Transcript for Safety TAM/ANPRM for Medium and Large Transit Systems Webcast

December 4, 2013 at 2:00 PM EST

Adrienne: Welcome to the Safety TAM ANPRM for Medium and Large Transit Systems conference call. My name is Adrienne, and I'll be your operator for today's call.

At this time, all participants are in listen only mode. You may ask a question electronically, throughout the webinar, via the webcast viewer. Later, we'll have a question and answer session, where we will address those questions.

Please note this conference is being recorded. I'll now turn the call over to Candace Key, Attorney Advisor with the Chief Counsel of the Federal Trade Administration. Ms. Key, you may begin.

Candace Key: Thank you. Welcome to FTA's Safety and Transit Asset Management ANPRM webinar for Medium and Large Transit Systems.

The ANPRM seeks input from the public on three major topics, the safety management system approach, several aspects of the national safety program, and the National Transit Asset Management System.

To ensure that any final rules published to implement these topics are clear and effective. It is important that transit agencies, state agencies, SSO agencies, NPOs, other organizations, as well as interested members of the public take this opportunity to share thoughts, concerns, ideas, and general comments.

We recognize that this ANPRM is a hefty document to review. We also recognize that large systems and small systems will be affected differently. As a result, FTA decided to hold separate webinars to focus on areas that may be of particular interest to different size systems.

Today's webinar is intended to provide an overview of the topics within the ANPRM that may be of particular interest to medium and large transit providers. Yesterday, FTA held a webinar on the ANPRM, tailored for small transit systems.

Today's webinar is not a public hearing and not an opportunity to provide comments on the ANPRM. Instead, this webinar is to serve as a forum in which FTA can explain the ANPRM to medium and large transit providers and answer questions about it.

For your comments to be considered during this rulemaking process, they need to be submitted to the docket, through one of the methods specified in the ANPRM, by January 2, 2014.
It is extremely important for members of the transit industry to participate in the rulemaking process for the new safety and TAM requirements. Your comments will impact the development of the rules that ultimately implement each of the topics discussed today.

In addition, your comments help to create a strong record that supports the rational basis needed for issuing final regulation. This means that submissions to the docket that are most influential are those that contain data, site source materials, and provide rationale to support the points made in the comment.

Some of you may be wondering why FTA published a joint ANPRM on safety and transit asset management. Even before MAP 21 was enacted, these three things were related. All transit organizations, no matter how large or small have a process by which they budget, allocate funds, and make plans. Each agency typically will always have some sort of corporate governance or oversight.

In most cases, this will involve a board of directors and typically there will be a GM or CEO that formulates the budget and reports to the board. There are more than a few different ways to refer to that position, and the ANPRM, and under the proposed SMS approach, this person is referred to as the accountable executive. No matter what you call it, somebody in the organization is responsible for making choices and balancing competing needs.

In its most basic form, an executive board is faced with choices about how to operate their system and how to invest in their system. Those are typically captured in an operational and capital budget process. Executives wrestle with those choices because there is never enough money at the local or federal level to do everything. Ultimately the success or failure of an agency rides on the quality of those choices.

Once those budgets and plans go up to the board they are subject, typically subject, to another level of scrutiny and sometimes some adjustments. As I stated, all this is nothing new. But MAP 21 adds, seeks to add value to the transit industry by putting in new processes that help make this fundamental process thoughtful, balanced, and transparent.

The transit agency safety plan requirements and the TAM requirements impose processes that will allow transit agencies to understand their safety risks and the condition of their assets. Subsequently allowing for appropriate consideration of safety controls, mitigation measures, and stated good repair needs.

On the safety side for example, under this system and under FTA's proposed SMS approach, the transit agency is constantly looking for indications that safety problems or hazards have developed or could develop.

These hazards are evaluated to see if they present too much risk. That investments may be made in some sort of control, whether it be new procedures, more people, training, equipment, et cetera. Hopefully, this control reduces the risk to an acceptable level.

However, this should not be left to chance. When an agency puts a control in place, they should have a system in place to make sure that the control is working. All of this is part of SMS, and the requirements of the transit agency safety plan.

Ultimately, the results of these new requirements and processes will be thoughtful and transparent decision making, regarding the trade offs made between transit asset management, state of good repair, safety, new capital projects, and daily operations.

FTA intends to adopt a comprehensive approach to safety and transit asset management that is scalable and flexible enough for different types of transit modes, and different sized transit agencies. Combining these two subjects into one AMPRM will allow the public to better understand FTA's proposed approaches, and submit more meaningful comments. The public comments and response to this AMPRM will help inform future notices of proposed rulemaking to implement the safety and transit asset management requirements.

For a higher level overview of the AMPRM, or why transit asset management and safety were combined into one AMPRM, please download the webcast from November 18th from FTA's website, or from the AMPRM docket. This webinar covered more specifics, and highlighted key areas that we thought were important for the entire industry.

I will turn over the mic to Rick Gerhart, Acting Director for the Office of System Safety, within the Office of Transit Safety and Oversight.

Rick Gerhart: Thank you, Candace Key. I'll begin the safety portion of the AMPRM webinar with a quick background on FDA's new regulatory authority for safety. On July 6 of 2012, the President signed into law MAP 21, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.

MAP 21 adopted several proposals to improve transit safety, and provided FTA with the authority to regulate safety for all modes of public transportation. Many of these regulations apply equally to all modes. However, FTA intends to focus its initial oversight and enforcement efforts on rail transit systems, due to the increased risk for accidents in rail transit.

FTA did not intend to promulgate duplicative, inconsistent, or conflicting regulations. Safety management system, or the SMS approach, if adopted, would guide the National Safety Program implementation, as delineated in MAP 21. FTA is considering an SMS approach to guide this rulemaking.

Following a recommendation from FTA's federal advisory committee TRACS, or Transit Rail Advisory Committee on Safety, FTA introduced SMS in a May 13, 2013 "Dear Colleague" letter and associated FAQs. Those documents are available on the FTA's website.

SMS has proven effective in other transportation industries, and is consistent with US Department of Transportation policy. SMS offers a proactive method for managing safety that enables transit agencies to identify and resolve safety concerns and challenges, before they results in incidents.

SMS combines established system safety engineering principles, with advanced organizational management techniques, and supports continuous improvement in safety performance, through a positive safety culture founded on four key priorities, safety policy, safety risk management, safety assurance, and safety promotion.

Safety management is based on the fact that safety is not an absolute condition. There will always be hazards and risks in public transportation. The traditional approach of primarily reacting to accidents, by prescribing measures to prevent recurrence, is not enough. There is a need for a new, proactive approach. SMS provides a strategy to help transit agencies with their proactive management of safety.

SMS emphasized that safety data be formally documented, and that proactive and reactive safety related decisions should be based on the empirical analysis of this data. Many of the system safety, risk management, and safety communications procedures and practices currently being used by both rail and bus transit systems are essential building blocks of a successful SMS.

SMS is a management approach. It provides processes, regardless of size and service area of a transit agency. FTA envisions that it will be up to each transit agency to develop processes to effectively implement safety management system, within the context of its own agency size and operating environment.

We would appreciate if you would take the time to respond to questions 17 through 20 in the AMPRM, regarding how implementation of SMS could be accomplished at transit agencies.

The requirements of the National Safety Program will apply to each recipient of FTA funding, regardless of the mode of transit provided. The National Safety Program is comprised of four components, the National Public Transportation Safety Plan, the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan, the Public Transportation Safety Certification Training program, and the State Safety Oversight Program.

This AMPRM addresses the first three. The SSO program will be addressed in a future rulemaking. Each of the four components will contribute to the establishment of a comprehensive framework that will reinforce the overall safety of public transportation.

Under MAP 21, the Secretary is required to create and implement a national safety plan. At a minimum, it will include safety performance criteria for all modes of public transportation. The definition of state of good repair, a public transportation safety certification program and minimum vehicle standards.

FTA envisions the National Safety Plan will establish and communicate national safety priorities. Through the establishment of performance criteria and standards, state of good repair measures, and training requirements, all guided by the principles of safety management systems.

FTA will use data analysis to identify national trends that suggest gaps in safety performance, common hazards, and leading practices for risk control. Setting performance criteria will allow for collecting and analyzing safety information to measure safety related outcomes. This is a critical step in managing and mitigating risk. FTA's performance criteria will assist transit agencies in the early detection and control of safety vulnerabilities.

The purpose of setting safety performance criteria is to provide a methodology for transit agencies of all sizes to evaluate the effectiveness of their safety initiatives, and to encourage the development of a more proactive hazard identification and mitigation strategy. Safety performance criteria will be integrated into the metropolitan planning process and the statewide planning process, through the setting of agency targets.

We'd appreciate your comments on questions one through seven in this AMPRM. That will illuminate transit agency thinking on safety performance criteria. For the Transit Agency Safety Plan, a transit agency safety plan will require transit agencies to set safety performance targets, meet standards set out in the national plan, and illustrate their practice of SMS.

Recipients of FTA's Urbanized Area Formula funds or Rural Area Formula funds must certify that they have established a comprehensive transit agency safety plan. FTA envisions the agency safety plan as the basis for transit agencies to execute SMS and National Safety Plan requirements.

This plan should include safety targets and an approach to hazard identification, risk management, and safety assurance. The safety plan will encourage proactive safety management, rather than only reactive. It will encourage transit agencies to develop a robust method for recording accidents, incidents, and near misses.

It will also encourage the thorough analysis of accidents, incidents, and near misses, and the development of viable strategies and action plans that must be reviewed often, to ensure they are working to mitigate or control risk. The safety officer must be formally designated as having safety oversight responsibilities, and reporting directly to the transit CEO or general manager.

We appreciate your assistance in looking at questions 21 to 32, regarding safety plan requirements that are in this AMPRM. For rail transit fixed guide way systems currently as regulated by 49 CFR, Part 659. Those requirements will remain in effect until FTA promulgates regulations for the MAP 21 based transit agency safety plans, and a new regulation for the SSO program.

FTA encourages providers to begin implementing the statutory requirements of the transit agency safety plan into their daily operations now, even as they await issuance of final rules. FTA plans to conduct pilot programs and provide other technical assistance to aid in this transitional process.

Safety certification training programs, MAP 21 requires FTA to establish a safety certification training program that applies to all transit grantees, regardless of mode, size or operating characteristics. This training program will include establishing minimum training requirements that will help transit agencies increase the expertise of employees directly responsible for safety oversight.

FTA is organizing its training approach around a series of competencies and basic skills that federal, state, and transit employees, and their contractors overseeing transit safety, need in order to perform their oversight duties. The competencies are based on SMS principles and technical capabilities required for overseeing the implementation of safety program elements in the transit industry.

FTA will focus its initial efforts in the area of certification training for those responsible for the safety oversight of rail transit. FTA will soon publish proposed interim revisions in the "Federal Register" that will ultimately inform the final rule for the safety certification training program.

Please direct comments regarding that program to that docket. FTA is hoping to receive comments from transit agencies and industry stakeholders on the safety certification training program. Please, if possible, comment on questions 48 through 55 in this AMPRM.

Safety summary, FTA understands the commitment and professionalism that transit agencies bring to their safety responsibilities. FTA will work with its industry partners, key industry stakeholders and transit agencies to make the transition into the new MAP 21 regulatory environment as smooth and least burdensome a process as possible. FTA is committed to working with all segments of the industry to support the safety of transit employees, passengers, and communities that transit serves.

FTA is looking for transit agencies and industry stakeholders to provide comments on the ANPRM no later than January 2, 2014. Now I'll turn over this webinar to John Giorgis, Director of FTA's Office of Strategic Planning and Analysis to cover the transit asset management piece of this ANPRM.

John Giorgis: Thank you very much Rick. Good afternoon everyone, and thank you for joining us in this webinar. The national transit asset management system provisions of MAP 21 are an extension of a number of reports the FTA has been issued in recent years, including the State of Good Repair Beginning the Dialog Report, the Rail Modernization Study, and most recently the 2010 Conditions and Performance Report which estimated that the nation's transit state of good repair backlog is $78 billion and continues to grow.

The provisions of transit asset management that were established in MAP 21 were designed in part to address this backlog. In addition, Congress established a new state of good repair formula program, replacing the fixed guide way modernization program.

The new formula program is much more geared towards meeting the state of good repair needs of rail systems and also includes an important provision that the funds this program may only be used by projects identified in the investment prioritization of transit asset management plans that will be required under the national transit asset management system.

The national transit asset management system as hopefully you've all heard by now, contains five pillars under MAP 21. The first of these is that FTA is to define state of good repair, including objective standards for measuring the condition of capital assets. It also includes a provision that FTA will then establish state of good repair performance measures based on this definition, and then each transit agency recipient will be required to set targets based on those measures.

Each of FTA's grant recipients and each sub recipient will be required to develop a transit asset management plan. Fourth, there's a provision for each of our grant recipients to report asset inventory and condition assessment data to the national transit database. This pillar out of the five will not be covered by the ANPRM because there already exists a national transit database rule, and we'll be updating the guidance for that rule to implement this reporting provision in a future notice in the Federal Register.

Finally, the fifth provision is the requirement for FTA to provide technical systems of transit asset management. The first of these pillars is probably the one that has the most expensive discussion in the ANPRM. In fact within the ANPRM you have hopefully noticed that we include a link to a white paper which allows us to dive into the issue of how to define state of good repair in even greater depth.

In our presentation of the issue for defining state of good repair, we present four basic kinds of methodologies that could be used for defining state of good repair, and propose that they exist on a spectrum ranging from less burdensome methods to methods that are more burdensome but have a greater degree of accuracy. These four methods are first an age based approach, in which assets are scheduled for replacement once they reach a certain maximum age or maximum useful life.

The second is a condition based approach, where the state of repair of the asset is based largely on condition inspection assessments of the asset. Thirdly, there's a proposed performance based approach in which we seek to answer the "so what?" of state of good repair. The state of good repair of the assets is defined by their ability to meet performance standards for the functioning of the asset and the provision of reliable service.

Finally, there's the comprehensive assessment approach. This is an approach that was developed through a series of state of good repair roundtables hosted by FTA in which it's proposed that for each asset a holistic approach is taken combining the age based approach, the results of condition inspections, performance information, as well as maintenance history, to develop a comprehensive assessment of each asset.

Of particular note is that in the ANPRM we ask a number of questions on these issues including the questions related to what are the merits of each of these approaches for agencies of different size, and also what are the merits of each of these approaches for different classes or different categories of assets? The second pillar is performance measures and targets.

After FTA defines state of good repair using those objective standards for measuring conditions, we'll establish performance measures based on the definition, and then each of our grant recipients will be required to establish targets based on those measures within three months of the measures taking effect. Now it's important to emphasize that there will be no gold stars issued for by FTA for making your target.

By the same token there are also no penalties provided for if you happen to miss your target. What is provided for, however, is that there will be an annual reporting system developed in which you'll have to report, each recipient will have to report on progress toward meeting their targets as well as providing annual revisions to the targets themselves.

The third pillar is for the requirement for each recipient and each of the sub recipients to develop transit asset management plans. These plans have a very basic structure as defined by MAP 21. First you have to know what are the assets that you have as an agency. You have to develop an agency asset inventory with condition assessment.

Secondly you must prioritize your future investments, develop an investment prioritization. Thirdly, each grant recipient will be required to certify these plans to FTA. Now FTA has a large number of recipients and sub recipients, so we estimate somewhere in the order of 3,000 of them.

So FTA is proposing that we will likely conduct a risk based oversight of these asset management plan certifications in which we'll try and target our oversight towards the largest agencies and those with the most significant state of good repair needs. As mentioned previously the details of the fourth pillar will be discussed in a future Federal Register notice updating the entity reporting guidance,

So that brings us to the fifth pillar technical systems which is an opportunity to turn the tables and instead of FTA telling the transit agencies what we think you all should be doing, this aspect of the ANPRM is an opportunity for the transit industry to tell the FTA what you think we should be doing.

There's two statutory requirements, one that there must be technical assistance for a decision support tool for investment prioritization, and secondly there should be technical assistance for an analytical process for capital investment needs which we consider largely met by the delivery of the term light system which is currently available on the FTA website, in which we have many transit systems are already using to estimate their capital investment needs.

In addition to these two requirements we have several technical assistance projects underway. We have recently published on our website a transit asset management guide which presents a how to for starting transit asset management best practices at your transit agency.

We have also awarded grants for a number of transit asset management pilot projects and the reports on the lessons learned from these projects are being posted to FTAs website as the projects wrap up over the course of 2013 and over the course of 2014. Finally, we are also currently conducting introduction to transit asset management courses through the National Transit Institute which hopefully many of you are already taking care of, are already participating in.

Lastly with all these things in mind and these things in place, we all pose the question to ANPRM what other technical assistance do you feel is needed and we look forward to your feedback on this issue. Now I would like to turn over the speaking duties to Sherry Strickland our Deputy Associate Administrator for Planning and Environment to talk about the last aspects of the ANPRM.

Sherry Strickland: Thank you John and good afternoon everyone and thank you for joining the webinar. I'm going to talk about as John said, the final sections of the ANPRM. As both John and Richard have noted, there will be a requirement for an agency safety plan and an agency transit asset management plan. Those plans will both need to be certified by the recipient.

We're looking for your insights on how these certifications should be implemented and how should certification for sub recipients work. I also want to talk about the metropolitan planning process and this where a lot of these performance based provisions come into effect.

In addition to creating the safety and state of good repair performance based transit program as MAP 21 also authorized performance0 based approach to transportation planning and programming for both state DOTs and metropolitan planning organizations. If you're familiar with the transportation planning process you know that state DOTs and NPOs must develop long range transportation plans and adopt the program or projects known as the transportation improvement programs or TIPS and STIPS.

MAP 21 incorporates the performance based approach into these planning projects for both the NPOs and state DOTs. As both Richard and John have noted, states and NPOs will need to integrate the goals, objectives, performance measures and targets of the safety and transit asset management performance plans into their planning process.

Second, the states and NPOs will also need to work with the transit providers to establish safety and state of good repair performance targets for the metropolitan planning area as well as for the state. State should, and NPOs will need to use these targets to assess the performance of their transportation system and report on that assessment in their respective long range plans.

The TIPS and the STIPS must also describe the anticipated effect of the TIP and STIP towards achieving the performance targets adopted by both the state and the NPO. Finally, recognizing the importance of the transit agency participation and planning process, MAP 21 provides that NPOs that serve an area designated as a transportation management area must include representation of providers of public transportation on their policy board.

These MAP 21 requirements will be proposed in the newest proposal we're making on the joint planning process and will be published for your review and comment in the spring of 2014. I also want to talk about the cost benefit analysis that will be done for the safety and the transit asset management proposal we're making. Both these proposal makings will need to include a cost benefit analysis identifying the cost of implementing these provisions as well as the benefits.

This ANPRM provides an opportunity for you to contribute specific information FTA will rely upon in developing this analysis. So I will now turn this over to Candace so that we can begin to answer the questions you've submitted.

Candace: We've already received some questions that we will begin answering now. To clarify, or to reiterate, you may ask clarifying questions or ask that we repeat something that you misunderstood.

However, this is not a forum to ask questions about implementation, to provide comments on the ANPRM, or suggestions related to questions, or schedule for rolling out of any ANPRMs or final rule. So I'll now turn the presentation over to Crystal.

Crystal: Great. We have a couple of questions that have already come in related to transit asset management plans. The first one does the requirement to develop a transit asset management plan apply only to assets funded by the SGR program or to any FTA program assets not limited to SGR?

John: That's a great question. The requirement for transit asset management plans does apply to all assets at the transit agency. We do ask one question, it's highlight question number 75 which poses the question of how we would apply the requirement for transit asset management plans to transit systems that only have SAFETEA LU funded assets but don't have any assets funded from MAP 21 and beyond.

In order to do an adequate transit asset management plan and in order to develop a meaningful investment prioritization. The plan does need to include all assets at the transit agency, in order to be effective for managing the assets there.

Candace: As we are going through the questions we already have, please keep in mind if you think of any additional questions, you can still send them in.

Related to the last question, this also deals with applicability. Does the requirement to develop a transit asset management plan apply only to MAP 21 FTA funded programs, or does it also apply to SAFETEA LU authorized programs as well?

Rick: That is open for comment. On question number 75, we'll be looking forward to the feedback as it applies to different grantees, particularly sub recipients.

Candace: Related to slide 28 of the presentation, recipients and sub recipients must develop a TAM plan. Is this statement/requirement only applicable to SGR funds or to any FTA program that funds transit assets?

Rick: That's another great question. The requirement for transit asset management plans does apply to all of FTA's grant programs for transit systems. Regardless of which grant program that you're participating in, if you're a recipient, or if you're a sub recipient from that program, once this rule takes effect, it will impose a requirement to develop a transit asset management plan.

In yesterday's webinar geared towards small systems, we took a particular note to highlight the questions where we realized that this requirement will apply to a lot smaller transit systems.

In several places throughout the ANPRM, we ask questions about how we can tailor the requirements for an asset management plan to be sensitive to the limited capacity for additional burdens at smaller transit systems, while still keeping with the requirements of MAP 21 for the plan.

Candace: That is all of the questions we have right now. Wait. We might have one more. Yes. Related to slide 24 of the presentation, that slide gives the impression that the TAM plans only apply to SGR funds. Can you please clarify?

Rick: That's a good question. All of our grant recipients, regardless of what program you receive your FTA funds from, the recipients, sub recipients, have to have a plan.

However, for the State of Good Repair formula program, there is an additional requirement that once the requirement for plans takes effect, if you are a grantee under the State of Good Repair formula program, you will only be able to access those funds if the project you want to fund appears in the investment prioritization of your plan.

A way of thinking about what's presented on slide 24 is that that is a contingent requirement for funds coming out of the State of Good Repair formula program, but all of our grant recipients and sub recipients, regardless of program, will be required to have a plan.

Candace: Once again, if you have any questions, please type them in. We have another question. Please define the term "asset" in the context of TAM.

Rick: That's a fantastic question. It's definitely something that we've highlighted in this ANPRM. One question, for instance, that jumps right out at me is question number 80, where we ask the question "What level of detail should be required for the capital asset inventory in a transit asset management plan?"

"What type of categorization of assets should be required? Please be as specific as possible as to what requirements FTA should propose to ensure that capital asset inventories included in the transit asset management plan support an effective transit asset management process."

Very related to that is that question number 83 asks, "How specific should the projects identified in the investment prioritization of the transit asset management plan...What should be the level of specificity there?" There may not be a quick and easy answer.

We're looking for your feedback, through the comment process, on how you would like to see FTA define the level of detail for the transit asset management plan requirements and the level of detail that you would like to see FTA propose for the definition of State of Good Repair and the performance measures. Then we can take account of that.

Candace: Our next question, "Can projects with assets in backlog, and therefore identified in a TAM, only be funded by 5337 funds?"

Rick: That's a good question. Definitely, we discuss in the ANPRM that that is definitely not the case that they can only be funded through the 5337 State of Good Repair funds.

One of the things that we highlight in the ANPRM is that one of the reasons we are going through this process of transit asset management is that even though FTA has identified a $78 billion and growing backlog of transit assets, there is not an immediately identifiable source of the $78 billion to common fund that.

We know that in order to be able to bring down this big a repair backlog, it's going to require using the resources we already have in a smarter way.

Transit asset management is designed to be a way to create a systematic approach for the transit industry to look at reprioritizing the use of funds from all of FTA's programs, as well as from any available state and local funding, to bring the resources that we have available to bear on bringing down the State of Good Repair backlog.

John: Just to absolutely clear, you can use any funds, not just 5337 funds, to deal with the assets that need to be replaced or improved.

Candace: If having a TAM plan is a contingency to access SGR funds, is having a TAM plan also a contingency to access formula or discretionary funds from other FTA programs?

Rick: I'll try and be as clear as I can on this. Yes, you will required to have a TAM plan. However, the State of Good Repair formula program will require that the projects funded in that program be specifically listed in the investment prioritization of the TAM plan.

That is a special requirement that only applies to projects funded through the State of Good Repair formula program. We do ask questions that were covered by Sherry Riklin in chapter eight about what should be the timing for the certification of the plan.

It will be a requirement, as a grantee, that recipients will have to certify that they have a TAM plan. We encourage comments in chapter eight on exactly how the logistics of that should work.

Then there is the specific requirement that projects funded through the State of Good Repair formula program must be specifically listed in the investment prioritization. That is a unique requirement for the State of Good Repair formula program.

Candace: You state all assets should be included in a TAM plan. How many data points should be reasonably accounted for in a facilities asset inventory table?

Rick: That will, of course, actually largely depend on how many assets the transit agency has. I'll again highlight question number 80, which is "What is the level of detail that should be applied to a capital asset inventory in a TAM plan?"

We are taking specific feedback from the industry about what should be the required level of detail for a capital asset inventory and what should be the appropriate requirement and best practice there.

Candace: Regarding TAM for ferry boat modes which carry vehicles in addition to passengers, how will FTA reconcile separate FHWA asset management and safety requirements for land based assets that are classifiable as highway bridges?

Rick: We are definitely in touch with our counterparts at the Federal Highway Administration. We definitely plan to try and address that in the notice of proposed rulemaking.

We encourage you to raise those issues through the comment process in the docket to make sure that they are appropriately highlighted for us there, to help also ensure that any specific concerns you have are addressed in the NPRM stage.

Candace: In the context of LRT safety and assets, there is a jurisdictional crossover among FRA, FTA, and the local highway governing jurisdictions. How does FTA intend to incorporate this interagency coordination in the TAM?

Rick: This is a really common question in regards to many rail systems. We ask for some feedback on these issues, under the requirement for a transit asset management plan.

For instance, question number 78 is "How should the requirements for an asset management plan apply to assets that are owned and operated by an entity other than a recipient but upon which the recipient's operations rely?"

That's a common situation for rail systems of all modes, where there'll be critical assets for the operation of the system that are owned and operated by another party. We ask for feedback from stakeholders on how that should be incorporated into the asset management planning process.

Candace: Would lists of certified sub recipients have to be the responsibility of the designated recipient, or could it be assigned to the NPO by the designated recipient?

Rick: I would encourage you to submit your opinion on that to question 59 in the docket.

Candace: We may have reached the end of our questions.

Crystal: If there are no further questions, I'll just go over next steps. We request that you please take the time to comment on this ANPRM and provide your thoughts to the docket, which is FTA 2013 0030. That's the docket number.

You may submit comments via the web at www.regulations.gov. You can just do a search for FTA. All of our rulemaking will come up, and you can just click on the docket for the ANPRM. You can fax your comments to 202 493 2251, mail them to USDOT headquarters, or hand deliver them to USDOT headquarters.

Please keep in mind that you should not assume someone else will relay your thoughts to us, and take the time to provide your thoughts and comments to us on the ANPRM. Please also ensure that you provide the specific questions that you are responding to.

I will reiterate the need for robust comments. Submissions to the docket that are most helpful to us and the most influential are those that contain data, cite source materials, and include the rationale in support of points made in the comment.

As far as next steps, after the comment period closes, we will review the comments received and issue notices of proposed rulemaking on the topics addressed in the ANPRM. After that, the NPRM will be available for public notice and comment. Once that comment period closes, we will review those comments and issue final rules.

If there are no further questions, I will conclude today's webinar, which will be available on FTA's website and in the docket to the ANPRM shortly. Thank you.

Adrienne: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. This concludes today's conference. Thank you for participating. You may now disconnect.