Number 64 58211
[Federal Register: October 28, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 208)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
Department of Transportation
Federal Transit Administration
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Transit Administration
FTA Fiscal Year 2000 Apportionments, Allocations and Program Information
AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.
SUMMARY: The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (Pub. L. 106-69) was signed into law by President Clinton on October 9, 1999, and provides fiscal year 2000 appropriations for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) transit assistance programs. Based upon this Act, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), and 49 U.S.C, Chapter 53, this notice contains a comprehensive list of apportionments and allocations of the various transit programs.
This notice includes the apportionment of fiscal year 2000 funds in the 2000 DOT Appropriations Act for the: Metropolitan Planning Program and State Planning and Research Program; Urbanized Area Formula Program; Nonurbanized Area Formula Program; Rural Transit Assistance Program; Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program; and the Capital Investment Program for Fixed Guideway Modernization. This notice also contains the allocations of funds for the New Starts and Bus categories under the Capital Investment Program and the Job Access and Reverse Commute Program. It contains general information about other programs established under TEA-21, including the Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility Program and the Clean Fuels Formula Program.
Information regarding TEA-21 funding authorization levels for use in developing Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs) and State Transportation Improvement Programs (STIPs) is included. For informational purposes, the notice contains the apportionment of fiscal year 2000 funds for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Metropolitan Planning Program and the estimated apportionment of the fiscal year 2000 State Planning and Research Program.
A listing of prior year unobligated allocations for the Section 5309 New Starts and Bus Programs is included, as in previous years. In addition, the FTA policy regarding pre-award authority to incur project costs and the Letter of No Prejudice Policy are provided. The section on pre-award authority has been revised in relation to New Starts preliminary engineering and final design work. Other pertinent program information is also included.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The appropriate FTA Regional Administrator for grant-specific information and issues; Patricia Levine, Director, Office of Resource Management and State Programs, (202) 366-2053, for general information about the Urbanized Area Formula Program, the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, the Rural Transit Assistance Program, the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program, the Clean Fuels Formula Program, the Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility Program, or the Capital Investment Program; or Robert Stout, Director, Office of Planning Operations, (202) 366-6385, for general information concerning the Metropolitan Planning Program and the State Planning and Research Program; or Dr. Lewis P. Clopton, Director, Office of Research Management, (202) 366-9157, for information about the Job Access and Reverse Commute Program.
Metropolitan Planning funds are apportioned by statutory formula to the Governors for allocation to Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in urbanized areas or portions thereof. State Planning and Research funds are apportioned to states by statutory formula. Urbanized Area Formula Program funds are apportioned by statutory formula to urbanized areas and to Governors to provide capital, operating and planning assistance in urbanized areas. Nonurbanized Area Formula Program funds are apportioned by statutory formula to Governors for capital, operating and administrative assistance in nonurbanized areas. The Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program funds are apportioned by statutory formula to Governors to provide capital assistance to organizations providing transportation service for the elderly and persons with disabilities. Fixed Guideway Modernization funds are apportioned by statutory formula to specified urbanized areas for capital improvements in rail and other fixed guideways. New Start and Bus allocations identified in the DOT Appropriations Act are included in this notice.
The fiscal year 2000 appropriation for the FTA program is $5,797,000,000, the guaranteed funding level under TEA-21. The appropriation for the Metropolitan Planning Program is $49,632,000, and the appropriation for the State Planning and Research Program is $10,368,000. The appropriation for formula grants totals $3,098,000,000. Under statutory authority, the distribution of the total formula funds available is as follows: $4,849,950 is set aside for the Alaska Railroad; $50,000,000 is for the Clean Fuels Formula Program, which was transferred and merged with funding for the Capital Bus Program; and $3,700,000 is for the Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility Program. Of the remaining amount of $3,039,450,050, 91.23 percent ($2,772,890,281) is made available to the Urbanized Area Formula Program, 6.37 percent ($193,612,968) is made available to the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, and 2.4 percent ($72,946,801) is made available to the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program.
The other program appropriations contained in this notice are as follows: $5,250,000 for the Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP); and $2,501,000,000 for the Capital Investment Program. Of the Capital Investment Program amount, $980,400,000 is for Fixed Guideway Modernization, $980,400,000 is for New Starts, and $490,200,000 is for Bus Capital. In addition, $50,000,000 of formula funds for Clean Fuels was transferred and merged with the Bus Capital Program increasing that program to $540,200,000. An amount of $75,000,000 is for the Job Access and Reverse Commute Program.
Table 1 displays the amounts appropriated by program, including adjustments and final apportioned and allocated amounts. The following text provides a narrative explanation of the funding levels and other factors affecting the apportionments and allocations.
TEA-21 provides a combination of trust and general fund authorizations that total $6,810,000,000 for the fiscal year 2000 FTA program. Of this amount, $5,797,000,000 is guaranteed under the discretionary spending cap. See Table 11 for fiscal years 1998-2003 guaranteed fund levels by program and Table 11A for the total of guaranteed and non-guaranteed levels by program.
Information regarding estimates of the funding levels for 1999-2003 by state and urbanized area is available on the FTA homepage at [www.fta.dot.gov]. The numbers are for planning purposes only as they will be revised in the future but may be used for programming metropolitan transportation improvement programs and statewide transportation improvement programs.
Section 5327 of 49 U.S.C. allows the Secretary of Transportation to use not more than one-half percent of the funds made available under the Urbanized Area Formula Program and the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, and three-quarters percent of funds made available under the Capital Investment Program to contract with any person to oversee the construction of any major project under these statutory programs to conduct safety, procurement, management and financial reviews and audits, and to provide technical assistance to correct deficiencies identified in compliance reviews and audits. Therefore, one-half percent of the funds appropriated for the Urbanized Area Formula Program, and the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program for fiscal year 2000, and three-quarters percent of Capital Investment Program funds were reserved for these purposes before funds were apportioned.
FTA began working on the Year 2000 (Y2K) issue as early as 1996. The goal of FTA's efforts is to ensure that transit services are not interrupted by computer failures resulting from Y2K problems. In order to accomplish this, FTA is providing Y2K information, guidance and assistance to the transit community. A series of ``Dear Colleague Letters'' was sent to FTA grantees, which provided guidance on Y2K and a five-phased approach FTA Y2K Management Plan. The five phases were as follows: (1) Assessment; (2) Renovation/Validation; (3) Certifications; (4) Submission of Business Continuity and Contingency Plan (BCCP) or outline of BCCP; and (5) Reporting test results of the BCCP.
In January 1999, FTA Grantees were required to complete the Assessment Phase, and in March 1999, FTA Grantees were required to complete the Renovation/Validation Phase. On June 30, 1999, the FTA grantees were required to certify Y2K compliance or submit an outline of the contingency plan for continuing operations of their systems while repairing or replacing the calendar year 2000 non-compliant elements. The 30 largest grantees were required to submit a copy of the Business Continuity and Contingency Plan. Other transit operators were asked to submit an outline of their BCCP. All grantees are also to submit to FTA the results of their first two tests of the BCCP by October 31, 1999.
As the changeover approaches, FTA will continue to work with grantees to
ensure a smooth transition. FTA will monitor transit activity during the Y2K changeover, with emphasis on the 30 largest operators. FTA will also serve as a clearinghouse for information during the changeover.
The Department of Transportation's (DOT's) new regulation implementing the disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program was published February 2, 1999, in the Federal Register and was effective March 4, 1999. The DBE program is intended to remedy past and current discrimination against disadvantaged business enterprises, ensure a ``level playing field'' and foster equal opportunity in DOT-assisted contracts, improve the flexibility and efficiency of the DBE program, and reduce burdens on small businesses.
FTA grantees were required to submit revised DBE programs by September 1, 1999. FTA has reviewed all programs received. A sample DBE Program has been created for grantees along with DOT approved Q&As for assistance to grant recipients required to submit programs. For more information, contact Arthur Andrew Lopez, Director, Office of Civil Rights, at (202) 366-4018, or Gloria Dixon at (816) 329-3920 or (816) 523-0204, or go to the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization website at: [http://osdbuweb.dot.gov/programs/dbe/dbe.htm].
Section 3033 of TEA-21 requires FTA to conduct a study to assess whether the formula for apportioning funds to urbanized areas (at 49 U.S.C. 5336) accurately reflects the transit needs of small urbanized areas that provide an unusually high level of transit service for their size. A Federal Register Notice on the commencement of the study was published on July 9, 1999, and numerous comments were received.
In that notice, FTA sought suggestions on conducting the study and comment on the following questions from interested parties: (1) Are population and population density adequate factors for use in apportioning funds to small urbanized areas; (2) Are there specific reasons why other factors should not be applied to these small cities; (3) Should service factors also be applied to small urbanized areas in apportioning formula funds--in particular, should bus revenue vehicle miles be applied to small urbanized areas as well; (4) Should bus passenger miles and operating costs used in the incentive tier be applied to small urbanized areas; (5) Would examining other aid sources available to small urbanized areas be useful and informative; and (6) What other mechanisms besides changing the formula might be practical and useful in order to assist small transit-intensive cities?
The study is to be submitted to Congress by December 31, 1999. For more information, contact Darren Timothy, FTA Office of Policy Development, at (202) 366-0177.
Section 5206(e) of TEA-21 requires that Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) projects using funds from the Highway Trust Fund (including the Mass Transit Account) conform to the National ITS Architecture and Standards. Interim guidance on conformity with National ITS Performance Standards was issued October 2, 1998, jointly by FTA and FHWA. This document provides guidance for meeting this provision of TEA-21 and is available from FTA regional offices and on the FTA website. These standards and requirements apply to fiscal year 2000 allocations included in this notice that contain ITS components.
Questions regarding the applicability of these standards and requirements should be addressed to the FTA regional office or Ronald Boenau, FTA Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation, at (202) 366-0195.
The fiscal year 2000 Metropolitan Planning apportionment to states for MPOs' use in urbanized areas totals $49,642,128. This amount includes $49,632,000 in fiscal year 2000 appropriated funds, and $10,128 in prior year deobligated funds available for reapportionment under this program. A basic allocation of 80 percent of this amount ($39,713,702) is distributed to the states based on the state's urbanized area population as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau for subsequent state distribution to each urbanized area, or parts thereof, within each state. A supplemental allocation of the remaining 20 percent ($9,928,426) is also provided to the states based on an FTA administrative formula to address planning needs in the larger, more complex urbanized areas. Table 2 contains the final state apportionments for the combined basic and supplemental allocations. Each state, in cooperation with the MPOs, must develop an allocation formula for the combined apportionment, which distributes these funds to MPOs representing urbanized areas, or parts thereof, within the state. This formula, which must be approved by the FTA, must ensure to the maximum extent practicable that no MPO is allocated less than the amount it received by administrative formula under the Metropolitan Planning Program in fiscal year 1991 (minimum MPO allocation). Each state formula must include a provision for the minimum MPO allocation. Where the state and MPOs desire to use a new formula not previously approved by FTA, it must be submitted to the appropriate FTA Regional Office for prior approval.
The fiscal year 2000 apportionment for the State Planning and Research Program totals $10,374,946. This amount includes $10,368,000 in fiscal year 2000 appropriated funds, and $6,946 in prior year deobligated funds, which have become available for reapportionment under this program. Final state apportionments for this program are also contained on Table 2. These funds may be used for a variety of purposes such as planning, technical studies and assistance, demonstrations, management training, and cooperative research. In addition, a state may authorize a portion of these funds to be used to supplement planning funds allocated by the state to its urbanized areas, as the state deems appropriate.
Population data from the 1990 Census is used in calculating these apportionments. The Metropolitan Planning funding provided to urbanized areas in each state by administrative formula in fiscal year 1991 was used as a ``hold harmless'' base in calculating funding to each State.
For informational purposes, the fiscal year 2000 apportionment for the FHWA Metropolitan Planning Program (PL) and estimated apportionment for fiscal year 2000 State Planning and Research Program (SP&R) are contained in Table 3. These estimates do not include expected SP&R funding increases from the Revenue Budget Aligned Authority authorized in TEA-21, Section 1105.
(1) Job Access Planning Activities. Federal, state and local welfare reform initiatives may require the development of new and innovative public and other transportation services to ensure that former welfare recipients have adequate mobility for reaching employment opportunities. In recognition of the key role that transportation plays in ensuring the success of welfare-to-work initiatives, FTA and FHWA permit the waiver of the local match requirement for job access planning activities undertaken with Metropolitan Planning Program and State Planning and Research Program funds. FTA and FHWA will support requests for waivers when they are included in metropolitan Unified Planning Work Programs and State Planning and Research Programs and meet all other appropriate requirements.
(2) Contributions to the Development of the Census Transportation Planning Package (CTPP). In conjunction with the increased emphasis on the use of Census data in the planning process, FTA will permit the waiver of the local match requirement for activities intended to contribute to the development of the CTPP. FHWA PL and SPR funds can be used without match only to purchase the CTPP package through AASHTO.
The FTA and FHWA cooperatively develop Planning Emphasis Areas (PEAs) to promote priority themes for consideration, as appropriate, in metropolitan and statewide transportation planning processes. Identification as a PEA brings attention to the need for guidance and training for FTA/FHWA, as well as attention to the allocation of planning resources by participants in planning processes. Three planning topics have been identified as PEAs due to their importance in the coming year: Transportation equity/public involvement, the Intelligent Transportation Systems National Architecture, and preparations for the Year 2000 Census. By identifying these as PEAs FTA and FHWA encourage planning organizations to consider expanding and reporting on their work activities on these themes.
Increasingly, concerns for compliance with provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act have been raised by citizens and advocacy groups with regard to broad patterns of transportation investment and impact considered in metropolitan and statewide planning. While Title VI and environmental justice concerns have most often been raised during project development, it is important to recognize that the law applies equally to the processes and products of metropolitan and statewide planning. Public involvement is a major element of this process.
FTA and FHWA are working jointly to develop guidance to support metropolitan areas and states in their efforts to incorporate considerations of transportation equity in their local planning processes and substantiate compliance through demonstrated actions. States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations in their planning processes are generally advised to expand and document their efforts in two categories of work activity:
Over the fiscal year, a range of possible procedural and analytical approaches for complying with provisions of Title VI and the Executive Order on Environmental Justice at the planning stage will be developed and disseminated through guidance and regulation. To support that effort, ``innovative practice'' case study development and training opportunities will be enhanced, based in part on the reported activities and experiences of metropolitan and statewide planning processes in this area.
TEA-21 identifies system management and operation as a focal theme and context for transportation investment nationwide. The Act further identifies the need for integrated planning and application of ITS strategies and the role of the ITS National Architecture as a resource for achieving this functional integration. Section 5206(e) of TEA-21 requires all ITS projects funded through the Highway Trust Fund, including the Mass Transit Account, to be consistent with the National Architecture and Standards.
FTA and FHWA have prepared guidance for developing ITS projects and programs in a coordinated way through metropolitan and statewide planning processes, using the ITS National Architecture. This guidance is being disseminated in a number of ways, including training, technical assistance, and formal regulation. FTA and FHWA will work to provide assistance to participants in planning processes to facilitate attention and response to this requirement.
As with prior decennial censuses, the Year 2000 Census will be an invaluable information resource for transportation planning at both the metropolitan and statewide levels. The journey-to-work and other socioeconomic data from it will provide a key baseline for a wide range of planning activities, including regional transportation equity analyses, job access planning, development and validation of travel demand models, and more. The Year 2000 census will be especially important because it will likely be the last to include a ``long form'' questionnaire to collect the types of detailed household, traveler, and travel information most useful to transportation planning. In future years, the Bureau of the Census will initiate a program to collect such data during the next decade as part of a continuous monthly survey called the American Community Survey. Data from the Year 2000 census will be critical for states and MPOs to make the transition to American Community Survey data.
To leverage use of this important information resource, planning processes need to consider a wide range of ancillary work activities, including:
Federal certification of the planning process is conducted in a Transportation Management Area (TMA), which is an urbanized area with a population of 200,000 and above or other urbanized areas designated by the Secretary of Transportation (the Secretary). The Secretary is responsible for certifying, at least once every three years, that the metropolitan transportation planning process in the TMA is being carried out under applicable provisions of Federal law.
Dates for site visits for the TMAs to be reviewed in fiscal year 2000 are being established and will be available on the
FTA website at [http://www.fta.dot.gov/office/planning].
For further information regarding Federal certifications of the planning process contact: For FTA: Mr. Charles Goodman, FTA Metropolitan Planning Division, (202) 366-1944; or Scott Biehl, FTA Office of Chief Counsel, (202) 366-4063. For FHWA: Mr. Sheldon Edner, FHWA Metropolitan Planning Division, 202-366-4066; or Reid Alsop, FHWA Office of the Chief Counsel, 202-366-1371.
In fiscal year 1997, FTA and FHWA began offering states the option of participating in a pilot Consolidated Planning Grant (CPG) program. FTA and FHWA have now made CPG a permanent pilot. As part of the permanent pilot, additional participants are sought so that FTA and FHWA can benefit from the widest possible range of participant input to improve and further streamline the process.
Since the first CPG grant was awarded in April 1997, almost $159 million has been obligated by the pilot states. Of this total, more than $125 million is from FHWA sources. All but one of the participants have elected to amend the original CPG grant to add new fiscal year funds to treat the CPG more like an FTA grant, but with even greater flexibility. Under the multi-year approach option, the CPG grant would stay open for a period of years to be determined by the state (and MPO, jointly, for Metropolitan Planning funds) with the approval of the Federal Government. New apportionments can be added by grant amendment as funds become available. One state has elected to continue the pilot with new, separate CPG grants for each year. This approach treats the CPG much as FHWA funds are treated currently, that is, as basically annual apportionments with a yearly close-out of project activities and a deobligation and reobligation cycle. The obligation pattern so far is somewhat of a hybrid of the two approaches with at least one state starting out with annual grants and switching in later years to the multi-year grant approach. Those with the multi-year grants can close them at any time and begin the next year with either a new multi-year grant or an annual grant. The ease with which a state can opt for the single year or the multi-year approach to the CPG grant is just one example of the flexibility intended for the pilot.
As part of a survey of experiences in the first two years of the pilot, FTA and FHWA have made two pilot-wide changes in response to recommendations from participants. States can now report metropolitan planning expenditures (to comply with the Single Audit Act) for both FTA and FHWA under the Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number for FTA's Metropolitan Planning Program. Additionally, for states with an FHWA Metropolitan Planning 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.
As in previous years, pre-award authority is granted to both of FTA's planning programs as part of this annual notice. This pre-award authority enables states to continue planning program activities from year to year with the assurance that eligible costs can later be converted to a regularly funded Federal project without the need for prior approval or authorization from the granting agency. As part of the pilot, FTA will continue to work with participating states to increase the flexibility and further streamline the consolidated approach to planning grants. For further information on participating in the CPG Pilot, contact Ms. Candace Noonan, Intermodal and Statewide Planning Division, FTA, at (202) 366-1648 or Anthony Solury, Planning and Environment Core Business Unit, FHWA, at (202) 366-5003.
TEA-21 extends FTA's long-standing authority for approving the advancement of candidate New Starts projects into preliminary engineering (PE) by requiring that FTA also approve entrance into the final design (FD) stage of project development. Specifically, 49 U.S.C. 5309(e)(6) requires that the basis for PE/FD approval is FTA's evaluation of candidate project's New Start criteria, leading to an overall project rating of ``Highly Recommended,'' ``Recommended,'' or ``Not Recommended.'' FTA has established a set of decision rules for approving entrance into preliminary engineering and final design. After first meeting several basic planning, environmental, and project management requirements which demonstrate the ``readiness'' of the project to advance into the next stage of project development, candidate projects are subject to FTA evaluation against the New Starts project justification and local financial commitment criteria. Projects may advance to the next appropriate stage of project development (PE or FD) only if rated ``Recommended'' or ``Highly Recommended,'' based on the criteria. Projects rated ``Not Recommended'' will not be approved to advance.
49 U.S.C. Section 5309(e)(8)(A) exempts projects which request a Section 5309 New Starts share of less than $25 million from the requirements of Section 5309(e). TEA-21 also provides statutory exemptions to certain specific projects. It is important to note that any exemption under 5309(e)(8)(A) applies only to the New Starts criteria serving as the basis for FTA's approval to advance to preliminary engineering and final design for such projects. New Starts projects which request less than $25 million in New Starts funding must still request entrance to the next stage of development, and must fulfill all appropriate planning, environmental, and project management requirements.
Aside from the formal evaluation and rating of (non-exempt) New Starts projects, the general process for approving entrance into FD and PE is largely consistent with FTA's prior procedures for approving entrance into preliminary engineering. FTA is revising its guidance for evaluating and approving local agency requests for advancing projects in the New Starts project development process. These revised procedures will be available in fiscal year 2000.
In addition to the appropriated fiscal year 2000 Urbanized Area Formula funds of $2,772,890,281, the apportionment also includes $4,589,012 in deobligated funds which became available for reapportionment for the Urbanized Area Formula Program as provided by 49 U.S.C. 5336(i).
Table 4 displays the amount apportioned for the Urbanized Area Formula Program. After the one-half percent for oversight is set-aside ($13,864,451), the amount of appropriated funds available for apportionment is $2,759,025,830. The funds to be reapportioned, described in the previous paragraph, are then added and increase the total amount apportioned for this program to $2,763,614,842.
An additional $4,849,950 is appropriated for the Alaska Railroad for improvements to its passenger operations. After the one-half percent for oversight is reserved ($24,250),
$4,825,700 is available for the Alaska Railroad.
Table 12 contains the fiscal year 2000 apportionment formula for the Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Program.
Data from the 1998 NTD (49 U.S.C. 5335) Report Year submitted in late 1998 and early 1999 have been used to calculate the fiscal year 2000 Urbanized Area Formula apportionments for urbanized areas 200,000 in population and over. The population and population density figures used in calculating the Urbanized Area Formula are from the 1990 Census.
The total Urbanized Area Formula apportionment to the Governor for use in areas under 200,000 in population for each state is shown in Table 4. This table also contains the total apportionment amount attributable to each of the urbanized areas within the state. The Governor may determine the allocation of funds among the urbanized areas under 200,000 in population with one exception. As further discussed below in Section G, funds attributed to an urbanized area under 200,000 in population, located within the planning boundaries of a transportation management area, must be obligated in that area.
For urbanized areas with populations 200,000 and over, TEA-21 established a minimum annual expenditure requirement of one percent for transit projects and project elements that qualify as enhancements under the Urbanized Area Formula Program. Table 4 indicates the amount set aside for enhancements in these areas. 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.
(1) Eligible Enhancements. The following are transit projects and project elements that may be counted to meet the minimum enhancement expenditure requirement:
(2) Requirements. One percent of the Urbanized Area Formula Program apportionment in each urbanized area with a population of 200,000 and over must be made available only for transit enhancements. When there are several grantees in an urbanized area, it is not required that each grantee spend one percent of its Urbanized Area Formula Program funds on transit enhancements. Rather, one percent of the urbanized area's apportionment must be expended on projects and project elements that qualify as enhancements. If these funds are not obligated for transit enhancements within three years following the fiscal year in which the funds are apportioned, the funds will lapse and no longer be available to the urbanized area, and will be reapportioned under the Urbanized Area Formula Program.
It will be the responsibility of the MPO to determine how the one percent will be allotted to transit projects. The one percent minimum requirement does not preclude more than one percent being expended in an urbanized area for transit enhancements. Items that are only eligible as enhancements--in particular, operating costs for historic facilities--may be assisted only within the one percent fund level.
(3) Project Budget. The project budget for each grant application that includes enhancement funds must include a scope code for transit enhancements and specific budget activity line items for transit enhancements.
(4) Bicycle Access. TEA-21 provides that projects providing bicycle access to transit assisted with the FTA enhancement apportionment shall be eligible for a 95 percent Federal share.
(5) Enhanced Access for Persons with Disabilities. Enhancement projects or elements of projects designed to enhance access for persons with disabilities must go beyond the requirements contained in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
(6) Enhancement Report. The recipient must submit a report to the appropriate FTA Regional Office listing the projects or elements of projects carried out with those funds during the previous fiscal year and the amount awarded. The report must be submitted in the Federal fiscal year's final quarterly report, in the Transportation Electronic Awards and Management System (TEAM). The report should include the following elements: (a) grantee name, (b) urbanized area 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.
Fiscal year 2000 funding for operating assistance is available only to urbanized areas with populations under 200,000. For these areas, there is no limitation on the amount of the state apportionment that may be used for operating assistance, and the Federal/local share ratio is 50/50.
TEA-21 provided two exceptions to the prohibition on operating assistance in areas over 200,000 in population. These areas were identified and addressed in fiscal year 1999.
Carryover funds for fiscal years 1997-1998, which were eligible for use as operating assistance are still available for operating assistance. However, the operating assistance limitations remain on the unused fiscal years 1997-1998 funds. These funds continue to be available for obligation at the Federal/local share ratio of 50/50 in fiscal year 2000 and throughout the period of availability. For unused fiscal year 1998 funds for areas under 200,000, operating assistance as a capital project with an 80 percent federal match ratio (without limitation) will continue to be available throughout the period of availability.
All urbanized areas over 200,000 in population have been designated as transportation management areas (TMAs), in accordance with 49 U.S.C. Section 5305. These designations were formally made in a Federal Register Notice dated May 18, 1992 (57 FR 21160), signed by the Federal Highway Administrator and the Federal Transit Administrator. Additional areas have been designated as TMAs upon the request of the Governor and the MPO designated for such area or the affected local officials. During fiscal year 1999, one addition to an existing TMA was formally designated: Titusville, Florida,
is included within the boundaries of the Melbourne/Palm Bay, Florida TMA.
Guidance for setting the boundaries of TMAs is contained in the joint transportation planning regulations codified at 23 CFR part 450 and 49 CFR part 613. In some cases, the TMA boundaries, which have been established by the MPO for the designated TMA, also include one or more urbanized areas with less than 200,000 in population. Where this situation exists, the discretion of the Governor to allocate Urbanized Area Formula program ``Governor's Apportionment'' funds for urbanized areas with less than 200,000 in population is restricted.
As required by 49 U.S.C. 5307(a)(2), a recipient(s) must be designated to dispense the Urbanized Area Formula funds attributable to TMAs. Those urbanized areas that do not already have a designated recipient must name one and notify the appropriate FTA regional office of the designation. This includes those urbanized areas with less than 200,000 in population that may receive TMA designation independently, or those with less than 200,000 in population which are currently included within the boundaries of a larger designated TMA. In both cases, the Governor only has discretion to allocate Governor's Apportionment funds attributable to areas which are outside of designated TMA boundaries. In order for the FTA and Governors to know which urbanized areas under 200,000 in population are included within the boundaries of an existing TMA, and so that they can be identified in future Federal Register notices, each MPO whose TMA planning boundaries include these smaller urbanized areas is asked to identify such areas to the FTA. This notification should be made in writing to the Associate Administrator for Program Management, Federal Transit Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590, no later than July 1 of each fiscal year. To date, FTA has been notified of the following urbanized areas with less than 200,000 in population that are included within the planning boundaries of designated TMAs:
|Designated TMA||Small urbanized area included in TMA boundaries|
|Baltimore, Maryland||Annapolis, Maryland.|
|Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas||Denton, Texas; Lewisville, Texas.|
|Houston, Texas||Galveston, Texas; Texas City, Texas.|
|Orlando, Florida||Kissimmee, Florida.|
|Melbourne-Palm Bay, Florida||Titusville, Florida.|
|Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Pottstown, Pennsylvania.|
|Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Monessen, Pennsylvania; Steubenville- Weirton, OH-WV-PA (PA portion).|
|Seattle, Washington||Bremerton, Washington.|
|Washington, DC-MD-VA||Frederick, Maryland (MD portion).|
Urbanized Area Formula funds apportioned to a TMA are also available for highway projects if the following three conditions are 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.
Urbanized Area Formula funds that are designated for highway projects will be transferred to and administered by the FHWA. The MPO should notify FTA of its intent to program FTA funds for highway purposes.
The National Transit Database (NTD) is FTA's national database for statistics on the transit industry. Each year, FTA grantees use diskettes to report on their operating and financial statistics to FTA. These grantees receive formula funds based, in part, on the statistics they submit. NTD data is summarized and used to report to Congress on the performance of the transit industry and to assess whether FTA goals have been met. In addition, a profile report is produced for each transit authority that submits data. NTD profile report data is often used in transit planning. These annual NTD summary reports and profile reports have been available on FTA's website for several years.
During the fall of 1999, FTA will begin testing a new Internet reporting system to replace diskette reporting. A number of agencies have volunteered to test this new system of transit operator data input via the Internet. Internet reporting should speed data collection and validation. Internet reporting is scheduled to begin in the fall of year 2000.
The fiscal year 2000 Nonurbanized Area Formula apportionments to the states total $192,717,384 and are displayed in Table 5. Of the $193,612,968 appropriated, one-half percent ($968,065) was reserved for oversight. In addition to the current appropriation, the funds available for apportionment included $72,481 in deobligated funds from fiscal years prior to 2000. The population figures used in calculating these apportionments are from the 1990 Census.
The Nonurbanized Formula Program provides capital, operating and administrative assistance for areas under 50,000 in population. Each state must spend no less than 15 percent of its fiscal year 2000 Nonurbanized Area Formula apportionment for the development and support of intercity bus transportation, unless the Governor certifies to the Secretary that the intercity bus service needs of the state are being adequately met. Fiscal year 2000 Nonurbanized Area Formula grant applications must reflect this level of programming for intercity bus or include a certification from the Governor.
The fiscal year 2000 RTAP apportionments to the states total $4,800,180 and are also displayed on Table 5. This amount includes $4,725,000 in fiscal year 2000 appropriated funds, and $75,180 in prior year deobligated funds, which are available for reapportionment.
Of the total $5,250,000 authorized and appropriated for RTAP in fiscal year 2000, FTA set-aside 10 percent in order to fund RTAP activities carried out at
the national level. Due to the limited amount of discretionary funds available this year in the national planning and research program, FTA elected to fund both state and national components from the RTAP appropriation in order to ensure the continuity of national program activities, such as the Transit Resource Center and production and distribution of training materials that support the various states' RTAP activities.
All states will notice a reduction in their apportionment compared to fiscal year 1999 as a result of the 10 percent takedown. However, the impact on the larger states is proportionately greater because the formula includes a minimum allocation of $65,000 to each state. For most states, however, the fiscal year 2000 allocation is greater than, or only slightly less than, their apportionment in fiscal year 1998.
The funds are allocated to the states to undertake research, training, technical assistance, and other support services to meet the needs of transit operators in nonurbanized areas. These funds are to be used in conjunction with the states' administration of the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program.
A total of $72,986,415 is apportioned to the states for fiscal year 2000 for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program. In addition to the fiscal year 2000 appropriation of $72,946,801, the fiscal year 2000 apportionment also includes $39,614 in prior year unobligated funds, which are available for reapportionment under the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program. Table 6 shows each state's apportionment.
The formula for apportioning these funds uses 1990 Census population data for persons aged 65 and over and for persons with disabilities.
The funds provide capital assistance for transportation for elderly persons and persons with disabilities. Eligible capital expenses may include, at the option of the recipient, the acquisition of transportation services by a contract, lease, or other arrangement.
While the assistance is intended primarily for private non-profit organizations, public bodies that coordinate services for the elderly and persons with disabilities, or any public body that certifies to the state that there are no non-profit organizations in the area that are readily available to carry out the service, may receive these funds.
These funds may be transferred by the Governor to supplement the Urbanized Area Formula or Nonurbanized Area Formula capital funds during the last 90 days of the fiscal year.
TEA-21 made changes in how funds are to be transferred from FHWA to FTA. Section 1103(i) of TEA-21, as amended, provides that when funds are transferred or ``flexed,'' obligation authority will be transferred to the receiving agency. Under ISTEA obligation authority was not transferred.
Effective October 1, 1999, new procedures were implemented to accommodate this change for fiscal year 2000 and subsequent years. The transfer process is described below.
Transfer from FHWA to FTA. Flexible funds designated for use in transit projects must result from the metropolitan and state planning and programming process, and must be included in an approved State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) before the funds can be transferred. To initiate the process the grantee must submit a completed application to the FTA regional office and notify the State Highway Agency that it has submitted an application that requires a transfer of funds. By letter, the State Highway Agencies (SHA) request the transfer of highway funds for a transit project(s) through their FHWA Division. The letter should specify the project, amount to be transferred, apportionment year, State, federal aid apportionment category (i.e. Surface Transportation Program (STP), Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ), Interstate Substitute, or Other-- Earmarks), and 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 Highway Agency and FTA. FHWA then transfers obligation authority and an equal amount of cash to FTA. All CMAQ or STP, or Other funds (FHWA earmarks) 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 application for the project must specify which transit program (title 49 U.S.C. section) funds will be utilized and the application should be prepared in conformance with the requirements and procedures governing that section. Upon review and approval of the grantee's application, FTA obligates funds for the project.
The flexible funds are treated as FTA formula funds, although they retain a special identifying code. The funds may be used for any purpose eligible under the FTA formula programs. CMAQ funds, however, have to be used for air quality purposes and some eligible projects are defined by the Clean Air Act. All FTA requirements are applicable to transferred funds. Flexible funds should be combined with regular FTA funds in a single annual grant application.
Transfers from FTA to FHWA. The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) submits a request to the FTA Regional Office for a transfer of FTA Section 5307 formula funds (apportioned to an urbanized area 200,000 and over in population) to FHWA based on its approved use for highway purposes, as contained in the State governor's approved multi- year STIP document. 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 to FTA Headquarters, where the grantee's formula apportionmment is reduced, in TEAM (FTA's electronic grant making and management system), by the dollar amount being transferred to FHWA.
For information regarding these procedures, please contact Kristen D. Clarke, FTA Budget Division at (202) 366-2918 or Fred Gessler, FHWA Finance Division at (202) 366-2847.
The provisions of Title 23, U.S.C. regarding the non-Federal share apply to Title 23 funds used for transit projects. Thus, flexible funds transferred to FTA retain the same matching share that the funds would have if used for highway purposes and administered by the FHWA.
There are three instances in which a higher than 80 percent Federal share would be maintained. First, in states with large areas of Indian and certain public domain lands, and national forests, parks and monuments, the local share for highway projects is determined by a sliding scale rate, calculated based on the percentage of public lands within that state. This sliding scale, which permits a greater
Federal share, but not to exceed 95 percent, is applicable to transit projects funded with flexible funds in these public land states. FHWA develops the sliding scale matching ratios for the increased Federal share.
Secondly, commuter carpooling and vanpooling projects and transit safety projects using flexible funds administered by FTA may retain the same 100 percent Federal share that would be allowed for ride-sharing or safety projects administered by the FHWA.
The third instance includes the 100 percent Federal safety projects; however, these are subject to a nationwide 10 percent program limitation.
The formula for allocating the Fixed Guideway Modernization funds contains seven tiers. The allocation of funding under the first four tiers, through fiscal year 2003, will be based on data used to apportion the funding in fiscal year 1997. Funding under the last three tiers will be apportioned based on the latest available route miles and revenue vehicle miles on segments at least seven years old as reported to the National Transit Database.
Table 7 displays the fiscal year 2000 Fixed Guideway Modernization apportionments. Fixed Guideway Modernization funds apportioned for this section must be used for capital projects to maintain, modernize, or improve fixed guideway systems.
All urbanized areas with fixed guideway systems that are at least seven years old are eligible to receive Fixed Guideway Modernization funds. A request for the start-up service dates for fixed guideways has been incorporated into the National Transit Database reporting system to ensure that all eligible fixed guideway data is included in the calculation of the apportionments. A threshold level of more than one mile of fixed guideway is required to receive Fixed Guideway Modernization funds. Therefore, urbanized areas reporting one mile or less of Fixed Guideway mileage under the National Transit Database are not included.
For fiscal year 2000, $980,400,000 was appropriated for fixed guideway modernization. After deducting the three-fourth percent for oversight ($7,353,000), $973,047,000 is available for apportionment to the specified urbanized areas.
Each year, the new fixed guideway modernization formula will allocate funds by seven tiers. A listing of the tiers and the funds available under each are delineated in Table 13. For tiers 5, 6, and 7, allocations will be based on the latest available route miles and revenue vehicle miles for fixed guideway segments at least seven years old as reported to the National Transit Database.
The fiscal year 2000 appropriation for New Starts is $980,400,000, which was fully allocated in the fiscal year 2000 DOT Appropriations Act. However, by statute, this amount is reduced by three-fourth percent ($7,353,000) for oversight activities, leaving $973,047,000 available for allocations to projects. The oversight reduction was applied on a pro-rata basis to all projects specified in the fiscal year 2000 DOT Appropriations Act, yielding the final allocation for each project as shown in Table 8 of this notice. Prior year unobligated appropriations for New Starts in the amount of $542,823,668 remain available for obligation in fiscal year 2000. These carryover amounts are displayed in Table 8A.
The fiscal year 2000 appropriation for Bus is $490,200,000 for the purchase of buses, bus-related equipment and paratransit vehicles, and for the construction of bus-related facilities. TEA-21 established a $100,000,000 Clean Fuels Formula Program under Section 5308. The program is authorized to be funded with $50,000,000 from the Bus category of the Capital Investment Program, and $50,000,000 from the Formula Program. However, the fiscal year 2000 DOT Appropriations Act directs FTA to transfer $50,000,000 appropriated under the Formula Program to and merge it with funding provided for the Bus category of the Capital Investment Program. Thus, $540,200,000 of funds appropriated in fiscal year 2000 are available for funding the Bus category of the Capital Program. After deducting the three-fourth percent for oversight ($4,051,500) the amount of fiscal year 2000 appropriated funds available for allocation is $536,148,500. Prior year unobligated funds directed by Congress to be reallocated in the amount of $1,199,750 are then added and increase the total amount allocated to $537,348,250 under the Bus category.
The 2000 DOT Appropriations Act allocated all of the fiscal year 2000 Bus funds to specified states or localities for bus and bus- related projects.
Because the three-fourth percent for oversight was subtracted from the amount appropriated in the DOT Appropriations Act and not the reallocated funds, each bus project receives less than the funding level contained in the DOT Appropriations Act. No funds remain available for discretionary allocation by the Federal Transit Administrator. Table 9 displays the allocations of the fiscal year 2000 Bus funds by area.
Prior year unobligated appropriations for Bus Program earmarks in the amount of $472,955,785 remain available for obligation in fiscal year 2000, and are displayed in Table 9A.
For Section 5309 projects funding battery electric, hybrid electric or fuel cell vehicles, FTA intends to ask for additional information as part of project quarterly progress reports. Grantees will be advised of the specifics of this at a later date. See section XII, Clean Fuels Formula Program, for a discussion of this proposal.
The fiscal year 2000 appropriation for the Job Access and Reverse Commute Program is $75,000,000. Of this amount $49,570,000 has been allocated to projects specified in the fiscal year 2000 Conference report. These allocations are listed in Table 10.
This program, established under TEA-21, provides funding for the provision of transportation services designed to increase access to jobs and employment-related activities. Job Access projects are those which transport welfare recipients and low-income individuals in urban, suburban, or rural areas to and from jobs and activities related to their employment. Reverse Commute projects provide transportation services for the general public from urban, suburban, and rural areas to suburban employment opportunities. A total of $10 million from the appropriation can be used for Reverse Commute Projects.
One of the goals of the Job Access and Reverse Commute program is to increase collaboration among transportation providers, human service agencies, employers, metropolitan planning organizations, states, and affected communities and individuals. All projects funded under this program must be derived from an area-wide Job Access and Reverse Commute Transportation Plan, developed through a regional approach which supports the implementation of a variety of transportation services designed to connect welfare recipients to jobs and related activities. A key element of the
program is making the most efficient use of existing public, nonprofit and private transportation service providers.
In fiscal year 1999, FTA undertook a national solicitation of applications for this program and established a competitive process to review all applications. As a result of this process, FTA selected 179 different projects in agencies and organizations in 42 states for funding.
A separate Federal Register Notice providing program guidance and application procedures for fiscal year 2000 will be issued for the program. The notice will be also available on the FTA website.
The amount available for the Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility (OTRB) Program in fiscal year 2000 is $3,710,000. In addition to $3,700,000 appropriated for fiscal year 2000, $10,000 remaining from the fiscal year 1999 appropriation is available for award in fiscal year 2000. Of the $3,710,000 available for the program, $2,010,000 is available to providers of intercity fixed-route service, and $1,700,000 is available to other providers of the over-the-road bus services, including local fixed-route service, commuter service, and charter and tour service.
The Over-the-road Bus (OTRB) Accessibility 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, published in a Federal Register Notice on September 24, 1998. FTA conducts a national solicitation of applications and grantees are selected on a competitive basis.
In fiscal year 1999, the first year in which the program was implemented, a total of $2 million was available to intercity fixed- route providers. FTA selected 11 applicants from among the 20 applications submitted for funding incremental capital and training costs.
A separate Federal Register Notice providing program guidance and application procedures for fiscal year 2000 will be issued for this program. The notice will be available on the FTA website.
TEA-21 established a $100,000,000 Clean Fuels Formula Grant Program under Section 5308 to assist non-attainment and maintenance areas in achieving or maintaining attainment status and to support markets for emerging clean fuel technologies. Under the program, public transit agencies in maintenance and non-attainment areas (as defined by the EPA) were to apply for formula funds to acquire clean fuel vehicles, to repower or retrofit engines for clean fuels operation, and to construct or improve facilities to support clean fuel vehicles. The legislation specified the program to be funded with $50,000,000 from the Bus category of the Capital Investment Program, and $50,000,000 from the Formula Program. The fiscal year 2000 DOT Appropriations Act transfers $50,000,000 appropriated under the Formula Program to and merges it with funding provided for the replacement, rehabilitation and purchase of buses and related equipment and the construction of bus related facilities under the Bus category of the Capital Investment Program. In addition, in fiscal years 1999 and 2000 Congress allocated the entire Bus category, including the $100,000,000, which TEA-21 provides for funding of the Clean Fuels Formula Program. The appropriation actions of Congress override the provisions established in TEA-21 for the Clean Fuels Formula Program. Therefore, FTA cannot implement this new program in fiscal year 2000. The fiscal year 2000 Bus Allocations on Table 9 include the funding which would have been available for the Clean Fuels Formula Program under TEA-21.
While the Clean Fuels Formula Program was not funded by Congress in fiscal year 2000, as in fiscal year 1999, FTA supports the objectives of the program and is interested in collecting relevant information on the operations and performance of clean fuel technology buses in revenue service to help assess the reliability, benefits, and costs of these technologies compared to conventional vehicle technologies, and to provide more accurate information to transit agencies for future clean fuel and advanced propulsion vehicle purchases. It was FTA's intent to require grantees receiving Clean Fuels Formula funds for projects to purchase or lease buses powered by advanced propulsion technologies (e.g. battery electric, hybrid electric and fuel cell powered vehicles) to provide information to FTA on the operations, performance and maintenance of those vehicles. Since the Clean Fuels Formula Program was not funded in fiscal year 2000, but rather funds were allocated as part of the capital program for bus, FTA intends to require grantees receiving capital funds to purchase or lease buses powered by advanced propulsion technologies (battery electric, hybrid electric, and fuel cell) to report to FTA information that will further the state of the industry's knowledge about operation of these advanced technologies. Grantees receiving funds to purchase or lease alternative fuel technologies such as CNG or LNG may voluntarily provide similar information. Grantees will be advised of the new reporting requirements for the Section 5309 program for these specific bus technologies in the near future.
The dollar unit values of data derived from the computations of the Urbanized Area Formula Program, the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, and the Capital Investment Program--Fixed Guideway Modernization apportionments are displayed in Table 14 of this notice. To determine how an apportionment amount was computed for an area, multiply its population, population density, and data from the NTD by the unit values.
The funds apportioned under the Metropolitan Planning Program and the State Planning and Research Program, the Urbanized Area Formula Program, and the Fixed Guideway Modernization Program, in this notice, will remain available to be obligated by FTA to recipients for three fiscal years following fiscal year 2000. Any of these apportioned funds unobligated at the close of business on September 30, 2003 will revert to FTA for reapportionment under these respective programs.
Funds apportioned to nonurbanized areas under the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, including RTAP funds, will remain available for two fiscal years following fiscal year 2000. Any such funds remaining unobligated at the close of business on September 30, 2002, will revert to FTA for reapportionment among the states under the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program. Funds allocated to states under the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program in this notice must be obligated by September 30, 2000. Any such funds remaining unobligated as of this date will revert to FTA for reapportionment among the states under the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program. The fiscal year 2000 DOT Appropriations Act includes a provision requiring that fiscal year 2000 New Starts and Bus funds not obligated for their original purpose as of September 30, 2002, shall be made
available for other discretionary projects within the respective categories of the Capital Investment Program.
FTA provides blanket or automatic pre-award authority to cover certain program areas described below. This pre-award authority allows grantees to incur 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, which are described below, are met to retain eligibility. This automatic pre-award spending authority 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. Prior to exercising pre-award authority, grantees must comply with the conditions and Federal requirements outlined in paragraphs B and C immediately below. Failure to do so will render an otherwise eligible project ineligible for FTA financial assistance. In addition, grantees are strongly encouraged to consult with the appropriate regional office if there could be any question regarding the eligibility of the project for future FTA funds or the applicability of the conditions and Federal requirements.
Authority to incur costs for fiscal year 1998 Fixed Guideway Modernization, Metropolitan Planning, Urbanized Area Formula, Elderly and Persons with Disabilities, Nonurbanized Area Formula, STP or CMAQ flexible funds to be transferred from the FHWA and State Planning and Research Programs in advance of possible future Federal participation was provided in the December 5, 1997, Federal Register Notice. Pre- award authority was extended in the June 24, 1998 Federal Register Notice on TEA-21 to all formula funds and flexible funds that will be apportioned during the authorization period of TEA-21, 1998-2003. Pre- award authority also applies to Capital Investment Bus allocations identified in this notice. Pre-award authority does not apply to Capital New Start funds, or to Capital Investment Bus projects not specified in this or previous notices, except as described in D. below. Pre-award authority also applies to preventive maintenance costs incurred within a local fiscal year ending during calendar year 1997, or thereafter, under the formula programs cited above.
For Section 5309 Capital Investment Bus projects, the date that costs may be incurred is the date that the appropriation bill in which they are contained is enacted. For blanket pre-award authority in formula programs described above, the effective date is June 9, 1998.
Similar to the FTA Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) authority, the conditions under which this authority may be utilized are specified below:
FTA emphasizes that all of the Federal grant requirements must be met for the project to remain eligible for Federal funding. Some of these requirements must be met before pre-award costs are incurred, notably the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the planning requirements. Compliance with NEPA and other environmental laws or executive orders (e.g., protection of parklands, wetlands, historic properties) must be completed before state or local funds are spent on implementing activities such as final design, construction, and acquisition for a project that is expected to be subsequently funded with FTA funds. Depending on which class the project is included under in FTA environmental regulations (23 CFR part 771), the grantee may not advance the project beyond planning and preliminary engineering before FTA has issued either a categorical exclusion (refer to 23 CFR part 771.117(d)), a finding of no significant impact, or a final environmental impact statement. The conformity requirements of the Clean Air Act (40 CFR part 93) also must be fully met before the project may be advanced with non-Federal funds.
Similarly, the requirement that a project be included in a locally adopted metropolitan transportation improvement program and federally approved statewide transportation improvement program must be followed before the project may be advanced with non-Federal funds. In addition, Federal procurement procedures, as well as the whole range of Federal requirements, must be followed for projects in which Federal funding will be sought in the future. Failure to follow any such requirements could make the project ineligible for Federal funding. In short, this increased administrative flexibility requires a grantee to make certain that no Federal requirements are circumvented 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.
Before an applicant may incur costs either for activities expected to be funded by New Start funds, or for Bus Capital projects not listed in this notice or previous notices, it must first obtain a written 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.
New Starts Projects are required to follow a federally defined planning process. This process includes, among other things, FTA approval of entry of a project into preliminary engineering and approval to enter final design. The grantee requests for entry into preliminary engineering and the request for entry into final design both document the project and how it meets the New Starts criteria in detail. With FTA approval to enter preliminary engineering, and subsequently approval to enter final design, FTA will automatically extend pre-award authority to that phase of project development. The pre-award authority
to incur costs for final design is strictly limited to design work. No capital items or right of way acquisition is included in this blanket pre-award authority.
This is a new provision and is intended to streamline and eliminate duplicative and unnecessary paperwork and reinforce the importance of these new starts approval actions. New Starts construction or right-of- way acquisition as well as New Starts planning funded with Section 5309 funds not covered by preliminary engineering or final design approval still need to request letters of no prejudice as described below.
Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) Policy authority allows an applicant to incur costs on a future 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 the FTA approve the project at a later date. LONPs are applicable to projects 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 funds not yet appropriated by Congress. At the end of an authorization period, there may be LONPs for formula funds beyond the life of the current authorization.
Under most circumstances the LONP will cover the total project. Under certain circumstances the LONP may be issued for local match only. In such cases the local match would be to permit real estate to be used for match for the project at a later date.
The following conditions apply to all LONPs.
As with automatic pre-award authority, FTA emphasizes that all of the Federal grant requirements must be met for the project to remain eligible for Federal funding. Some of these requirements must be met before pre-award costs are incurred, notably the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the planning requirements. Compliance with NEPA and other environmental laws or executive orders (e.g., protection of parklands, wetlands, historic properties) must be completed before state or local funds are spent on implementation activities such as final design, construction, or acquisition for a project expected to be subsequently funded with FTA funds. Depending on which class the project is included under in FTA's environmental regulations (23 CFR part 771), the grantee may not advance the project beyond planning and preliminary engineering before FTA has approved either a categorical exclusion (refer to 23 CFR part 771.117(d)), a finding of no significant impact, or a final environmental impact statement. The conformity requirements of the Clean Air Act (40 CFR part 93) also must be fully met before the project may be advanced with non-Federal funds.
Similarly, the requirement that a project be included in a locally adopted metropolitan transportation improvement program and federally approved statewide transportation improvement program must be followed before the project may be advanced with non-Federal funds. In addition, Federal procurement procedures, as well as the whole range of Federal requirements, must be followed for projects in which Federal funding will be sought in the future. Failure to follow any such requirements could make the project ineligible for Federal funding. In short, this pre-award authority requires a grantee to make certain that no Federal requirements are circumvented. If a grantee has questions or concerns regarding the environmental requirements, or any other Federal requirements that must be met before incurring costs, it should contact the appropriate regional office.
Before an applicant may incur costs for a project not covered by automatic pre-award authority, it must first submit a written request for an LONP to the appropriate regional office. This written request must include a description of the project for which pre-award authority is desired and a justification for the request.
FTA provides extended customer service by making available transit information on the FTA website, including this Apportionment Notice. Also posted on the website are FTA program Circulars: C9030.1C, Urbanized Area Formula Program: Grant Application Instructions, dated October 1, 1998; C9040.1E, Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions, dated October 1, 1998; C9070.1E, The Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program Guidance and Application Instructions, dated October 1, 1998; C9300.1A, Capital Program: Grant Application Instructions, dated October 1, 1998; 4220.1D, Third Party Contracting Requirements, dated April 15, 1996; C5010.1C, Grant Management Guidelines, dated October 1, 1998; and C8100.1B, Program Guidance and Application Instructions for Metropolitan Planning Program Grants, dated October 25, 1996. The fiscal year 2000 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances is also posted on the FTA website. Other documents on the FTA website of particular interest to public transit providers and users include the 1998 Statistical Summaries of FTA Grant Assistance Programs, and the National Transit Database Profiles.
The FTA Home Page may be accessed at: [http://www.fta.dot.gov]. FTA circulars are listed at: [Circulars/Guidance]. Other guidance of interest to Grantees can be found at: [Grants & Financing].
Grantees should check the FTA website frequently to keep up to date on new postings.
The Fiscal Year 2000 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances is published in conjunction with the Apportionments, as per 49 U.S.C. section 5307(k). It appears as a separate
Part of the Federal Register on the same date whenever possible. The fiscal year 2000 list contains several changes to the previous year's Federal Register publication. As in previous years, the grant applicant should certify electronically. Under certain circumstances the Applicant may enter its PIN number in lieu of an electronic signature provided by its Attorney, provided the Applicant has on file the current Affirmation of its Attorney in writing dated this Federal fiscal year. The applicant is advised to contact the appropriate FTA Regional Office for electronic procedure information.
The fiscal year 2000 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances is accessible on the Internet at: http://www.fta.dot.gov/. Any questions regarding this document may be addressed to the appropriate Regional Office.
All applications for FTA funds should be submitted to the appropriate FTA Regional Office. FTA utilizes an electronic grant application system known as TEAM and all applications should be filed electronically. FTA has provided exceptions to the requirement for electronic filing of applications for certain new, non-traditional grantees in the Job Access and Reverse Commute and Over the Road Bus programs as well as to a few grantees who have not successfully connected to or accessed TEAM. Formula and Capital Investment grant applications should be prepared in conformance with the following FTA Circulars: Program Guidance and Application Instructions for Metropolitan Planning Program Grants--C8100.1B, October 25, 1996; Urbanized Area Formula Program: Grant Application Instructions-- C9030.1C, October 1, 1998; Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions--C9040.1E, October 1, 1998; Section 5310 Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program Guidance and Application Instructions C9070.1E, October 1, 1998; and Section 5309 Capital Program: Grant Application Instructions--C9300.1A, October 1, 1998. Guidance on preparation of applications for State Planning and Research funds may be obtained from each FTA Regional Office. Copies of circulars are available from FTA Regional Offices as well as the FTA Home Page on the Internet.
Applications for STP or CMAQ ``flexible'' fund grants should be prepared in the same manner as for funds under the program to which they are being transferred. The application for flexible funds needs to specifically indicate the type and amount of flexible funds being transferred to FTA. The application should also describe which items are being funded with flexible funds, consistent with the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
Issued on: October 21, 1999. Gordon J. Linton,
BILLING CODE 4910-57-P
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[FR Doc. 99-27924 Filed 10-27-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-C