[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 124 (Thursday, June 27, 2002)]
[Pages 43385-43386]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-16181]



Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Grant Program for Research and Development in the Field of 
Transportation Statistics

AGENCY: Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of new grant cycle.


SUMMARY: The BTS supports its goal of advancing the field of 
transportation statistics through the Transportation Statistics 
Research Grants program. This notice solicits applications for projects 
that support the development of the field of transportation statistics; 
and/or involve research or development in transportation statistics. It 
outlines the purpose, goals, and general procedures for application and 
award. For this cycle, BTS will make available up to approximately 
$256,000 in grant funds to eligible organizations.

DATES: For BTS to consider your application, we must receive it by 
August 7, 2002, at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Applications received 
after August 7, 2002, will be held for the next cycle, which is 
anticipated to be every six to twelve months, unless you request in 
writing that your application be returned.

ADDRESSES: You must send six copies of the application package to the 
BTS Grants Program, Room 3117, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 
U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, 
DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Promod Chandhok, Office of Statistical 
Programs, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Room 3117, 400 Seventh 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590; phone (202) 366-2158; fax: (202) 
493-0568; e-mail: [email protected].


I. Background--Advancing the Discipline of Transportation Statistics

    The purpose of this grant program is to provide financial 
assistance to eligible organizations to help advance the discipline of 
transportation statistics. These grants are authorized by section 5109 
of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) (Public 
Law 105-178 (1998), codified at 49 U.S.C. 111(g)). BTS anticipates 
awarding up to $500,000 per year in grants for projects that (1) 
support development of the field of transportation statistics; and/or 
(2) advance research or development in transportation statistics.
    BTS is a separate operating administration within the U.S. 
Department of Transportation (DOT). Its mission is to lead in 
developing transportation data and information of high quality, and to 
advance their effective use in public and private transportation 
decision-making. In accomplishing this mission, BTS works to improve 
six key attributes of transportation data and analysis--quality, 
comparability, completeness, timeliness, relevance, and utility.
    Our ultimate goal is to make transportation better--to enhance 
safety, mobility, economic growth, the human and natural environment, 
and national security (the five strategic goals of the Department of 
Transportation). BTS's role in this goal is to provide data and 
information that others need to make decisions concerning 
transportation. We collect data and compile, analyze, and publish 
statistics. BTS is seeking assistance in building and developing this 
knowledge base.
    While there are many excellent transportation data programs and 
many excellent statistics programs, few are devoted to the intersection 
of these two disciplines. Bringing a better understanding of statistics 
to transportation data will improve data quality, increase utility 
(e.g., by improving measures of travel), and reduce costs (e.g., by 
using techniques to make data collection, analysis, and dissemination 
more efficient). BTS wants to foster the transportation statistics 
discipline and increase its quality and usefulness to the 
transportation community. This grants program is one way BTS is working 
toward this goal.

II. Eligibility Requirements

What Organizations May Apply?

    BTS invites applications from public and private non-profit 
entities. We strongly encourage Minority Serving Institutions, which 
have been traditionally under-represented in transportation statistics, 
to submit applications. If organizations partner on a project, the 
participants should submit a single application. You may submit more 
than one application as long as the applications are for separate and 
distinct projects.

What Projects Are Eligible for Funding?

    Proposals should serve the broad transportation interests of the 
country, and we are particularly interested in high-quality proposals 
that treat one or more of the following areas:
    (1) Measuring the vulnerability of the transportation system and 
its users to crime and terrorism;
    (2) Visualizing and mining of transportation databases;
    (3) Aggregating and analyzing databases maintained by DOT agencies, 
especially where the research involves multiple modes of 
    (4) Improving the quality and usability of federal transportation 
    (5) Designing and analyzing transportation surveys;
    (6) Developing exposure measures (e.g., vehicle miles traveled) for 
use in risk analyses;
    (7) Improving the statistical use of geographic information systems 
to better understand and quantify travel behavior;
    (8) Developing performance measures for the transportation system;
    (9) Applying small area estimation techniques to transportation;
    (10) Improving data quality and data collection; and
    (11) Enhancing or extending the National Transportation Library to 
better express or incorporate statistical analyses.
    This list is not exhaustive, and we are eager to consider any 
innovative proposal that supports the development of the field of 
transportation statistics or involves research and development in 
transportation statistics. In this cycle, we will give priority 
consideration to proposals for innovative research on the security of 
our transportation system.

What Are the Cost Sharing Requirements?

    For awards of $100,000 or more, the recipient shall fund at least 
50 percent of the project's costs. The nonfederal match must come from 
sources other than the project sponsor, and must be cash contributions 
rather than in-kind contributions. In reviewing all applications, even 
those requesting less than $100,000, the degree of cost-sharing will be 
considered, with more weight given to cash contributions than in-kind 

III. Application Contents

    For more information about submitting your application, please 
refer to the ADDRESSES and DATES sections listed above. In order to be 
considered for funding under this program, your

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application package must include the following:
    (1) A Project Narrative. This must not exceed eight letter-size 
pages, single-sided and double-spaced. Use at least 12-point type and 
one inch margins. In general, the information you provide should be in 
sufficient detail so BTS understands the proposed work and its 
anticipated benefits. It should also demonstrate that you have the 
necessary experience and resources to accomplish it. The narrative must 
identify the organization; how it meets the eligibility criteria; its 
experience and accomplishments in collecting, analyzing, and/or 
disseminating transportation data; and the qualifications of the 
principals proposed to conduct the activities. The narrative must also 
describe the proposed activity, including how you would accomplish it, 
a timeline listing major milestones associated with the project, and a 
list of specific products and/or services with the dates they will be 
    (2) An Application for Federal Assistance. Submit OMB SF-424 
(Application for Federal Assistance), which is the official form 
required for all federal grants. It requests basic information about 
the grantee and the proposed project. Under Part 10 of this form, use 
20.920 and Transportation Statistics Research Grants for the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance Number and Title. Also submit OMB SF-424A 
(Budget Information--Nonconstruction Programs). You can download these 
forms from the OMB Internet site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants.
    (3) An Evaluation Plan. Include a brief description of how you will 
evaluate and measure the success of the project, including the 
anticipated benefits and challenges in completing it. This can be part 
of the Project Narrative.
    (4) Resumes. Include resumes from up to three key personnel who 
would be significantly involved in the project.
    (5) Letters of Commitment. If your proposal includes the 
significant involvement of other eligible organizations, your 
application must include letters of commitment from them.

IV. Application Review Process and Selection Criteria

    The Transportation Statistics Research Grants program uses a 
competitive process and applications will be evaluated based on the 
merit and relevance of the proposed project in relation to the other 
applications received. BTS anticipates making multiple awards based on 
this solicitation. While BTS will select the most meritorious 
proposals, we may choose to not award all available funds.
    Upon receiving an application, BTS will conduct an initial review 
to determine if it meets the eligibility criteria and contains all of 
the items specified under the Application Contents section of this 
announcement. A BTS evaluation committee will then review each complete 
application from an eligible recipient using the evaluation criteria 
listed below (the order of criteria does not designate priority) and 
the BTS Director will select the final grants. The evaluation criteria 
    (1) How well does the proposal support BTS's strategic goals of 
improving the quality, comparability, completeness, timeliness, 
relevance, and utility of transportation data? How well does the 
proposal serve the broad transportation interests of the United States?
    (2) How innovative is the proposed activity? To what extent is the 
work being accomplished elsewhere?
    (3) How much experience has the applicant demonstrated in one or 
more of the following areas--collecting, analyzing, storing, or 
disseminating transportation data, particularly data collected or 
disseminated by BTS, and working with theoretical statistical issues 
concerning transportation data?
    (4) Does the applicant have the professional qualifications and 
team members necessary for satisfactory performance of the proposed 
    (5) How well does the technical approach and proposed costs reflect 
an understanding of the procedures necessary to complete the required 
    (6) To what degree does the proposal include cost-sharing? More 
weight will be given to proposals with cash contributions than in-kind 
services. For awards of $100,000 or more, BTS requires cash 
contributions of 50 percent toward the total project's cost.

V. Amount of Funds Available and Period of Support

    We anticipate that approximately $500,000 per year will be 
designated to support grants over the next five years, subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds. This estimate does not bind BTS to 
a specific number of offers or awards, nor to a specific amount of 
funding support for particular awards or awards in aggregate. It is 
anticipated that individual award amounts, based upon demonstrated 
needs, will likely range from $50,000 to $200,000, though BTS has not 
established minimum or maximum funding levels.
    Given the amount of funds available, applicants are strongly 
encouraged to seek other funding opportunities to supplement the 
federal funds. Preference will be given to applicants with cost sharing 
proposals from within or outside their organizations.
    The period of time of awards will vary with the complexity of the 
project and it is possible that grants will be awarded for periods 
greater than one year.

VI. BTS Involvement

    BTS involvement, if any, will vary by award. If you anticipate BTS 
involvement, you must note this in your project narrative and any 
support BTS provides will be specified in the award agreement. BTS will 
assign a liaison to serve as the primary contact regarding the grant.

VII. Terms and Conditions of Award

    (1) Prior to award, each grantee will be required to complete 
additional government application forms, such as OMB SF-424B 
(Assurances--Nonconstruction Programs) and with the certification 
requirements of 49 CFR Part 20, Department of Transportation New 
Restrictions on Lobbying, and 49 CFR Part 29, Department of 
Transportation Government-Wide Debarment and Suspension (Non-
Procurement) and Government-Wide Requirements for Drug Free Workplace 
    (2) Each grantee shall submit a program implementation plan no more 
than one month after award. The BTS liaison will review and comment, if 
    (3) Each grantee shall submit quarterly progress reports, a draft 
final report, and a final report that reflects the BTS liaison's 
    Thank you for your interest in our Transportation Statistics 
Research Grants program.

Ashish Sen,
[FR Doc. 02-16181 Filed 6-26-02; 8:45 am]