Number 63 60051
[Federal Register: November 6, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 215)]
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 1999 Apportionments, Allocations and Program Information
AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.
SUMMARY: The Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year 1999 includes Appropriations for Department of Transportation (DOT) and Related Agencies for fiscal year 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277), signed into law by President Clinton on October 21, 1998, and provides fiscal year 1999 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 1999 funds in the 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act for the Metropolitan Planning Program and State Planning and Research Program, the Urbanized Area Formula Program, the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program, the Rural Transit Assistance Program, and the Capital Program for Fixed Guideway Modernization. This Notice also contains the allocations of funds for the New Starts and Bus categories under the Capital Program in the 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act. Also it contains general information about new programs established under TEA-21: the Clean Fuels Formula Program, the Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility Program, the Job Access and Reverse Commute Program, and the Transportation and Community and System Preservation Pilot Program.
Information regarding TEA-21 funding authorization levels for use in developing Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPS) and State Transportation Improvement Programs (STIP) is also included. For informational purposes, this Notice contains the apportionment of fiscal year 1999 funds for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Metropolitan Planning Program and the estimated apportionment of the fiscal year 1999 State Planning and Research Program.
Included in this Notice is a listing of prior year unobligated allocations for the Section 5309 New Starts and Bus Programs as in previous year notices. In addition, the FTA policy regarding pre-award authority to incur project costs, the Letter of No Prejudice Policy, as well as other pertinent program information is included.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
The appropriate FTA Regional Administrator for grant-specific information and issues; Patricia Levine, Director, Office of Resource Management and State Programs, (202) 366-2053, for general information about the Urbanized Area Formula Program, the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program, the Rural Transit Assistance Program, the Clean Fuels Formula Program, the Over- the-Road Bus Accessibility Program, or the Capital Program; or Robert Stout, Director, Office of Planning Operations, (202) 366-6385, for general information concerning the Metropolitan Planning Program, the State Planning and Research Program, and the Transportation and Community and System Preservation Pilot Program.
Metropolitan Planning funds are apportioned by a statutory formula to the Governors for allocation by them to Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in urbanized areas or portions thereof. State Planning and Research funds also are apportioned to states by a statutory formula. Urbanized Area Formula Program funds are apportioned by statutory formula to urbanized areas and to the Governors to provide capital, operating and planning assistance in urbanized areas. Nonurbanized Area Formula Program funds are apportioned by statutory formula to the Governors for capital, operating and administrative assistance in nonurbanized areas. The Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program funds are apportioned by statutory formula to the Governors to provide capital assistance to organizations providing transportation service for the elderly and persons with disabilities. Fixed Guideway Modernization funds are apportioned by statutory formula to specified urbanized areas for capital improvements in rail and other fixed guideways. New Start and Bus funds identified in the Omnibus Appropriations Act are also included in this Notice.
The fiscal year 1999 appropriations for the FTA program is $5,390,000,000, the guaranteed funding level under TEA-21, plus an additional $25,000,000 above the guaranteed level to support the Administration's proposed and TEA-21 adopted Job Access and Reverse Commute Program.
In fiscal year 1999, the appropriation for the Metropolitan Planning Program is $43,841,600 and $9,158,400 for the State Planning and Research Program. The appropriation for formula grants totals $2,850,000,000. 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 for the Clean Fuels Formula Program is transferred to the Capital Investment Bus program, and $2,000,000 is for the Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility Program. Of the remaining amount of $2,793,150,050, 91.23 percent ($2,548,190,791) is made available to the Urbanized Area Formula Program, 6.37 percent ($177,923,658) is made available to the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, and 2.4 percent ($67,035,601) 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 $2,257,000,000 for the Capital Program. Of the Capital Program amount, $902,800,000 is for Fixed Guideway Modernization, $902,800,000 is for New Starts, and $451,400,000 is for Bus Capital. In addition, $50,000,000 of formula funds for Clean Fuels was transferred to and merged with the Bus Capital Program increasing that program to $501,400,000. $75,000,000 is for the Job Access and Reverse Commute Program.
Table 1 displays the amounts appropriated for these programs, including adjustments and final apportionment and allocation amounts. The following text provides a narrative explanation for the funding levels and other factors affecting these apportionments and allocations.
TEA-21 provides a combination of trust and general fund authorizations that total $6,542,000,000 for fiscal year 1999 FTA program. Of this amount, $5,365,000,000 is guaranteed under the discretionary spending cap. See Table 9 for fiscal years 1998-2003 guaranteed fund levels by program, and Table 9A for the total of guaranteed and non-guaranteed levels by program.
Information regarding estimates of the fundings levels for 1999- 2003 by state and urbanized area is available on the FTA home page at www.fta.dot.gov. These 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.
49 U.S.C. Section 5327 allows the Secretary of Transportation to use not more than one-half percent of the funds made available under the Urbanized Area Formula Program, the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program; the National Capital Transportation Act, as 1 amended; and three-quarters percent of funds made available under the Capital 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, the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program and the National Capital Transportation Act, as amended, for fiscal year 1999, and three-quarters percent of Capital Program funds have been reserved for these purposes before apportionment of funds.
Over a thirty-day period that began in early September of 1998, the FTA conducted eight listening sessions for its customers and constituents. Sessions were held in Dallas, Portland, San Francisco, Atlanta, Kansas City, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York.
The sessions were designed to allow FTA leadership and staff to hear the concerns and issues that people had with respect to the implementation of TEA-21. The overwhelming majority of people who spoke during the sessions asked questions about new provisions, implementation schedules and funding levels. The principal issues in all of the
sessions were changes in the New Start evaluation process, the new preventive maintenance provision, and the three new programs: Job Access and Reverse Commute; Clean Fuel Formula; and Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility.
To incorporate changes introduced in TEA-21, FTA has issued revised program guidance circulars. New circulars, which are all effective October 1, 1998, include C9030.1C, Urbanized Area Formula Program: Grant Application Instructions; C9040.1E, Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions; C9070.1E, Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions; C9300.1A, Capital Program: Grant Application Instructions; and C5010.1C, Grant Management Guidelines.
With eight years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), compliance with all aspects of ADA is one of FTA's highest priorities. FTA will continue to focus on grantees' compliance with ADA. Several grantees have entered into voluntary compliance agreements (VCAs) which represent their commitment to come into full compliance. FTA will continue to monitor the milestones in the VCAs and expects the grantees to meet them.
TEA-21 and the fiscal year 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act provide unprecedented levels of funding for public transportation and these increased funds should be utilized to ensure speedy and full compliance with all aspects of the ADA.
Grantees that may have difficulties with ADA compliance should contact their FTA regional office as soon as they are aware of any problems.
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 the FTA regional office or on the internet at www.its.dot.gov. These standards and requirements apply to fiscal year 1999 bus allocations included in this notice which 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 FTA Grants Management Information System (GMIS) became operational 10 years ago. In 1994 FTA began the Electronic Grant Making and Management (EGMM) initiative. The EGMM program is a paperless electronic grant application, review, approval, acceptance and management process. This program started as a pilot effort and involved 20 grantees nationwide who served as pilots. By fiscal year 1998, 191 grantees were participating in the FTA EGMM program. Over 800 grantees were on line for various management activities such as filing of financial and narrative status reports. In addition, grantees could use EGMM for the electronic signature of annual certifications and assurances. During the assessment of the GMIS, FTA became aware that the GMIS was not Year 2000 compliant.
On November 2, 1998, FTA will introduce its third generation of electronic enhancements when the Transportation Electronic Awards and Management System, the TEAM system, becomes operational. This will make FTA's mission critical grant management systems Year 2000 compliant, and the FTA grant delivery process will not be interrupted. The TEAM system utilizes graphical user interface (GUI) technology providing point and click ``Smart'' selections that aid the grant recipients with their business process for submitting applications and management reporting.
During fiscal year 1999, the TEAM system will use a dual grant numbering system which includes the current system and one that reflects the codification of Federal transit laws. For example, a current number may be NY-90-X321; the new number would be NY-5307-0321. Starting with fiscal year 2000, only the numbers reflecting the codification will be used.
FTA outreach to the industry has been extensive and thorough. FTA personnel have traveled to 30 cities to conduct hands-on training sessions, which have attracted over 1,200 transit industry professionals--with more sessions underway until everyone who uses FTA programs can access the TEAM system. On September 30, 1998, FTA began distributing the TEAM system software to grantees at no charge and expects all grantees to apply for grants electronically in fiscal year 1999.
In fiscal year 1999 FTA expects grantees to use the TEAM system grantees for grant application and approval, as well as for grant management activities if they have not already done so. FTA also expects all grantees to file the fiscal year 1999 Certifications and Assurances electronically using the TEAM system.
Preventive maintenance, an expense that became eligible for FTA capital assistance for one year with the DOT 1998 Appropriations Act, was established as permanently eligible for FTA capital assistance under TEA-21; therefore, FY 1998 funds and subsequent fiscal year appropriations may be used for preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance costs are defined as all maintenance costs. For general guidance regarding eligible maintenance costs, the grantee should refer to the definition of maintenance in the most recent National Transit Database reporting manual. A grantee may continue to request assistance for capital expenses under the FTA policies governing associated capital maintenance items (spare parts), vehicle overhaul as 20 percent of maintenance, maintenance of vehicle leased under contract, and vehicle rebuilds (major re-work); or a grantee may choose to capture all maintenance under preventive maintenance. If a grantee purchases service instead of operating service directly, and maintenance is included in the contract for that purchased service, then the grantee may apply for preventive maintenance capital assistance under the capital cost of contracting policy. The capital cost of contracting policy is discussed below.
For accounting purposes, the grantee is cautioned not to confuse the fact that an item generally considered to be an operating expense is eligible for FTA capital assistance. Generally accepted accounting principles and the grantee's accounting system detemine those costs that are to be accounting for as operating costs. The National Transit Database
Reporting System (NTD) follows generally accepted accounting principles, so a grant recipient reporting to the NTD must report the operating costs the grant recipient has incurred as operating costs regardless of its eligibility for FTA capital assistance. Nevertheless, under provisions of TEA-21 and earlier under provision of the fiscal year 1998 Approriations Act, some of those operating costs, while continuing to be accounted for as operating costs in the grant recipient's accounting records, are now eligible for FTA capital assistance. Grantees may not count the same costs twice.
TEA-21 expanded the definition of an eligible capital project to include: ``* * * the provision of nonfixed route paratransit transportation in accordance with Section 223 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12143), but only for grant recipients that are in compliance with the applicable requirements of the Act, including both fixed route and demand responsive service, and only for amounts not to exceed 10 percent of such recipient's annual formula apportionment under sections 5307 and 5311.''
Recipients of formula funds under the Urbanized Area Formula Program and the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program may now use up to 10 percent of their annual formula apportionment to pay for ADA paratransit operating costs. Section 223 of the ADA defines the specific type of paratransit service that is eligible for this new provision which is implemented in Subpart F of the Department of Transportation's ADA regulation, which (at 49 CFR Part 37) explains the ADA paratransit eligibility process, and the service criteria (service area, response time, fares, trip purpose restrictions, hours and days of service and capacity constraints).
Some FTA grantees contract for transit service, for maintenance service, or for vehicles that the grantee will use in transit service. FTA traditionally provides assistance for the capital consumed in the course of the contract. The concept of assisting with capital consumed is referred to as the ``capital cost of contracting.'' FTA provides assistance at the 80/20 FTA/local share ratio for the capital cost of contracting.
To incorporate the fact that preventive maintenance is now an eligible capital cost, FTA has changed the admininstration of the Capital Cost of Contracting policy, effecitive with fiscal year 1998 funds. Preventive maintenance costs are now included within the capital cost of contracting category, along with the capital charges for the use of assets (capital consumed). Consequently, revisions have been made to the schedule of precentages and type of contract used in the past. The new schedule appears in the revised Circular 9030.1C.
The fiscal year 1999 Metropolitan Planning apportionment to states for MPOs to be used in urbanized areas totals $43,901,198. This amount includes $43,841,600 in fiscal year 1999 appropriated funds, and $59,598 in prior year deobligated funds which have become available for reallocation for this program. A basic allocation of 80 percent of this amount ($35,120,958) 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 ($8,780,240) 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 1999 apportionment for the State Planning and Research Program totals $9,257,248. This amount includes $9,158,400 in fiscal year 1999 appropriated funds, and $98,848 in prior year deobligated funds which have become available for reallocation to 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 1999 apportionment for the FHWA
Metropolitan Planning Program and estimated apportionment for fiscal year 1999 State Planning and Research Program are contained in Table 3.
Federal, state, and local welfare reform initiatives may require the development of new and innovative public and other transportation services to ensure that former welfare recipients have adequate mobility for reaching employment opportunities. In recognition of the key role that transportation plays in ensuring the success of welfare- to-work initiatives, FTA and FHWA are continuing the policy established last year to permit 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.
(1) The Concept: The FTA and FHWA have cooperatively developed Planning Emphasis Areas (PEA) for fiscal years 1999 and 2000. Emphasis areas promote priority themes for consideration, as appropriate, in metropolitan and statewide transportation planning processes.
(2) An Emphasis on System Management and Operation: TEA-21 identifies system management and operation as a focal theme and context for transportation investment nationwide. The Conference Report supporting TEA-21 contains language that places high priority on Operations and Management, as indicated by the following excerpt. ``It is in the national interest to encourage and promote the safe and efficient management, operation, and development of surface transportation systems that will serve the mobility needs of people and freight and foster economic growth and development within and through urbanized areas * * *''
TEA-21 identifies seven planning areas to be considered in metropolitan and statewide planning. These include:
(A) support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, especially by enabling global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency;
(B) increase the safety and security of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users;
(C) increase the accessibility and mobility options available to people and for freight;
(D) Protect and enhance the enviroment, promote energy conservation, and improve quality of life;
(E) enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight;
(F) promote efficient system management and operation; and
(G) emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system.
Planning area (F) promotes the consideration of efficient system management and operation in transportation planning processes and recognizes that we cannot always build our way out of congestion but need to better manage and operate the existing system. Many agencies that use a traditional capital intensive, capacity-enhancing programming process to address the area's transportation problems will need to review and revise their planning and programming process to consider system management and operations.
(3) DOT Activities in Support of Management and Operations: FTA and FHWA will work to support metropolitan areas and states in their efforts to incorporate system management and operation strategies in their local planning processes.
DOT is spearheading an effort to develop a collaborative dialogue among a broad range of transportation stakeholders leading to a consenus of the role of management and operations in transportation decision-making. This dialogue would identify customer needs for training and technical assistance. Support for integrated planning and application of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) strategies, including the role of ITS National Architecture, is another effort supporting system management and operation.
(4) Next Steps: FTA and FHWA will be working over the coming months to support further development of the added emphasis on System Management and Operation and outline a comprehensive approach for consideration and use by MPOs.
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 1999 are being established and will be available on the FTA Home Page at http://www.fta.gov/office/planning.
For further information regarding Federal certifications of the planning process contact: For FTA: Mr. Charles Goodman, FTA Metropolitan Planning Division (TPL-12), 202-366-1944; or Scott Biehl, FTA Office of Chief Counsel (TCC-30), 202-366-4063. For FHWA: Mr. Sheldon Edner, FHWA Metropolitan Planning Division (HEP-20), 202-366- 4066; or Reid Alsop, FHWA Office of the Chief Counsel (HCC-31), 202- 366-1371.
In fiscal year 1997, FTA and FHWA began offering states the option of participating in a pilot Consolidated Planning Grant (CPG) program. Eleven states are participating in the pilot so far. Since the first CPG grant was awarded in April 1997, more than $95,000,000 has been obligated by the pilot states. Of this total, more than $69,700,000 is from FHWA sources. Of the eleven participants, nine have completed at least one full year under the pilot. Of the nine, two states have elected to continue the pilot with new, separate CPG grants for the second 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. Seven states 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. The ease with which a state can opt for the single year or the multi-year approach to the CPG grant speaks to the flexibility intended for the program.
One of our original goals in developing the CPG Pilot was to give states and MPOs more control over their planning resources with a combination of broader financial controls and greater flexibility in the management of their planning activities. After more than one full year's experience under the pilot,
FTA's annual review of planning program fund balances and potential lapsing funds revealed that none of the pilot states had funds in danger of lapsing (under FTA's planning programs, funds that are unobligated after four years' time lapse to the state). Further, only two of the eleven pilot states have any FTA planning funds available that were appropriated before fiscal year 1998. 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.
This November, FTA will be providing an enhancement to its electronic grant system (TEAM system) that can be used to request planning grants, obligate funds, monitor fund balances and grant status, and file financial and status reports for the CPG. While benefiting all grants, these enhancements are particularly well suited to the very streamlined funding request format of the CPG Pilot. 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, Metropolitan Planning Division, FHWA, at (202) 366-5003.
TEA-21 includes several changes to the evaluation process and criteria for New Starts fixed guideway projects. The Secretary shall consider several additional criteria in the Department's review and evaluation of candidate New Starts projects. FTA will be required to evaluate each project authorized for New Starts funding by each criterion, as well as provide an overall project rating of ``highly recommended,'' ``recommended,'' and ``not recommended.'' In addition to its annual report to Congress on Funding Levels and Allocations of Funds for Transit Major Capital Investments, FTA will be required to issue a supplemental report in August of each year which rates all projects that have completed alternatives analysis and preliminary engineering since the date of the last report. FTA must also approve candidate New Starts project's entry into final design. FTA also continues its prior approval authority for entrance into preliminary engineering.
TEA-21 requires that no less than 92 percent of the annual New Starts program must be used for final design and construction.
FTA will soon issue regulations implementing the New Starts provision of TEA-21.
Both the TIPs and STIPs, major products of the metropolitan and State transportation planning processes, continue to be required under TEA-21 and 23 CFR part 450. TEA-21 has provided new authorization levels as well as new programs for the FTA and FHWA. Development of 3- year TIPs and STIPs requires knowledge of Federal FTA and FHWA funding amounts and sources. With respect to Federal funding sources, ``available'' or ``committed'' funds identified in TIPs and STIPs are to be taken to mean authorized and/or appropriated funds. Authorized amounts for the purposes of TEA-21 include the total of guaranteed and nonguaranteed funding. FTA and FHWA funding amounts and sources for the six years of TEA-21 are provided by State and/or urbanized areas on the Internet at the following locations: (1) FTA, http://www.fta.dot.gov/ library/policy/t21toc.htm and (2) FHWA, http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/tea21/ 98appor.htm.
TEA-21 retains much of the basic structure of the metropolitan and statewide planning process, as established by ISTEA, with a few significant changes. The set of sixteen metropolitan planning factors has been reduced to seven factors: economic vitality; safety and security; accessibility and mobility; environment, energy conservation and quality of life; integration and connectivity; efficient operation and management; and preservation of existing transportation resources. Freight shippers and users of public transit are added to the explicit set of stakeholders to be given opportunities to comment on metropolitan plans and transportation improvement programs (TIPs).
Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) may include in their TIPs an ``illustrative'' list of projects that could be implemented if additional resources were made available. MPOs will also be encouraged to coordinate the planning for Federally-funded non-emergency transportation services as part of the metropolitan planning process. FTA and FHWA will be revising the Joint Planning Regulations (23 CFR part 450 and 49 CFR part 613) to formally incorporate changes to the planning program.
In addition to the appropriated fiscal year 1999 Urbanized Area Formula funds of $2,548,190,791, the apportionment also includes $5,055,703 in deobligated funds which have become 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 ($12,740,954), the amount appropriated for this program is $2,543,135,088. The funds to be reapportioned, described in the previous paragraph, have then been added. Thus, the total amount apportioned for this program is $2,540,505,540.
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 2 contains the fiscal years 1999-2003 apportionment formula for the Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Program.
Data from the 1997 NTD (49 U.S.C. 5335) Report Year submitted in late 1997 and early 1998 have been used to calculate the fiscal year 1999 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.
49 U.S.C. 5336(b)(2)(E) provides that, if a recipient of Urbanized Area Formula Program funds demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that energy or operating efficiencies would be achieved by actions that reduce revenue vehicle miles but provide the same frequency of revenue service to the same number of riders, the recipient's apportionment under 49 U.S.C. 5336(b)(2)(A)(i) shall not be reduced as
a result of such actions. One recipient has submitted data acceptable to FTA in accordance with this provision. Accordingly, the revenue vehicle miles used in the Urbanized Area Formula database to calculate the fiscal year 1999 Urbanized Area Formula apportionment reflect the amount the recipient would have received without the reductions in mileage.
The total Urbanized Area Formula apportionment to the Governor for use in areas under 200,000 in population for each state is shown on Table 4. Table 4 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 H, 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. Following are the 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, however--in particular, operating costs for historic facilities--may only be assisted 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) 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 expended. The report must be submitted in the Federal fiscal year's final quarterly report, using activity line item codes from the approved project budget.
(5) 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.
(6) 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.
Fiscal year 1999 funding for operating assistance is available only to urbanized areas with populations under 200,000. For these smaller 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. In addition, for all areas, many of the activities formerly funded by FTA with operating assistance are now eligible capital items under the category of preventive maintenance at the Federal/local share ratio of 80/20. TEA-21 provides one exception to the non-availability of funds for operating assistance to areas with populations 200,000 and above. Operating assistance is available to any urbanized area with a populations of 200,000 and above if the number of total bus revenue vehicle miles operated in or directly serving the area is under 900,000, and if the number of buses operated in or directly serving the area does not exceed 15.
This provision is not available to small operators within a large urbanized area in which the total number of vehicles that provide service is more than 15 and the total number of bus revenue vehicle miles operated in or directly servicing the area is 900,000 or more.
The Omnibus Appropriations Act amended Section 3027 of TEA-21 (which in turn amended 49 U.S.C. 5336 regarding use of operating assistance in larger urbanized areas) to allow transit providers of services to the elderly and disabled that operate 20 or fewer vehicles and are located in urbanized areas with a population of at least 200,000 to use Federal funds to finance the operating costs of equipment and facilities used by the transit provider in providing mass transit services to elderly persons and persons with disabilities, providing that such assistance to all entities should not exceed $1,000,000,000 annually.
The operating assistance limitations remain on the unused fiscal years 1996-1998 funds. These funds continue to be available for obligation at the Federal/local share ratio of 50/50 in fiscal year 1999 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 in fiscal year 1999 and 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 may be designated as TMAs upon the request of the Governor and the MPO designated for such area or the affected local officials. As of October 1, 1998, two additional TMAs have been formally designated: Petersburg, Virginia, comprised solely of the Petersburg, Virginia, urbanized area; and Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc, California, which were combined and designated as one TMA.
Guidance for setting the boundaries of TMAs is contained in the joint transportation planning regulations codified at 23 CFR part 450 and 49 CFR part 613. In some cases, the TMA boundaries, which have been established by the MPO for the designated TMA, also include one or more urbanized areas with less than 200,000 in population. Where this situation exists, the discretion of the Governor to allocate Urbanized Area Formula program ``Governor's Apportionment'' funds for urbanized areas with less than 200,000 in population is restricted.
As required by 49 U.S.C. 5307(a)(2), a recipient(s) must be designated to dispense the Urbanized Area Formula funds attributable to TMAs. Those urbanized areas that do not already have a designated recipient must name one and notify the appropriate FTA regional office of the designation. This would include those urbanized areas with less than 200,000 in population that may receive TMA designation independently, or those with less than 200,00 in population which are currently included within the boundaries of a larger designated TMA. In both cases, the Governor would only have discretion to allocate Governor's Apportionment funds attributable to areas which are outside of designated TMA boundaries. In order for the FTA and Governors to know which urbanized areas under 200,000 in population are included within the boundaries of an existing TMA, and so that they can be identified in future Federal Register notices, each MPO whose TMA planning boundaries include these smaller urbanized areas is asked to identify such areas to the FTA. This notification should be made in writing to the Associate Administrator for Program Management, Federal Transit Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590, no later than July 1 of each fiscal year. To date, FTA has been notified of the following urbanized areas with less than 200,000 in population that are included within the planning boundaries of designated TMAs:
|Designated TMA||Small urbanized area included in TMA boundaries|
|Baltimore, Maryland||Annapolis, Maryland.|
|Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas||Denton, Texas; Lewisville, Texas.|
|Houston, Texas||Galveston, Texas; Texas City, Texas.|
|Orlando, Florida||Kissimmee, Florida.|
|Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Pottstown, Pennsylvania.|
|Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Monessen, Pennsylvania; Steubenville-Weirton, OH-WV-PA(PA portion)|
|Seattle, Washington||Bremerton, Washington.|
|Washington, DC-MD-VA||Frederick, Maryland (MD portion).|
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 which 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 fiscal year 1999 Nonurbanized Area Formula apportionments to the states totaling $177,856,722 are displayed in Table 5. Of the $177,923,658 appropriated, one-half percent ($889,618) was reserved for oversight. In addition to the current appropriation, the funds available for apportionment included $822,682 in deobligated funds from fiscal years prior to 1999.
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 1999 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 1999 Nonurbanized Area Formula grant applications must reflect this level of programming for intercity bus or include a certification from the Governor.
Funding for the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program is significantly higher under TEA-21 than it was under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). FTA encourages the states to use the increase to begin to expand the coverage of transit service into rural and small urban areas currently unserved and to improve levels of service in those areas which currently have only minimal transit service.
The fiscal year 1999 RTAP allocations to the states totaling $5,401,831 are also displayed on Table 5. This amount includes $5,250,000 in fiscal year 1999 appropriated funds, and $151,831 in
prior year deobligated funds, which have become available for reallocation for this program.
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.
Effective with fiscal year 1999, FTA has revised the administrative formula used to allocate RTAP funds to the states, by increasing the minimum allocation each state receives from $50,000 to $65,000. The minimum allocation for the insular areas remains at $10,000. The effect of this change is to distribute the increase in RTAP funds more equitably to the smaller states, to enable them to continue to provide effective RTAP services. Due to the increase in program funding, no state receives an allocation in fiscal year 1999 that is less than in fiscal year 1998.
A total of $67,136,222 is apportioned to the states for fiscal year 1999 for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program. In addition to the fiscal year 1999 appropriation of $67,035,601, the fiscal year 1999 apportionment also includes $100,621 in prior year unobligated funds which have become available for reapportionment for 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 non-profit organizations in the area are not readily available to carry out the service, may receive these funds.
These funds may be transferred by the Governor to supplement the Urbanized Area Formula or Nonurbanized Area formula capital funds during the last 90 days of the fiscal year.
TEA-21 made changes in how funds are to be transferred from FHWA to FTA. Under ISTEA, obligation authority was not transferred to and from FTA. TEA-21 provides that obligation authority will be transferred to and from FHWA to FTA. In order to accommodate this change, FHWA and FTA are revising internal transfer procedures. The external process from transferring funds may also be revised. Until these revised procedures are developed, the two agencies have agreed to use the transfer process that was established under ISTEA which is described below.
Flexible DOT funds, such as Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds, or others, which are designated for use in transit projects, are transferred from the FHWA to FTA after which FTA approves the project and awards a grant. Flexible funds designated for transit projects must result from the metropolitan and state planning and programming process, and must be included in an approved State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) before the funds can be transferred. In order to initiate the transfer process, the grantee must submit a completed application to the FTA Regional Office, and must notify the state highway/ transportation agency that it has submitted an application which requires a transfer of funds. Once the state highway/transportation agency determines that the state has sufficient obligation authority, the state agency notifies the FHWA Division Office that the funds are to be used for transit purposes. FHWA then notifies the FTA of the transfer project for processing and obligation. The flexible funds transferred to FTA will be placed in an urbanized area or state account for one of the three existing formula programs--Urbanized Area, Nonurbanized Area, or Elderly and Persons with Disabilities.
The flexible funds are then treated as FTA formula funds, although they retain a special identifying code. They may be used for any purpose eligible under these FTA programs. All FTA requirements are applicable to transferred funds. Flexible funds should be combined with regular FTA formula funds in a single annual grant application.
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.
Certain demonstration projects authorized in title 23 are specified to be used for transit projects and are more appropriately administered by FTA. In such cases, FHWA has transferred the funds to FTA for administration. Since these funds are not STP flexible funds, they are transferred into the appropriate Capital Program category (Bus, New Starts, or fixed Guideway Modernization) for obligation and are administered as Capital projects.
TEA-21 modified the formula for allocating the Fixed Guideway Modernization funds. The new formula contains seven tiers. The allocation of funding under the first four tiers, through fiscal year 2003, will be allocated based on data used to apportion the funding in fiscal year 1997. Funding in the three new 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 1999 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 these apportionments. A threshold level of more than one mile of fixed guideway is required to receive Fixed Guideway Modernization funds. Therefore, urbanized areas reported one mile or less of Fixed Guideway mileage under the National Transit Database are not included.
For fiscal year 1999, $902,800,000 was appropriated for fixed guideway modernization. After deducting the three-fourth percent for Oversight ($6,771,000), $896,029,000 is available for apportionment to the specified urbanized areas.
Each year, the new fixed guideway modernization formula will allocate funds by seven tiers as follows:
The first $497,700,000 shall be apportioned to the following urbanized areas as follows: Baltimore $8,372,000; Boston $38,948,000; Chicago/Northwestern Indiana $78,169,000; Cleveland $9,509,500; New Orleans $1,730,588; New York $176,034,461; Northeastern New Jersey $50,604,653; Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey $58,924,764; Pittsburgh $13,662,463; San Francisco $33,989,571; Southwestern Connecticut $27,755,000.
The next $70,000,000 shall be apportioned as follows: 50 percent to areas identified in Tier I and 50 percent to other urbanized areas with fixed guideway segments which have been in operation at least seven years. These funds are apportioned using the Urbanized Area Formula Program fixed guideway tier formula factors that were used to apportion funds for the Fixed Guideway Modernization Program in fiscal year 1997.
The next $5,700,000 shall be apportioned to the following urbanized areas as follows: Pittsburgh, 61.76 percent; Cleveland, 10.73 percent; New Orleans, 5.79 percent; the remaining 21.72 percent is apportioned to all other cities using the same fixed guideway tier data used for Tier II.
The next $186,600,000 shall be apportioned to all eligible areas using the same year fixed guideway tier data that was used for Tiers II and III.
The next $70,000,000 shall be apportioned as follows: 65 percent to the eleven areas specified in Tier I, and 35 percent to other urbanized areas with fixed guideway system segments in revenue service for at least seven years. 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 next $50,000,000 shall be apportioned as follows: 60 percent to the eleven areas specified in Tier I, and 40 percent to the other urbanized areas with fixed guideway system segments in revenue service for at least seven years. 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.
Any remaining amounts shall be apportioned as follows: 50 percent to the eleven urbanized areas specified in Tier I, and 50 percent to the other urbanized areas with fixed guideway system segments in revenue service for at least seven years. 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.
Table 12 contains the fiscal years 1998-2003 apportionment formula for the Section 5309 Fixed Guideway Modernization Program.
The fiscal year 1999 appropriation for New Starts is $902,800,000 which was fully allocated in the fiscal year 1999 DOT Appropriations Act. However, by statute, this amount is reduced by three-fourth percent ($6,771,000) for Oversight activities, leaving $896,029,000 available for allocations to areas. The Oversight reduction was applied on a prorata basis to all 95 projects specified in the fiscal year 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act yielding the final allocation for each of these projects (contain in Table 8 of this Federal Register Notice).
Prior year unobligated appropriations for New Starts in the amount of $430,856,230 remain available for obligation in fiscal year 1999. These carryover amounts are displayed in Table 8A, along with explanatory notes.
Since New Starts funds are used for design and construction of new systems or extensions to existing systems, preventive maintenance is not an eligible cost under this program.
The fiscal year 1999 appropriation for Bus is $451,400,000 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 Program, and $50,000,000 from the Formula Program. However, the fiscal year 1999 Omnibus 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 Program. Thus, $501,400,000 is available for funding the Bus category of the Capital Program. After deducting the three-fourth percent for oversight ($3,760,500), $497,639,500 remains available for projects.
The 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act earmarked all of the fiscal year 1999 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, each bus project identified in the Conference Report receives three-fourth percent less than the funding level contained in the report. No funds remain available for discretionary allocation by the Federal Transit Administrator. Table 9 displays the allocations of the fiscal year 1999 Bus funds by area and also shows prior year unobligated earmarks for the Bus Program. The fiscal year 1999 bus allocations include the funding which would have been available for the Clean Fuels Formula Program under TEA-21.
Prior year unobligated appropriations for Bus in the amount of $379,813,842 remain available for obligation in fiscal year 1999, and are displayed in Table 9A.
TEA-21 established a $100,000,000 Clean Fuels Formula Program under Section 5308, to be funded with $50,000,000 from the Bus category of the Capital Program, and $50,000,000 from the Formula Program. However, the fiscal year 1999 Omnibus 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 Program. In addition, in fiscal year 1999 Congress allocated the entire Bus category, including the $100,000,000, which TEA-21 provides for funding of the Clean Fuels Formula Program. These appropriation actions override the provisions established in TEA-21 for the Clean Fuels Formula Program. Therefore, FTA cannot implement this new program. A rulemaking to implement the Clean Fuels Formula program is being developed for use in fiscal year 2000. The fiscal year 1999 Bus Allocations on Table 9 include the funding which would have been available for the Clean Fuels Formula Program under TEA-21.
The Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility Program (OTRB) authorizes FTA to make grants to operators of over-the-road buses to finance the incremental capital and training costs of complying with the DOT over- the-road bus accessibility final rule, published on September 24, 1998. The legislation calls for national solicitation of applications, with grantees to be selected on a competitive basis. Federal funds are available for up to 50 percent of the project cost. A total of $2,000,000 is apportioned for intercity fixed route operators in fiscal year 1999.
FTA is exploring two approaches for implementation of the capital portion of the program. One approach would be to enter into a cooperative agreement with an intermediate entity which represents the over-the-road bus industry. This entity would serve as the funding distribution mechanism. This approach has the merit of consolidating numerous small grants and would allow a group familiar with the over- the-road bus industry to carry out the program. The entity would accept and review grant applications and make recommendations for funding based on the criteria in TEA-21 and in coordination with FTA and enter into agreements with over-the-road bus providers. The entity would also pass on all Federal requirements to the over-the-road bus operators. TEA-21 provides that all Federal requirements applicable to the Section 5311 Nonurbanized Area Formula Program are applicable to the Over-the- Road Bus Program. Federal requirements include but are not limited to competitive procurement, labor protections, Buy America, and civil rights requirements.
Alternately, FTA may implement the program with individual grants to over-the-road bus operators. With this approach, there would be a national solicitation of applications and FTA would review applications against the criteria in TEA-21 and make recommendations for funding. The appropriate FTA regional office would review the application and approve the grant.
In addition, FTA is proposing to enter into an agreement with a single agency which represents the disability community to take the lead on a national training initiative.
FTA will issue further guidance and application instructions for this program.
A total of $75,000,000 is appropriated for the Job Access and Reverse Commute Program in fiscal year 1999. Of this amount, $50,000,000 is guaranteed under the discretionary spending cap and $25,000,000 was made available from other discretionary spending offsets. 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.
One of the major 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 a regional 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.
A Federal Register Notice will be published by the end of October which will provide program guidance and application procedures. The notice will also be available on the FTA website.
Section 1221 of TEA-21 established a pilot program that will enable grantees to plan or implement activities that investigate and address the relationship between transportation and community and system preservation. Eligible grantees are State agencies, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and units of local governments, including public transit agencies. TCSP will provide $20,000,000 in fiscal year 1999 and $25,000,000 per year for fiscal years 2000 through 2003 for planning and implementation grants, as well as research, which address transportation efficiency while meeting community preservation and environmental goals.
TCSP activities must be eligible under Title 23 (the Federal highway program) of Chapter 52 of Title 49 (the Federal transit program) of the United States Code, or must be activities which the Secretary of Transportation determines to be appropriate. TCSP discretionary grants will be used to plan and implement strategies which (1) improve the efficiency of the transportation system; (2) reduce the impacts of transportation on the environment; (3) reduce the need for costly future public infrastructure; (4) ensure efficient access to jobs, services and centers of trade, and (5) encourage private sector development patterns which achieve these goals. Grants will be directed to new and innovative activities that are eligible but under the current Federal-aid program. TCSP activities must be coordinated with the MPO and/or state transportation planning processes.
The FHWA is administering this program and has established an interagency working group, which includes the FTA, to design and implement TCSP. On September 16, 1998, a Federal Register Notice requested comments within 60 days on TCSP implementation in fiscal year 2000 and beyond. The Notice also requested that eligible entities interested in applying for fiscal year 1999 planning and implementation grants should
submit letters of intent within 60 days. The DOT expects to select about 50 letters of intent to be developed into full proposals, and to fund 20 to 30 planning and implementation grants in fiscal year 1999. TCSP research activities will begin in fiscal year 2000. The voice mail for information on TCSP is (800) 488-6034.
For technical assistance purposes, the dollar unit values of data derived from the computations of the Urbanized Area Formula Program, the Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, and the Capital Program--Fixed Guideway Modernization apportionments are included in this Notice in Table 13. To determine how a particular apportionment amount was developed, areas may multiply their population, population density, and data from the NTD by these unit values.
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 1999. Any of these apportioned funds unobligated at the close of business on September 30, 2002 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 1999. Any such funds remaining unobligated at the close of business on September 30, 2001, 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, 1999. 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 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act includes a provision requiring that fiscal year 1999 New Starts and Bus funds not obligated for their original purpose as of September 30, 2001, shall be made available for other discretionary projects within the respective categories of the Capital Program. Similar provisions in the 1998 and 1997 DOT Appropriations Acts required that fiscal year 1998 Bus and New Starts funds that are not obligated by September 30, 2000 also be made available for other discretionary Bus or New Starts projects, respectively; and fiscal year 1997 Bus and New Starts funds unobligated by September 30, 1999 shall be made available for other discretionary Bus or New Starts projects, respectively.
Since fiscal year 1994, FTA has provided pre-award authority to cover certain planning and capital costs prior to grant award. 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 environmental planning and other 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 Bus funds identified in this notice. Pre-award authority does not apply to Capital New Start funds, or to Capital Bus projects not specified in this or previous notices. 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.
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 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.
Similiarly, 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.
The latest guidance on Letters of No Prejudice (LONP) policy and procedures is contained in an October 21, 1982 Federal Register Notice. Since the issuance of that notice in 1982 there have been many changes to the FTA program including automatic pre-award authority for formula funds, flexible funds transferred from the FHWA and for bus earmarks. The 1982 policy was based on the philosophy that LONPs would only be issued under the most extenuating circumstances. With substantial experience with automatic pre-award authority, this philosophy is no longer an accurate reflection of FTA policy. This Federal Register Notice supersedes the Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) policy issued October 21, 1982.
LONP 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 New Starts 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.
The State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) pilot program was authorized in the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995. It allows the creation of state-level institutions that can use Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and FTA funds to make loans [[Page 60065]] and loan guarantees (and other forms of credit enhancement) to transit and highway projects. The SIBs may earn interest on deposits of Federal funds, and they may charge below-market interest rates on long-term loans.
While 31 states established SIBs under the NHS Act authorizations, TEA-21 only renewed this authority to four states--California, Florida, Missouri, and Rhode Island. Thus, the original SIBs may continue to function with funds appropriated for their use in 1996 and 1997, but only the four SIBs authorized in TEA-21 will be allowed to use fiscal year 1998 and subsequent year grant funds for capitalization. These states may use up to 100 percent of their highway or transit formula funds for capitalization, but there are no additional funds apportioned specifically to SIBs. TEA-21 also allowed the four authorized SIBs to use any Federal capital funds to make loans to highway, transit, and rail projects--a significant increase in flexibility.
FTA provides extended customer service by making available transit information on the FTA Home Page web site, including this Apportionment Notice. Also posted on the web site are FTA program circulars: C9030.1C, 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, 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 1999 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances is also posted on the FTA web site. Other documents on the FTA web site of particular interest to public transit providers and users include the 1997 Statistical Summaries of FTA Grant Assistance Programs, and the National Transit Database Profiles.
The FTA Home Page may be accessed at: http://www.fta.dot.gov. FTA circulars and other guidance are at: http://www.fta.dot.gov/program.
Grantees should check our web site frequently to keep up to date on new postings.
The Fiscal Year 1999 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 1999 list contains several changes to the previous year's Federal Register publication. (1) All applicants for FTA Capital Program or Formula Program assistance, and current grantees with an active project financed with FTA Capital Program or Formula Program assistance, will be required to provide the Appendix A Certifications and Assurances within 90 days from the date of the above Federal Register publication or with its first grant application in fiscal year 1999, whichever comes first. (2) The attorney signature from previous years on the single signature page is not acceptable. A current attorney's affirmation is required to certify applicant's legal authority to comply with fiscal year 1999 FTA funding assistance. (3) As in previous years, the grant applicant should (when possible) certify electronically, indicating that a current attorney's signature is on file. (4) The applicant is advised that Transit Enhancement activities (49 U.S.C. 5307(k)) require an annual report listing projects carried out during the previous year.
The fiscal year 1999 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances is accessible on the Internet at www.fta.dot.gov. Any questions regarding this document may be addressed to the appropriate Regional Office or to Pat Berkley, Office of Program Management, Federal Transit Administration, (202) 366-6470.
All applications for FTA funds should be submitted to the appropriate FTA Regional Office. As described in Section V, FTA is expecting that most applications will be filed electronically in FY 1999 using the new TEAM system. Formula 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. Applications for STP ``flexible'' fund grants should be prepared in the same manner as the apportioned funds under the Urbanized Area Formula, Nonurbanized Area Formula, or Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Programs. Guidance on preparation of applications for State Planning and Research funds may be obtained from each FTA Regional Office. Copies of circulars are available from FTA Regional Offices as well as the FTA Home Page on the Internet.
Issued on: October 29, 1998.
Gordon J. Linton, Administrator.
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