The Over-the-Road Bus program is designed to assist operators of over-the-road buses to finance the incremental capital and training costs of complying with the Department of Transportation's final rule regarding accessibility of over-the-road buses required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Eligible projects include the incremental cost of adding a lift to a bus, retrofit of a bus to add a lift, and training.
In FY 1999, applications were reviewed and selected on a competitive basis. Several factors were considered: (1) the need for over-the-road bus accessibility in the areas served, (2) the extent to which the applicant demonstrates innovative strategies and financial commitment, (3) the extent to which the operator acquires equipment required by the final rule prior to any required timeframe, (4) the extent to which financing the costs of compliance presents a financial hardship for the applicant, and (5) the impact of accessibility requirements on the continuation of over-the-road bus service, with particular consideration of the impact of the requirements on service to rural areas and for low-income individuals.
In FY 1999, the maximum Federal share of a grant under this program was 50 percent.
Eleven projects amounting to $1,990,000 were selected in FY 1999. $1,056,707 was obligated to one project during the fiscal year. Because the Over-the-Road Bus program provides funds to intercity bus providers, the service area for any grantee may include any or all of the population categories used to report FTA obligation data: large, medium, or small urbanized areas, or non-urbanized areas. As defined by "intercity", the service provided by any grantee always includes more than one area. Since the funding cannot be tied to any particular area or population category, obligations cannot be reported that way. For this program, obligations are reported by grantee. In the summary tables (by state), the obligations are listed according to the state that the grantee's headquarters office is located.