SAFETEA-LU Implementation Federal Register Notice

Number 70 FR 71950
11-30-05

[PDF format]

Part III

Department of Transportation

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Federal Transit Administration

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FTA Transit Program Changes, Authorized Funding Levels and
Implementation of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users; Notice

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

FTA Transit Program Changes, Authorized Funding Levels and
Implementation of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users

[Docket No. FTA-2005-23089]

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces changes in the Federal Transit
Administration (FTA) programs in accordance with SAFETEA-LU, which
authorizes funds for all of the surface transportation programs of the
Department of Transportation for Federal fiscal years 2005 through
2009. This notice provides preliminary implementation instructions and
guidance for grants under the new and revised programs in FY 2006 and
invites public comment. The notice also includes tables of unobligated
(or carryover) amounts for earmarks from prior years under the
discretionary programs, and tables that list discretionary program
earmarks authorized under SAFETEA-LU.

DATES: Comments on the content of this notice will be received until
December 30, 2005. Late filed comments will be considered to the extent
practicable.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments [identified by DOT DMS Docket Number
FTA-2005-23089] by any of the following methods:
    1. Web Site: http://regulations.gov/. Follow the instructions for

submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site. Fax: 202-493-
2251.
    2. Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, PL-401,
Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    3. Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif
Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, 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 the docket number (FTA-2005-23089). 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 the Department's Docket
Management System (DMS) Web site located at http://regulations.gov/. This

means that if your comment includes any personal identifying
information, such information will be made available to users of DMS.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information about this
notice contact Mary Martha Churchman, Director, Office of Resource
Management and State Programs, (202) 366-2053. Please contact the
appropriate FTA regional office, from the list in Appendix A, for
grantee specific requests for information or technical assistance.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Overview
II. FY 2006 Funding for FTA Programs
    A. Authorized Funding for FY 2006
    B. Status of FY 2006 Funding
    C. Project Management Oversight Takedown
III. SAFETEA-LU: FY 2006-2009 Authorized Funding Levels and Project
Authorizations
IV. SAFETEA-LU: Highlights of Cross-Cutting Changes
    A. Definitional Changes
    1. Mobility Management
    2. Security Planning, Training, and Drills
    3. Debt Service Reserve
    4. Intercity Bus and Intercity Rail
    5. Definition of Public Transportation
    B. Cross-cutting Programmatic Requirements and Changes
    1. State Infrastructure Bank
    2. Coordination
    3. Public Participation Planning Requirement
    4. Public Hearings
    5. Labor Protection
    6. Buy America
    7. Procurement
    8. Pre-award/Post-Delivery Reviews
    9. Charter Service and School Bus
    10. Revenue Bonds as Local Match
    11. Government's Share of Cost of Equipment and Facilities for
ADA and Clean Air Act Compliance
V. SAFETEA-LU: Summary of New Programs and Formulas
    A. New Freedom (49 U.S.C. 5317)
    B. Alternative Transportation in the Parks and Public Lands (49
U.S.C. 5320)
    C. Small Starts (Component of the Section 5309 New Starts
Program)
    D. Alternative Analysis (49 U.S.C. 5339)
    E. Public Transportation on Indian Reservations (49 U.S.C.
5311(c)(1))
    F. Growing States and High Density States Formula Factors (49
U.S.C. 5340)
VI. Program Specific Information and Requests for Comments
    A. Metropolitan Planning Program (49 U.S.C. 5303)
    B. Statewide Planning and Research Program (49 U.S.C. 5304)
    C. Urbanized Area Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5307)
    D. Clean Fuels Grant Program (49 U.S.C. 5308)
    E. Capital Investment Program (49 U.S.C. 5309)--Fixed Guideway
Modernization
    F. Capital Investment Program (49 U.S.C. 5309)--Bus and Bus-
Related Facilities
    G. Capital Investment Program (49 U.S.C. 5309)--New Starts
    H. Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with
Disabilities Program (49 U.S.C. 5310)
    I. Nonurbanized Area Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5311)
    J. Rural Transportation Assistance Program (49 U.S.C.
5311(b)(2))
    K. Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program (49
U.S.C. 5311(c)(1))
    L. National Research Program (49 U.S.C. 5314)
    M. Job Access and Reverse Commute Program (49 U.S.C. 5316)
    N. New Freedom Program (49 U.S.C. 5317)
    O. Alternative Transportation in the Parks and Public Lands
Program (49 U.S.C. 5320)
    P. Alternative Analysis Program (49 U.S.C. 5339)
    Q. Growing States and High Density States Formula Factors (49
U.S.C. 5340)
    R. Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility Program (Pub. L. 105-85,
Section 3038)
VII. FTA National Planning Emphasis Areas
VIII. FTA Policy and Procedures for FY 2006 Grants
    A. Automatic Pre-Award Authority To Incur Project Costs
    B. Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) Policy
    C. FTA FY 2006 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances
    D. FHWA Funds Used for Transit Purposes
    E. Consolidated Planning Grants
    F. Grant Application Procedures
Tables
    1. SAFETEA-LU Authorized Programs and Funding Levels
    2. SAFETEA-LU Authorized Section 5309 New Starts Projects
    3. SAFETEA-LU Authorized Section 5339 Alternative Analysis
Projects
    4. SAFETEA-LU Authorized Section 5309 Bus and Bus-Related
Facilities Projects
    5. SAFETEA-LU Authorized Section 5308 Clean Fuels Projects
    6. Prior Year Unobligated Section 5309 Bus and Bus-Related
Facilities Allocations
    7. Prior Year Unobligated Section 5309 New Starts Allocations
    8. SAFETEA-LU Authorized Section 5314 National Research Program
Projects
    9. Prior Year Unobligated Job Access and Reverse Commute
Allocations
Appendices
    Appendix A--FTA Regional Offices
    Appendix B--Specific Questions and Issues for Comment

I. Overview

    This document contains important information about new FTA programs
authorized by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation
Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, (SAFETEA-LU) (Pub. L. 109-059), signed
into law by President Bush on August 10, 2005, and changes to programs
reauthorized by that legislation. It also contains information on how
FTA plans to administer the transit programs

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discussed in this document, in fiscal year (FY) 2006. For each FTA
program included, we have provided information on the SAFETEA-LU
authorized funding levels for fiscal years 2006-2009, the basis for
apportionment or allocation for funds, requirements specific to the
program, period of availability of funds, and other program
information. The document also includes a section that introduces
planning emphasis areas for FY 2006. A separate section of the document
provides information on pre-award authority and other requirements and
guidance applicable to FTA program administration. Finally, the notice
includes tables that show unobligated or carryover funding available,
in FY 2006, from prior years under certain discretionary programs, and
tables that list authorized project earmarks under SAFTEA-LU.
    Information in this document includes references to the existing
FTA program guidance circulars. While some information in the circulars
has been superseded by new provisions in SAFETEA-LU, the circulars
remain a resource for program guidance in most areas. FTA intends to
revise the circulars, with an opportunity for public comment.
    To supplement the guidance provided in this document FTA is
preparing answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), on SAFETEA-LU
changes and impacts, from its grantees, stakeholders, and other
interested parties. These FAQs will be posted on the FTA Web site at
http://www.fta.dot.gov/ when they become available.

    Throughout the document we have included specific questions on
which we seek comment, and we invite your comments to the docket on any
information provided in this notice. A list of the specific questions
or issues can be found in Appendix B.

II. FY 2006 Funding for FTA Programs

A. Authorized Funding for FY 2006

    SAFETEA-LU provides a combination of trust and general funds that
total $8.6 billion for FTA programs for FY 2006. Table 1 of this
document shows the authorized funding for the FTA programs for the
fiscal years 2006-2009. This notice provides a narrative explanation of
the funding levels and other factors affecting the apportionments and
allocations for each program.

B. Status of FY 2006 Funding

    When the FY 2006 appropriations bill is passed and enacted into
law, FTA will publish another notice that will include a table for each
program that contains the apportionments or allocations, based on the
program funding level in the FY 2006 appropriations act. At the time
this notice was prepared the agency was operating under a Continuing
Resolution and only a small fraction of the FY 2006 funds authorized in
SAFETEA-LU was available for FTA programs and administrative expenses.
No FY 2006 program funds have been apportioned at this time. Congress
recently took action on the FY 2006 Appropriations Act and we will
publish the FY 2006 apportionments and allocations shortly.

C. Project Management Oversight Takedown

    FTA draws money from funds appropriated to certain FTA programs for
program oversight activities conducted by the agency. The funds are
used to provide necessary oversight activities, including oversight of
the construction of any major project under these statutory programs;
to conduct safety and security, civil rights, procurement, management
and financial reviews and audits; and to provide technical assistance
to correct deficiencies identified in compliance reviews and audits.
    49 U.S.C. 5327 authorizes the takedown of funds from FTA programs
for project management oversight. SAFETEA-LU increased the amount that
may be set-aide for such activities above the levels established under
TEA-21 and identified additional programs to which the oversight
takedown applies. SAFETEA-LU provides oversight takedowns at the
following levels: 0.5 percent of Planning funds, 0.75 percent of
Urbanized Area Formula funds, 1 percent of Capital Investment funds,
0.5 percent of Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals
with Disabilities formula funds, 0.5 percent of Nonurbanized Area
Formula funds, and 0.5 percent of Alternative Transportation in the
Parks and Public Lands funds. Language in section 5327 also specifies
the addition of ``safety and security management'' to the list of
project management plan requirements.

III. SAFETEA-LU: FY 2006-2009 Authorized Funding Levels and Project
Authorizations

    SAFETEA-LU provides a combination of trust and general fund
authorizations that total $45.3 billion for public transportation for
fiscal years 2005-2009 ($52.6 billion over the six year period 2004-
2009). Just over 80 percent is derived from the Mass Transit Account,
with only New Starts, Research and FTA Administrative funding coming
from the General Fund. All funds, including the General Fund portion,
are guaranteed, which means that the guaranteed annual levels are
already ``paid for'' under Congressional budgetary rules. This assures
that in each year's appropriations process the specified amount of
authorized funding will be available each year for transit programs.
See Table 1 for the guaranteed funding levels by program.
    Previously, under TEA-21, all the FTA programs were funded with
both Mass Transit Account and General Funds. Because of this change in
the structure of FTA's accounts, except for New Starts and Research
program grants, FTA will not be able to combine FY 2006 funds in the
same grant with funds appropriated in prior years. See section VIII F
below for grant application procedures.
    SAFETEA-LU includes 405 New Starts project designations for fiscal
years 2006-2009, many of which are listed more than once. The total
funding authorized for these projects is $5.49 billion. Thirty-one (31)
projects are authorized for Full Funding Grant Agreements (FFGAs); 38
projects are authorized for Final Design (FD) and Construction, and 264
projects are authorized for Preliminary Engineering (PE). Dollar
amounts are specified by fiscal year for each FFGA project. No funding
amounts are specified for the FD and construction and PE projects.
    Fifty-two New Starts project designations listed have a total
amount specified but this amount is not identified with any particular
fiscal year. In addition, 18 New Starts projects for Alternative
Analysis under section 5339 are designated and amounts authorized for
fiscal years 2006 and 2007 specified. The Alaska and Hawaii Ferry Boat
and Denali Commission projects are also authorized. All New Starts
earmarks are listed in Table 2 and Table 3 by State, including the
dollar amount if specified.
    Also authorized are project specific allocations for 646 Bus and
Bus-Related Facilities projects totaling $1,819,662,341 for fiscal
years 2006-2009. These projects and amounts are displayed in Table 4.
    Under the Clean Fuels program, 16 projects totaling $78,385,000 are
earmarked for funding for FY 2006-2009. These projects and amounts are
displayed in Table 5.
    It should be noted that projects earmarked in SAFETEA-LU are
subject to Congressional actions in later appropriations bills and
funding is not available for immediate obligation. Estimates of formula
program funding

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levels for fiscal years 2006-2009, by State and urbanized area (UZA),
are available on the FTA Web site. These numbers are for planning
purposes only as they will be revised when each year's appropriation
bill is enacted but may be used for the purpose of programming
metropolitan transportation improvement programs (TIPs) and statewide
transportation improvement programs (STIPs).
    In the estimates of formula funding for UZAs, for the JARC and New
Freedom programs, FTA included the amount of funding attributable to
each UZA less than 200,000 in population (small UZA) low income
individuals and individuals with disabilities, respectively. These
amounts were provided, for information purposes only. Under these
programs, funds for the UZAs under 200,000 in population will be
apportioned to the state for competitive selection of projects.
Similarly, we estimated the amount of funding that might go to each
State under the Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program
(49 U.S.C. 5311(c)(1) also referred to as the Tribal Transit Program in
this document), based on tribal population. But these funds will not be
apportioned to the States and the process for apportioning them among
the Tribes has not yet been determined.

IV. SAFETEA-LU: Highlights of Cross-Cutting Changes

A. Definitional Changes

1. Mobility Management
    SAFETEA-LU added ``mobility management'' to the list of capital
projects at 5302(a)(1)(L). This allows ``short-range planning and
management activities and projects for improving coordination among
public transportation and other transportation service providers
carried out by a recipient or subrecipient'' to be funded as a capital
project. The definition excludes the actual costs of operating public
transportation services, but allows the costs of planning and
coordination with human service transportation to be treated as capital
rather than operating costs.
2. Security Planning, Training, and Drills
    Four new eligible capital activities were added at 5302(a)(1)(J).
These include projects ``to refine and develop security and emergency
response plans, projects aimed at detecting chemical and biological
agents in public transportation, the conduct of emergency response
drills with public transportation agencies and local first response
agencies, and security training for public transportation employees.''
Expenses related to transit operations, other than those incurred in
conducting emergency response drills or security training, are excluded
from this definition and will continue to be eligible only as operating
in those areas eligible to use FTA funds for operating assistance.
3. Debt Service Reserve
    SAFETEA-LU allows recipients to be reimbursed from section 5309
funds for deposits of bond proceeds in a debt service reserve. The Act
also allows up to ten recipients to be reimbursed from section 5307
funds for bond proceeds deposited in a debt service reserve established
with a bondholders' trustee. These provisions will have the effect of
reducing grantees' out of pocket bond issuance costs due to the
reimbursement for the cost of the debt service reserve. The new capital
definition of debt service reserve is found at 5302(a)(1)(K) and the
limitations on its use are at sections 5323(e)(3) and (4).
4. Intercity Bus and Intercity Rail
    The definition of an eligible joint development capital project in
section 5302(A)(1)(G) has been expanded to include ``construction,
renovation, and improvement of intercity bus and intercity rail
stations and terminals.'' Further, the limitation that made
``commercial revenue-producing facilities'' ineligible for FTA
assistance has been lifted with respect to intercity bus stations or
terminals. Intercity bus stations and terminals are not required to
provide a fair share of revenue for public transportation that will be
used for public transportation.
    The result of these changes is that FTA funds can now be used for
all aspects of intercity bus and rail facilities in facilities (such as
intermodal terminals) which meet the criteria in section 5302(a)(1)(G)
for joint development projects (physical and functional relationship to
public transportation). Further, $35 million per year is set aside in
the section 5309 Bus and Bus-Related Facilities program for intermodal
terminals, including the intercity bus portions of those terminals.
5. Definition of Public Transportation
    Throughout SAFETEA-LU, the term public transportation is used
wherever the FTA statute previously referred to mass transit or mass
transportation. The definition of public transportation at 5302(a)(10)
was also modified to specifically exclude intercity bus transportation.
This change does not affect the eligibility of intercity bus service
under the rural program (section 5311) or the over-the-road bus
accessibility program (TEA-21, section 3038). The definition now also
specifically excludes intercity passenger rail transportation provided
by AMTRAK. The intercity bus and intercity rail portion of intermodal
terminals, however, is an eligible capital cost under 49 U.S.C.
5302(a)(1)(G).

B. Cross-cutting Programmatic Requirements and Changes

1. State Infrastructure Bank
    SAFETEA-LU establishes a new State Infrastructure Bank (SIB)
program under which all States, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia,
American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands are authorized to enter into cooperative
agreements with the Secretary of Transportation to establish financial
entities that provide various types of transportation infrastructure
credit assistance for fiscal years 2005-2009. The new program is a
continuation and expansion of similar programs created by the National
Highway System (NHS) Act in 1995 and the TEA-21 legislation of 1998. It
gives States the capacity to increase the efficiency of their
transportation investment and significantly leverage Federal resources
by attracting non-Federal public and private investment. The program
provides greater flexibility to the States by allowing other types of
project assistance in addition to grant assistance.
2. Coordination
    Under three FTA formula programs [the Special Needs of Elderly
Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities Program (section 5310),
Job Access and Reverse Commute (section 5316), and New Freedom (section
5317)], there is a requirement that the designated recipient
competitively select projects and that the projects must be derived
from a locally developed coordinated public transit/human service
transportation plan. Public transit operators, including those funded
under both the urbanized and non-urbanized formula programs (sections
5307 and 5311) are expected to be participants in the local planning
process for coordinated public transit/human service transportation.
See the specific programs below for more information about the planning
requirements as it relates to the three programs. See also the
metropolitan planning public participation requirement below.

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3. Public Participation Planning Requirement
    Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) must develop and utilize
a ``participation plan'' that provides reasonable opportunities for the
interested parties to comment on the content of the metropolitan
transportation plan and metropolitan TIP. This requirement is intended
to afford parties who participate in the metropolitan planning process
a specific opportunity to comment on the plan prior to its approval,
including governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations that
receive Federal assistance from a source other than the Department of
Transportation (DOT) to provide non-emergency transportation services
and recipients of assistance under section 204 of Title 23 U.S.C. The
participation plan must be in place prior to MPO adoption of
transportation plans and TIPs addressing SAFETEA-LU provisions.
4. Public Hearings
    The public hearing requirement in 49 U.S.C. 5323(b) for capital
projects was changed by SAFETEA-LU. Formerly, an opportunity for a
public hearing was required on a section 5309 grant application if the
grant would substantially affect the community or its mass
transportation service. Many of the notices published under this
requirement did not ultimately result in a hearing being held.
    SAFETEA-LU associates more clearly the public involvement and
hearing requirements for capital projects with the environmental review
required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and its
implementing regulations. It also broadens the requirement to apply to
all capital projects (as defined in section 5302). Now, the grant
applicant must provide an adequate opportunity for public review and
comment on a capital project, and, after providing notice, must hold a
public hearing on the project if the project affects significant
economic, social, or environmental interests. These requirements will
be satisfied through compliance with the NEPA requirements for a public
scoping process, public review and comment on NEPA documents, and a
public hearing on every draft environmental impact statement (EIS). FTA
will also require a public hearing on environmental assessments (EAs)
that have a high probability of being elevated to EISs.
    Section 5323(b) must be read in concert with section 5324(b) which
states that FTA must review the public comments and hearing transcript
to ascertain that an adequate opportunity to present views was given to
all parties having a significant economic, social, or environmental
interest in the project, and that FTA must make a written finding to
this effect.
5. Labor Protection
    SAFETEA-LU codified in 5333(b) streamlined labor protection
arrangements already used by the Department of Labor (DOL) in
certifying FTA grants for purchase of like-kind equipment or facilities
or non-material grant amendments. It also codified existing practice
when a contractor is changed through competitive bidding. In section
5311, the use of a special warranty is written into the law. Awards
under two new programs, New Freedom and Alternative Transportation in
Parks and Public Lands, will not be required to be certified by DOL.
6. Buy America
    The Buy America stipulation is intended to ensure that Federal
grants stimulate domestic economic activity. FTA funds must be used for
goods that must be produced or manufactured in the United States or
with specific products, and have a defined percent of domestic content.
Four changes from the previous law are that SAFETEA-LU:
     Requires the Secretary of Transportation to issue a
written justification for public interest waivers on Buy America
requirements. (Under the law, he may waive the Buy America requirements
if they are deemed inconsistent with the public interest). The
Secretary must publish the written justification in the Federal
Register and provide the public with a reasonable period of time for
notice and comment.
     Clarifies that a party adversely affected by a FTA
decision under the Buy America provisions has the right to seek
administrative review.
     Repeals the general waiver of sub-sections (b) and (c) of
Appendix A of section 661.7.
     Requires a rulemaking within 180 days clarifying or
defining the following Buy America requirements:
    1. Microprocessors; Buy America requirements have been waived for
microprocessors since few are manufactured in the United States. The
Secretary is directed to apply the waiver to a device that is solely
for the purpose of processing and storing data and not extended to a
product containing the microprocessor.
    2. Defining the term ``end product'' for non-rolling stock. Does
the end product serve a purpose by itself or with other end products on
an interoperative basis? A product that does not work with products of
other manufacturers is part of that manufacturers system that is the
end product. A list of systems and end products will be developed.
    3. Defining the term ``negotiated procurement'' and determine Buy
America compliance on the basis of the certification with the final
offer.
    4. Defining the term ``contractor''.
    5. Clarifying that a grant recipient may request a non-availability
waiver after the contract award if the contractor has made a
certification of compliance with the requirements in good faith. The
contractor must have certified that it can meet the Buy America
requirements before being awarded a contract. If the contractor later
finds that parts are not available to meet the requirement, the grantee
may now request a Buy America waiver.
7. Procurement
    SAFETEA-LU recodified FTA's procurement requirements in section
5325 of Title 49 U.S.C. Section 5325(a) establishes full and open
competition as the basic requirement for FTA-funded third party
contracts. Section 5325(b), which covers architectural, engineering,
and design contracts, has been modified to match similar language in
Title 23 U.S.C., on reciprocity of audited indirect cost rates. Section
5325(c) on use of other-than-low-bid procurement has been reenacted.
Language on Turnkey Contracting, formerly in section 5326, now appears
as section 5325(d), and is re-titled ``Design-Build'', reflecting more
up-to-date terminology. Provisions formerly in section 5326 governing
rolling stock procurements now appear in sections 5325(e) and (f).
Section 5325(g) now allows access by DOT or the Government
Accountability Office (GAO) to any contract-related record, not just
those in sole-source procurements. Section 5325(h) continues the
prohibition on exclusionary or discriminatory procurements. A new
section 5325(i) prohibits application of State laws requiring bus
purchases to go through in-State bus dealers from applying to projects
assisted under the FTA program. Finally, section 5325(j) codifies in
law the requirement that contracts be awarded only to ``responsible''
contractors. Grantees are required to assess the integrity of the
contractor, compliance with public policy, the contractor's financial
and technical resources, and the contractors past performance,
particularly as reported in the Contractor Performance Assessment
Report required under section 5309(l)(2).

[[Page 71954]]

8. Pre-Award/Post-Delivery Reviews
    Under the current Buy America provisions, there is a requirement
for a resident factory inspector for rolling stock procurements of
greater than 10 buses. SAFETEA-LU eliminates the requirement for a
resident factory inspector for rolling stock procurements of 20
vehicles or less for use in rural (other than urbanized) areas, or UZAs
of 200,000 population or less.
9. Charter Service and School Bus
    SAFETEA-LU section 3023(d) amended 49 U.S.C., section 5323(d)(2)
and provided new remedies for violations of charter service. The
amended provision states that the Secretary shall bar a recipient or an
operator from receiving Federal transit assistance in an amount the
Secretary considers appropriate if the Secretary finds a pattern of
violations of the agreement. The previous provision stated that the
Secretary could bar a recipient from receiving further assistance when
the Secretary found a continuing pattern of violations of the
agreement. The new provision allows for more flexibility. Under the
prior law the Secretary could totally bar a recipient from receiving
further financial assistance, but this penalty was so harsh that it was
only rarely invoked. Under SAFETEA-LU the Secretary can determine a
penalty less than a complete bar of financial assistance; the Secretary
shall bar an operator from receiving assistance in an amount the
Secretary considers appropriate.
    In addition, the Conference Report for SAFETEA-LU stated that the
conferees directed FTA to initiate a negotiated rulemaking seeking
public comment on the charter service regulation implementing 49
U.S.C., 5323(d) and to consider the following issues: (1) Whether
public transit agencies can provide community-based charter services
directly to local governments and private non-profit agencies that
would not otherwise be served in a cost effective manner by private
operators; (2) how can the administration and enforcement of charter
bus provisions be better communicated to the public, including use of
internet technology; (3) improve the enforcement of violations; and (4)
improve the complaint and administrative appeals process. FTA has
initiated the negotiated rulemaking process.
    SAFETEA-LU section 3023(f) amended 49 U.S.C., 5323(f) and provided
new remedies for violations of the school bus transportation provision.
The amended provision states that if the Secretary finds a violation,
the Secretary shall bar a recipient or operator from receiving Federal
transit assistance in an amount the Secretary considers appropriate.
The previous provision stated that in the case of a violation, an
applicant could not receive other mass transportation financial
assistance. The new provision allows for more flexibility. Under the
prior law the penalty was so severe that it was only rarely invoked.
Under SAFETEA-LU the Secretary can determine a penalty less than a
complete bar of financial assistance; the Secretary shall bar an
operator from receiving assistance in an amount the Secretary considers
appropriate.
10. Revenue Bonds as Local Match
    Originally allowed in TEA-21, revenue bonds may now be used as
local match, provided that the grantee maintains a greater level of
local transit investment in the subsequent three years (as demonstrated
in the TIP) than as in the current and prior two years. This provision
in 5323(e) allows bond proceeds, secured by the revenues of a transit
capital project, to be used as local match for that project.
11. Government's Share of Cost of Equipment and Facilities for ADA and
Clean Air Act Compliance
    The provision allowing a 90 percent Federal share for the
incremental cost of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA) or Clean Air Act (CAA) was expanded to include vehicle-related
facilities as well as equipment at section 5323(i). Under the provision
allowing the Secretary ``to determine through practicable
administrative procedures, the costs of such equipment or facilities
attributable to compliance with those Acts'', FTA previously computed
an 83 percent composite match for vehicle-related equipment. Given
changes in technology, FTA may revisit that calculation, but for the
time being, grantees may use the 83 percent share. FTA seeks public
comment on the continued use of the 83 percent share. Also, the
administratively determined 83 percent Federal share does not apply to
facilities, for which the costs are more variable. Grantees may apply
for the 90 percent share of the actual incremental costs of vehicle-
related facility improvements related to ADA or CAA compliance, but FTA
requests that grantees provide supporting documentation for that
request. Until FTA develops guidance, the eligibility of facility
related costs at the higher share will be reviewed on a case-by-case
basis as part of the grant application process.

V. SAFETEA-LU: Summary of New Programs and Formulas

A. New Freedom (49 U.S.C. 5317)

    The New Freedom program provides formula funding for new public
transportation services and public transportation alternatives beyond
those required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 that
assist individuals with disabilities with transportation, including
transportation to and from jobs and employment support services.
Details are provided in section VI N below.

B. Alternative Transportation in the Parks and Public Lands (49 U.S.C.
5320)

    SAFETEA-LU provides $22 million annually for alternative
transportation projects to enhance the protection of national parks and
public lands and increase the enjoyment of those visiting the parks and
public lands by ensuring access to all, including persons with
disabilities, improving conservation and park and public land
opportunities in urban areas through partnering with State and local
governments, and improving park and public land transportation
infrastructure. The program is to be implemented by FTA in consultation
with the Department of the Interior and other Federal land management
agencies.
    The Secretary of Transportation will develop cooperative
arrangements with the Secretary of the Interior that provide: (1)
Technical assistance; (2) interagency and multidisciplinary teams to
develop alternative transportation policy, procedures, and
coordination; and, (3) procedures and criteria relating to the
planning, selection, and funding of qualified projects and the
implementation and oversight of selected projects. The Secretary of the
Interior, after consultation with and in cooperation with the Secretary
of Transportation, will determine the final selection and funding
levels of an annual program of qualified projects.

C. Small Starts (Component of the Section 5309 New Starts Program)

    SAFETEA-LU specifies a new category of projects to be funded
separately out of the section 5309 New Starts program. This new
category encompasses smaller scale projects, referred to as Small
Starts, and has been authorized at a funding level of $200 million per
year, beginning in FY 2007.
    Projects requesting less than $75 million in section 5309 New
Starts funds with a total project cost less than $250 million will be
eligible to receive funds under the new Small Starts provision.
SAFETEA-LU lays out a

[[Page 71955]]

simplified evaluation and rating process that FTA will use to support
funding decisions for Small Starts projects. The statute specifies both
cost-based and project-definition-based eligibility requirements. The
definition of fixed guideway capital project to be applied in Small
Starts has been expanded to include substantial corridor bus projects
that either operate in a separate right of way during peak hours or
contain significant investment in corridor-based bus improvements.
Small Starts projects must also be the result of planning and
alternatives analysis.
    The transit program statute provides for an evaluation process for
proposed Small Starts projects that include a subset of the evaluation
criteria specified for traditional New Starts projects. The Small
Starts evaluation criteria in the statute include:
     Transit supportive land use,
     Cost-effectiveness,
     Reliability of cost and ridership estimates,
     Effect on economic development, and
     Other factors that the Secretary determines are
appropriate.
    Currently, projects requesting less than $25 million in New Starts
funding are exempt from the annual evaluation and rating process. Under
the new statute, this exemption no longer applies once a regulation is
issued for Small Starts. All eligible projects that meet the
aforementioned Small Starts cost criterion will be rated and evaluated
according to the Small Starts process. SAFETEA-LU also calls for a
simplified project development process to be applied to Small Starts
projects. SAFETEA-LU requires that FTA issue regulations establishing
an evaluation and rating process for the Small Starts process. The
Small Starts Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be issued soon.

D. Alternatives Analysis (49 U.S.C. 5339)

    Alternatives Analysis is no longer included in the eight percent of
the section 5309 New Starts program that can be used for projects prior
to FD and Construction. Instead, $25 million annually is provided for
Alternatives Analysis grants under section 5339. As before,
Metropolitan Planning funds and Urbanized Area Formula funds can also
be used to support alternatives analysis. The procedures grantees
should use to apply for section 5339 funds are referred to in section
VI P below.

E. Public Transportation on Indian Reservations (49 U.S.C. 5311(c)(1))

    SAFETEA-LU creates a new Tribal Transit program as a takedown under
the section 5311 program. Forty-five million dollars is authorized for
fiscal years 2006-2009, growing from $8 million annually to $15
million. The funds are to be apportioned to the Tribes, not to the
States, for capital and operating assistance for rural transit and
rural intercity bus service. FTA will develop procedures for the Tribal
Transit program in consultation with tribal leaders and other
interested stakeholders.
    In addition to funding under the Tribal Transit program, States
must continue to include the Tribes in the equitable distribution of
the section 5311 funds apportioned to the States. Indian Tribes are
established as direct recipients under section 5311 for funding from
the States' apportionment as well as from the new Tribal Transit
program.
    See section VI K for additional information and for specific
questions on which FTA seeks comments from Tribes and other interested
stakeholders.

F. Growing States and High Density States Formula Factors (49 U.S.C.
5340)

    SAFETEA-LU establishes new Growing States and High Density States
formula factors to distribute funds to the section 5307 and section
5311 programs. One-half of the funds are made available under the
Growing States factors and are apportioned by a formula based on State
population forecasts for 15 years beyond the most recent Census.
Amounts apportioned for each State are then distributed between UZAs
and nonurbanzied areas based on the ratio of urbanized/nonurbanzied
population within each State. The High Density States factors
distribute the other half of the funds to States with population
densities in excess of 370 persons per square mile. These funds are
apportioned only to UZAs within those States. Additional details on the
Growing States and High Density States formula and factors are
discussed in section VI Q below.

VI. Program Specific Information and Requests for Comments

A. Metropolitan Planning Program (49 U.S.C. 5303)

    Section 5303 authorizes a cooperative, continuous, and
comprehensive planning program for transportation investment decision-
making at the metropolitan area level. State Departments of
Transportation and MPOs may receive funds for planning projects that
support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, especially by
enabling global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency;
increasing the safety and security of the transportation system for
motorized and non-motorized users; increasing the accessibility and
mobility options available to people and for freight; protecting and
enhancing the environment, promoting energy conservation, and improving
quality of life; enhancing the integration and connectivity of the
transportation system, across and between modes, for people and
freight; promoting efficient system management and operation; and
emphasizing the preservation of the existing transportation system.
1. Authorized Amounts
    SAFETEA-LU authorizes the following amounts to carryout section
5305 Planning programs for fiscal years 2006-2009:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.001

    As specified in law, 82.72 percent of the amounts authorized for
section 5305 are allocated to the Metropolitan Planning program. The
table below shows the amount of funding authorized under section 5305
to be allocated to the Metropolitan Planning program.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.000


[[Page 71956]]


2. Basis for Formula Apportionment
    FTA allocates Metropolitan Planning funds to the States according
to a statutory formula. Eighty percent of the funds are distributed to
the States as a basic allocation based on each State's UZA population,
based on the most recent Census. The remaining 20 percent is provided
to the States as a supplemental allocation based on an FTA
administrative formula to address planning needs in the larger, more
complex UZAs. The amount published for each State is a combined total
of both the basic and supplemental allocation.
3. Requirements
    The State allocates Metropolitan Planning funds to MPOs in UZAs or
portions thereof to provide funds for projects included in an annual
work program (the Unified Planning Work Program, or UPWP) that includes
both highway and transit planning projects. Each State has either
reaffirmed or developed, in consultation with their MPOs, a new
allocation formula, as a result of the 2000 Census. The State
allocation formula may be changed annually, but any change requires
approval by the FTA regional office before grant approval. Program
guidance for the Metropolitan Planning Program is found in FTA Circular
C8100.1B, Program Guidance and Application Instructions for
Metropolitan Planning Program Grants, dated October 25, 1996. FTA is in
the process of updating this circular to incorporate changes resulting
from language in SAFETEA-LU.
4. Period of Availability
    The funds apportioned under the Metropolitan Planning program will
remain available to be obligated by FTA to recipients for four fiscal
years--which includes the year of apportionment plus three additional
years. Any apportioned funds that remain unobligated at the end of this
period will revert to FTA for reapportionment under the program.
5. Other Program Information
    Sections VII and VIII F of this document provide guidance and
information specific to FTA planning programs, including the
Metropolitan Planning program. Please refer to those sections for
additional information relevant to this program.

B. Statewide Planning and Research Program (49 U.S.C. 5304)

    This program provides financial assistance to States for Statewide
planning and other technical assistance activities (including
supplementing the technical assistance program provided through the
Metropolitan Planning program), planning support for nonurbanized
areas, research, development and demonstration projects, fellowships
for training in the public transportation field, university research,
and human resource development.
1. Authorized Amounts
    SAFETA-LU authorizes the following amounts to carryout section 5305
Planning programs for fiscal years 2006-2009:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.002

    As specified in law, 17.28 percent of the amounts authorized for
section 5305 are allocated to the Statewide Planning and Research
program. The table below shows the amount of funding authorized under
section 5305 to be allocated to the Statewide Planning and Research
program.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.003

2. Basis for Apportionment Formula
    Funds are apportioned to States by a statutory formula that is
based on information received from the latest decennial census, and the
State's UZA population as compared to the UZA population of all States.
However, a State must receive at least 0.5 percent of the amount
apportioned under this program.
3. Requirements
    Funds are provided to States for statewide planning and research
programs. 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 Metropolitan Planning
funds allocated by the State to its UZAs, as the State deems
appropriate. Program guidance for the Statewide Planning and Research
program is found in FTA Circular C8200.1, Program Guidance and
Application Instructions for State Planning and Research Program
Grants, dated December 27, 2001. FTA is in the process of updating this
circular to incorporate changes resulting from language in SAFETEA-LU.
4. Period of Availability
    The funds apportioned under the Statewide Planning and Research
program will remain available to be obligated by FTA to recipients for
four fiscal years'which include the year of apportionment plus three
additional fiscal years. Any apportioned funds that remain unobligated
at the end of this period will revert to FTA for reapportionment under
the program.

C. Urbanized Area Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5307)

    Section 5307 authorizes Federal capital and operating assistance
for transit in UZAs. A UZA is an area with a population of 50,000 or
more that has been defined and designated as such in the most recent
decennial census by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Urbanized Area Formula
Program also supports planning, in addition to that funded under the
Metropolitan Planning program described above. Funding is apportioned
directly to each UZA with a population of 200,000 or more, and to the
State Governors for UZAs with populations between 50,000 and 200,000.
Generally, operating assistance is not an eligible expense for UZAs
with populations of 200,000 or more. However, there are several
exceptions to this restriction. The exceptions are described in section
2(e) below.

[[Page 71957]]

1. Authorized Amounts
    SAFETEA-LU authorizes the following amounts under section 5307 to
provide financial assistance to UZAs for fiscal years 2006-2009:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.004

    SAFETEA-LU directs that there be a one percent takedown from the
funds made available under section 5307. This takedown amount will be
for apportionment under the new Small Transit Intensive Cities (STIC)
formula.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.005

    Under the formula for STIC, funds are apportioned to UZAs with a
population less than 200,000 that meet or exceed the average level of
service for all UZAs with populations between 200,000 and 1,000,000.
    In addition to the funds made available to UZAs under section 5307,
approximately 84 percent of the funds authorized for the new section
5340 Growing States and High Density States formula factors will be
apportioned to UZAs. The portion of authorized section 5340 funds
allocable to UZAs, based on the section 5340 formulas, is shown in the
following table.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.006

    Language in the SAFETEA-LU conference report indicates that FTA is
to show a single apportionment amount for 5307, STIC and 5340.
Accordingly, the apportionment amount for a UZA that will be displayed
in the Urbanized Area Formula apportionment table to be published in
the FTA FY 2006 apportionments and allocations Notice, after FY 2006
funding is appropriated, will include regular 5307 funds (that amount
remaining after the one percent takedown for STIC), STIC funds, and
Growing States and High Density States funding for the area. Although a
single UZA amount will be shown to comply with conference report
language (as noted above), separate formula calculations will be used
to generate the respective apportionment amounts for the 5307, STIC and
5340.
2. Requirements
    Program guidance for the Urbanized Area Formula Program is
presently found in FTA Circular C9030.1C, Urbanized Area Formula
Program: Grant Application Instructions, dated October 1, 1998, and
supplemented by additional information or changes provided in this
document. FTA is in the process of updating this circular to
incorporate changes resulting from language in SAFETEA-LU. Several
important program requirements are highlighted below.
(a) Urbanized Area Formula Apportionments to Governors
    For small UZAs, the funds are apportioned to the Governor of each
State for distribution. A single total Governor apportionment amount
for the Urbanized Area Formula, STIC, and Growing States and High
Density States will be shown in the Urbanized Area Formula
Apportionment table to be published in the FTA FY 2006 apportionments
and allocations Notice, after FY 2006 funding is appropriated. The
table will also show the apportionment amount attributable to each
small UZA within the State. The Governor may determine the
suballocation of funds among the small UZAs except that funds
attributed to a small UZA that is located within the planning
boundaries of a Transportation Management Area (TMA) must be obligated
to that small UZA, as discussed in subsection (g) below.
(b) STIC Apportionments
    SAFETEA-LU establishes a one percent set-aside program from section
5307 that provides funding to UZAs under 200,000 in population that
operate at a level of service equal to or above the industry average
level of service for all UZAs with a population of at least 200,000 but
not more than 999,999, in one or more of six performance categories:
Passenger miles traveled per vehicle revenue mile, passenger miles
traveled per vehicle revenue hour, vehicle revenue miles per capita,
vehicle revenue hours per capita, passenger miles traveled per capita,
and passengers per capita. The data for these categories comes from the
most current National Transit Database (NTD) reports. This data is used
to determine a UZA's eligibility under the STIC formula, and is also
used in the STIC apportionment calculations. Because this performance
data change with each year's NTD reports the eligible STIC UZAs may
vary each year. The performance categories for providing bonus grants
to STIC were established in the September 2000 FTA report to Congress
called ``The Urbanized Area Formula Program and the Needs of Small
Transit Intensive Cities.''
(c) Transit Enhancements
    SAFETEA-LU requires that one percent of section 5307 funds
apportioned to UZAs with populations of 200,000 or more be spent on
eligible transit enhancement activities or projects. This requirement
is now treated as a certification, rather than as a set-aside as was
the case under TEA-21. Grantees in UZAs with populations of 200,000 or
more will be certifying they are spending not less than one percent of
section 5307 funds for transit enhancements and will be required to

[[Page 71958]]

submit an annual report on how they spent the money. The report must be
submitted with the Federal fiscal year's final quarterly progress
report in TEAM-Web. The report should include the following elements:
(a) Grantee name, (b) UZA name and number, (c) FTA project number, (d)
transit enhancement category, (e) brief description of enhancement and
progress towards project implementation, (f) activity line item code
from the approved budget, and (g) amount awarded by FTA for the
enhancement. The list of transit enhancement categories and activity
line item (ALI) codes may be found in FTA Circular 9030.1C, Urbanized
Area Formula Program: Grant Application Instructions, dated October 1,
1998, and in the table of Scope and ALI codes on TEAM-Web, which can be
accessed at http://ftateamweb.fta.dot.gov/.

    The term ``transit enhancement'' includes projects or project
elements that are designed to enhance mass transportation service or
use and are physically or functionally related to transit facilities.
Eligible enhancements include the following: (1) Historic preservation,
rehabilitation, and operation of historic mass transportation
buildings, structures, and facilities (including historic bus and
railroad facilities); (2) bus shelters; (3) landscaping and other
scenic beautification, including tables, benches, trash receptacles,
and street lights; (4) public art; (5) pedestrian access and walkways;
(6) bicycle access, including bicycle storage facilities and installing
equipment for transporting bicycles on mass transportation vehicles;
(7) transit connections to parks within the recipient's transit service
area; (8) signage; and (9) enhanced access for persons with
disabilities to mass transportation.
    It is the responsibility of the MPO to determine how the one
percent for transit enhancements will be allotted to transit projects.
The one percent minimum requirement does not preclude more than one
percent being expended in a UZA for transit enhancements. However,
items that are only eligible as enhancements--in particular, operating
costs for historic facilities--may be assisted only within the one-
percent funding level.
(d) Transit Security Projects
    Each recipient of Urbanized Area Formula funds must certify that of
the amount received each fiscal year, it will expend at least one
percent on ``public transportation security projects'' or must certify
that it has decided the expenditure is not necessary. For applicants
not eligible to receive section 5307 funds for operating assistance,
only capital security projects may be funded with the one percent.
SAFETEA-LU, however, expanded the definition of eligible ``capital''
projects to include specific crime prevention and security activities,
including: (1) Projects to refine and develop security and emergency
response plans; (2) projects aimed at detecting chemical and biological
agents in public transportation; (3) the conduct of emergency response
drills with public transportation agencies and local first-response
agencies; and (4) security training for public transportation employees
but excluding all expenses related to operations, other than such
expenses incurred in conducting emergency drills and training. New ALI
codes have been established for these four new capital activities. The
one percent may also include security expenditures included within
other capital activities, and, where the recipient is eligible,
operating assistance. The relevant ALI codes would be used for those
activities.
    Given the importance of transit security, FTA is often called upon
to report to Congress and others on how grantees are expending Federal
funds for security enhancements. To facilitate tracking of grantees'
security expenditures, which are not always evident when included
within larger capital or operating activity line items in the grant
budget, we have established a new non-additive (``non-add'') scope code
for security expenditures--Scope 991. The non-add scope is to be used
to aggregate activities included in other scopes, and it does not
increase the budget total. Section 5307 grantees should include this
non-add scope in the project budget for each new section 5307 grant
application or amendment. Under this non-add scope, the applicant
should repeat the full amount of any of the line items in the budget
that are exclusively for security and include the portion of any other
line item in the project budget that is attributable to security, using
under the non-add scope the same line item used in the project budget.
The grantee can modify the ALI description or use the extended text
feature, if necessary, to describe the security expenditures.
    If the grantee has certified that it is not necessary to expend one
percent for security, the section 5307 grant application must include
information to support that certification.
    To summarize, a grant application requesting 5307 funds cannot be
considered complete until the applicant has indicated whether it will
or will not expend one percent of the 5307 funds being requested for
security purposes. If the applicant has determined expenditure for
security purposes is not necessary, an explanation must be provided.
FTA is implementing these new grant application procedures in response
to requests for information from the Inspector General.
(e) FY 2006 Operating Assistance
    Several SAFETEA-LU provisions allow FY 2006 Urbanized Area Formula
funds to be used for operating assistance in a UZA with a population of
200,000 or more. They include: (1) Continuation of the operating
assistance flexibility provisions of TEA-21 that allows transit systems
in UZAs that crossed over the 200,000 population threshold, as a result
of the 2000 Census, to use 5307 funds for operating assistance; (2) a
provision applicable to portions of the UZAs between 200,000 and
225,000 in population that meet certain criteria; (3) a provision for
certain local governmental authorities that lie outside the service
area of the principal public transportation agency that serves the
Houston, TX UZA; and (4) language that stipulates that section 5307
funds made available to the Anchorage UZA under fixed guideway tiers of
the section 5307 apportionment formula shall be made available to the
Alaska Railroad for any costs related to passenger operations. In
addition, language in section 3027(c)(3) of TEA-21, as amended, is
still applicable and allows the use of funds for operating assistance
by certain recipients of section 5307 funds, in a UZA at least 200,000
in population, that provide service exclusively for elderly persons and
persons with disabilities and operate 20 or fewer vehicles.
    The requirements for each of the above provisions are described
below.
    (1) Section 5307(b)(2) provides exception to the use of operating
assistance in UZAs that grew in population from under 200,000 to over
200,000, as a result of the 2000 Census. This exception allows for the
use of funds for operating assistance in eligible UZAs at 100% of the
grandfathered amount for FY 2005 funds, but this amount ``phases down
and out'' to 50 percent in FY 2006, 25 percent in FY 2007, and zero
percent in FY 2008. FTA has identified and listed all eligible UZAs in
previous years apportionment notices (FY 2003-FY 2005), along with the
maximum amount of the area's 5307 fund that could be used for
operating. A similar list will be included in the FY 2006 apportionment
Notice.
    (2) Section 5307(b)(1)(E) provides for grants for the operating
costs of equipment and facilities for use in public transportation in
the Evansville,

[[Page 71959]]

IN-KY urbanized area, for a portion or portions of the UZA if: The
portion of the UZA includes only one State; the population of the
portion is less than 30,000; and the grants will be not used to provide
public transportation outside of the portion of the UZA.
    (3) Section 5307(b)(1)(F) provides operating costs of equipment and
facilities for use in public transportation for local governmental
authorities in areas which adopted transit operating and financing
plans that became a part of the Houston, Texas UZA as a result of the
2000 decennial census of population, but lie outside the service area
of the principal public transportation agency that serves the Houston
UZA.
    (4) Section 5336(a)(2) prescribes the formula to be used to
apportion section 5307 funds to UZAs with population of 200,000 or
more. SAFETEA-LU amended 5336(a)(2) to add language that stated, ``* *
* except that the amount apportioned to the Anchorage urbanized area
under subsection (b) shall be available to the Alaska Railroad for any
costs related to its passenger operations.'' This language has the
effect of directing that funds apportioned to the Anchorage urbanized
area, under the fixed guideway tiers of the section 5307 apportionment
formula, be made available to the Alaska Railroad, and that these funds
may be used for any capital or operating costs related to its passenger
operations.
    (5) Section 3027(c)(3) of TEA-21, as previously amended, provides
an exception to the restriction on the use of operating assistance in a
UZA with a population of 200,000 or more, by allowing transit
providers/grantees that provide service exclusively to elderly persons
and persons with disabilities and that operate 20 or fewer vehicles to
use section 5307 funds apportioned to the UZA for operating assistance.
The total amount of funding made available for this purpose under
section 3027(c)(3) of TEA-21, as amended, is $1.4 million. Transit
providers/grantees eligible under this provision have already been
identified.
    Unless one of the exceptions noted above applies, the use of FY
2006 Urbanized Area Formula funds for operating assistance is available
only to small UZAs. For small UZAs, there is no limitation on the
amount of the Governor's apportionment that may be used for operating
assistance, and the Federal/local share ratio is 50/50.
(f) Expansion of Local Match Eligibility
    SAFETEA-LU expands the categories of funds that can be used as
local match for section 5307 projects. The newly eligible sources are
advertising and concessions revenue, social service contract revenue,
and revenue bonds proceeds.
    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 5307(e) the Federal share of a grant under
Section 5307 is 80 percent of net project cost for a capital project
and 50 percent of net project cost for operating assistance. The
remainder of the net project cost (i.e., 20 percent and 50 percent,
respectively) shall be provided from the following sources:
    1. In cash from non-Government sources other than revenues from
providing public transportation services;
    2. From revenues derived from the sale of advertising and
concessions;
    3. From an undistributed cash surplus, a replacement or
depreciation cash fund or reserve, or new capital;
    4. From amounts received under a service agreement with a State or
local social service agency or private social service organization; and
    5. Proceeds from the issuance of revenue bonds. In addition, funds
from section 403(a)(5)(C)(vii) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.
603(a)(5)(C)(vii)) can be used to match Urbanized Area Formula funds.
(g) Designated Transportation Management Areas (TMA)
    Guidance for setting the boundaries of TMAs is in the joint
transportation planning regulations codified at 23 CFR part 450 and 49
CFR part 613. In some cases, the TMA planning boundaries established by
the MPO for the designated TMA includes one or more small UZAs. In
addition, one small UZA (Santa Barbara, CA) has been designated as a
TMA. In either of these situations, the Governor cannot allocate
``Governor's Apportionment'' funds attributed to the small UZAs to
other areas; that is, the Governor only has discretion to allocate
Governor's Apportionment funds attributable to areas that are outside
of designated TMA planning boundaries.
    The list of small UZAs included within the planning boundaries of
designated TMAs is provided in the table below.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.007

    The MPO must notify the Associate Administrator for Program
Management, Federal Transit Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW.,
Washington, DC 20590, in writing, no later than July 1 of each year, to
identify any small UZA within the planning boundaries of a TMA.
(h) Urbanized Area Formula Funds Used for Highway Purposes
    Funds apportioned to a TMA are eligible for transfer to FHWA for

[[Page 71960]]

highway projects. However, before funds can be transferred, the
following conditions must be met: (1) Such use must be approved by the
MPO in writing, 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) the MPO determines that local transit needs are being
addressed.
    The MPO should notify the appropriate FTA Regional Administrator of
its intent to use FTA funds for highway purposes, as prescribed in
section VIII D below. Urbanized Area Formula funds that are designated
by the MPO for highway projects will be transferred to and administered
by FHWA.
3. Basis for Formula Apportionment
    Urbanized Area Formula Program funds are apportioned based on
legislative formulas. Different formulas are used for UZAs with
populations of 200,000 or more and UZAs with populations of less than
200,000. For UZAs of 50,000 to 199,999 in population, the formula is
based simply on population and population density. For UZAs with
populations of 200,000 and more, the formula is based on a combination
of bus revenue vehicle miles, bus passenger miles, fixed guideway
revenue vehicle miles, and fixed guideway route miles, as well as
population and population density.
    To comply with language in the SAFETEA-LU conference report, we
will combine a UZA's section 5307, STIC, and section 5340 apportionment
amounts and publish a single amount. For technical assistance purposes
we will identify the UZAs that received STIC funds each year and will
make available breakouts of the funding allocated to each UZA under
5307, STIC and 5340 formulas, upon request to the regional office.
4. Period of Availability
    Urbanized Area Formula funds will remain available to be obligated
by FTA to recipients for four fiscal years--which include the year of
apportionment plus three additional years. Any apportioned funds that
remain unobligated after this period will revert to FTA for
reapportionment.
5. Other Program Information
    Population and population density statistics from the 2000 Census
and (when applicable) validated mileage and transit service data from
transit providers' 2004 NTD Report Year will be used to calculate a
UZA's FY 2006 Urbanized Area Formula apportionment when FY 2006 funds
are appropriated.
    We will calculate dollar unit values for the formula factors used
in the Urbanized Area Formula program apportionment. These values
represent the amount of money each unit of a factor is worth in the FY
2006 apportionment. The unit values change each year as a result of
changes in the data used to calculate a particular year's
apportionments. The FTA apportionment amount for a UZA may be
replicated by multiplying the dollar unit value by the appropriate
formula factor.

D. Clean Fuels Grant Program (49 U.S.C. 5308)

    SAFETEA-LU establishes the Clean Fuels Grant Program--formerly the
Clean Fuels Formula Program under TEA-21--to support the use of
alternative fuels in air quality maintenance or nonattainment areas for
ozone or carbon monoxide.
1. Total Allocations
    SAFETA-LU authorizes the following amounts for the Clean Fuels
Grant Program for fiscal years 2006-2009.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.008

2. Basis for Allocation of Funds
    Under SAFETEA-LU, funding for the Clean Fuels program is now
appropriated on a discretionary basis rather than by formula. [Note:
Congress never appropriated funds for the formula program authorized by
TEA-21.]
    SAFETEA-LU includes 16 projects to be funded through the Clean
Fuels program in section 3044, Projects for Bus and Bus-Related
Facilities and Clean Fuels Buses. Table 5 displays the SAFETEA-LU
authorized Clean Fuels earmarked projects.
    It is important to note that these allocations are subject to be
changed by subsequent appropriations acts and additional projects may
be earmarked during the appropriations process. Final Clean Fuels
program allocations for FY 2006 will be published after enactment of
the FY 2006 Appropriations Act.
3. Requirements
    Clean Fuels program funds may be made available to any grantee in a
UZA that is designated as maintenance or nonattainment area for ozone
or carbon monoxide as defined in the Clean Air Act. Eligible recipients
include section 5307 designated recipients as well as recipients in
small UZAs. In the case of a small UZA, the State in which the area is
located will act as the recipient.
    Eligible projects include the purchase or lease of clean fuel buses
(including buses that employ a lightweight composite primary
structure), the construction or lease of clean fuel buses or electrical
recharging facilities and related equipment for such buses, and
construction or improvement of public transportation facilities to
accommodate clean fuel buses.
    If a recipient wishes to use funds designated under the program in
SAFETEA-LU for eligible project activities outside the scope of a
project designation, the recipient must submit its request for
reprogramming to the House and Senate Authorizing Committees for
resolution. Changes to designations that are in statute, as opposed to
report language, can only be made in law. If in the future, Congress
designates projects in report language, FTA will not reprogram the
projects without direction from the Appropriations Committees.
    Unless otherwise specified in law, grants made under the Clean
Fuels program must meet all other eligibility requirements as outlined
in section 5308.
4. Period of Availability
    Funds designated for specific Clean Fuels Program projects will
remain available for obligation for three fiscal years, which includes
the year of appropriation plus two additional fiscal years. Clean Fuels
funds not obligated in a FTA grant for their original purpose at the
end of the period of availability will generally be made available for
other projects.

E. Capital Investments Program (49 U.S.C. 5309)--Fixed Guideway
Modernization

    This program provides capital assistance for the modernization of
existing fixed guideway systems. Funds

[[Page 71961]]

are allocated by a statutory formula to UZAs with fixed guideway
systems that have been in operation for at least seven years. A ``fixed
guideway'' refers to any transit service that uses exclusive or
controlled rights-of-way or rails, entirely or in part. The term
includes heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, monorail, trolleybus,
aerial tramway, inclined plane, cable car, automated guideway transit,
ferryboats, that portion of motor bus service operated on exclusive or
controlled rights-of-way, and high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes.
1. Authorized Amounts
    SAFETEA-LU authorizes the following amounts for the Fixed Guideway
Modernization for fiscal years 2006-2009:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.009

2. Basis for Formula Apportionment
    The formula for allocating the Fixed Guideway Modernization funds
contains seven tiers. The apportionment of funding under the first four
tiers is based on amounts specified in law and NTD data used to
apportion funds in FY 1997. Funding under the last three tiers is
apportioned based on the latest available data on route miles and
revenue vehicle miles on segments at least seven years old, as reported
to the NTD. Because the Fixed Guideway Modernization apportionment
formula did not change from TEA-21 to SAFETEA-LU, you may refer to
Table 8 of the FTA Fiscal Year 2005 Apportionments, Allocations and
Program Information Notice for additional information and details on
the formula.
3. Requirements
    Fixed Guideway Modernization funds must be used for capital
projects to maintain, modernize, or improve fixed guideway systems.
Eligible UZAs (those with a population of 200,000 or more) with fixed
guideway systems that are at least seven years old are entitled to
receive Fixed Guideway Modernization funds. A threshold level of more
than one mile of fixed guideway is required in order to receive Fixed
Guideway Modernization funds. Therefore, UZAs reporting one mile or
less of fixed guideway mileage under the NTD are not included. Program
guidance for Fixed Guideway Modernization is presently found in FTA
Circular C9300.1A, Capital Program: Grant Application Instructions,
dated October 1, 1998. FTA is in the process of updating this circular
to incorporate changes resulting from language in SAFETEA-LU.
4. Period of Availability
    Funds apportioned under the Fixed Guideway Modernization Program
will remain available to be obligated by FTA to recipients for four
fiscal years--which include the year of apportionment plus three
additional years. Any apportioned funds that remain unobligated at the
end of this period will revert to FTA for reapportionment under the
program.
5. Other Program Information
    Generally, there were no changes to the formula or eligibility
criteria for the program in SAFETEA-LU from those specified in TEA-21.
However, sections 5337(f) (g) of SAFETEA-LU provides for the inclusion
of Morgantown, WV (population 55,997) as an eligible UZA for purposes
of apportioning fixed guideway modernization funds. Also, language in
section 5336(b) has the impact of directing FTA to use 60 percent of
the directional route miles attributable to the Alaska Railroad
passenger operations system to calculate apportionments for the
Anchorage, AK UZA under the 5307 and Fixed Guideway Modernization
formulas.

F. Capital Investments (49 U.S.C. 5309)--Bus and Bus-Related Facilities

    The Bus and Bus-Related Facilities program provides capital
assistance for new and replacement buses and related equipment and
facilities.
1. Authorized Amounts
    SAFETEA-LU authorizes the following amounts for the Bus and Bus-
Related Facilities program for fiscal years 2006-2009.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.010

2. Basis for Allocation of Funds
    Funding is appropriated on a discretionary basis. SAFETEA-LU
includes 646 earmarked projects to be funded through the Bus Program in
section 3044, Projects for Bus and Bus-Related Facilities and Clean
Fuels Buses. Table 4 displays the SAFETEA-LU authorized earmarked
projects.
    It is important to note that these allocations are subject to be
changed by subsequent appropriations acts and additional projects may
be earmarked during the appropriations process. Final Bus and Bus-
Related Facilities program allocations for FY 2006 will be published
after enactment of the FY 2006 Appropriations Act.
3. Requirements
    Eligible capital projects include the acquisition of buses for
fleet and service expansion, bus maintenance and administrative
facilities, transfer facilities, bus malls, transportation centers,
intermodal terminals, park-and-ride stations, acquisition of
replacement vehicles, bus rebuilds, bus preventive maintenance,
passenger amenities such as passenger shelters and bus stop signs,
accessory and miscellaneous equipment such as mobile radio units,
supervisory vehicles, fare boxes, computers, and shop and garage
equipment.
    A general provision in the appropriations acts of FY 2004 (section
547) and FY 2005 (section 125) contained language making the earmarked
projects eligible under the program ``notwithstanding any other
provision of law.'' SAFETEA-LU did not include a similar
``Notwithstanding'' provision, but the wording of certain bus program
earmarks included expanded eligibility. The FY 2006 Appropriations Act
might modify some of the authorized earmarks. Unless stated in law to
the contrary, projects

[[Page 71962]]

earmarked prior to FY 2004 must conform to the eligibility requirements
of the Bus and Bus-Related Facilities program.
    If a recipient wishes to apply for use of funds designated under
the Bus and Bus-Related Facilities program in SAFETEA-LU for project
activities outside the scope of the project designation, the recipient
must submit its request for reprogramming to the House and Senate
Authorizing Committees for resolution. Changes to earmarks that are in
statute, as opposed to report language, can only be made in law. FTA
will not reprogram projects earmarked by Congress in report language
without direction from the Appropriations Committees.
    Grants made under the Bus and Bus-Related Facilities program must
meet all other eligibility requirements as outlined in section 5309
unless otherwise specified in law.
    Program guidance for Bus and Bus-Related Facilities is found in FTA
Circular C9300.1A, Capital Program: Grant Application Instructions. FTA
is in the process of updating this circular to incorporate changes
resulting from language in SAFETEA-LU.
4. Period of Availability
    Funds designated for specific Bus Program projects remain available
for obligation for three fiscal years--which includes the fiscal year
in which the amount is made available or appropriated plus two
additional years. Bus and Bus-Related Facilities funds not obligated in
a FTA grant for their original purpose by the end of this period will
generally be made available for other projects.
    Prior year unobligated balances for Bus and Bus-Related Facilities
allocations in the amount of $723,995,747 remain available for
obligation in FY 2006. The amounts that remain unobligated as of
September 30, 2005, can be found in Table 6. Projects appropriated
prior to FY 2004 and extended in the FY 2006 Appropriations Act or
accompanying Conference Report will be included in the FY 2006
Apportionments and Allocations Notice.
5. Other Program Information
    The Bus Program remains largely unchanged with the passage of
SAFETEA-LU; however, one significant change is the inclusion of private
companies engaged in public transportation and private non-profit
organizations as eligible subrecipients of FTA grants. Prior to
SAFETEA-LU, private non-profit entities could only receive FTA funds if
they were selected by a public authority through a competitive process,
and private operators were not eligible subrecipients. Private
operators may now receive FTA funds as a pass-through without
competition if they are included in a program of projects submitted by
the designated public authority acting as the direct recipient of a
grant.

G. Capital Investment Program (49 U.S.C. 5309)--New Starts

    SAFETEA-LU made several changes in the way funding is allocated for
New Starts projects. Beginning in FY 2007, $200,000,000 each year is
designated for ``Small Starts'' (section 5309(e)) projects with a New
Starts share of less than $75,000,000 and a net project cost of less
than $250,000,000. Major Capital Investment grants of $75,000,000 or
more (section 5309 (d)) will receive $7.4 billion over the five years.
In addition, SAFETEA-LU authorizes 38 projects for FD and 264 projects
for PE. The total amount of FY 2006-2009 funding for 31 existing FFGA
projects is $2,136,764,604. Fifty-two additional New Starts projects
are authorized for a total of $3,237,700,000 during SAFETEA-LU.
    Congress allocated $10,500,000 to Alaska and Hawaii for ferryboats
each year of TEA-21 and for FY 2005. SAFETEA-LU allocates $15,000,000
to Alaska and Hawaii for ferryboats for FY 2006-FY 2009. The allocation
is split equally between Alaska and Hawaii.
    SAFETEA-LU also makes $5,000,000 available for each year, FY 2006-
FY 2009, to the Denali Commission in Anchorage, Alaska under the terms
of section 307(e) of the Denali Commission Act of 1998 (42 U.S.C. 3121)
for docks, waterfront development projects and related transportation
infrastructure. The Commission was established to (1) deliver the
services of the Federal Government cost effectively, (2) provide job
training and other economic development services in rural communities,
and (3) promote rural development, provide power generation and
transmission facilities, modern communication systems, water and sewer
systems and other infrastructure needs.
1. Authorized Amounts
    SAFETEA-LU authorizes the following amounts for the New Starts
program for fiscal years 2006-2009.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.011

2. Requirements
    Because New Starts projects are earmarked in law rather than report
language, reprogramming for a purpose other than that specified must
also occur in law. New Starts projects are subject to a complex set of
approvals related to planning and project development set forth in 49
CFR part 611. Program guidance for New Starts is found in FTA Circular
C9300.1A, Capital Program: Grant Application Instructions, dated
October 1, 1998; and C5200.1A, Full Funding Grant Agreement Guidance,
dated December 5, 2002. FTA is in the process of updating these
circulars to incorporate changes resulting from language in SAFETEA-LU.
3. Period of Availability
    New Starts funds remain available for three fiscal years--which
includes the fiscal year the funds are made available or appropriated
plus two additional years. Funds may be extended by Congress or made
available for other projects after the period of availability has
expired.
4. Other Program Information and Highlights
    Prior year unobligated allocations for New Starts in the amount of
$557,727,154 remain available for obligation in FY 2006. This amount
includes $112,052,679 in FY 2004 and $445,674,475 in FY 2005
unobligated allocations. These unobligated amounts are displayed in
Table 7.

H. Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with
Disabilities Program (49 U.S.C. 5310)

    This program provides formula funding to States for capital
projects to assist in meeting the transportation needs of the elderly
and persons with disabilities. The State (or State-designated agency)
administers the section 5310 program. The State's responsibilities
include: notifying eligible local entities of funding

[[Page 71963]]

availability; developing project selection criteria; determining
applicant eligibility; selecting projects for funding; and ensuring
that all subrecipients comply with Federal requirements. Eligible
nonprofit organizations or public bodies must apply directly to the
designated State agency for assistance under this program.
    FTA invites comment regarding technical assistance or training that
would be helpful to grantees in implementing the Special Needs of
Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities program.
Additionally, FTA seeks comment on strategies and measures that could
be employed to evaluate the successes of this program.
1. Authorized Amounts
    SAFETEA-LU authorizes the following amounts for the Special Needs
of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities program for
fiscal years 2006-2009.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.012

2. Basis for Formula Apportionment
    Funds are allocated according to a formula based on the number of
elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities in each State
using Census 2000 data.
3. Requirements and Eligible Expenses
    Funds are available to support the capital costs of transportation
services for older adults and people with disabilities. Uniquely under
this program, eligible capital costs include the acquisition of
service. Capital assistance is provided on an 80 percent Federal, 20
percent local matching basis except that SAFETEA-LU allows states
eligible for the sliding scale match under FHWA programs to use that
match ratio for section 5310 capital projects. Funds provided under
other Federal programs (other than those of the Department of
Transportation, with the exception of the Federal Lands Highway Program
established by section 204 of Title 23 U.S.C.) may be used as match for
capital funds provided under section 5310. Revenue from service
contracts may also be used as local match.
    Those eligible to receive section 5310 funding include private
nonprofit agencies, public bodies approved by the state to coordinate
services for elderly persons and persons with disabilities, or public
bodies which certify to the Governor that no nonprofit corporations or
associations are readily available in an area to provide the service.
    States may use up to ten percent of their annual apportionment to
administer, plan, and provide technical assistance for a funded
project. Beginning in FY 2006, no local share is required for these
program administrative funds. FTA previously administratively allowed
States to use ten percent of the capital funds for administration at
the capital matching share, but SAFETEA-LU specifically allows ten
percent for administration.
    The section 5310 program was previously subject to the requirements
of section 5309 to the extent the Secretary determined appropriate.
SAFETEA-LU changed the applicable requirements to 5307, to the extent
the Secretary determines appropriate. FTA is not applying any new
requirements to the section 5310 program as a result of this technical
change.
4. Planning and Consultation
    Beginning in FY 2007, the State recipient must certify that: the
projects selected were derived from a locally developed, coordinated
public transit-human services transportation plan; and, the plan was
developed through a process that included representatives of public,
private, and nonprofit transportation and human services providers and
participation by the public. Projects in the locally developed,
coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan must be
integrated into and consistent with the metropolitan and state planning
processes. Finally, each grant recipient must certify that allocations
of the grant to subrecipients are distributed on a fair and equitable
basis.
    The planning requirement is also a requirement in two additional
programs. The Job Access Reverse Commute program (in FY 2006) and the
New Freedom program (in FY 2007) will also be required to have a
coordinated human service plan. It is anticipated that most areas will
develop one consolidated plan for all the programs, which may include
separate elements and other human service transportation programs. FTA
seeks comment on the specific aspects of the collaborative planning
process (for example, participants, elements, measures, etc.). FTA also
seeks comment on the relationship between the public transit-human
services plans and other planning processes.
    Program guidance is found in FTA C 9070.1E, dated October 1, 1998.
FTA is in the process of updating this circular to incorporate changes
resulting from language in SAFETEA-LU.
5. Period of Availability
    There is no statutory period of availability for section 5310.
Given the relatively simple nature of the state administered program
with many subrecipients receiving small capital grants, FTA previously
allowed only one year of availability. Given the new common planning
requirement with JARC and New Freedom, beginning with FY 2006 funding,
FTA is extending the period of availability for section 5310 to three
years, which includes the year funds are apportioned plus two
additional years, consistent with the other two programs.
6. Other Program Information
    Under Title III of SAFETEA-LU section 3012(b), the following states
are named as eligible to use up to 33 percent of their section 5310
funds starting in FY 2006 for operating expenses: Wisconsin, Alaska,
Minnesota, and Oregon. FTA is authorized to select an additional three
states to participate in the pilot. FTA issued a separate Federal
Register Notice on November 14, 2005, specifying the guidelines for
States participation in the pilot and soliciting proposals from states
to participate. If possible, given the timing of the FY 2006
appropriations act, we anticipate announcing the participants with the
FY 2006 apportionments.
7. Transfer of 5310 Funds to Other FTA Programs
    Section 5310 funds may be transferred to the section 5311 or the
section 5307 program, but only to implement projects competitively
selected under the section 5310 program. The purpose of the transfer
provision under SAFETEA-LU is for administrative streamlining of grant
making, not to supplement the resources available under the Urbanized
Area Formula or Non-urbanized Area Formula programs, as was the case
under TEA-21. A State that transfers section 5310 funds to section 5307
must certify that each project for which the

[[Page 71964]]

funds are transferred has been coordinated with private nonprofit
providers of services. FTA has established a new scope code (641) to
track 5310 projects included within a section 5307 or 5311 grant.
Transfer to section 5307 or 5311 is permitted but not required. FTA
will also award stand-alone section 5310 grants with the section code
16 in the project number.

I. Nonurbanized Area Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5311)

    This program provides formula funding to States and Indian Tribes
for the purpose of supporting public transportation in areas with a
population of less than 50,000. Funding may be used for capital,
operating, State administration, and project administration expenses.
Each State prepares an annual program of projects, which must provide
for fair and equitable distribution of funds within the States,
including Indian reservations, and must provide for maximum feasible
coordination with transportation services assisted by other Federal
sources. SAFETEA-LU identifies Indian Tribes as direct recipients under
section 5311.
1. Authorized Amounts
    SAFETA-LU authorizes the following amounts for the Nonurbanized
Areas Formula program.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.013

    In addition to the funds made available to States under section
5311, approximately 16 percent of the funds authorized for the new
section 5340 Growing States and High Density States formula factors
will be apportioned to States for use in nonurbanized areas. The
portion of the section 5340 authorized funds allocable to States for
nonurbanized areas is shown in the following table.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.014

    The States receive funding for nonurbanized areas only from the
Growing States portion of the 5340 formulas. Fifty percent of the funds
authorized for section 5340 are allotted to Growing States and the
other 50 percent goes to High Density. The High Density formula
allocates all of its funds to urbanized areas.
    Funding for the Tribal Transit Program, oversight, and the Rural
Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) will be taken off the top
before amounts are apportioned to the States. Takedowns for Tribal
Transit and RTAP based on authorized funding levels are shown below.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.015

2. Basis for Formula Apportionment
    SAFETEA-LU changed the formula for section 5311. Starting in FY
2006, twenty percent of the funds available will be apportioned to the
states based on land area in nonurbanized areas with no state receiving
more than 5 percent of the amount apportioned. The remaining eighty
percent will be apportioned based on nonurbanized population, as
before. The effect of this change is to provide additional resources to
low density States.
3. Requirements
    The Nonurbanized Area Formula Program provides capital, operating
and administrative assistance for areas with a population under 50,000.
The Federal share for capital assistance is 80 percent and for
operating assistance is 50 percent, except that SAFETEA-LU allows
states eligible for the sliding scale match under FHWA programs to use
that match ratio for section 5311 capital projects and 62.5 percent of
the sliding scale capital match ratio for operating projects.
    Each State must spend no less than 15 percent of its FY 2005
Nonurbanized Area Formula apportionment for the development and support
of intercity bus transportation, unless the State certifies, after
consultation with affected intercity bus service providers, that the
intercity bus service needs of the State are being adequately met.
SAFETEA-LU added this requirement for consultation with the industry to
strengthen the certification requirement. FTA also encourages
consultation with other stakeholders, such as communities affected by
loss of intercity service.
    Program guidance for the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program is found
in FTA C 9040.1E, Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant
Application Instructions, dated October 1, 1998. FTA is in the process
of updating this circular to incorporate changes resulting from
language in SAFETEA-LU.
4. Period of Availability
    Funds apportioned to States under the Nonurbanized Area Formula
Program will remain available for three fiscal years--which includes
the fiscal year the funds were apportioned plus two additional years.
Any funds that remain unobligated at the end of this period will revert
to FTA for allocation among the States under the Nonurbanized Area
Formula Program.
5. Other Program Information
    SAFETEA-LU added a requirement to provide rural transit data to the
NTD. Each recipient under the section 5311 program shall submit an
annual report to the Secretary, containing information

[[Page 71965]]

on capital investments, operations, and service provided with funds
received under the section 5311 program. SAFETEA-LU specifies that the
report should include information on total annual revenue, sources of
revenue, total annual operating costs, total annual capital costs,
fleet size and type, and related facilities, revenue vehicle miles, and
ridership. In consultation with State Departments of Transportation,
FTA previously developed a voluntary state-based rural data module for
the NTD. The existing NTD Rural Data Reporting Module manual and
reporting instructions can be reviewed on the NTD Web site, http://www.ntdprogram.gov/ntdprogram/.
 For each 5311 subrecipient, the State Department of Transportation will
complete a one-page form of basic data. The existing module will serve as a
basis for reporting requirements for the new, mandatory Rural Reporting
Module of the NTD. Pursuant to SAFETEA-LU, mandatory reporting will begin
with the FY 2006 NTD Report Year. The first reports will be due on October 28,
2006, for those States with fiscal years ending between January 1 and June 30,
2006; on January 28, 2007, for those States with fiscal years ending between
July 1 and September 30, 2006; and April 30, 2007, for those States
with fiscal years ending between October 1 and December 31, 2006. To
enter data and receive additional instructions, State Departments of
Transportation can go to the NTD Web site. FTA requests public comment
on whether the State-based rural data module should serve as the basis
for the new mandatory reporting requirements.

J. Rural Transportation Assistance Program (49 U.S.C. 5311(b)(2))

    This program provides funding to assist in the design and
implementation of training and technical assistance projects, research,
and other support services tailored to meet the needs of transit
operators in nonurbanized areas.
1. Authorized Amounts
    SAFETEA-LU changes the source of funding for RTAP. Previously
funded under the National Planning and Research Program, starting in FY
2006, RTAP is funded as a two percent takedown from the amount
authorized and appropriated for section 5311. The takedown amount based
on funds authorized for section 5311 for fiscal years 2006-2009 is as
follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.016

    Of the takedown, FTA may use up to 15 percent for projects of a
national scope. The remaining 85 percent is allocated to the States.
2. Basis for Formula Apportionment
    For FY 2006, FTA will use the current administrative formula. Funds
are allocated to the States by an administrative formula consisting of
a $65,000 floor for each State ($10,000 for territories), with the
balance allocated based on nonurbanized population in the 2000 Census.
The floor was raised from $50,000 to $65,000 in FY 1999. Comments are
invited on whether the floor should again be raised and whether the low
density portion of the section 5311 formula should be used.
3. Program Requirements
    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 a State's administration of the Nonurbanized Area
Formula Program.
4. Period of Availability
    Funds apportioned to States under RTAP will remain available for
three fiscal years--which includes the fiscal year the funds were
apportioned plus two additional years. Any funds that remain
unobligated after the end of this period will revert to FTA for
allocation among the States under the RTAP.
5. Other Program Information
    The National RTAP project is administered by the American Public
Works Association in consortium with the Community Transportation
Association of America, under a cooperative agreement re-competed at
five-year intervals. The projects are guided by a project review board
of managers of rural transit systems and State Department of
Transportation rural transit programs. National RTAP resources have
also supported the biennial TRB National Conference on Rural Public and
Intercity Bus Transportation. The percentage takedown for RTAP,
combined with rising funding levels for section 5311, make additional
resources available for national projects such as providing technical
assistance for the new tribal transit program. FTA invites comments on
use of the National RTAP resource.

K. Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program (49 U.S.C.
5311(c)(1))

    SAFETEA-LU creates a new Tribal Transit Program as a takedown under
the section 5311 program. Indian Tribes are defined as eligible direct
recipients. The funds are to be apportioned for grants to Indian Tribes
for any purpose eligible under section 5311, which includes capital and
operating assistance for rural public transit services. Support for
rural intercity bus service, including planning and marketing, is
eligible. Planning for rural transit is not eligible. FTA will develop
procedures for the Tribal Transit program in consultation with tribal
leaders and other interested stakeholders and will provide an
opportunity for the public to comment on its new methodology.
1. Authorized Funding
    The takedown amount authorized for Tribal Transit for fiscal years
2006-2009 is as follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.017


[[Page 71966]]


2. Basis for Formula Apportionment
    SAFETEA-LU does not specify a basis for formula apportionment. FTA
will develop procedures for allocating the funds in consultation with
the Tribes and with opportunity for public comment. An interim measure
would be to allocate FY 2006 funds based on responses to a request for
letters of interest. FTA requests comments on the feasibility of
allocating FY 2006 funds based on this approach. Because planning is
not an eligible activity under the program, FTA is considering limiting
transit participation to Tribes which already have transit options or
which have already conducted planning and are prepared to implement new
transit service. We seek comments on what criteria should be considered
in selecting Tribes to receive funding and what factors should be used
in allocating available funds among successful applicants.
3. Requirements
    Grants may be made to Indian Tribes for any purpose eligible under
section 5311. Eligibility under section 5311 includes capital and
operating assistance for local public transportation service in other
than urbanized areas. Planning is not an eligible activity except under
section 5311(e), which allows States to use 15 percent of a States'
apportionment for administration, planning, and technical assistance,
and 5311(f), which allows planning for intercity bus transportation.
Support for rural intercity bus service is eligible under section 5311.
    FTA may establish the terms and conditions for the program. FTA
seeks comments about appropriate terms and conditions for the program.
We especially invite comments from Tribes that previously received FTA
funding about which requirements we should consider waiving for the
Tribal Transit program.
4. Period of Availability
    Funds will remain available for three fiscal years, which includes
the fiscal year the funds were apportioned or appropriated plus two
additional years. Any funds that remain unobligated after this period
will revert to FTA for reallocation among the Tribes.
5. Other Program Information
    The funds set aside for Indian Tribes are not meant to replace or
reduce funds that Indian Tribes receive from states through the section
5311 program but are to be used to enhance public transportation on
Indian reservations. Funds allocated to Tribes by the States may be
included in the State's section 5311 application or awarded by FTA in a
grant directly to the tribe. We encourage Tribes intending to apply to
FTA as direct recipients to contact the appropriate FTA regional office
at the earliest opportunity.
    Planning for Tribal Transit projects may be funded under the
following programs: FTA and FHWA Statewide Planning programs; the
State's apportionment under section 5311; and the Indian Reservation
Roads Program (IRR). Technical assistance for Tribes may be available
from the State DOT using the State's allocation of RTAP or funds
available for State administration under section 5311, from the Tribal
Transportation Assistance Program (TTAP) Centers supported by FHWA, and
from the Community Transportation Association of America under a
program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The National RTAP will also be developing new resources for Tribal
Transit.

L. National Research Program (49 U.S.C. 5314)

    FTA's National Research Programs include the National Research and
Technology Program (NRTP), Project ACTION, the National Technical
Assistance Center for Senior Transportation, and the Medical
transportation grants program.
    Through funding under these programs, FTA seeks to deliver
solutions that improve public transportation. FTA's Strategic Research
Goals are to provide transit research leadership, increase transit
ridership, improve capital and operating efficiencies, improve safety
and emergency preparedness, and to protect the environment and promote
energy independence. For more information contact Bruce Robinson,
Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation, at (202) 366-4209.
1. Authorized Funding
    SAFETEA-LU authorizes the following amounts for the National
Research Program for fiscal years 2006-2009.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.018

    SAFETEA-LU project authorizations under the National Research
Program are listed in Table 8.
    All research and research and development projects are subject to a
2.6% reduction for the Small Business Innovative Research Program
(SBIR). FTA will make the determination as to whether or not the SBIR
reduction will be applied to a particular project--based on our review
of the proposed scope of work for the project.
2. Basis for Allocation of Funds
    Funds not designated by Congress for specific projects and
activities will be programmed by FTA based on FTA's Strategic Research
Plan using competitive procedures to the maximum extent possible.
3. Requirements
    Application Instructions and Program Management Guidelines are set
forth in FTA Circular 6100.1C. FTA is in the process of updating this
circular to incorporate changes resulting from language in SAFETEA-LU.
Research projects must support FTA's Strategic Research Goals and meet
the Office of Management and Budget's Research and Development
Investment Criteria. All research recipients are required to work with
FTA to develop approved Statements of Work. A plan to evaluate research
results must be in place before award of a research grant.
    Eligible activities under the NRTP include research, development,
demonstration and deployment projects as defined by 49 U.S.C. 5312 (a);
Joint Partnership projects for deployment of innovation as defined by
49 U.S.C. 5312(b); International Mass Transportation Projects as
defined by 49 U.S.C. 5312(c); and, human resource programs as defined
by 49 U.S.C. 5322.
4. Period of Availability
    Funds are available until expended.
5. Other Related Information
    Requests for research proposals will be published in grants.gov
under CFDA 20.514.

[[Page 71967]]

M. Job Access and Reverse Commute Program (49 U.S.C. 5316)

    The Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program provides formula
funding to States and Designated Recipients to support the development
and maintenance of job access projects designed to transport welfare
recipients and eligible low-income individuals to and from jobs and
activities related to their employment, and for reverse commute
projects designed to transport residents of UZAs and other than
urbanized to suburban employment opportunities. FTA invites comment
regarding technical assistance or training that would be helpful to
grantees in implementing the JARC program.
1. Authorized Funding
    SAFETEA-LU authorizes the following amounts for the Job Access and
Reverse Commute Program for fiscal years 2006-2009:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.019

2. Basis for Formula Apportionment
    SAFETEA-LU establishes JARC as a formula program and provides that
60% of funds available be allocated to UZAs with populations of 200,000
or more persons (large UZAs); 20% to urbanized areas with populations
ranging from 50,000 to 200,000 persons (small UZAs), and 20% to rural
and small urban areas with populations of less than 50,000 persons.
Funds are allocated to the States for small UZAs and rural and small
urban areas and to designated recipients in large UZAs. A single
apportionment will be published for each large UZAs.
    Formula allocations are based upon the number of persons with
disabilities residing in a state or metropolitan area. These figures
are drawn from Census 2000 figures. In cases where a large UZA has more
than one designated recipient, they may agree upon a single competitive
selection process or sub-allocate funds to each designated recipient,
based upon a percentage split agreed upon locally, and conduct separate
planning processes and competitions.
    States and designated recipients must solicit grant applications
and select projects competitively, based on application procedures and
requirements established by the designated recipient, consistent with
the Federal JARC program objectives. In the case of large UZAs, the
area-wide solicitation shall be conducted in cooperation with the
appropriate MPO(s).
3. Eligible Expenses
    Funds are available to support the capital and operating costs of
transportation services that address the needs of welfare recipients
and eligible low-income individuals that are not met by other
transportation services. Federal JARC funds may be used for 80% of
capital expenses and 50% of operating expenses. Funds provided under
other Federal programs (other than those of the Department of
Transportation) may be used for local/state match for funds provided
under section 5316, and revenue from service contracts may be used as
local match.
    Funding is available for transportation services provided by
public, non-profit, or private-for-profit operators. Assistance may be
provided for a variety of transportation services and strategies
directed at assisting welfare recipients and eligible low-income
individuals address unmet transportation needs. Examples of projects
and activities that might be funded under the program include, but are
not limited to:
     Transportation projects to finance planning, capital, and
operating costs of providing access to jobs;
     Promoting public transportation by low-income workers,
including the use of public transportation by workers with
nontraditional work schedules;
     Promoting the use of transit vouchers for welfare
recipients and eligible low-income individuals;
     Promoting the use of employer-provided transportation,
including the transit pass benefit program under section 132 of the
Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
     Subsidizing the costs associated with adding reverse
commute bus, train, carpool, van routes, or service from urbanized
areas and other than urbanized areas to suburban workplaces;
     Subsidizing the purchase or lease by a nonprofit
organization or public agency of a van or bus dedicated to shuttling
employees from their residences to workplaces;
     Facilitating the provision of public transportation
services to suburban employment opportunities.
    States and designated recipients may use up to ten percent of their
annual apportionment to administer, plan, and provide technical
assistance for a funded project. Beginning in FY 2006, no local share
is required for these program administrative funds.
4. Planning and Consultation
    A recipient of JARC funds must certify that projects selected were
derived from a locally developed, coordinated public transit-human
services transportation plan; and, the plan was developed through a
process that included representatives of public, private and non-profit
transportation and human service providers; participation by the
public; and included those representing the needs of welfare recipients
and eligible low-income individuals. Projects in the locally developed,
coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan must be
integrated into and consistent with the metropolitan and state planning
processes. Finally, recipients must certify that allocations of the
grant to subrecipients are distributed on a fair and equitable basis.
    The planning requirement applies not only to JARC, but beginning in
FY 2007 to the section 5310 and section 5317 (New Freedom) programs. It
is anticipated that most areas will develop one consolidated plan for
all the programs, which may include separate elements and other human
service transportation programs. In FY 2006, in areas with no current
JARC plan, the planning partners should at a minimum be consulted about
projects and where possible expressions of support should be obtained
and documented. For areas that previously received JARC discretionary
funding, the previous JARC plan may satisfy the requirement in FY 2006.
FTA seeks comment on the specific aspects of the collaborative planning
process (for example, participants, elements, measures, etc.). FTA also
seeks comment on the relationship between the public transit-human
services plans and other planning processes.
5. Period of Availability
    While there is no statutory period of availability for JARC funds,
FTA is establishing a consistent three-year period of availability for
JARC, New

[[Page 71968]]

Freedom, and the section 5310 program, which includes the year of
apportionment plus two additional years. Any funding that remains
unobligated at the end of this period will revert to FTA for
reapportionment among the States and large UZAs under the JARC program.
6. Program Requirements
    Grants are subject to the requirements of section 5307, including
certification of labor protection arrangements.
7. Transfer of JARC funding to Other FTA Programs

Administrative Transfers

    States may transfer funds to FTA's section 5307 or section 5311
programs. Funds so transferred must be used for the express purposes
designated by the JARC program and must meet all associated
requirements. The projects for which the funds are transferred must
have been competitively selected and derived from the locally
coordinated public transit--human services transportation plan. The
purpose of the transfer provision under SAFETEA-LU is for
administrative streamlining of grant making, not to supplement the
resources available under the Urbanized Area Formula or Non-urbanized
Area Formula programs. This provision allows the small UZAs to apply
for funding directly from FTA, rather than through a statewide grant
and allows Tribes to be direct recipients. A State that transfers funds
to section 5307 must certify that the JARC projects being funded have
been coordinated with nonprofit providers of service.
    FTA has established a new scope code (646) to be used when JARC
projects are funded within a 5307 or 5311 grant. Transfer to section
5307 or 5311 is permitted but not required. FTA will also award stand-
alone JARC grants with the section code 37 in the project number.

Transfers Between Categories

    States may move funds between the small UZA and the nonurbanized
parts of the state apportionment, if the Governor certifies that all of
the objectives of JARC are met in the specified area. States may also
transfer funds in the small UZA and nonurbanized areas for projects
anywhere in the State if the State has established a statewide program
for meeting the objectives of JARC.
8. Prior Year Carryover
    JARC earmarks carried over from TEA-21 are subject to the terms and
conditions under which they were originally appropriated. The local
match for both capital and operating assistance remains consistent with
the TEA-21 authorization as a 50/50 match. All projects should be in
the regional JARC Plan as required under TEA-21. Prior year carryover
is shown in Table 9.
9. Evaluation
    SAFETEA-LU requires FTA to conduct a study to evaluate the
effectiveness of the JARC program (49 U.S.C. 5316(i)(2)). FTA seeks
comment on strategies and measures that will evaluate the successes of
this program.

N. New Freedom Program (49 U.S.C. 5317)

    The New Freedom Program (NFP) was established in SAFETEA-LU. The
program purpose is to provide new public transportation services and
public transportation alternatives beyond those currently required by
the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.)
that assist individuals with disabilities with transportation,
including transportation to and from jobs and employment support
services.
    FTA invites comment regarding technical assistance or training that
would be helpful to grantees in implementing the New Freedom program.
Additionally, FTA seeks comment on strategies and measures that could
be employed to evaluate the successes of this program.
1. Authorized Funding
    SAFETA-LU authorizes the following amounts for the New Freedom
program for fiscal years 2006-2009.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.020

2. Basis for Formula Apportionment
    SAFETEA-LU establishes a New Freedom Program as a formula program
and provides that 60% of funds available be allocated to urbanized
areas with populations of 200,000 or more persons (large urbanized
areas); 20% to urbanized areas with populations ranging from 50,000 to
200,000 persons (small UZAs), and 20% to rural and small urban areas
with populations of less than 50,000 persons (nonurbanized areas).
Funds are allocated to the States for small UZAs and nonurbanized areas
and to designated recipients in metropolitan areas with populations of
200,000 or more.
    Formula allocations are based upon the number of persons with
disabilities residing in a State or metropolitan area. The data
includes elderly persons with disabilities. These figures are drawn
from Census 2000 figures. In cases where a large UZA has more than one
designated recipient, they may agree upon a single competitive
selection process or sub-allocate funds to each designated recipient,
based upon a percentage split agreed upon locally, and conduct separate
planning processes and competitions.
    States and designated recipients must solicit grant applications
and select projects competitively, based on application procedures and
requirements established by the recipient. In the case of large
urbanized areas, the area-wide solicitation shall be conducted in
cooperation with the appropriate MPO(s).
3. Eligible Expenses
    Funds are available to support the capital and operating costs of
new public transportation services and public transportation
alternatives that are beyond those required by the Americans with
Disabilities Act. Federal New Freedom funds may be used for 80 percent
of capital expenses and 50 percent of operating expenses. There is no
limitation on the amount of funds that can be used for operating
expenses. Funds provided under other Federal programs (other than those
of the DOT) may be used as match for capital funds provided under
section 5317, and revenue from contract services may be used as local
match.
    Funding is available for transportation services provided by
public, non-profit, or private-for-profit operators. Assistance may be
provided for a variety of transportation services and strategies
directed at assisting persons with disabilities address unmet
transportation needs. The conference report stated that examples of
projects and activities that might be funded under the program include,
but are not limited to:

[[Page 71969]]

     Purchasing vehicles and supporting accessible taxi, ride-
sharing, and vanpooling programs.
     Providing paratransit services beyond minimum requirements
(\3/4\ mile to either side of a fixed route), including for routes that
run seasonally.
     Making accessibility improvements to existing transit and
intermodal stations not designated as key stations.
     Supporting voucher programs for transportation services
offered by human service providers.
     Supporting volunteer driver and aide programs.
     Acquisition of transportation services by a contract,
lease, or other arrangement.
     Supporting mobility management and coordination programs
among public transportation providers and other human service agencies
providing transportation.
    We invite comment on the projects and activities listed above and
how they relate to what is ``beyond the ADA.'' We invite comment on
activities related to ADA complementary paratransit services beyond the
minimum requirements outlined in 49 CFR part 37. Further, we invite
comment regarding the types of projects and services that should be
considered for eligibility under New Freedom as they relate to new
public transportation beyond the ADA and alternatives to public
transportation beyond the ADA.
    States and designated recipients may use up to ten percent of their
annual apportionment to administer, plan, and provide technical
assistance for a funded project. No local share is required for these
program administrative funds.
4. Planning and Consultation
    Beginning in FY 2007, a recipient of New Freedom funds must certify
that projects selected are derived from a locally developed,
coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan; and, the
plan was developed through a process that included representatives of
public, private and non-profit transportation and human service
providers; participation by the public; and representatives addressing
the needs of persons with disabilities. In FY 2006, the planning
partners should at a minimum be consulted about projects and where
possible expressions of support should be obtained and documented.
Finally, each grant recipient must certify that allocations of the
grant to subrecipients are distributed on a fair and equitable basis.
    The planning requirement is also a requirement in two additional
programs. The Job Access Reverse Commute program (in FY 2006) and the
Capital Program for Elderly and People with Disabilities (in FY 2007)
will also be required to have a locally developed, coordinated public
transit-human services transportation plan. It is anticipated that most
areas will develop one consolidated plan for all the programs, which
may include separate elements and other human service transportation
programs.
5. Period of Availability
    While there is no statutory period of availability for New Freedom,
FTA is establishing a consistent three-year period of availability for
JARC, New Freedom, and the section 5310 program, which includes the
year of apportionment plus two additional years. Funds allocated to
States under the New Freedom program that remain unobligated at the end
of this period will revert to FTA for reapportionment among the States
and large UZAs under the New Freedom program.
6. Program Requirements
    Grants are subject to the requirements of section 5310 to the
extent the Secretary deems appropriate. FTA will not require labor
protective arrangements for this program.
7. Transfer of New Freedom funding to Other FTA Programs
    States may transfer funds to FTA's section 5307 or section 5311
programs. Funds so transferred must be used for the express purposes
designated by the New Freedom Program and must meet all associated
requirements. The projects for which the funds are transferred must
have been competitively selected and derived from the locally
developed, coordinated public transit-human services transportation
plan. The purpose of the transfer provision under SAFETEA-LU is for
administrative streamlining of grant making, not to supplement the
resources available under the urbanized or non-urbanized formula
programs. This provision allows the small UZAs to apply for funding
directly from FTA, rather than through a statewide grant and allows
Tribes to be direct recipients. A State that transfers funds to section
5307 must certify that New Freedom projects being funded have been
coordinated with nonprofit providers of service.
    FTA has established a new scope code (647) to be used when New
Freedom Projects are funded within a 5307 or 5311 grant. Transfer of
funds to section 5307 or 5311 is permitted but not required. FTA will
also award stand-alone New Freedom grants with the section code 57 in
the project number.

O. Alternative Transportation in the Parks and Public Lands Program (49
U.S.C. 5320)

    FTA will work with the Department of Interior and other Federal
land management agencies to implement this program during FY 2006. No
procedures for allocating the funds have yet been established.

P. Alternative Analysis Program (49 U.S.C. 5339)

    Alternative Analysis projects are studies conducted as part of the
transportation planning process required under sections 5303 and 5304.
Beginning in FY2006, funding is provided under section 5339 instead of
within the eight percent allowed for projects prior to FD and
Construction under TEA-21.
1. Total Allocation
    SAFETEA-LU authorizes the following amounts for the Alternative
Analysis program for fiscal years 2006-2009.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.021

    In FY 2006 and FY 2007 there are 18 projects authorized for a total
of $18,900,000 each year, leaving $6,100,000, which could be allocated
to other projects during those years. There are no projects authorized
in FY 2008 or FY 2009. The projects authorized in SAFETEA-LU are listed
in Table 3. It is important to note that these allocations are subject
to be changed by subsequent appropriations acts and additional projects
may be earmarked during the appropriations process. Final Alternative
Analysis program allocations for FY 2006 will be published after
enactment of the FY 2006 Appropriations Act.

[[Page 71970]]

2. Program Requirements
    The transportation planning process of Alternative Analysis
includes (a) An assessment of a wide range of public transportation
alternatives, which will address transportation problems within a
corridor or subarea; (b) ample information to enable the Secretary to
make the findings of project justification and local financial
commitment; (c) the selection of a locally preferred alternative; and
(d) the adoption of the locally preferred alternative, which will be
part of the long-range transportation plan. The Government's share of
the total cost of a project under this section is 80 percent. The funds
will be awarded as separate section 5339 grants. The grant requirements
under this program will be comparable to those for section 5309 grants.
3. Period of Availability
    Funds shall remain available for three fiscal years, which includes
the fiscal year the funds are made available or appropriated plus two
additional years.

Q. Growing States and High States Density Formula Factors

    A new section 5340 is added by SAFETEA-LU to allocate funds to
Growing States and High Density States. For this section, the term
`State' is defined only to mean the 50 States. For the Growing State
portion of section 5340, funds are allocated based on the population
forecasts for fifteen years after the date of that census. Forecasts
are based on the trend between the most recent decennial census and
Census Bureau population estimates for the most current year. Funds
allocated to the States are then sub-allocated to urbanized and non-
urbanized areas based on forecast population, where available. If
forecasted population data at the urbanized level is not available,
funds are allocated to current urbanized and non-urbanized areas on the
basis of current population. Funds allocated to urbanized areas are
included in their section 5307 apportionment. Funds allocated for non-
urbanized areas are included in the states' section 5311
apportionments.
    Funding for the High Density States portion of section 5340 is
allocated to the seven States with population densities in excess of
370 persons per square mile, based on 2000 Census information. Each
State receives a prorated share of the available funds. To arrive at a
State's prorated share the formula requires that a series of
mathematical calculations be performed using 2000 Census population,
land area, and UZA population data for each State to produce the
State's apportionment factor. The steps used to compute a State's
apportionment factor are as follows:

    Step 1: State land area, in square miles, is multiplied by 370.
    Step 2: the product from step 1 is then multiplied by the State's
UZA population.
    Step 3: the product from step 2 is divided by the State total
population.
    Step 4: the quotient derived from step 3 is the State apportionment
factor.

    The factors for the seven States are summed and divided by the
individual State factor to arrive at the State ratio or percentage.
This ratio is multiplied by the available funding to arrive at the
State's apportionment of High Density funding. The allocation of a
State's High Density apportionment among the UZAs in each State is
based on each UZA receiving a proportional share of the State's
apportionment according to a UZA's population within the State, as
related to the total UZA population for the State. Population,
population density and land area data from the most recent Decennial
Census is used in the High Density formula.
    FTA will publish single urbanized and rural apportionments that
show the total amount for 5307 and 5311 programs that includes
apportionments these programs formulas together with 5340.

R. Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility Program (Pub. L. 105-85, Section
3038)

    The Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility (OTRB) Program authorizes FTA
to make grants to operators of over-the-road buses to help finance the
incremental capital and training costs of complying with the DOT over-
the-road bus accessibility final rule, 49 CFR part 37, published on
September 28, 1998 (63 FR 51670). FTA conducts a national solicitation
of applications, and grantees are selected on a competitive basis.
1. Total Allocation
    SAFETA-LU authorizes the following amounts for the OTRB program for
fiscal years 2006-2009.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.022

    Of the authorized amounts, the following funding is allocable to
providers of intercity fixed-route service (75 percent) and to other
providers of over-the-road bus services, including local fixed-route
service, commuter service, and charter and tour service (25 percent).
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN30NO05.023

2. Basis for Allocations
    FTA allocates the funds appropriated annually among eligible
private operators of over-the-road buses that apply in response to a
request for proposals published in the Federal Register and announced
on Grants.Gov. A separate Federal Register notice will be published
later this fall announcing the competitive selection process for funds
appropriated in FY 2006.
    FTA will screen all applications to determine whether all required
eligibility elements are present. An FTA evaluation team will evaluate
each application according to the criteria described in the
announcement. FTA will notify all applicants, both those selected for
funding and those not selected when the competitive selection process
is complete. Projects selected for funding will be published in a
Federal Register notice. Applicants selected for funding must apply to
the FTA regional office for the actual grant award, sign Certifications
and

[[Page 71971]]

Assurances, and execute a grant contract before funds can be drawn
down.
3. Program Requirements
    Projects are competitively selected. The Federal share of the
project is 90 percent of net project cost. Program guidance is provided
in the Federal Register notice soliciting applications. Assistance is
available to operators of buses used substantially or exclusively in
intercity, fixed route, over-the-road bus service. Capital projects
eligible for funding include projects to add lifts and other
accessibility components to new vehicle purchases and to purchase lifts
to retrofit existing vehicles. Eligible training costs include
developing training materials or providing training for local providers
of over-the-road bus services.
4. Period of Availability
    Funds are available until expended.

VII. FTA National Planning Emphasis Areas

    The FTA has identified a series of national Planning Emphasis Areas
(PEAs) to promote as priority themes for consideration in developing
the annual work programs for Statewide Planning (State Planning and
Research, or SP&R) and Metropolitan Planning (Unified Planning Work
Program, or UPWP). The PEAs represent topics in statewide and
metropolitan planning that are of strategic national importance and are
proposed for consideration by State and local officials as they prepare
UPWPs and SP&R programs during the next applicable annual planning
program cycle. This year's PEAs broadly promote improved person
mobility, while addressing Core Accountabilities of FTA's Strategic
Business Plan. The Strategic Business Plan may be viewed at the FTA Web
site, http://www.fta.dot.gov/. Because of the wide range in fiscal years
across the States, it is understood that full consideration to include
the PEAs may not take place until FY 2007. FTA invites comments from
all interested parties on the PEAs outlined in the following pages--
both the planning topics that are listed, as well as the specific
themes under each topic.
    A dedicated program of technical assistance and informational
support is being made available to States, MPOs, and public
transportation operators to aid in carrying out work activities that
support the PEAs. The Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program
(TPCB), accessible on-line at http://www.planning.dot.gov/, is an
important component of this support, with additional resources also to
be made available through the FTA Web site, http://www.fta.dot.gov/. The
TPCB is an on-line accessible portfolio of informational reports and
services sponsored jointly by FTA and the Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA) providing useful guidelines and case studies of
innovative practice related to statewide and metropolitan planning. A
key element of the TPCB is the Peer Exchange Program, which provides
support for sharing experiences among planning practitioners of
innovative practices on these PEAs, as well as other planning topics,
on request. Requests for information and technical support through the
TPCB can be made by accessing the Web site noted above, or by
contacting the FTA Region Office or FHWA Division Office
representatives in your areas. In addition, training courses that
address these PEAs in a variety of planning contexts are available
through the National Transit Institute (NTI) and the National Highway
Institute (NHI). Please go to the following Web sites:
http://www.ntionline.com/ and http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/.

    Finally, FTA is interested in identifying and showcasing examples
of effective and innovative practice in Statewide and Metropolitan
Planning that support the PEAs. States, MPOs, and public transportation
operators are encouraged to forward work scopes and reports documenting
their innovative efforts to their respective FTA Region Offices, so
they may be reviewed and forwarded to Headquarters for national
dissemination through a dedicated webpage to be developed over the
coming year.
    FTA has identified five key themes as PEAs for the current and
upcoming fiscal year: (1) Incorporating Safety and Security in
Transportation Planning; (2) Participation of Transit Operators in
Metropolitan and Statewide Planning; (3) Coordination of Non-Emergency
Human Service Transportation; (4) Planning for Transit Systems
Management/Operations to Increase Ridership; and (5) Support Transit
Capital Investment Decisions through Effective Systems Planning.
1. Incorporating Safety and Security in Transportation Planning
    Since passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency
Act (ISTEA) in 1991, and in all subsequent surface transportation
authorizing legislation, States and MPOs have been encouraged to
incorporate safety and security in their plans, programs, and ongoing
planning activities. Most recently, SAFETEA-LU has expanded emphasis on
safety and security by de-coupling the two concepts and elevating their
status as individual factors in the planning process. Communication and
collaboration among safety professionals, emergency service providers,
the enforcement community, and transportation planners is essential to
successfully integrate safety and security into all stages of
transportation planning and decision-making.
    Regarding transportation system safety, information describing the
tools and strategies associated with the implementation of
transportation safety planning within statewide and metropolitan
transportation planning processes, including resources targeted to the
planning organizations, is available at http://www.tfhrc.gov/pubrds/pubrds.htm.
 A training course titled ``Safety Conscious Planning'' is
available through NTI (see Web site above) with additional information
available from TPCB Web site and FHWA and FTA, as follows: 
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/scp/index.htm and http://transit-safety.volpe.dot.gov/.
    The types of planning work activities addressed under this emphasis
area can include, among others, education, training, and development/
application of analytical processes related to addressing safety and
security in planning on a systematic basis, and development and use of
approaches to considering safety and security in setting implementation
priorities in plans and programs. The ``security'' component of this
emphasis area refers to both maintaining the personal security of
transportation system operators and users, as well as strategies for
system operations that support the ``homeland'' security of localities,
regions, States, and the nation. Coordinated approaches to the training
of operators, deployment of communications and control technologies,
and general coordination of emergency preparedness are among the types
of planning activities that fall under this category.
    A high-profile theme that spans both security and safety is
disaster planning. In particular, areas that are vulnerable to
disasters of either man-made or natural origin are encouraged to
consider including disaster planning work activities into their SP&Rs
and UPWPs. Examples of planning-related disaster planning activities
include all stages of emergency preparedness planning--ranging from
preparing multimodal evacuation plans before a possible event, to
strategies for bringing emergency supplies and relief aid to affected
areas after the event. Additional

[[Page 71972]]

information is available at the following Web sites:
     http://www.planning.dot.gov/Documents/Securitypaper.htm
     http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/scp/index.htm
     http://www.planning.dot.gov/Peer/michigan/detroitSafety.htm

2. Participation of Transit Operators in Metropolitan and Statewide
Planning
    SAFETEA-LU expands the mandate and opportunities for transit
operator participation in multimodal transportation decision-making
through Statewide and Metropolitan planning. This PEA outlines a set of
strategies for realizing the full potential and benefits of multimodal
decision-making. A recent FTA publication, Transit at the Table: A
Guide to Participation to Metropolitan Decision Making, available
online and in hard-copy, provides candid testimonials of the values and
strategies for full achievement of ``transit-at-the-table'' by transit
and MPO leaders from 25 metropolitan areas across the U.S.
    Among the planning activities that support this emphasis area are
(a) establishing program, project, and technical advisory committees
that include representation and active participation by transit
operators, (b) developing and monitoring transportation system
performance indicators that include measures that involve public
transportation, (c) ensuring that travel forecasting methods are
sensitive to policies affecting the full range of modal options and
that transit ridership forecasts have been validated and are credible,
and (d) using criteria for setting project priorities for inclusion in
plans and programs that are mode-neutral.
    Training on ways to ensure that planning processes are modally-
balanced and the resulting decisions mode-neutral are available through
the National Transit Institute (http://www.ntionline.com/)
and the National Highway Institute (http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/), with 
additional information available through the Transportation Planning
Capacity Building Web site (http://planning.dot.gov/) and the Travel Model
Improvement Program (http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/). Over the past
two years, the TPCB has sponsored a number of transit-at-the-table peer
exchange workshops, with the results posted on that Web site. The
``Transit at the Table'' report is available at http://www.planning.dot.gov/Documents/tat.htm.

3. Coordination of Non-Emergency Human Service Transportation
    Following the theme of Executive Order 13330, Human
Service Transportation Coordination, SAFETEA-LU provides expanded
program authority and funding opportunities to provide transit service
to individuals with job access and specialized transportation needs.
However, these programs, 49 U.S.C. 5310 (Special Needs of Elderly
Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities), 49 U.S.C. 5316 (Job
Access and Reverse Commute), and 49 U.S.C. 5317 (New Freedom) all
require an extensive coordination among DOT and non-DOT-funded
services, including preparation of a locally-developed coordinated
human service-transportation plan as the basis for project-level
funding decisions. The plan has to be developed by local area
representatives of public, private, and nonprofit transportation human
services providers, as well as involve participation by the public,
including older adults, people with disabilities, and individuals with
lower incomes. SAFETEA-LU further outlines that project ``competition''
for funding awards at the local level should be coordinated with the
MPO.
    Support of the emphasis area could involve a wide range of work
activities in Statewide and metropolitan planning, including forming
and hosting meetings of a committee of non-emergency service providers,
assemblage of a base-year ridership profile of service users and
forecasting future usage, and incorporating these programs into the
public involvement programs of States and MPOs. United We Ride, an
initiative of the Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility has
developed a number of tools and strategies for building coordinated
human service transportation systems across programs and funding
streams. Additional information resources are available at the
following Web sites:
http://www.unitedweride.gov/
     Access to Jobs - Planning Case Studies
     Job Access Planning - Challenges & Approaches
     http://www.planning.dot.gov/Peer/Austin/austin_peer.htm

4. Planning for Transit Systems Management/Operations to Increase
Ridership
    A regionally coordinated, strategic approach to managing and
operating transportation systems can yield dramatic improvements in
systems productivity and service cost effectiveness. With regard to
transit, a key criterion of operational effectiveness is the number of
passenger miles traveled. FTA's Strategic Business Plan has a goal
calling for an annual increase in passenger miles, discounted for
employment. The ability to accomplish this is tied closely to the
effective management and operation of transit systems--individually, as
well as in within a regional context of multimodal systems management
and operations. In addition, transit operational strategies such as
fare policies, service characteristics (e.g. headways, transfers,
frequency of stops), marketing and public awareness/information, and
overall facilities maintenance on services and schedules, have a major
impact on system ridership.
    Work activities in Statewide and Metropolitan planning to address
this emphasis area include such efforts as: (a) Convene a system
operators coordinating committee to identify issues, share solutions,
and establish an ongoing framework for coordination, (b) develop
analytical tools and expertise in assessing the impacts of operational
strategies, both in conjunction with, and as alternatives to, capital
investments, (c) facilitate improved understanding and deployment of
advanced technologies to improve the operational efficiency of systems,
and (d) improve the tracking, analysis, and use of operational
performance data in transportation plan and program development.
    FTA has developed an extensive body of information and guidance to
assist transit operators in developing strategies that increase use of
their systems. The guidance includes technical assistance such as
training courses, research studies, and proceedings from conferences
that transit operators can use in developing their ridership growth
strategies. This guidance is summarized in the report, ``Ridership
Guidance Quick Study,'' which is posted at Ridership.

    Additional information on achieving ridership growth is available
at the following Web sites:
     FTA Individualized Marketing Campaign Demonstration
     http://www.tcrponline.org/
     http://www.plan4operations.dot.gov/.


[[Page 71973]]

5. Support Transit Capital Investment Decisions Through Effective
Systems Planning
    The information, processes, and decisions of metropolitan systems
planning lay the foundation for, and have direct impacts upon,
corridor-focused project planning and subsequent stages of project
development. There is a strong relationship between systems planning
activities, more refined corridor analyses in Alternatives Analysis (or
``AA.'' an FTA requirement for advancing New Starts projects), and
their impact on subsequent project development--all within the context
of metropolitan planning and decision-making. In systems planning,
regional priorities among corridors of need are identified, as well as
causes of the corridors' problems and a reasonable range of possible
solutions. An AA investigates the range of possible modal solutions
within individual corridors in much greater detail, concluding with a
``Locally Preferred Alternative'' (LPA). That LPA, in turn, goes to the
Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for adoption into the long-
range transportation plan and is, ultimately, programmed in the
Transportation Improvement Program. And, as the work of systems
planning is carried forward into more focused planning at the corridor
level, it becomes readily apparent that the quality of work performed
in systems planning sets the foundation--and the quality of that
foundation--for subsequent, more detailed planning.
    Within systems planning, three planning activities have been found
to be the most challenging and, if not performed effectively, to have
the most significant impact on the quality and credibility of major
transit investment proposals as they advance into project development.
These three systems planning topics are: (a) Data, Technical Tools, &
Analysis; (b) Regional Needs Identification & Corridor Prioritization;
and (c) Financial Planning.
(a) Data, Technical Tools, & Analysis
    There is a long and ever-expanding list of planning activities to
improve the technical aspects of systems planning. These include
ongoing collection of systems usage and performance to understand
current travel behavior (e.g. onboard transit surveys and monitoring
travel--by mode--that crosses a strategically picked network of screen-
lines), training for staff to improve their technical skills and
expertise. Frequent validation checks should be performed on the travel
forecasting models to confirm their reliability for use in assessing
the travel implications of policy and network alternatives. Also, as
improvements to MPOs' models are made during corridor-level AA studies,
those refinements should be cycled back to the MPOs for use in their
models.
    FTA staff and contractors have identified a wide range of problems
with MPO travel demand forecasting models, particularly in locales with
no prior experience in conducting AA studies. The ``sponsors'' of
candidate projects for New Starts funding (49 U.S.C. 5309) will want to
work with FTA staff before beginning the AA Study to examine model
inputs, policy variables and assumptions, and model outputs for
reasonableness.
    Informational resources available to State/local planners include:
     National Highway Institute (http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/),

which offers the course Introduction to Travel Demand Forecasting.
     National Transit Institute (http://www.ntionline.com/),

which offers the advanced course Multimodal Travel Forecasting.
     Travel Model Improvement Program (http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/),
a joint FTA/FHWA/EPA program to support local

transportation planning agencies and improve their forecasting
abilities.
(b) Regional Needs Identification & Corridor Prioritization
    Goals and objectives for the transportation system are driven by
public input and set by local policy makers and elected officials.
These should be based on needs and clearly set forth in the long-range
transportation plan. Furthermore, the goals and objectives should drive
not only performance measures for the existing system, but also
evaluation criteria for any new projects and programs to assist in
decision making. If a major transit investment is to be considered in a
corridor for study and Federal funding assistance is anticipated for
the investment, then project sponsors may want to include FTA's New
Starts criteria among the locally developed evaluation criteria.
    Systems planning involves identifying corridors with needs in
accordance with a set of performance measures and establishing
priorities among the corridors for further analysis. Valid, current,
and comprehensive data are crucial in understanding transportation
problems in the region; they also support rational decision making in
formulating solutions. It is important that the planning documents and
studies clearly articulate the problem(s) that are to be addressed.
This will lead to the discovery the root causes of the problem(s).
Knowledge of problems and causes becomes the basis for a project-level
``Purpose and Need'' statement in federal environmental review
documentation. The identification of regional transportation problems
and their causes through data collection, analysis, and forecasting is
the basis for ``telling the story'' of the applicant's local
conditions. Good systems planning will help to ``make the case'' for
funding potential major transit investments.
    Links to informational resources on this topic include:
     Advancing Major Transit Investments through Planning and Project Development 
     Additional Guidance on Local Initiation of Alternatives Analysis Planning Studies
Introduction to Major Investment Planning.

(c) Financial Planning
    Effective systems planning depends upon sound, defensible financial
planning. Otherwise, the plans will always remain just plans and what
is implemented will not reflect the vision expressed by decision makers
through the metropolitan planning process. Good financial planning, in
turn, depends upon credible assumptions, for revenues, expenses,
inflation, and realistic project implementation schedules. For transit
service and projects, in particular, the concept of maintenance first
must take precedence in systems planning. Recapitalization and the
ongoing expenses of operating and maintaining (O&M) the existing system
over the long-term must be considered. The applicant or proposed
project sponsor should be able to demonstrate that the existing transit
system can be maintained and operated at current levels of service for
the next 20 years. Development of a robust cost model for transit O&M
expenses can prove invaluable in systems planning. For new projects,
careful estimation of capital and operating costs should also include
risk management analysis to challenge assumptions behind the estimates
and consider a range of cost impacts should assumptions not hold true.
    Additional guidance is available, as follows:
     Standard Cost Categories for Major Capital Projects
(http://www.fta.dot.gov/; Home [squ] Grant Programs [squ] New Starts

Project Planning & Development [squ] Technical Guidance).

[[Page 71974]]

     Interim FHWA/FTA Guidance on Fiscal Constraint for STIPs,
TIPs, and Metro Plans (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/fcindex.htm).


VIII. FTA Policy and Procedures for FY 2006 Grants

A. Automatic Pre-Award Authority To Incur Project Costs

    This section includes some changes to the automatic pre-award
authority published in previous Notices. Pre-award authority for
capital projects beyond design and environmental work is more limited
than before. The conditions under which pre-award authority may be used
for real property acquisition are also clarified.
    While we provide pre-award authority for many projects, we do not
recommend that first-time grant recipients utilize the automatic pre-
award authority to incur expenses before the grant is actually awarded
by FTA. As a new grantee, it is easy to misunderstand pre-award
authority conditions and not be aware of all of the applicable FTA
requirements that must be met in order to be reimbursed for project
expenditures incurred in advance of grant award. FTA programs have
specific statutory requirements that are often different from those for
other Federal grant programs with which new grantees may be familiar.
If funds are expended for an ineligible project or activity, FTA will
be unable to reimburse the project sponsor.
1. Policy
    FTA provides blanket, or automatic, pre-award authority in certain
program areas described below. This pre-award authority allows grantees
to incur certain project costs prior to grant approval and retain their
eligibility for subsequent reimbursement after grant approval. The
grantee assumes all risk and is responsible for ensuring that all
conditions are met to retain eligibility. This automatic pre-award
spending authority, when triggered, permits a grantee to incur costs on
an eligible transit capital or planning project without prejudice to
possible future Federal participation in the cost of the project or
projects. Pre-award authority for design and environmental work on the
project is triggered by the authorization of formula funds or
appropriation of funds for discretionary projects and publication of
those projects in FTA's annual Federal Register Notice of
apportionments and allocations. Following authorization of formula
funds or appropriation and publication of discretionary projects, pre-
award authority for other capital projects including property
acquisition, demolition, construction, and acquisition of vehicles,
equipment, or construction materials is triggered by completion of the
environmental review process with FTA's signing of an environmental
Record of Decision (ROD), Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), or
categorical exclusion (CE) determination. Prior to exercising pre-award
authority, grantees must comply with the conditions and Federal
requirements outlined in paragraphs 2 and 3 below. Failure to do so
will render an otherwise eligible project ineligible for FTA financial
assistance. In addition, prior to incurring costs, grantees are
strongly encouraged to consult with the appropriate FTA regional office
regarding the eligibility of the project for future FTA funds and the
applicability of the conditions and Federal requirements.
    FTA previously extended pre-award authority to all formula funds
and flexible funds apportioned during from Fiscal Years 1998 through
2006. In this notice, FTA is extending this pre-award authority for
formula funds and flexible funds that will be appropriated through FY
2009 under SAFETEA-LU, but with modifications. Pre-award authority for
operating and planning projects under the formula grant programs is not
limited to the authorization period. In addition, automatic pre-award
authority for section 5303 and 5304 is extended through FY 2009.
    Pre-award authority does not apply to the section 5309 Capital
Investment Bus and Bus-Related Facilities and Clean Fuels program high
priority project designations or any other transit discretionary
projects designated in SAFETEA-LU and published in Tables 4 and 5 of
this notice. These authorizations are subject to change in future
appropriations acts. In fiscal years 2006-2009, after Congress
appropriates funds for these and other discretionary projects and the
allocations are published in an FTA notice of apportionments and
allocations, pre-award authority will be available for those projects
and projects for which funds were appropriated in prior years and
published in previous notices, except that the triggers for pre-award
authority have been changed. For such section 5309 Capital Investment
Bus and Bus-Related, Clean Fuels Program, or other transit capital
discretionary projects, the date that costs may be incurred is: (1) for
design and environmental review, the date that the appropriation bill
which funds the project was enacted; and (2) for property acquisition,
demolition, construction, and acquisition of vehicles, equipment, or
construction materials, the date that FTA signs the document (ROD,
FONSI, or CE determination) that completes the environmental review
process required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and
its implementing regulations. The growing prevalence of new grantees
unfamiliar with Federal and FTA requirements has necessitated this
change in the pre-award trigger to ensure FTA's continued ability to
comply with NEPA and related environmental laws. Because FTA does not
sign a final NEPA document until MPO and statewide planning
requirements have been satisfied, this new trigger for pre-award will
ensure compliance with both planning and environmental requirements
prior to irreversible action by the grantee. In previous notices FTA
extended pre-award authority to section 330 projects and those surface
transportation projects commonly referred to as section 115 projects
administered by FTA, for which amounts were provided in the
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004 and section 117 projects in the
2005 Appropriations Act. The same conditions described for bus projects
apply to these projects. We strongly encourage any prospective
applicant that does not have a relationship with FTA to review Federal
grant requirements with the FTA regional office before incurring costs.
    Blanket pre-award authority does not apply to section 5309 Capital
Investment New Starts funds. Specific instances of pre-award authority
for Capital Investment New Starts projects are described in paragraph 4
below. Pre-award authority does not apply to Capital Investment Bus and
Bus-Related or Clean Fuels projects for which funding has been
authorized but not yet appropriated. Before an applicant may incur
costs for Capital Investment New Starts projects, Bus and Bus-Related
projects, or any other projects not yet published in a notice of
apportionments and allocations, it must first obtain a written Letter
of No Prejudice (LONP) from FTA. To obtain an LONP, a grantee must
submit a written request accompanied by adequate information and
justification to the appropriate FTA regional office, as described
below.
2. Conditions
    The conditions under which pre-award authority may be utilized are
specified below:
    (a) Pre-award authority is not a legal or implied commitment that
the project(s) will be approved for FTA assistance or that FTA will
obligate Federal funds. Furthermore, it is not a legal or implied
commitment that all

[[Page 71975]]

items undertaken by the applicant will be eligible for inclusion in the
project(s).
    (b) All FTA statutory, procedural, and contractual requirements
must be met.
    (c) No action will be taken by the grantee that prejudices the
legal and administrative findings that the Federal Transit
Administrator must make in order to approve a project.
    (d) Local funds expended by the grantee pursuant to and after the
date of the pre-award authority will be eligible for credit toward
local match or reimbursement if FTA later makes a grant for the
project(s) or project amendment(s). Local funds expended by the grantee
prior to the date of the pre-award authority will not be eligible for
credit toward local match or reimbursement. Furthermore, the
expenditure of local funds on activities such as land acquisition,
demolition, or construction prior to the date of pre-award authority
for those activities (i.e., the completion of the NEPA process) would
compromise FTA's ability to comply with Federal environmental laws and
may render the project ineligible for FTA funding.
    (e) The Federal amount of any future FTA assistance awarded to the
grantee for the project will be determined on the basis of the overall
scope of activities and the prevailing statutory provisions with
respect to the Federal/local match ratio at the time the funds are
obligated.
    (f) For funds to which the pre-award authority applies, the
authority expires with the lapsing of the fiscal year funds.
    (g) When a grant for the project is subsequently awarded, the
Financial Status Report, in TEAM-Web, must indicate the use of pre-
award authority.
3. Environmental, Planning, and Other Federal Requirements
    All Federal grant requirements must be met at the appropriate time
for the project to remain eligible for Federal funding. The growth of
the Federal transit program has resulted in a growing number of
inexperienced grantees who make compliance with Federal planning and
environmental laws increasingly challenging. FTA has therefore modified
its approach to pre-award authority to use the completion of the NEPA
process, which has as a prerequisite the completion of planning and air
quality requirements, as the trigger for pre-award authority for all
activities except design and environmental review.
    The requirement that a project be included in a locally adopted
metropolitan transportation improvement program and Federally-approved
statewide transportation improvement program (23 CFR part 450) must be
satisfied before the grantee may advance the project beyond planning
and preliminary design with non-Federal funds under pre-award
authority. The conformity requirements of the Clean Air Act, 40 CFR
part 93, if applicable, must also be fully met before the project may
be advanced into implementation under pre-award authority with non-
Federal funds. Compliance with NEPA and other environmental laws and
executive orders (e.g., protection of parklands, wetlands, and historic
properties) must be completed before State or local funds are spent on
implementation activities, such as site preparation, construction, and
acquisition, for a project that is expected to be subsequently funded
with FTA funds. The grantee may not advance the project beyond planning
and preliminary design before FTA has determined the project to be a
categorical exclusion, or has issued a finding of no significant impact
(FONSI) or an environmental record of decision (ROD), in accordance
with FTA environmental regulations, 23 CFR part 771. For planning
projects, the project must be included in a locally-approved Planning
Work Program that has been coordinated with the State.
    In addition, Federal procurement procedures, as well as the whole
range of applicable Federal requirements (e.g., Buy America, Davis-
Bacon Act, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise), 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 through the use of pre-award authority. 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.
4. Pre-Award Authority for New Starts Projects
    (a) Preliminary Engineering and Final Design
    Projects proposed for section 5309 New Starts funds are required to
follow a Federally defined New Starts project development process. This
New Starts process includes, among other things, FTA approval of the
entry of the project into PE and into FD. In accordance with section
5309(d), FTA considers the merits of the project, the strength of its
financial plan, and its readiness to enter the next phase in deciding
whether or not to approve entry into PE or FD. Upon FTA approval to
enter PE, FTA extends pre-award authority to incur costs for PE
activities. Upon FTA approval to enter FD, FTA extends pre-award
authority to incur costs for FD activities. The pre-award authority for
each phase is automatic upon FTA's signing of a letter to the project
sponsor approving entry into that phase. PE and FD are defined in the
New Starts regulation entitled Major Capital Investment Projects, found
at 49 CFR part 611.
    (b) Real Property Acquisition Activities
    FTA extends automatic pre-award authority for the acquisition of
real property and real property rights for a New Starts project upon
completion of the NEPA process for that project. The NEPA process is
completed when FTA signs an environmental Record of Decision (ROD) or
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), or makes a Categorical
Exclusion (CE) determination. With the limitations and caveats
described below, real estate acquisition for a New Starts project may
commence, at the project sponsor's risk, upon completion of the NEPA
process.
    For FTA-assisted projects, any acquisition of real property or real
property rights must be conducted in accordance with the requirements
of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition
Policies Act (URA) and its implementing regulations, 49 CFR part 24.
This pre-award authority is strictly limited to costs incurred: (i) to
acquire real property and real property rights in accordance with the
URA regulation, and (ii) to provide relocation assistance in accordance
with the URA regulation. This pre-award authority is limited to the
acquisition of real property and real property rights that are
explicitly identified in the final environmental impact statement
(FEIS), environmental assessment (EA), or CE document, as needed for
the selected alternative that is the subject of the FTA-signed ROD or
FONSI, or CE determination. This pre-award authority does not cover
site preparation, demolition, or any other activity that is not
strictly necessary to comply with the URA, with one exception. That
exception is when a building that has been acquired, has been emptied
of its occupants, and awaits demolition poses a potential fire-safety
hazard or other hazard to the community in which it is located, or is
susceptible to reoccupation by vagrants, demolition of the building is
also covered by this pre-award authority upon FTA's written agreement
that the adverse condition exists.

[[Page 71976]]

    Pre-award authority for property acquisition is also provided when
FTA makes a CE determination for a protective buy or hardship
acquisition in accordance with 23 CFR 771.117(d)(12), and when FTA
makes a CE determination for the acquisition of a pre-existing railroad
right-of-way in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5324(c). When a tiered
environmental review in accordance with 23 CFR 771.111(g) is being
used, pre-award authority is NOT provided upon completion of the first-
tier environmental document except when the Tier-1 ROD or FONSI signed
by FTA explicitly provides such pre-award authority for a particular
identified acquisition.
    FTA's rationale for providing this pre-award authority was
described in the FY 2003 Apportionments and Allocations Notice
published in the Federal Register on March 12, 2003, (68 FR 1106 et
seq.). The FY 2003 Notice may be found on the FTA Web site at
http://www.fta.dot.gov/library/legal/federalregister/2003/fr31203.pdf.
 Project sponsors should use pre-award authority for real property acquisition
and relocation assistance very carefully, with a clear understanding
that it does not constitute a funding commitment by FTA.
    (c) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Activities
    NEPA requires that major projects proposed for FTA funding
assistance be subjected to a public and interagency review of the need
for the project, its environmental and community impacts, and
alternatives to avoid and reduce adverse impacts. Projects of more
limited scope also need a level of environmental review, either to
support an FTA finding of no significant impact (FONSI) or to
demonstrate that the action is categorically excluded from the more
rigorous level of NEPA review.
    FTA's regulation entitled Environmental Impact and Related
Procedures at 23 CFR part 771 states that the costs incurred by a grant
applicant for the preparation of environmental documents requested by
FTA are eligible for FTA financial assistance (23 CFR 771.105(e)).
Accordingly, FTA extends automatic pre-award authority for costs
incurred to comply with NEPA regulations and to conduct NEPA-related
activities for a proposed New Starts project, effective as of the date
of the Federal approval of the relevant STIP or STIP amendment that
includes the project or any phase of the project. NEPA-related
activities include, but are not limited to, public involvement
activities, historic preservation reviews, section 4(f) evaluations,
wetlands evaluations, endangered species consultations, and biological
assessments. This pre-award authority is strictly limited to costs
incurred to conduct the NEPA process, and to prepare environmental,
historic preservation and related documents. It does not cover PE
activities beyond those necessary for NEPA compliance. As with any pre-
award authority, FTA reimbursement for costs incurred is not
guaranteed.
    (d) Other New Starts Activities Requiring Letter of No Prejudice
(LONP)
    Except as discussed in paragraphs (a) through (c) above, a grant
applicant must obtain a written LONP from FTA before incurring costs
for any activity expected to be funded by New Start funds not yet
granted. To obtain an LONP, an applicant must submit a written request
accompanied by adequate information and justification to the
appropriate FTA regional office, as described in B below.

B. Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) Policy

1. Policy
    LONP authority allows an applicant to incur costs on a project
utilizing non-Federal resources, with the understanding that the costs
incurred subsequent to the issuance of the LONP may be reimbursable as
eligible expenses or eligible for credit toward the local match should
FTA approve the project at a later date. LONPs are applicable to
projects and project activities not covered by automatic pre-award
authority. The majority of LONPs will be for section 5309 New Starts
funds not covered under a full funding grant agreement, or for section
5309 Bus and Bus-Related funds not yet appropriated by Congress. At the
end of an authorization period, LONPs may be issued for formula funds
beyond the life of the current authorization or FTA's extension of
automatic pre-award authority.
2. Conditions and Federal Requirements
    The conditions for pre-award authority specified in section VIII A2
above apply to all LONPs. The Environmental, Planning and Other Federal
Requirements described in section VIII A3, also apply to all LONPs.
Because project implementation activities may not be initiated prior to
NEPA completion, FTA will normally not issue an LONP for such
activities until the NEPA process has been completed with a ROD, FONSI,
or Categorical Exclusion determination.
3. Request for LONP
    Before incurring costs for a project not covered by automatic pre-
award authority, the project sponsor must first submit a written
request for an LONP, accompanied by adequate information and
justification, to the appropriate regional office and obtain written
approval. As a prerequisite to FTA approval of an LONP for a New Starts
project, FTA will require project sponsors to demonstrate project
worthiness and readiness that establish the project as a candidate for
an FFGA. Projects will be assessed based upon the criteria considered
in the New Start evaluation process. Specifically, upon the request for
an LONP, the applicant shall provide sufficient information to allow
FTA to consider the following items:
    (a) Description of the activities to be covered by the LONP.
    (b) Justification for advancing the identified activities.
    (c) Data that indicates that the project will maintain its ability
to receive a rating of ``medium'', or better and that its cost-
effectiveness rating will be ``medium'' or better, unless such project
has been specifically exempt from such a requirement.
    (d) Allocated level of risk and contingency for the activity
requested.
    (e) Status of procurement progress, including, if appropriate,
submittal of bids for the activities covered by the LONP.
    (f) Strength of the capital and operating financial plan for the
New Starts project and the future transit system.
    (g) Adequacy of the Project Management Plan.
    (h) Resolution of any readiness issues that would affect the
project, such as land acquisition and technical capacity to carry out
the project.

C. FTA FY 2006 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances

    The FTA ``Fiscal 2006 Annual List of Certifications and
Assurances'' will incorporate new or changed requirements due to
SAFETEA-LU. The full text of the Fiscal Year 2006 Certifications and
Assurances was published in the Federal Register on November 15, 2005,
and is available on the FTA Web site and in TEAM-WEB. The FY 2006
Certifications and Assurances must be used for all grants made in FY
2006, including obligation of carryover.

D. FHWA Funds Used for Transit Purposes

    SAFETEA-LU continues provisions in the Intermodal Surface
Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and TEA-21 that expanded
modal choice in transportation funding by including

[[Page 71977]]

substantial flexibility to transfer funds between FTA and FHWA program
funding categories.
1. Transfer Process
    The process for transferring flexible formula funds between FTA and
FHWA programs is described below. For information on the process or the
transfer of funds between FTA and FHWA planning programs refer to
section VIII E.
    Transfer from FHWA to FTA. FHWA funds designated for use in transit
capital projects must be derived from the metropolitan and statewide
planning and programming process, and must be included in an approved
STIP before the funds can be transferred. By letter, the State DOT
requests the FHWA Division Office to transfer highway funds for a
transit project. The letter should specify the project, amount to be
transferred, apportionment year, State, urbanized area, Federal aid
apportionment category (i.e., Surface Transportation Program (STP),
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ), Interstate Substitute, or
congressional earmark), indication of the intended FTA formula program
(i.e., section 5307, 5311 or 5310), and should include a description of
the project as contained in the STIP.
    The FHWA Division Office confirms that the apportionment amount is
available for transfer and concurs in the transfer, by letter to the
State DOT and FTA. The FHWA Office of Budget and Finance then transfers
obligation authority and an equal amount of cash to FTA. All FHWA CMAQ,
STP, and certain Congressionally earmarked funds for transit projects
in the Appropriations Act or Conference Report will be transferred to
one of the three FTA formula programs (i.e. Urbanized Area Formula
(section 5307), Nonurbanized Area Formula (section 5311) or Elderly and
Persons with Disabilities (section 5310).
    The FTA grantee's application for the project must specify which
program the funds will be used for, and the application must be
prepared in accordance with the requirements and procedures governing
that program. Upon review and approval of the grantee's application,
FTA obligates funds for the project.
    Transferred funds are treated as FTA formula funds, but are
assigned a distinct identifying code for tracking purposes. The funds
may be used for any capital purpose eligible under the FTA formula
program to which they are transferred and, in the case of CMAQ, for
certain operating costs. FTA and FHWA have issued guidance on project
eligibility under the CMAQ program in a Notice at 65 FR 9040 et seq.
(February 23, 2000). In accordance with 23 U.S.C. 104(k), all FTA
requirements except local share are applicable to transferred funds;
FHWA local share requirements apply to funds transferred from FHWA to
FTA. Transferred funds should be combined with regular FTA funds in a
single annual grant application.
    In the event that transferred funds are not obligated for the
intended purpose within the period of availability of the program to
which they were transferred, they become available to the Governor for
any eligible capital transit project.
    Transfers from FTA to FHWA. The Metropolitan Planning Organization
(MPO) submits a written request to the FTA regional office for a
transfer of FTA section 5307 formula funds (apportioned to a UZA
200,000 and over in population) to FHWA based on approved use of the
funds for highway purposes, as contained in the Governor's approved
State Transportation Improvement Program. The MPO must certify that:
(1) The funds are not needed for capital investments required by the
Americans with Disabilities Act; (2) notice and opportunity for comment
and appeal has been provided to affected transit providers; and (3)
local funds used for non-Federal match are eligible to provide
assistance for either highway or transit projects. The FTA Regional
Administrator reviews and concurs in the request, then forwards the
approval in written format to FTA Headquarters, where a reduction equal
to the dollar amount being transferred to FHWA is made to the grantee's
Urbanized Area Formula Program apportionment.
2. Matching Share for FHWA Transfers
    The provisions of Title 23 U.S.C. regarding the non-Federal share
apply to Title 23 funds used for transit projects. Thus, FHWA funds
transferred to FTA retain the same matching share that the funds would
have if used for highway purposes and administered by FHWA.
    There are three instances in which a Federal share higher than 80
percent would be permitted. 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 transfers used to
fund transit projects in these public land States. FHWA develops the
sliding scale matching ratios for the increased Federal share.
    Second, commuter carpooling and vanpooling projects and transit
safety projects using FHWA transfers administered by FTA may retain the
same 100 percent Federal share that would be allowed for ride-sharing
or safety projects administered by FHWA.
    The third instance is the 100 percent Federally-funded safety
projects; however, these are subject to a nationwide 10 percent program
limitation.

E. Consolidated Planning Grants

    Since FY 1997, FTA and FHWA have offered States the option of
participating in a pilot Consolidated Planning Grant (CPG) program.
This streamlined fund drawdown process eliminates the need to monitor
individual fund sources, if several have been used, and ensures that
the oldest funds will always be used first.
    Under a CPG administered by FTA, States can report metropolitan
planning expenditures (to comply with the Single Audit Act) for both
FTA and FHWA under the Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance number
for FTA's Metropolitan Planning Program. Additionally, for States with
an FHWA Metropolitan Planning (PL) fund-matching ratio greater than 80
percent, the State (through FTA) can request a waiver of the 20 percent
local share requirement in order that all FTA funds used for
metropolitan planning in a CPG can be granted at the higher FHWA rate.
For some States, this Federal match rate can exceed 90 percent. In FY
2005, the CPG program was expanded to allow the transfer of FTA
planning funds to FHWA in addition to the current process whereby FHWA
funds for planning are transferred to FTA. For planning projects funded
through a CPG, the State DOT requests the transfer of funds in a letter
to the FHWA Division Office (if transferring funds to FTA) or to the
FTA regional office (if transferring funds to FHWA).

F. Grant Application Procedures

    Grantees must provide a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal
Numbering System (DUNS) number for inclusion in all applications for a
Federal grant or cooperative agreement submitted on or after October 1,
2003. The DUNS number should be entered into the grantee profile in
TEAM-Web. Additional information about this and other Federal grant
streamlining initiatives mandated by the Federal Financial Assistance
Management Improvement Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 106-107) can be accessed on
OMB's Web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/reform.html.


[[Page 71978]]

    All applications for FTA funds should be submitted to the
appropriate FTA regional office. FTA utilizes TEAM-Web, an Internet-
accessible electronic grant application system, and all applications
are filed electronically. FTA has provided limited exceptions to the
requirement for electronic filing of applications.
    In FY 2006, FTA is committed to ensuring that the average number of
days to process an FTA grant is 36 days, or fewer, after receipt of a
completed application by the appropriate regional office. In order for
an application to be considered complete and for FTA to assign a grant
number, enabling submission in TEAM-Web, the following requirements
must be met:
     The project is listed in a currently approved
Transportation Improvement Program (TIP); Statewide Transportation
Improvement Program (STIP), or Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP).
     All eligibility issues have been resolved.
     Required environmental findings have been made.
     The project budget's Activity Line Items (ALI), scope, and
project description meet FTA requirements.
     Local share funding source(s) have been identified.
     The grantee's required Civil Rights submissions are
current.
     Certifications and assurances are properly submitted.
     Funding is available, including any flexible funds
included in the budget.
     For projects involving new construction (using at least
$100 million in New Starts or formula funds), FTA engineering staff has
reviewed the project management plan and given approval.
     When required for grants related to New Starts projects,
PE and/or FD has been approved.
     Milestone information is complete, or FTA determines that
milestone information can be finalized before the grant is ready for
award.
    Before FTA can award grants for discretionary projects and
activities designated by Congress, notification must be given to
members of Congress, and in the case of awards greater than $1 million,
to the House and Senate authorizing and appropriations committees.
    Other important issues that impact FTA grant processing activities
are discussed below.
1. Change in Budget Structure
    Because SAFETEA-LU restructured FTA's accounts from all general
funded accounts to one solely trust funded account and three general
funded accounts, we are not able to mix funds from prior years in the
same grant with funds that will be appropriated in FY 2006 and beyond
(except for New Starts and research grants). Previously all programs
were funded approximately 80 percent trust funds from the Mass Transit
Account (MTA) of the Highway Trust Fund and 20 percent General Funds
from the U.S. Treasury. The trust funds were transferred into the
general funded accounts at the beginning of the year. Under SAFETEA-LU
most programs are funded entirely from trust funds derived from the
Mass Transit Account, while the New Starts and Research programs are
funded with general funds. Carryover FY 2005 and prior funds currently
available for obligation as well as FY 2006 funds, when they become
available, may be included in an amendment to an existing grant for New
Starts and research grants.
    For formula programs funded solely from trust funds beginning in FY
2006, grantees must initiate a new grant to obligate FY 2006 funds.
Grant amendments cannot be made to add FY 2006 and later year funds to
a grant that includes FY 2005 or prior funds. Obligations of FY 2005
and prior year carryover funds must be made in the original program
accounts established under TEA-21 (either as an amendment to an
existing grant or as a new grant) and cannot be combined with funds
appropriated in FY 2006 or later. Grantees will, however, be able to
amend the new grants established with FY 2006 funds to add funds made
available after FY 2006. We regret any inconvenience this accounting
change may cause as we implement new statutory requirements under
SAFETEA-LU. We encourage grantees to spend down and close out old
grants as quickly as possible to minimize the inconvenience.
2. Grant Budgets--SCOPE and ALI Codes
    FTA uses the SCOPE and Activity Line Item (ALI) Codes in the grant
budgets to track program trends, to report to Congress, and to respond
to requests from the Inspector General and the Government
Accountability Office (GAO), as well as to manage grants. The accuracy
of the data is dependent on the careful and correct use of codes. We
have revised the SCOPE and ALI table to include new codes for the newly
eligible capital items, to better track certain expenditures, and to
accommodate the new programs. We encourage grantees to review the table
before selecting codes from the drop-down menus in TEAM-WEB while
creating a grant budget. Additional information about how to use the
SCOPE and ALI codes to accurately code budgets will be added to the
resources available through TEAM-WEB.
3. Earmark Tracking
    FTA is implementing new procedures for relating grants to earmarks.
Each earmark published in the Federal Register will have a unique
identifier associated with it. Tables of earmarks will also be
established in TEAM. When applying for a grant using funding designated
by Congress, grantees will be asked to identify the amount of funding
associated with specific earmarks used in the grant. Further
instructions will be posted on the TEAM-WEB site and training will be
provided. The carryover tables in this Notice include the new
identifiers.
4. New Freedom and JARC--Administering Agency
    Before the first grant application to FTA is submitted, the
Governor must designate the state agency or agencies charged with
administering the New Freedom and JARC formula programs. In large
urbanized areas with more than one designated recipient or transit
operator, supplemental agreements may be necessary.
5. Payments
    Once a grant has been awarded and executed, requests for payment
can be processed. To process payments FTA uses ECHO-Web, an Internet
accessible system that provides grantees the capability to submit
payment requests on-line, as well as receive user-IDs and passwords via
e-mail. New applicants should contact the appropriate FTA regional
office to obtain and submit the registration package necessary for set-
up under ECHO-Web.
6. Oversight
    FTA conducts periodic oversight reviews to assess grantee
compliance with Federal requirements. Each UZA grantee is reviewed
every three years (a triennial review). States are reviewed
periodically for their management of the section 5310 and 5311
programs. Other more detailed reviews are scheduled based on an annual
grantee risk assessment. FTA will develop appropriate oversight
procedures for the new programs authorized by SAFETEA-LU.
7. Technical Assistance
    FTA headquarters and regional staff will be pleased to answer your

[[Page 71979]]

questions and provide any technical assistance you may need to apply
for FTA program funds and manage the grants you receive. This notice
and the program guidance circulars previously identified in this
document may be accessed via the FTA Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/
.

    In addition, copies of the following circulars and other useful
information are available on the FTA Website and may be obtained from
FTA regional offices: 4220.1E, Third Party Contracting Requirements,
dated June 19, 2003; and C5010.1C, Grant Management Guidelines, dated
October 1, 1998. The FY 2006 Annual List of Certifications and
Assurances and Master Agreement are also posted on the FTA Web site.
Other documents on the FTA Web site of particular interest to public
transit providers and others include the annual Statistical Summaries
of FTA Grant Assistance Programs and the NTD Profiles. The DOT final
rule on ``Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in
Department of Transportation Financial Assistance Programs,'' which was
effective July 16, 2003, can be found on the Department's Web site at
http://osdbu.dot.gov/business/DBE/49cfrpart26_final_rule.html.


    Issued on: November 21, 2005.
David B. Horner,
Acting Deputy Administrator.

Appendix A

FTA Regional Offices

Richard H. Doyle, Regional Administrator, Region 1-Boston Kendall
Square, 55 Broadway, Suite 920, Cambridge, MA 02142-1093, Tel. 617
494-2055. States served: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Letitia Thompson, Regional Administrator, Region 2-New York, One
Bowling Green, Room 429, New York, NY 10004-1415, Tel. No. 212 668-
2170. States served: New Jersey, New York, and the Virgin Islands.
Susan Borinsky, Regional Administrator, Region 3-Philadelphia, 1760
Market Street, Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA 19103-4124, Tel. 215 656-
7100. States served: Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia,
West Virginia, and District of Columbia.
Yvette Taylor, Regional Administrator, Region 4-Atlanta, Atlanta
Federal Center, Suite 17T50, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, GA
30303, Tel. 404 562-3500. States served: Alabama, Florida, Georgia,
Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina,
and Tennessee.
Don Gismondi, Deputy Regional Administrator, Region 5-Chicago, 200
West Adams Street, Suite 320, Chicago, IL 60606, Tel. 312 353-2789.
States served: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and
Wisconsin.
Robert C. Patrick, Regional Administrator, Region 6-Ft. Worth, 819
Taylor Street, Room 8A36, Ft. Worth, TX 76102, Tel. 817 978-0550.
States served: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.
Mokhtee Ahmad, Regional Administrator, Region 7-Kansas City, MO, 901
Locust Street, Room 404, Kansas City, MO 64106, Tel. 816 329-3920.
States served: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
Lee O. Waddleton, Regional Administrator, Region 8-Denver, 12300
West Dakota Ave., Suite 310, Lakewood, CO 80228-2583, Tel. 720-963-
3300. States served: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota,
Utah, and Wyoming.
Leslie T. Rogers, Regional Administrator, Region 9-San Francisco,
201 Mission, Street, Room 2210, San Francisco, CA 94105-1926, Tel.
415 744-3133. States served: American Samoa, Arizona, California,
Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Rick Krochalis, Regional Administrator, Region 10-Seattle, Jackson
Federal Building, 915 Second Avenue, Suite 3142, Seattle, WA 98174-
1002, Tel. 206 220-7954. States served: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and
Washington.

Appendix B

Specific Questions and Issues for Comment

    1. FTA seeks public comment on the continued use of the 83
percent Federal share of cost of equipment and facilities for ADA
and CAA compliance. (See section IV.A.11).
    2. FTA invites comment regarding technical assistance or
training that would be helpful to grantees in implementing the
Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with
Disabilities program. Additionally, FTA seeks comment on strategies
and measures that could be employed to evaluate the successes of
this program. (See section VI.H).
    3. For the Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals
with Disabilities program, FTA seeks comment on the specific aspects
of the collaborative planning process (for example, participants,
elements, measures, etc.). FTA also seeks comment on the
relationship between the public transit-human services plans and
other planning processes. (See section VI.H).
    4. FTA requests public comment on whether the State-based rural
data module should serve as the basis for the new mandatory
reporting requirements. (See section VI.I).
    5. Concerning the basis for section RTAP formula apportionments,
comments are invited on whether the floor should again be raised and
whether the low density portion of the section 5311 formula should
be used. (See section VI.J).
    6. FTA invites comments on use of the National RTAP resource.
(See section VI.J).
    7. SAFETEA-LU does not specify a basis for formula apportionment
for the new Tribal Transit program. FTA will develop procedures for
allocating the funds in consultation with the Tribes and with
opportunity for public comment. An interim measure would be to
allocate FY 2006 funds based on responses to a request for letters
of interest. FTA requests comments on the feasibility of allocating
FY 2006 funds based on this approach. (See section VI.K).
    8. We seek comments on what criteria should be considered in
selecting Tribes to receive funding and what factors should be used
in allocating available funds among successful applicants. (See
section VI.K).
    9. FTA may establish the terms and conditions for the Tribal
Transit program. FTA seeks comments about appropriate terms and
conditions for the program. We especially invite comments from
Tribes that previously received FTA funding about which requirements
we should consider waiving for the program. (See section VI.K).
    10. FTA invites comment regarding technical assistance or
training that would be helpful to grantees in implementing the JARC
program. (See section VI.M).
    11. For the JARC program, FTA seeks comment on the specific
aspects of the collaborative planning process (for example,
participants, elements, measures, etc.). FTA also seeks comment on
the relationship between the public transit-human services plans and
other planning processes. (See section VI.M).
    12. SAFETEA-LU requires FTA to conduct a study to evaluate the
effectiveness of the JARC program (49 U.S.C. 5316(i)(2)). FTA seeks
comment on strategies and measures that will evaluate the successes
of this program. (See section VI.M).
    13. FTA invites comment regarding technical assistance or
training that would be helpful to grantees in implementing the New
Freedom program. Additionally, FTA seeks comment on strategies and
measures that could be employed to evaluate the successes of this
program. (See section VI.N).
    14. We invite comment on the projects and activities stated in
the SAFETEA-LU that might be funded under the New Freedom program
and how they relate to what is ``beyond the ADA.'' We invite comment
on activities related to ADA complementary paratransit services
beyond the minimum requirements outlined in 49 CFR part 37. Further,
we invite comment regarding the types of projects and services that
should be considered for eligibility under New Freedom as they
relate to new public transportation beyond the ADA and alternatives
to public transportation beyond the ADA. (See section VI.N).
    15. FTA invites comments from all interested parties on the
Planning Emphasis Areas (PEA) identified for FY 2006. (See section
VII).

BILLING CODE 4910-57-P

[[Page 71980 - Page 72022]]
  • Table 1 - SAFETEA-LU Authorizations and Programs
  • Table 2 - SAFETEA-LU New Starts Earmarks
  • Table 3 - SAFETEA-LU Alternative Analysis Earmarks
  • Table 4 - SAFETEA-LU Authorized Bus Earmarks
  • Table 5 - SAFETEA-LU Clean Fuels Earmarks
  • Table 6 - Bus Carryover
  • Table 7 - New Starts Carryover
  • Table 8 - SAFETEA-LU National Research Program Earmarks
  • Table 9 - Jarc Carryover
    
    

    [FR Doc. 05-23322 Filed 11-29-05; 8:45 am]BILLING CODE 4910-57-C