation which
promotes the Nation's economic and community vitality and environmental
quality. Towards these goals, transportation Planning Emphasis Areas
are prepared to advise state and local officials of the national issues
that warrant consideration in carrying out the metropolitan and
statewide transportation planning process (the planning process).
Consideration of the emphasis areas in each state and metropolitan area
is expected to reflect their unique challenges and goals. MPOs, states
and transit operators may want to explore opportunities for local
governments, the private sector, academic and research centers,
environmental and human service agencies and other stakeholders to
participate in the transportation planning process.

1. System Management and Operation

Planning for effective and efficient transportation system
management and operation with ongoing performance monitoring preserves
capacity, maximizes personal mobility and freight movement, ensures
user safety and system security, and improves and maintains structural
integrity. Innovative technologies, such as those included in
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), can improve communications,
operational efficiencies, safety and system performance. Effectively
managed transportation systems support the national Welfare-to-Work
initiative by providing access to employment opportunities and support
economic development by reducing the time for moving people and
freight. The development of non-traditional transportation services to
meet emerging new markets would help improve accessibility and
mobility.

2. Financial Planning

A cooperative planning process which considers innovative funding
sources, such as State Infrastructure Banks (SIBs), assists with
developing sound transportation financial planning processes with
accurate estimates of reasonably available funds, costs for system
expansion, and future operation and maintenance costs. Coordinated
activities to develop transportation plans will be improved with
rigorous analysis of the financial dimensions of proposed major
infrastructure investments.

3. Environmental and Community Impact

Local planning processes are encouraged to give early consideration
of the natural environment and communities affected by transportation
planning and project activities. Air quality issues are a key concern
in some metropolitan areas. Coordinated planning for transportation and
land use management will help to create sustainable communities with
protection of natural resources, concentration of new development in
suitable areas, and control of sprawl with infill development of under-
utilized areas. State and local officials may choose to evaluate their
decisionmaking process to determine how well it responds to community
needs, as called for in the Livable Communities initiative.
Consideration may be given to joint development of
[[Page 64464]]
transportation infrastructure projects along with facilities providing
goods and services to communities and neighborhoods.

4. Transportation and Equity

Transportation planning processes should address the equitable
distribution of mobility benefits and possible adverse environmental
and health impacts created by federally funded transportation
investments and activities. The benefits of Federal transportation
investments should be equitably distributed as required by Title VI.
Planning processes should evaluate proposed transportation investments
to ensure they do not disproportionately create adverse human health
and environmental impacts on low-income and minority populations.

G. Federal Planning Certification Reviews

Federal certification of the planning process is conducted in a
Transportation Management Area (TMA), which is an urbanized area over
200,000 in population or other urbanized area designated by the
Secretary of Transportation (the Secretary). The Secretary is
responsible for certifying, at least once every three years, that the
metropolitan transportation planning process in the TMA is being
carried out under applicable provisions of Federal law. More detail on
these reviews can be found in the September 8, 1997, Federal Register
notice, which announced the metropolitan planning processes that will
jointly be reviewed by FTA and FHWA and requested comments on the
metropolitan planning processes under review.

Dates for site visits for the TMAs to be reviewed in fiscal year
1998 are being established and are available on the FTA Home Page at
http://www.fta.dot.gov/planning_environment.html.

For further information regarding Federal certifications of the
planning process contact: For FTA: Mr. Charles Goodman, FTA
Metropolitan Planning Division (TPL-12), 202-366-1944; or Scott Biehl,
FTA Office of Chief Counsel (TCC-30), 202-366-4063. For FHWA: Mr.
Sheldon Edner, FHWA Metropolitan Planning Division (HEP-20), 202-366-
4066; or Reid Alsop, FHWA Office of the Chief Counsel (HCC-31), 202-
366-1371.

H. Consolidated Planning Grant

In fiscal year 1997, FTA and FHWA began offering states the option
of participating in a pilot Consolidated Planning Grant (CPG) program.
Thirteen states have agreed to participate in the pilot. In fiscal year
1997, more than $33.9 million was obligated for 11 CPG pilot states.
The total obligations are approximately two-thirds FHWA planning funds
and one-third FTA planning funds. One of our original goals in
developing the CPG pilot was to give states and MPOs more control over
their planning resources with a combination of broader financial
controls and greater flexibility in the management of their planning
activities. As part of the pilot, grants can be made with a ``blended''
ratio, if appropriate, to address different FTA and FHWA Federal
matches. The blended ratio would allow billing at a single ratio
determined on the relative shares of FTA and FHWA planning funds.

To further reduce paperwork for our customers, the CPG pilot offers
the states two options for carrying the CPGs over from year to year.
The first option is to treat the CPG much as FHWA grants are treated
currently; that is, as basically annual grants with a yearly close-out,
deobligation and reobligation cycle. The second option is to treat the
CPG more like an FTA grant, but with even greater flexibility. Under
this second option, the CPG grant would stay open for a multi-year
period to be determined by the state (and MPO, jointly, for
Metropolitan Planning funds) with the approval of the Federal
Government. New apportionments will be added by a grant amendment as
the funds become available. So far, over one-half of the current CPG
grantees plan to follow this second option.

The FTA is exploring with FHWA the potential for extending FTA's
pre-award authority to the entire CPG program. This would allow states
to continue their planning program activities from year to year with
the assurance (granted to all FTA grantees in the annual Federal
Register notice) that eligible costs can later be converted to a
regularly funded Federal project without the need for prior approval or
authorization from the granting agency.

FTA will also be providing an enhancement to its Electronic Grant
Making and Management (EGMM) program that is now used to request
planning grants, obligate funds, monitor fund balances and grant
status, and file financial and status reports for the CPG. These
enhancements will benefit all grants including the CPG. For further
information on participating in the CPG Pilot, contact Ms. Candace
Noonan, Intermodal and Statewide Planning Division (TPL-11) at (202)
366-1648.

XII. Period of Availability of Funds

The funds apportioned under the Urbanized Area Formula Program, the
Fixed Guideway Modernization Program, the Metropolitan Planning Program
and the State Planning and Research Program in this notice will remain
available to be obligated by FTA to recipients for three fiscal years
following fiscal year 1998. Any of these apportioned funds unobligated
at the close of business on September 30, 2001, 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
fiscal years following fiscal year 1998. Any such funds remaining
unobligated at the close of business on September 30, 2000, 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, 1998. 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 1998 DOT
Appropriations Act includes a provision requiring that fiscal year 1998
New Starts and Bus funds not obligated for their original purpose as of
September 30, 2000, shall be made available for other discretionary
projects within the respective categories of the Capital Program.
Similar provisions in the 1997 and 1996 DOT Appropriations Acts
required that fiscal year 1997 Bus and New Starts funds that are not
obligated by September 30, 1999, shall also be made available for other
discretionary Bus or New Start projects, respectively, and fiscal year
1996 Bus and New Starts funds unobligated by September 30, 1998, 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

Since fiscal year 1994, FTA has provided grantees pre-award
authority to cover planning and capital costs prior to grant award.
Previous to this grantees had authority to incur costs for operating
assistance prior to grant award. 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
[[Page 64465]]
participation in the cost of the project or projects. In order to
ensure eligibility for future FTA funds, grantees are encouraged to
consult with the appropriate regional office prior to exercising pre-
award authority.

B. Current Coverage

In fiscal year 1998, authority to incur costs for Fixed Guideway
Modernization Formula, Metropolitan Planning, Urbanized Area Formula,
Elderly and Persons with Disabilities, Nonurbanized Area Formula, and
State Planning and Research in advance of possible future Federal
participation is provided to fiscal year 1998 funds apportioned and
allocated in this notice. This pre-award authority also applies to
Capital Bus funds identified in this notice. Pre-award authority for
carryover amounts for these programs was provided in the FTA Fiscal
Year 1997 Apportionments and Allocations Federal Register notice. This
pre-award authority is also extended to projects intended to be funded
with STP or CMAQ funds transferred to FTA in fiscal year 1998. Pre-
award authority applies to FTA funds and flexible funds provided the
conditions in C and D below are met. The pre-award authority does not
apply to Capital New Start funds. Preaward authority also applies to
preventive maintenance costs incurred within a local fiscal year ending
during calendar year 1997, or thereafter, under the formula programs
cited above.

C. Conditions

Similar to the FTA Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) authority, the
conditions under which this authority may be utilized are specified
below:

D. Environmental, Planning and Other Federal 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), and the planning requirements. 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
part 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 locally
adopted metropolitan transportation improvement program and federally
approved statewide transportation improvement program must be followed
before the project may be advanced with non federal funds. In addition,
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 1998, 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. Rail Fixed Guideway Systems: State Safety Oversight (49 CFR Part
659)

There are 19 states and the District of Columbia in which rail
fixed guideway transit systems operate. These states and the District
of Columbia must comply with 49 U.S.C. Section 5330, by designating an
agency to oversee the safety and security for those rail fixed guideway
systems, which are not regulated by the Federal Railroad
Administration. On December 27, 1995, FTA issued a final regulation
implementing the State Safety Oversight provisions of Section 5330.
Compliance with safety provisions of the rule was required by January
1, 1997. Compliance with the security provisions of the final rule is
required by January 1, 1998. Codified at 49 CFR part 659, the State
Safety Oversight regulation delineates responsibilities of the state,
the oversight agency, the transit agency, and the FTA.

A State Oversight Agency must establish a ``System Safety and
Security Program Standard,'' review and approve a transit agency's
System Safety and Security Program Plan, conduct investigations of
accidents and unacceptable hazards, conduct on-sight safety reviews,
and report annually to FTA. Rail transit systems must develop and
implement a System Safety and Security Program Plan, classify and
report accidents and unacceptable hazards, develop corrective action
plans, and conduct on-going safety audits. On-site safety reviews by
the State Oversight Agency and audits by the transit agency must
measure the effectiveness of the Plan and identify how and where to
improve the system safety and security process.

The Administrator of the FTA may withhold up to five percent of the
amount required to be apportioned for use in any state or affected
urbanized area in such state under FTA's formula program for urbanized
areas for any fiscal year beginning after September 30, 1997, if the
state in the previous fiscal year has not met the requirements of this
part and the Administrator determines that the state is not making
adequate efforts to comply with this part. States which are not in
compliance have been notified of their status. Affected grantees will
be notified of any fiscal year 1998 funds to be withheld for non-
compliance.

[[Page 64466]]

XV. Electronic Grant Making and Management Initiatives

A. Background

In 1994 FTA began the Electronic Grant Making and Management (EGMM)
initiative. The EGMM program is a paperless electronic grant
application, review, approval, acceptance and management process. This
program started as a pilot effort and involved 10 grantees nationwide
to serve as pilots. By fiscal year 1997 120 grantees were participating
in the FTA EGMM program for the grant application process. Over 558
grantees were on line for various management activities such as filing
of financial status reports and narrative status reports. In addition,
grantees may use EGMM for the electronic signature of annual
certifications and assurances.

B. Graphical User Interface

The latest enhancement to the EGMM program is the Graphical User
Interface program, otherwise known as GUI. GUI is a windows based
program and therefore is more user friendly than the original EGMM
system. With GUI, the user can rely on a limited number of windows,
each with a user friendly menu bar. As this windows based environment
is not directly interfacing with the FTA mainframe computer, problems
of slowness of the connection are eliminated. In addition, GUI will
provide greater compatibility with other systems, allowing more data
migration by providing opportunities to simplify the information entry
process. GUI is now being tested with a limited number of grantees.
Following this testing, it will be made available to all EGMM grantees.
Please contact the FTA Regional office to learn about this new
enhancement to EGMM and the hardware and software requirements.

C. Fiscal Year 1998 Emphasis

In fiscal year 1998 FTA continues to strongly encourage grantees to
become EGMM grantees for grant application and approval as well as for
grant management activities if they have not already done so. We also
encourage all grantees to file the fiscal year 1998 Certifications and
Assurances electronically using the EGMM system. A major goal is the
completion of the pilot phase of GUI and the conversion of our EGMM
grantees to the new enhanced EGMM system.

XVI. 1998 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances

The Fiscal Year 1998 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances
for Federal Transit Administration Grants and Cooperative Agreements
notice was published in the Federal Register on October 14, 1997. It
appears as Part IV on pages 53512 through 53522. This October 14
document contains two major changes to the previous year's Federal
Register publication. (1) Starting with fiscal year 1998, all
applicants for FTA Capital Program or Formula Program assistance, and
current grantees with an active project financed with FTA Capital
Program or Formula Program assistance will be required to provide the
Appendix A Certifications and Assurances within 90 days from the date
of the October 14 publication or with its first grant application in
fiscal year 1998, whichever comes first. (2) The attorney signature
from previous years on the single signature page will no longer be
acceptable. FTA requires a current attorney's affirmation of the
applicant's legal authority to certify compliance with fiscal year 1998
FTA funding assistance. This does not affect the electronic opportunity
for a grant applicant's authorized representative to electronically
enter a PIN in the On-Line Program, offered to applicants through the
Grant Management Information System (GMIS), indicating that a current
valid 1998 attorney's signature is on file. The fiscal year 1998 Annual
List of Certifications and Assurances is accessible on the Internet at
www.fta.dot.gov/. Any questions regarding this document may be
addressed to the appropriate Regional Office or to Pat Berkley, Office
of Program Management, Federal Transit Administration, (202) 366-6470.

XVII. 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.

XVIII. 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 Program: Grant Application Instructions--C9040.1B, October
10, 1996; Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant
Application Instructions--C9040.1D, May 8, 1997; Section 5310 Elderly
and Persons with Disabilities Program Guidance and Application
Instructions--C9070.1D, October 22, 1997; Section 5309 Capital Program:
Grant Application Instructions--C9300.1, September 29, 1995; and
Program Guidance and Application Instructions for Metropolitan Planning
Program Grants--C8100.1B, October 25, 1996. 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 State Planning and Research funds
[[Page 64467]]
may be obtained from each FTA Regional Office. Copies of circulars are
available from FTA Regional Offices as well as the FTA Home Page on the
Internet.

Issued on: December 2, 1997.
Gordon J. Linton,
Administrator.

BILLING CODE 4910-57-U

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[FR Doc. 97-31910 Filed 12-2-97; 1:48 pm]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-C


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Revision of June 24, 1998 is included in attached file with HTML and PDF links.