[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 71 (Wednesday, April 12, 2000)]
[Pages 19808-19811]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-9080]



Federal Highway Administration

[FHWA Docket No. FHWA-1999-5381]

Implementation Information for Ferry Boat Discretionary Program 

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice; issuance of final selection criteria for FY 2001 and 


SUMMARY: This document provides implementation information on the Ferry 
Boat Discretionary (FBD) program for fiscal year 2001 and beyond. A 
memorandum with this information will be issued each year of the 
program to division offices soliciting candidate projects from State 
transportation agencies for FBD program funding.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Jack Wasley, Office of Program 
Administration, (202) 366-4658; or Mr. Harold Aikens, Office of the 
Chief Counsel, (202) 366-0764; Federal Highway Administration, 400 
Seventh Street SW., Washington D.C. 20590. Office hours are from 7:45 
a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal 


Electronic Access

    Internet users may access all comments received by the U.S. 
Dockets, Room PL-401, by using the universal resource locator (URL) 
http://dms.dot.gov. It is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each 
year. Please follow the instructions online for more information and 
    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded by using a 
computer, modem and suitable communications software from the 
Government Printing Office's Electronic Bulletin Board Service at (202) 
512-1661. Internet users may reach the Office of the Federal Register's 
home page at http://www.nara.gov/fedreg and the Government Printing 
Office's database at http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara.
    The solicitation memorandum will be available each year of the 
program on the FHWA web site at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/discretionary.


    On April 26, 1999, at 64 FR 20350, the FHWA solicited comments on 
the selection criteria to be used by the FHWA for evaluating candidate 
projects for the FBD program for FY 2001 and beyond. These are the same 
general selection criteria that the FHWA has

[[Page 19809]]

used for several years to evaluate candidates for this discretionary 

Discussion of Comments

    No comments or views were received in response to this invitation 
to submit written comments to the selection criteria to be used by the 
FHWA in docket number FHWA-1999-5381 by June 25, 1999.
    The FHWA, therefore, will continue to use these same basic 
selection criteria for FY 2001 and beyond for the FBD discretionary 
program. A selection criterion may be added for an individual year that 
reflects a special emphasis area, but for the most part the selection 
criteria will remained unchanged.

    Authority: 23 U.S.C. 129(c) and 315; and 49 CFR 1.48.

    Issued on: April 3, 2000.
Kenneth R. Wykle,
Federal Highway Administrator.
    The text of the FHWA implementation information to accompany 
solicitation memoranda for FBD projects for FY 2001 and beyond follows:

Ferry Boat Discretionary Program: Program Information


    The Ferry Boat Discretionary (FBD) Program, which provides a 
special funding category for the construction of ferry boats and ferry 
terminal facilities, was created by Section 1064 of the Intermodal 
Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) (Public Law 102-
240). Section 1207 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st 
Century (TEA-21) (Public Law 105-178) reauthorized the FBD funding 
category through FY 2003.

Statutory References

    23 U.S.C. 129(c); sec 1064, Pub. L. 102-240, 105 Stat. 1914 
(1991)(ISTEA); sec. 1207, Pub. L. 105-178, 112 Stat. 107 (1998) (TEA-

                                            [In millions of dollars]
         Fiscal Year              1998          1999          2000          2001          2002          2003
Competitive.................           30            18            18            18            18            18
NHS Set-aside...............           20            20            20            20            20            20

    The TEA-21 provides $30 million in fiscal year 1998 and $38 million 
in each of fiscal years 1999 through 2003 for the construction of ferry 
boats and ferry terminals in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 129(c). The TEA-
21 requires that $20 million from each of fiscal years 1999 through 
2003 be set-aside for marine highway systems that are part of the 
National Highway System for use by the States of Alaska ($10 million), 
New Jersey ($5 million), and Washington ($5 million). As a result, for 
each of fiscal years 1999 through 2003, the amount of FBD funding 
available for open competition among all States is $18 million with a 
non-competitive amount of $20 million set-aside for Alaska, New Jersey, 
and Washington.
    The $18 million available for open competition is also impacted by 
any obligation limitation imposed on the Federal-aid highway program 
under the provisions of TEA-21 section 1102(f), Redistribution of 
Certain Authorized Funds. Under this provision, any funds authorized 
for the program for the fiscal year, which are not available for 
obligation due to the imposition of an obligation limitation, are not 
allocated for the FBD program, but are redistributed to the States by 
formula as STP funds.
    After these reductions, it is expected that approximately $14 
million will be available for candidate projects each of fiscal years 
2000 through 2003. This available funding may also increase or decrease 
each year depending on the obligation limitation calculation and on the 
estimated receipts to the Highway Trust Fund.

Federal Share

    In accordance with section 1064(b) of the ISTEA, the Federal share 
of the costs for any project eligible under this program is 80 percent.

Obligation Limitation

    The FBD discretionary funds are subject to obligation limitation; 
however, 100 percent obligation authority is normally provided with the 
allocation of funds for the selected projects. The obligation 
limitation reduces the available funding for the program under the 
provisions of the TEA-21 section 1102(f) discussed above.
    For FY 1999, obligation of the FBD funds was controlled by a 
special requirement included in the FY 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act 
(Public Law 105-277). The Act limited the obligation of FBD funds 
during FY 1999 to $38 million. Consequently, there was not enough 
obligation authority to cover both fiscal years 1998 and 1999 funding 
allocated to the States. Therefore, distribution of the FY 1999 
obligation authority was on an ``as needed'' basis during FY 1999.
    For FY 2000, a proportional share of obligation authority 
accompanied allocated funds.


    As specified in section 1064(b) of the ISTEA, this program is for 
the construction of ferry boats and ferry terminal facilities in 
accordance with 23 U.S.C. 129. Proposals should meet the basic 
eligibility criteria in 23 U.S.C. 129(c).
    Competitive FBD funds are available for improvements to ferry boats 
or ferry boat terminals where:
     The ferry facility is providing a link on a public road 
(other than Interstate) or the ferry facility is providing passenger 
only ferry service.
     The ferry and/or ferry terminal to be constructed or 
improved is either publicly owned, publicly operated, or a public 
authority has majority ownership interest where it is demonstrated that 
the ferry operation provides substantial public benefits.
     The ferry does not operate in international water except 
for Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Alaska, and for ferries between a State and 
    The set-aside discretionary funds for marine highway systems for 
use by the States of Alaska, New Jersey, and Washington are available 
for the construction or refurbishing of ferry boats and ferry terminals 
and their approaches that are part of the NHS. In general, a proposed 
project must meet the eligibility criteria set forth in 23 U.S.C. 
129(b) and (c), with the following requirements specifically applying 
to location of the projects and the type of activity eligible for 
     For a ferry facility that provides a direct link on the 
NHS, both the ferry boat (must transport four wheel vehicles) and the 
ferry terminals,

[[Page 19810]]

including approaches, are eligible for funding.
     For a ferry facility that lies at the end of an approved 
connector to the NHS, only the ferry terminal (can serve either vehicle 
or passengers) and approach is eligible for funding. The ferry boats 
serving the ferry terminal are not eligible for funding.

Selection Criteria

    Several criteria are used to evaluate the submitted candidates for 
selection for the competitive portion of the FBD program. Although 
there are no statutory criteria and FHWA has not established regulatory 
criteria for selection of FBD projects, the following criteria are 
considered in the evaluation of candidates for this program:
     Expeditious completion of project--Consideration is given 
to requests that will expedite the completion of a viable project. This 
is a project's ability to expeditiously complete usable facilities 
within the limited funding amounts available.
     Leveraging of private or other public funding--Because the 
annual requests for funding far exceed the available FBD funds, 
commitment of other funding sources to complement the requested FBD 
funding is an important factor.
     Amount of FBD funding--The requested amount of funding is 
a consideration. Realizing the historically high demand of funding 
under this program, modest sized requests for funding (generally less 
than $2 million) to allow more States to receive funding under this 
program are given added consideration.
     State priorities--For States submitting more than one 
project, consideration is given to the individual States priorities.
     National geographic distribution of funding within the FBD 
program--Consideration is given to selecting projects over time among 
all the States competing for funding.
    Because the concept of equity was important in the development of 
TEA-21, project selection will also consider national geographic 
distribution among all of the discretionary programs as well as 
congressional direction or guidance provided on specific projects or 

Solicitation Procedure

    Each year, usually around March, a memorandum is sent from the FHWA 
Headquarters Office of Program Administration to the FHWA division 
offices requesting the submission of candidate projects for the 
following fiscal year's funding. The FHWA division offices provide this 
solicitation request to the State transportation departments, who are 
the only agencies that can submit candidates. The State transportation 
departments coordinate with local agencies within their respective 
States in order to develop viable candidate projects. The State 
transportation departments submit the candidate applications to the 
FHWA division offices, who send them in to the Office of Program 
Administration. Candidate projects are due in FHWA Headquarters on a 
specific date in July (usually around the middle of July).
    The specific timetable for the solicitation process for any 
particular fiscal year is provided in the solicitation memorandum.
    The candidate project applications are reviewed and evaluated by 
the Office of Program Administration and an allocation plan is prepared 
for presentation of the candidate projects to the Office of the Federal 
Highway Administrator, where the final selection of projects for 
funding is made. The announcement of the selected projects and the 
allocation of funds is usually accomplished by the middle of November.
    Set-aside FBD funds are allocated directly to the three named 
States with no solicitation.

Submission Requirements

    Only State transportation departments may submit applications for 
funding under this program. Although there is not a prescribed format 
for a project submission, the following information must be included to 
properly evaluate the candidate projects. The applications must be 
submitted electronically in either Word Perfect or MS Word format. With 
the exception of the project area map, all of the following must be 
included to consider the application complete. Those applications that 
do not include these items are considered incomplete and will be 
    1. State(s) in which the project is located. If more than one 
State, indicate which State is the applicant.
    2. County(ies) in which the project is located.
    3. U.S. Congressional District No.(s) in which the project is 
    4. U.S. Congressional Member's Name(s) for each District.
    5. Facility or Project Name commonly used to describe the facility 
or project.
    6. Service Termini and Ports--Describe the ferry boat operation 
including the name of water crossing. A statement must be included for 
ferry boat operations carrying motorized vehicles, describing the link 
in the roadway system. Clearly identify any ``passenger only'' ferry 
service, and explain how the ferry service is linked to public 
transportation or is part of a transit system. Also, for each project 
indicate if the project is part of an existing link or service, or if 
it is new service. Also identify if the ferry operates in domestic, 
foreign, or international waters.
    7. Ownership/Operation--Specify which of the following apply (a, b, 
or c):
    (a) The boat or terminal is publicly-owned. The term ``publicly-
owned'' means that the title for the boat or terminal must be vested in 
a Federal, State, county, town, or township, Indian tribe, municipal or 
other local government or instrumentality.
    (b) The boat or terminal is publicly-operated. The term ``publicly-
operated'' means that a public entity operates the boat or terminal.
    (c) The boat or terminal is ``majority publicly-owned'' (as opposed 
to public owned). This means that more than 50 percent of the ownership 
is vested in a public entity. If so, does it provide substantial public 
benefits? Documentation of substantial public benefits, concurred in by 
the division office, is required for ferry facilities that are in 
majority public ownership.
    8. Current and Future Traffic--Provide a general description of the 
type and nature of traffic, both current and future (projected) average 
daily traffic and/or average daily passenger volumes, on the ferry 
route if available. If the ferry links public roads or is a link on a 
highway route, provide the functional classification of the public road 
or route that the project is located. The general description could 
include information on year round or seasonal service; commuter, 
recreational or visitor ridership; traffic generators and attractions.
    9. Proposed Work--Describe the project work that is to be completed 
under this particular request, and whether this is a complete project 
or part of a larger project.
    10. Amount of Federal FBD Discretionary Funds Requested--Indicate 
the total cost of the proposed work along with the amount of FBD funds 
being requested for FY 2001 (the maximum Federal share for this program 
is 80 percent). The State may request partial funding (less than the 80 
percent maximum), committing a larger portion of State or local funds. 
If the State is willing to accept partial funding of the request, that 
should be indicated. Partial funding along with the commitment of other 
funds (see item 11 below) will be used to determine leveraging of 
funds, and allow funding

[[Page 19811]]

to more projects, since the requests far exceed the funding available.
    11. Commitment of Other Funds--Indicate the amounts and sources of 
any private or other public funding being provided as part of this 
project. Only indicate those amounts of funding that are firm and 
documented commitments from the entity controlling the funds.
    12. Previous FBD Discretionary Funding--Indicate the amount and 
Federal fiscal year of any previous FBD discretionary funds received 
for this project, terminals or ferry boats operating on this route or 
transit system. Only include previous FBD discretionary funds, not 
other funding sources.
    13. Future Funding Needs--Indicate the estimated future funding 
needs for the ferry boat operation, including vessels and terminals, if 
known. Also, provide estimated time schedules for implementing future 
    14. Project Purpose and Benefits--Each State's request for ferry 
boat discretionary funds must describe the project benefits and 
purpose. This information should not be lengthy, it should be in short 
and concise (three to five) statements. Layman's language should be 
used to the extent possible so as to be understood by a reader that is 
not closely familiar with the highway and ferry boat operations. This 
information will also be used for briefings and bulletins.
    15. Project Area Map--A readable location/vicinity map showing the 
ferry route and terminal connections is helpful if available. The map 
may be submitted electronically along with the candidate application or 
separately as a hard copy (black and white, letter or legal paper 

State Transportation Agency Responsibilities

    1. Coordinate with State and local agencies within the State to 
develop viable candidate projects.
    2. Ensure that the applications for candidate projects meet the 
submission requirements outlined above.
    3. Establish priorities. If the State submits more than one 
candidate project, we request that the State rank the projects 
according to the State's overall needs and priorities.
    4. Submit the applications to the local FHWA division office, in 
advance of the established FHWA Headquarters deadline (contained in the 
FHWA Headquarter's solicitation memorandum). The Division's request for 
candidate projects should allow enough time to meet the 
responsibilities outlined below and any additional coordination as 
mutually agreed upon.

FHWA Division Office Responsibilities

    1. Provide the solicitation memorandum and this program information 
to the State transportation agency.
    2. Request candidate projects be submitted by the State to the FHWA 
division office to meet submission deadline established in the 
solicitation memorandum.
    3. Review all candidate applications submitted by the State prior 
to sending them to FHWA Headquarters to ensure that they are eligible, 
complete and meet the submission requirements.
    4. Submit the candidate applications to FHWA Headquarters by the 
established submission deadline.

FHWA Headquarters Program Office Responsibilities

    1. Solicit candidates from the States through annual solicitation 
    2. Review candidate project submissions and compile program and 
project information for preparation of allocation plan.
    3. Submit allocation plan to the Office of the Federal Highway 
Administrator for use in making final project selections.
    4. Allocate funds for the selected projects.

FHWA Headquarters Program Office Contact

    Mr. Jack Wasley, Highway Engineer, Office of Program 
Administration, Phone: (202) 366-4658, Fax: (202) 366-3988, E-mail: 
[email protected].

[FR Doc. 00-9080 Filed 4-11-00; 8:45 am]