[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 90 (Thursday, May 9, 2013)]
[Pages 27284-27295]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-11053]



Federal Transit Administration

Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program; Tribal 
Transit Program

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Funding Availability: Solicitation of Grant 
Applications for FY 2013 Tribal Transit Program Funds; and Responses to 
the November 9, 2012 Solicitation of Comments.


SUMMARY: This Notice accomplishes several purposes. First, the U.S. 
Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Transit Administration 
(FTA) summarizes and responds to written comments FTA received in 
response to a November 9, 2012, Federal Register Notice regarding 
proposed grant program provisions for this modified program. Second, 
this Notice establishes the framework for the Tribal Transit Program, 
including the terms and conditions and local match requirements. 
Finally, this Notice announces the availability of funds and a national 
solicitation for proposals from grantees for projects selected on a 
competitive basis; the grant terms and conditions that will apply to 
the discretionary program; and grant application procedures and 
selection criteria for FY 2013 projects.

DATES: Complete proposals for the Tribal Transit Program announced in 
this Notice must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EDT on July 8, 2013. All 
proposals must be submitted electronically through the GRANTS.GOV 
``APPLY'' function. Any tribe intending to apply should initiate the 
process of registering on the GRANTS.GOV site immediately to ensure 
completion of registration before the submission deadline. Instructions 
for applying can be found on FTA's Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/tribaltransit in the ``FIND'' module of GRANTS.GOV.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact the appropriate FTA Regional 
Office at http://www.fta.dot.gov for proposal-specific information and 
issues. For general program information, contact Lorna Wilson, Office 
of Program Management, (202) 366-0893, email: [email protected] or 
Elan Flippin, Office of Program Management, (202) 366-3800, email: 
[email protected]. ATDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDD/FIRS).


Table of Contents

A. Overview
B. Background
C. Comments and Responses
    1. Formula Program
    2. Discretionary Program
    3. Cost Sharing, Matching, and Indirect Costs
    4. Terms and Conditions for Formula and Discretionary
D. Funding Opportunity For FY 2013
    1. Overview
    2. Program Purpose
    3. Program Information
    4. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information

A. Overview

    Section 5311(j) of MAP-21, Public Law 112-41 (July 6, 2012), 
authorizes the Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program 
(Tribal Transit Program (TTP)) for Fiscal Years (FY) 2013-2014. The 
program authorizes direct grants ``under such terms and conditions as 
may be established by the Secretary'' to Indian tribes for any purpose 
eligible under FTA's Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program, 49 U.S.C. 
5311. The modified Tribal Transit Program continues to be a set-aside 
from the Formula Grants for Rural Areas program but now consists of a 
$25 million formula program and a $5 million discretionary grant 
program subject to the availability of appropriations. Formula factors 
include vehicle revenue miles and the number of low-income individuals 
residing on tribal lands. Discretionary funds are available annually on 
a competitive basis.

B. Background

    FTA published a Federal Register Notice dated October 16, 2012, 
``Notice of FTA Transit Program Changes, Authorized Funding Levels, and 
Implementation of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act 
(MAP-21): FTA Fiscal Year 2013 Apportionments, Allocations, Program 
Information and Interim Guidance.'' The Notice announced new FTA 
programs and changes to current programs, including the Tribal Transit 
Program. Subsequently, FTA published Federal Register Notice (77 FR 
67439) Fiscal Year 2013 Public Transportation on Indian Reservation 
Program: Request for comment, Announcement of Public meetings on 
November 9, 2012. The Federal Register Notice set forth and requested 
public comments on the proposed implementation of both the formula and 
discretionary program under the Tribal Transit Program. FTA requested 
comment on the following issues: The proposed method FTA will use to 
allocate formula funds; grantee eligibility; eligible purposes for 
grant funds; proposed terms and conditions for the grant program, and 
local match requirements. The Notice also announced two one-day 
outreach meetings on the Tribal Transit Program. The comment period on 
the November 9, 2012, Federal Register Notice ended on January 8, 2013. 
FTA accepted late comments to the extent practicable.

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C. Comments and Responses

    FTA received 28 submissions in response to the November 9, 2012, 
Federal Register Notice and additional oral comments received from the 
Indian tribes, other stakeholders, and organizations at the two 
outreach meetings held in November and December of 2012. The 28 
submissions contained 250 separate responses. The comments have been 
divided into the following categories: (1) The process by which FTA 
should allocate TTP formula funds; (2) eligible applicants and eligible 
projects under the discretionary program, as well as the establishment 
of minimum and maximum grant award amounts under the discretionary 
program and prioritization of projects within the discretionary 
program; (3) proposed options for local match, and indirect costs (4) 
the terms and conditions applied to grants awarded under the TTP; and 
other issues that were not specifically proposed or addressed in the 
November 9, 2012 Federal Register Notice.
    The comments received from the Indian tribes, state DOT's and 
tribal organizations were generally favorable to the proposed 
implementation of the program and program requirements.

1. Formula Program

    Under MAP-21, the Tribal Transit Program (TTP) distributes $25 
million by a formula apportionment to eligible Indian tribes providing 
public transportation on tribal lands. FTA publishes an annual 
apportionment notice that includes program and funding information on 
all FTA formula and discretionary programs. All formula apportionments 
are based on congressional appropriations. The FY 2013 full year 
apportionment notice, includes the formula apportionments (shown in 
Table 10) for the Tribal Transit Program as modified under MAP-21. The 
funds shown in Table 10 on FTA's Web site are available for obligation 
for eligible projects consistent with the Rural Areas Formula program. 
Further Tribal Transit Program guidance will be included in a new 
chapter in the upcoming revision of the FTA Circular 9040.1. The Tribal 
Transit Program formula is described below.
i. Statutory Formula
    Based on the statutory language in MAP-21, Tribal Transit Program 
(TTP) funds are apportioned directly to Indian tribes using a three-
tier formula. Tiers 1 and 2 use vehicle revenue mile (VRM) data as 
reported to the National Transit Database (NTD); Tier 3 is based on 
2010 U.S. Census data. Consistent with FTA's other formula programs, 
FTA is required to use the NTD as the system of record for the VRM data 
for the first two tiers of the formula. Since the inception of the TTP 
in FY 2006, tribes that receive a cumulative amount of more than 
$50,000 in TTP grants have been required to report data to the NTD. 
Tribes that operate public transportation services, but which have not 
yet participated in the TTP, are encouraged to file a report to the NTD 
on a voluntary basis to qualify for inclusion in future TTP 
    The statutory tiers for the formula are:
    Tier 1--50 percent of the amount made available for distribution by 
TTP formula, to be apportioned based on VRM as reported to the NTD;
    Tier 2--25 percent of the amount made available for distribution by 
TTP formula, to be apportioned equally among Indian tribes providing at 
least 200,000 VRM;
    Tier 3--25 percent of the amount made available for distribution by 
TTP formula, to be apportioned to Indian tribes providing public 
transportation on reservations in which more than 1,000 low income 
individuals reside. No tribe can receive more than $300,000 from this 
    FTA will apportion funds based on these three tiers. A table of 
formula apportionments will be posted to the FTA Web site coinciding 
with the publication of this Notice (http://www.fta.dot.gov/grants/15105.html). Compared to the 2012 TTP, the 2013 TTP as authorized by 
Congress represents an increase in funding from $15 million to $30 
million. However, since all but $5 million of the 2013 TTP funds are 
apportioned by formula, tribal transit operations that received 
relatively large discretionary grants in the past may see a decrease in 
funding as 2013 funds are spread over a broader constituency due to the 
three-tier formula. The actual amount available in FY 2013 is included 
in FTA's Supplemental Fiscal Year 2013 Apportionments, Allocations, and 
Program Information.
    In the November 9, Federal Register Notice, FTA posted a request 
for comment on the fiscal year 2013 Public Transportation on Indian 
Reservations Program (referred to here as the TTP). In this notice 
(201277 FR 67439) FTA sought comment on specific questions concerning 
the methodology used to apportion TTP formula funding. Specifically, 
FTA proposed questions on factors related to the attribution of VRM 
data and the allocation of formula funding. This Notice responds to the 
pertinent comments received. FTA also received comments suggesting 
alternative approaches to allocating TTP formula funds. However, as the 
TTP formula is prescribed by MAP-21, FTA does not have authority to 
implement alternative approaches and therefore, FTA has not addressed 
those individual comments.
    FTA's responses to questions on the TTP formula factors as listed 
in the November 9 Federal Register notice are provided here under the 
following sections: (ii) VRM; (iii) Service eligibility; (iv) Pro-rated 
shares for Local governmental agencies; (v) Tier 3 Formula Funding 
Eligibility; (vi) Eligibility of tribes exempt from NTD reports; (vii) 
Consolidation of data for Multiple Operators; (viii) Shared reservation 
apportionment factors; and (ix) Combining of poverty data for multiple 
ii. Vehicle Revenue Miles (VRM)
    Should FTA include VRM from Tribes in both the Tribal Transit 
Formula Program and the Rural Area Formula Program?
    Comment: Fourteen commenters agreed with FTA's proposal to allow 
VRMs to count in both the Tribal Transit Program and the Formula Grants 
for Rural Areas Program. According to the commenters, tribes who have 
provided public transportation for many years under the TTP would 
receive a substantial decrease of funding under the new formula 
allocations. Three commenters disagreed with allowing this method of 
allocation in response to the Illustrative apportionments posted by 
    Response: Normally, FTA does not allow a single VRM to count twice 
towards different formulas (e.g., service between a rural area and an 
urbanized area (UZA) may count towards the Rural Area Formula Program 
apportionment or the Urbanized Area Formula Program apportionment, but 
not both). However, FTA will allow an exception under the TTP because 
the formula refers to ``Indian tribe[s] providing public 
transportation'' not to where the service is being operated, so a 
single vehicle revenue mile may be both ``provided by an Indian tribe'' 
for purposes of the Tribal Transit Formula and also ``attributable to a 
rural area'' for purposes of the Rural Area Formula. Thus, FTA will 
count vehicle revenue miles reported by Indian tribes in the NTD 
towards both the Tribal Transit Formula and towards the corresponding 
State in the Rural Area Formula.
iii. Service Eligibility
    When another local government entity pays an Indian tribe to 
operate service in an off-reservation jurisdiction, should

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100% of that service operated by the Indian tribe count towards the 
Tribal Transit Program formula?
    Comment: Out of the 12 comments received by FTA on service 
eligibility, six commenters were in favor of allowing this service to 
count towards the TTP formula, four opposed and commented that if an 
Indian tribe is already being paid by the local government, they should 
not be paid twice through the TTP. Two commenters were neutral on the 
    Response: FTA will continue to count 100 percent of service 
operated by Indian tribes towards the TTP apportionment. This 
interpretation is consistent with ``each Indian tribe providing public 
transportation service.''
iv. Prorated Shares for Local Governmental Agencies
    When an Indian tribe pays another local government entity to extend 
service to the Reservation, should a pro-rated share of the local 
government's vehicle revenue miles be counted towards the Tribal 
Transit formula?
    Comment: Of the 11 comments received, six were in favor of counting 
these vehicle revenue miles, five opposed stating that FTA should not 
include local government VRM toward the TTP formula apportionment; one 
commenter was neutral. Those in favor felt that tribes would benefit 
from the application of the pro-rated share. One commenter proposed to 
allow the portion of the entity's VRM that is paid for by the tribe to 
qualify and to calculate the VRM in proportion to the share of the 
entity's operating budget provided by the tribe. They felt this 
approach would be equitable.
    Response: As suggested, FTA will count a pro-rated share of the 
operator's VRMs towards the TTP apportionment, based on the portion of 
the total operating expenses provided by the Indian tribe. This share 
then would count towards both the Rural and TTP formulas. For purposes 
of the FY 2013 apportionment, as a result of these comments FTA engaged 
in a special data collection from impacted Indian tribes to ensure that 
the full amount of operating expenses provided by the tribe was 
collected. This is reflected in the final FY 2013 TTP apportionment 
v. Tier 3 Formula Funding Eligibility
    Should FTA consider tribes that actually are providing public 
transportation on Indian reservations when there is no revenue miles 
reported to the NTD for funding under Tier 3?
    Comment: A large majority of the comments (9 out of 11) stated that 
FTA should only include Indian tribes in Tier 3 if they previously 
reported to the NTD. One commenter stated that a tribe who reports 
measurable results should be rewarded, not those that lack record 
keeping. Another commenter, responding on behalf of several tribes, 
agreed with FTA's proposal to only consider Indian tribes that are 
providing public transportation on Indian reservations and that report 
to the NTD. The commenter stated that this policy proposal seemed to be 
required as a matter of fundamental fairness and consistency with 
Congress' intent in establishing the new TTP funding formula.
    Response: FTA will consider all Indian tribes that are registered 
with the NTD for purposes of Tier 3 of the formula funding, even if the 
tribe did not report any public transportation service provided (e.g. 
no VRMs); however, the tribe must be engaged in providing public 
transportation in order to be eligible for formula funding. 
Specifically, FTA will consider all Indian tribes that are registered 
with the NTD and are providing public transportation as of October 1st, 
the first day of the current Fiscal Year, as eligible for Tier 3 of the 
formula funding for the fiscal year. As a result of this approach, two 
Indian tribes that were previously identified to receive an 
illustrative apportionment will not receive a full year apportionment; 
however, these Indian tribes may be eligible to apply for the 
discretionary program. Tribes can register to report to the NTD through 
the NTD Web page (www.ntdprgram.gov) or by contacting the NTD 
operations center at 888-252-0963. Reporting to the NTD also allows a 
tribe to access Tier 1 and Tier 2 funds by reporting the VRM they 
vi. Eligibility of Tribes Exempt From NTD Reports
    Should FTA consider allowing Tribal Transit Program grantees who 
were otherwise exempt from reporting based on grant dollar amount 
(under $50,000) be given an opportunity to report to the NTD or to FTA 
for inclusion in the FY 2013 apportionment?
    Comments: Twelve of fourteen commenters were completely in favor of 
including data from previously exempt tribes in the formula 
apportionment. Two commenters felt that exempt Indian tribes could be 
included only if all current grantees were fully funded, and if VRM for 
the new tribes is verifiable.
    Response: As noted above, FTA will only include Indian tribes that 
report to the NTD in the formula apportionment. Any tribe, exempt or 
not, can report to the NTD on a voluntary basis in the future and so 
qualify for consideration in the formula program. The majority of the 
exempt grantees (those with grant amounts under $50,000) received 
planning grants only to develop new transit services and therefore, FTA 
does not expect that they have VRM to report. Absent a registration in 
NTD and absent VRM to report, the tribe is not included in formula 
program, but could be eligible under the discretionary program. If the 
Indian tribe begins reporting to the NTD now, it will be eligible to 
receive funds in the FY 2014 apportionment.
vii. Consolidation of Data for Multiple Operators
    For Indian tribes that have multiple operators, should FTA 
consolidate the service data for all operators into a single 
    Comment: Eleven of the 12 commenters agree that FTA should 
consolidate the service data for all operators into a single 
apportionment for Indian tribes that have multiple operators. One 
commenter agreed with an exception that the consolidation of service 
data should occur in consultation with the Indian tribes.
    Response: FTA will consolidate the data into a single apportionment 
in consultation with the tribal communities affected by this policy.
viii. Shared Reservation Apportionment Factors
    For Indian tribes that share lands identified by the US Census 
Bureau, such as in Oklahoma, how should FTA conduct the apportionment 
of funds?
    Comment: Many Indian tribes commented on the question of how FTA 
should conduct the apportionment of funds amongst tribes who share 
reservation lands. The commenters identified four areas for FTA's 
consideration; (a) the need for FTA to develop a fair and consistent 
process to count VRM, population, and factors that constitute tribal 
land and to ensure that this process included the consultation of the 
Indian tribes. One commenter suggested that FTA utilize the same 
process for splitting transit shares as is utilized by Native American 
Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act population figures; (b) 
for Indian tribes that share lands, ensure that there is no double-
counting of VRM or persons with incomes below the poverty line so that 
there is a fair outcome; (c) FTA's needs to be more consistent in the 
use of terms such as ``tribal lands'', ``reservations'', and ``tribal

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communities''. They are not the same and FTA usage prompted confusion 
among the readers; (d) commenters indicated that there is a single 
Indian tribe providing public transportation services in each of the 
shared reservation areas.
    Response: FTA found three instances where more than one Indian 
tribe shares a tribal area as identified by the U.S. Census Bureau. For 
TTP formula apportionments, the population of low-income individuals in 
the shared areas will be attributed to the Indian tribe that provides 
public transportation for that area. NTD staff has contacted the Indian 
tribes involved to determine which tribe provides that service and has 
included the count of low-income residents of that shared area in with 
the count for the providing an Indian tribe's other tribal lands for 
formula apportionment calculations.
ix. Combining of Poverty Data for Multiple Reservations
    In some instances, tribal operators may serve multiple 
reservations. Should FTA combine poverty data for all reservations 
served into a single apportionment?
    Comment: Many of the commenters agreed that FTA should consolidate 
the service data for all tribes served by an operator into a single 
apportionment. Several commenters suggested that FTA must ensure that 
there is agreement amongst Indian tribes for distributing the 
apportionment fairly. One commenter disagreed and suggested that FTA 
allocate poverty data to the Indian tribe only and subsequently allow 
the Indian tribe to reallocate funds to its operators.
    Response: FTA will combine the data from the U.S. Census Bureau of 
multiples Indian tribes served by a single operator for purposes of the 
apportionment. In some cases, a single entity may represent multiple 
Indian tribes, only some of which are directly served by the sponsored 
public transportation service. In these cases, FTA will not combine the 
Census Data for any Tribal Lands that are not served at all by the 
public transportation service--only the Census data for Tribal Lands at 
least partially served by the public transportation service will be 
included. FTA proposes to let the tribal recipients then allocate these 
funds to sub-recipients according to local policy. This is consistent 
with FTA policy for other grant programs. FTA will provide technical 
assistance with this process upon request.

Other Comments

    Indian tribes also offered recommendations and changes to FTA's 
proposals based on their unique perspective and experience in providing 
public transportation on Indian reservations. More specifically, 
representatives of the Alaska tribes expressed concern regarding 
distinctions between federal land and boundary issues. To the extent 
permissible by statute, FTA considered the comments and developed a 
formula program inclusive of all Indian tribes.

2. Discretionary Program

    Under MAP-21, the Tribal Transit Program (TTP) makes $5 million 
available to be allocated annually on a competitive basis and subject 
to the terms and conditions as established by FTA. With the presence of 
a formula program, which provides reliable and stable funding to many 
of Indian tribes and a much smaller discretionary program than in past 
years, FTA has established a new discretionary program as reflected in 
the responses to comments below. However, there will be some exceptions 
in the first year (FY 2013) of the discretionary program as noted in 
the NOFA section of this notice.
i. Eligibility
    The November 9, 2012 Federal Register Notice posed the following 
questions for comment: (a) Should eligible applicants under the 
discretionary program be restricted based on the availability of 
formula funds? (b) If the discretionary program should be restricted, 
should applicants and projects be limited based on the amount of 
formula allocation received?
    Comment: Many (sixteen) Indian tribes commented that there should 
be no restriction on who can apply for discretionary funds, and FTA 
should not tie eligibility of the discretionary program to that of the 
availability of the formula funds. Many Indian tribes were concerned 
that their formula allocation was insufficient to sustain service. 
Indian tribes also commented that those who received small amounts of 
formula funds be given an opportunity to apply for discretionary funds. 
Eight tribes commented that Indian tribes who received Tier 2 funds 
under the formula should not be eligible to apply for discretionary 
funds. One Indian tribe commented that the discretionary program should 
be based on the merit of the proposal, while another Indian tribe 
commented that a limit on applicants might be needed due to the limited 
amount of funding under the discretionary program. One Indian tribe 
commented that only recipients of Tribal formula apportionments 
(5311(c) grantees) should be eligible for funding under the 
discretionary program; another Indian tribe commented the discretionary 
funds should serve as a complement to the formula allocation.
    Response: FTA will permit all federally recognized tribes to apply 
to the discretionary program with no limitations related to the 
availability of formula funds. Recipients of formula funds may apply 
for discretionary funds. We encourage Indian tribes to apply for 
discretionary funds regardless of whether they received a formula 
allocation. Further, FTA reminds Indian tribes and states that the 
receipt of either formula or discretionary TTP funds does not preclude 
the receipt of section 5311 Rural Area formula funds. In fact, the 
funds are not intended to supplant other federal funding and Indian 
tribes are encouraged to seek section 5311 funds from State Departments 
of Transportation.
    (a) Should a portion of discretionary funds be set aside for: 
Start-up projects, planning projects or expansion of services? (b) 
Should operating assistance continue to be eligible under the 
discretionary program? If so, what type of operating expenses?
    Comment: Many Indian tribes commented that discretionary funds 
should be set aside for certain projects such as: Start-ups, planning 
projects, and expansion of services. One Indian tribe commented that 
discretionary funds should be set aside for planning and start-up 
projects only, while two Indian tribes commented that only capital 
projects have set aside funds and priority only be given to Indian 
tribes with CNG bus fleets. However, two Indian tribes commented that 
there should be no set aside projects under the discretionary program. 
Several Indian tribes commented that FTA should continue to allow 
operating assistance to be eligible under the discretionary program. 
Tribes stated that operating expenses including maintenance of 
vehicles, salaries, operating costs of equipment and facilities, and 
fuel should be eligible expenses under the program. Numerous Indian 
tribes indicated that formula funds were inadequate to operate a system 
and they would need to apply for discretionary funds to cover the costs 
of operating. A small number of Indian tribes commented that operating 
should not be eligible under the discretionary program.
    Response: Starting in FY 2013, FTA is limiting eligible projects 
under the discretionary program to the following:

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planning; operating for start-up systems only (with one exception for 
FY 2013); and capital for start-up services, replacement or expansion. 
FTA is aware that planning, operating, and capital activities are vital 
parts of Indian tribe's transportation systems and infrastructure. As a 
result, planning grants will continue to remain eligible. FTA also 
acknowledges that new tribal transit systems (e.g. start-up systems, 
services) need a funding source to seek funds for start-up operations 
and capital equipment needs for those services. FTA is striving to 
balance these needs with the fact that it wants to ensure that Indian 
tribes can operate transportation services without depending on 
discretionary funds, particularly given the limited amount of available 
discretionary resources. Therefore, general operating assistance will 
no longer be eligible under the discretionary program under MAP-21, 
except in limited circumstances in FY 2013 as described in Section D of 
this Notice. Indian tribes now have a reliable source of funding 
available through the formula allocation, in addition to possible 
section 5311 or State formula funds, to maintain existing operations 
and/or expand current services. Capital, for any type of eligible 
transit project (e.g. start-up, replacement, or expansion) will 
continue to be eligible under the program.
ii. Funding Prioritization
    Should FTA prioritize projects for funding as a part of the 
evaluation criteria? If so, what factors should be used to prioritize 
projects (continuation services, start-ups (new services), matching 
funds, etc.)?
    Comment: Numerous Indian tribes who commented on funding 
prioritization suggested prioritizing expansion of services, 
continuation of services, and projects for which the Indian tribes can 
provide local match. A few Indian tribes stated FTA should allow Indian 
tribes to prioritize based on their own needs. Another Indian tribe 
stated that projects should not be prioritized based on project type, 
but rather, FTA should use vehicle revenue miles as an evaluation 
criterion and prioritize based on past service effectiveness; one tribe 
stated that prioritization should occur to ensure that those Indian 
tribes with the greatest needs are funded.
    Response: FTA will not set funding priorities, however many Indian 
tribes commented that certain types of projects were needed, such as 
capital, operating and planning. FTA addressed this suggestion by 
permitting all of these categories to remain eligible under the 
program, with some limitations such as operating, which will now be 
limited to start-up systems only, except in FY 2013.
iii. Grant Award Amount Limitation
    Should FTA establish minimum and maximum grant awards to ensure 
that grant funding is large enough to aid Indian tribes?
    Comment: Many Indian tribes commented that there should be a 
minimum or maximum grant award amount under the discretionary program. 
There were various amounts suggested by the Indian tribes; one Indian 
tribe commented that the maximum grant award should be $1,000,000, 
while another Indian tribe commented that there should be a minimum 
grant award amount of $50,000. Other Indian tribes commented that the 
establishment of a minimum and maximum grant award might be too rigid 
for expansion of services and new services, and planning projects 
should be limited to a certain number of awards with a maximum award 
amount set. However, a few Indian tribes commented that there should be 
no minimum or maximum established.
    Response: With the exception of planning awards, there will be no 
set minimum and maximum grant award amount. Planning grants will 
continue to be set at a maximum of $25,000. FTA will fund eligible 
projects based on the merit of the application and the Indian tribe's 
ability to successfully address all evaluation criteria.

3. Cost Sharing, Matching, and Indirect Costs

    (a) Should FTA require an 80/20 Federal/local match for tribes for 
both capital and operating assistance under both the formula and 
discretionary? (b) Would an 80/20 match present a financial burden on 
tribes? If so, is there a proposed match amount that would be less 
    Comment: Many Indian tribes commented that FTA should not require a 
local match. Ten Indian tribes commented that a local match should be 
required. Some Indian tribes commented that if a local match were to be 
imposed under the programs, a 90/10 match would be less burdensome than 
the proposed 80/20 match. Tribes who commented that FTA should require 
a local match stated that matching funds are a key component in 
building and maintaining a committed and financially responsible 
transit system; one Indian tribe commented that a match requirement 
would encourage Indian tribes to seek other sources of funding. Several 
Indian tribes commented that those tribes who could provide a local 
match be given priority for funding when selecting discretionary 
    Response: Historically, this program required no local match. Under 
MAP-21, FTA will require a minimum local match of 10 percent under the 
discretionary program only, unless a tribe demonstrates a financial 
hardship. FTA will not require a local match for any of the funds 
distributed by formula. The local match under the discretionary program 
will apply to both capital and operating expenses. However, there will 
be no local match required for planning grants. FTA encourages Indian 
tribes to seek other sources of funding that are available to support 
public transportation services, as well as demonstrate commitment to 
the projects. Sources of local match include the following: 
Undistributed cash surpluses, a replacement or depreciation cash fund 
or reserve, a service agreement with a State or local social service 
agency or a private social service organization, or new capital; Local 
match may be derived from amounts appropriated or otherwise made 
available to a department or agency of the Government (other than the 
U.S. Department of Transportation) that are eligible to be expanded for 
transportation. However, local funds may be derived from amounts made 
available to carry out the Federal Lands Highway Program established by 
Section 204 of Title 23. Other U.S. DOT program funds are not eligible 
as match.
    Should FTA retain the condition that indirect costs not exceed 10 
percent of each Tribal Transit grant award under MAP-21?
    Comment: Many Indian tribes commented that 10 percent was an 
acceptable indirect rate for TTP grant awards. One Indian tribe 
suggested a rate of 2 to 5 percent; another Indian tribe commented that 
when a tribe has negotiated an indirect cost rate with the Department 
of Interior's National Business Center, that rate applies to other 
federal agencies awarding grants to the Indian tribe. This tribe also 
commented that an indirect rate of 10 percent may be feasible for 
larger Indian tribes but not for smaller Indian tribes.
    Response: Under the discretionary program, and consistent with past 
practices, eligible indirect costs will be limited to 10 percent of 
each Tribal Transit grant award. This will ensure the limited 
discretionary resources are spent on tangible transit services and 
equipment. Under the formula program, Indian tribes should follow FTA's 
guidance on charging indirect costs to the grant. This guidance can be 
found in

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FTA Circular 5010.1D, Chapter VI, Section 6, dated November 1, 2008. 
Indian tribes must have approved cost allocation plans and rates in 
order to charge indirect costs to the formula grant.

4. Terms and Conditions for Formula and Discretionary

    Section 5311(c) of Title 49 U.S.C., as amended by MAP-21, provides 
that available funds shall be apportioned for grants to Indian tribes, 
``under such terms and conditions as may be established by the 
Secretary.'' The term ``Secretary'' in this provision refers to the 
Secretary of Transportation. The Secretary of Transportation possesses 
the authority to limit the applicability of certain substantive and 
procedural requirements that are set forth in Title 49 (Transportation) 
of the United States Code. This includes the Federal transit assistance 
provisions in Chapter 53 (Public Transportation) of Title 49, which are 
administered by FTA. To the extent permitted by law, and recognizing 
the unique status and autonomy of Indian tribes, FTA established the 
terms and conditions to balance the objectives of this program, which 
directly benefit transit projects for Indian tribes, with other 
national objectives (e.g., safety) that are important not only to 
Indian tribes but also to the general public. The Secretary of 
Transportation, however, does not possess the authority to limit the 
applicability of government-wide grant requirements (commonly referred 
to as crosscutting requirements) that apply to all Federal grants. 
Therefore, all crosscutting requirements, including the Common Rule, 
apply to the TTP.
    FTA received 54 comments on the following Terms and Conditions FTA 
proposed to apply to Tribal Transit Program: 1. Common Grant Rule (49 
CFR Part 18), ``Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and 
Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments.'' 2. Civil 
Rights Act of 1964; 3. Section 504 and Americans with Disabilities Act 
of 1990 (ADA) requirements in 49 CFR Parts 27, 37, and 384; 4. Drug and 
Alcohol Testing requirements (49 CFR Part 655); 5. National 
Environmental Policy Act; 6. Charter Service and School Bus 
transportation requirements in 49 CFR Parts 604 and 605; 7. National 
Transit Database (NTD) Reporting requirement; 8. Bus Testing (49 CFR 
665) requirement; 9. Buy America requirements (49 CFR Part 661); 10. 
MAP-21, Section 5329 Agency Safety Management Plans; and 11. Transit 
Asset Management Provisions Transit Asset Management.
    Comment: Two commenters, representing several Indian tribes, 
suggested requiring Indian tribes to comply with aspects of the Common 
Grant Rule for a transit grant causes confusion and hardship, and 
requested that FTA revisit its application of this rule and exercise 
its authority to interpret the rule in a manner that is consistent with 
the Indian Self- Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) 
and Section 3 of Executive Order 13175.
    Response: The U.S. Department of Transportation's Common Rule, 
which is codified at 49 CFR part 18, incorporates many Federal cross-
cutting statutory requirements, but it also implements cost and 
property management standards established by the Office of Management 
and Budget which apply to all Federal assistance programs. Thus, FTA 
considers U.S. DOT's Common Rule to be in the nature of a crosscutting 
requirement, which should not be waived. In addition, Section 3 of 
Executive Order 13175, ``Consultation and Coordination with Indian 
Tribal Governments'', provides in relevant part that Federal agencies 
shall adhere to the principles in Executive Order 13175 ``to the extent 
permitted by law''. Thus, because ISDEAA applies only to the U.S. 
Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Health and Human 
Services, FTA is not permitted to apply or waive requirements as 
permitted by two other Federal departments under ISDEAA.
    Comment: FTA received four comments suggesting that FTA not require 
Indian tribes to comply with FTA-program-specific Civil Rights 
guidance. One commenter suggested that FTA clarify in the Master 
Agreement that Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) laws and 
ordinances consistent with Federal statutes do not violate the Civil 
Rights Act of 1964.
    Response: FTA acknowledges exemptions and preferences afforded to 
Indian tribes under Federal law and regulations. Thus, with respect to 
a tribal employment rights ordinance, as Indian tribes or their 
contractors are authorized by statute to include Indian preference in 
employment on projects located on or near reservations, the 
nondiscrimination provision in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 
1964 would therefore not be applicable to Indian tribes. (See 42 U.S.C. 
2000e-2(i)). The same approach would apply to any other exemption or 
preference that might be afforded to Indian tribes under Federal law.
    Unless Indian tribes are specifically exempted from civil rights 
statutes, compliance with civil rights statutes will be required, 
including compliance with equity in service. However, FTA does not 
require Indian tribes to comply with FTA program-specific guidance for 
Title VI.
    Comment: Three Indian tribes agreed that FTA should apply ADA to 
the TTP. However, one commenter noted that FTA acknowledge the specific 
exemption of tribes under the ADA.
    Response: Title I of the ADA exempts Indian tribes under the 
definition of ``employer'' and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 
1964 also specifically exempts Indian tribes under the definition of an 
``employer''. However, Titles II and III of the ADA are silent with 
regard to Indian tribes obligation to provide services and benefits to 
ADA eligible tribal members and/or Indian-operated public 
accommodations. In addition, Section 504 and ADA requirements in 49 CFR 
parts 27, 37, and 38 are government-wide requirements that apply to all 
Federal programs and will continue to apply under the TTP.
    Comment: Three commenters support FTA's application of Drug and 
Alcohol Testing to the TTP. One commenter disagreed and stated that 
existing tribal Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace Policy instated by 
tribal leadership should suffice.
    Response: FTA will apply Drug and Alcohol Testing requirements (49 
CFR part 655). This requirement addresses a national safety issue for 
operators of public transportation.
    Comment: FTA received three comments in support of FTA applying the 
requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to the 
    Response: The National Environmental Policy Act is a government-
wide requirement that applies to all Federal programs and will apply to 
the TTP.
    Comment: Three commenters agreed that Charter and School Bus 
transportation requirements apply to the TTP. However, one Indian tribe 
requested that some of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) member 
tribes operate casino shuttles and charters, as well as school buses 
that are essential components of their transit systems. One commenter 
suggested that FTA consider whether a waiver of this restriction is 
appropriate under the provisions of Executive Order 13175 in light of 
the special transportation needs and situations of rural tribal 
communities. Another commenter stated that Charter Service and School

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Bus requirements should apply for services of that type primarily to 
preserve safety of travel. As a caveat, however, the Indian tribe 
recognized that services in rural areas that qualify as Human Services 
Organizations currently lack the funding and expertise to maintain 
    Response: The definition of ``public transportation'' in 49 U.S.C. 
5302 specifically excludes school bus transportation and charter 
service, and MAP-21 did not substantively alter this definition. Thus, 
TTP grantees may not provide or accommodate school bus transportation 
or charter service with FTA-funded vehicles or facilities except in 
accordance with regulatory exemptions or exceptions. Therefore, the 
Charter Service and School Bus transportation requirements in 49 CFR 
parts 604 and 605 will continue to apply. However, FTA agrees with the 
comment and acknowledges that grantees, including TTP grantees, may 
continue to provide charter service to clients of a Qualified Human 
Service Organization, as defined at 49 CFR 604.3(q) and in accordance 
with the provisions of 49 CFR part 604, subpart D.
    Comment: Three commenters agreed that FTA apply NTD reporting 
requirement to the Tribal Transit Program.
    Response: 49 U.S.C. 5335 requires NTD reporting for all direct 
recipients of section 5311 funds. The TTP is a section 5311 program 
that will provide funds directly to Indian tribes and this reporting 
requirement will therefore apply. In addition, the data reported to the 
NTD will be used in the annual formula apportionment for this program.
    Comment: Two commenters agreed that Bus Testing safety and 
operational standards should apply to the TTP.
    Response: FTA agrees with the comment. To ensure that vehicles 
acquired under this program will meet adequate safety and operational 
standards, FTA's Bus Testing requirements (49 CFR 665) will apply.
    Comment: Three commenters disagree with FTA applying Buy America 
law to the TTP. One commenter stated that there were situations that 
would prohibit an Indian tribe from meeting the requirement and the 
current waiver provisions may not be adequate to address specific 
tribal transit situations. One commenter strongly agreed that any major 
procurements funded under this program be ``Buy America'' compliant.
    Response: FTA did not apply the Buy America requirement when 
SAFETEA-LU established the TTP because FTA determined that the 
relatively small size of the TTP did not justify the application of the 
Buy America requirement. The TTP, as amended by MAP-21, has, however, 
doubled the amount of funds available to Indian tribes under the TTP. 
FTA law requires that all capital procurements by grantees meet FTA's 
Buy America requirements. Buy America states that all iron, steel, or 
manufactured products be produced in the U.S. Rolling stock purchases 
are subject to a minimum of 60 percent domestic content and final 
assembly requirement in the U.S. Unless FTA approves a waiver, a 
grantee's compliance with the Buy America law at 49 U.S.C. Sec.  
5323(j) and FTA's Buy America implementing regulation at 49 CFR part 
661 will help to create and protect manufacturing jobs in the U.S. FTA 
has therefore determined that MAP-21's TTP will have a more significant 
economic impact toward meeting the objectives of the Buy America. 
Therefore, FTA has determined that TTP grantees should now comply with 
the Buy America requirements (49 CFR part 661) for MAP-21's TTP.
    Comment: One commenter recommended that safety plans not be a 
requirement for FY2013 discretionary funding and an exemption be made 
in the rulemaking allowing Indian tribes that are currently developing 
such a plan, but which have not completed or certified a safety plan, 
still be eligible for funding in FY 2014. Additional comments received 
agreed with FTA's proposal as the Indian tribes were given an 
opportunity to submit comments during the rulemaking process.
    Response: 49 U.S.C. Section 5329 requires all grantees to develop 
comprehensive agency safety management plans that at a minimum include 
methods for identifying and evaluating safety risks, strategies to 
minimize exposure to hazards and unsafe conditions, and performance 
targets for safety performance criteria and state of good repairs 
standards established in a forthcoming National Public Transportation 
Safety plan. A rulemaking is forthcoming to explain the requirements 
for the development and certification of agency safety plans. FTA will 
be finalizing requirements through a subsequent rulemaking later this 
fiscal year. Tribes are encouraged to submit comments when the notices 
are published for these rulemakings. Until the rules are finalized, 
there is no specific safety plan requirement under the program.
    Comment: Commenters agreed with FTA's proposal to allow the use of 
the existing system for capturing their inventory. One commenter stated 
that each Indian tribe typically insures it has an adequate property 
management system to procure, maintain capital asset inventory, 
depreciation schedule, and replace capital assets, and this would be a 
duplication of asset management should FTA apply this Transit Asset 
Management requirement.
    Response: MAP-21 requires each recipient and subrecipient of FTA 
grants to establish a ``transit asset management'' (TAM) plan for its 
transit system. This requirement, however, would not be a condition for 
receiving FTA grants until FTA issues its rulemaking.
    Comment: Although not solicited, several Indian tribes suggested 
that FTA should administer grants under this program in a manner that 
is either the same or similar to contracts and agreements under the 
Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA).
    Response: FTA recognizes Indian tribes as sovereign governments 
that can independently administer certain Federal government programs 
as authorized by the ISDEAA. Although the statutory authority to enter 
into contracts with Indian tribes under ISDEAA does not include the 
FTA, FTA will continue to implement the program in a manner consistent 
with the principles of self-determination that are embodied in ISDEAA. 
To do so, FTA is streamlining and omitting some of the U.S. Department 
of Transportation and FTA regulatory requirements that apply to other 
FTA programs.
    Comment: Two commenters suggested it was unfair for FTA to impose 
requirements under labor laws because each Indian tribe establishes its 
own fair-labor policies and practices as a function of Tribal 
Sovereignty. The Indian tribe also suggested that it was unnecessary 
and onerous to impose such a general requirement on all Indian tribes 
across the board while ignoring their own process.
    Response: Grants awarded under the TTP are subject to a special 
warranty arrangement established and approved by the U.S. Department of 
Labor at 29 CFR 215.7 to meet the labor protection requirement at 49 
U.S.C. Section 5333(b) which is a condition of financial assistance for 
grantees under the Section 5311 program. MAP-21 retained this 
    Terms and Conditions that do not apply to Tribal Transit Program:
    Comment: The majority of commenters agreed with FTA's proposal not 
to apply Pre-award and post-delivery audits and DBE regulations to the 
    Response: FTA will continue to exempt Indian tribes from the pre-

[[Page 27291]]

and post-delivery audit regulation at 49 CFR part 663 and the 
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) regulation at 49 CFR part 26 
under MAP-21.
    A comprehensive list and description for all of the statutory and 
regulatory terms and conditions that will apply to the TTP are set 
forth in FTA's Master Agreement for the Tribal Transit Program 
available on FTA's Web site at: http://www.fta.dot.gov. In addition, as 
part of their application for grant award, the selected Indian tribes 
will be required to sign the Certifications.

D. Discretionary Funding Opportunity for FY 2013

    FTA is announcing the availability of approximately $5 million in 
funding provided by the Public Transportation on Indian Reservations 
Program (Tribal Transit Program (TTP)). This part of the notice 
contains a national solicitation for project proposals and includes the 
selection criteria and program eligibility information for FY 2013 
projects, which were developed as a result of the consultation process 
conducted to date and described earlier in this notice. For FY 2013, 
FTA anticipates making some exceptions acknowledging this is a 
transition year for the program and that due to the new formula some 
tribal recipients that provide transit services are not receiving a 
formula apportionment. The first is with regards to eligible projects 
and is described below; the second is regarding the local match that 
will be required for the discretionary operating and capital requests.
    This announcement is available on the FTA Web site at: http://www.fta.dot.gov. FTA may announce final selections on the Web site and 
in the Federal Register. Additionally, a synopsis of the funding 
opportunity will be posted in the FIND module of the government-wide 
electronic grants Web site at http://www.grants.gov.

1. Overview

    The Tribal Transit Program was established by section 3013 of 
SAFETEA-LU and modified under Section 5311(j) of MAP-21, Public Law 
112-41 (July 6, 2012). MAP-21 amended the Public Transportation on 
Indian Reservations Program (Tribal Transit Program (TTP)) to consist 
of a $25 million formula allocation and a $5 million discretionary 
program. The program authorizes direct grants ``under such terms and 
conditions as may be established by the Secretary'' to Indian tribes 
for any purpose eligible under FTA's Rural Areas Formula Program, 49 
U.S.C. 5311. Approximately $5 million is available for the Tribal 
Transit discretionary allocation in FY 2013 to projects selected 
pursuant to process described in the following sections.

2. Program Purpose

    TTP funds are to be allocated for grants to federally recognized 
Indian tribes for any purpose eligible under the Section 5311 program. 
Funds distributed to Indian tribes under the TTP should not replace or 
reduce funds that Indian tribes receive from States through FTA's 
Section 5311 program. The competitively selected TTP funds may support 
planning, capital, and limited operating assistance for tribal public 
transit services. Specific project eligibility under this competitive 
allocation is described in Section 3-ii below.

3. Program Information

i. Eligible Applicants
    Eligible applicants include federally recognized Indian tribes or 
Alaska Native villages, groups, or communities as identified by the 
U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). As 
evidence of Federal recognition, an Indian tribe may submit a copy of 
the most up-to-date Federal Register Notice published by DOI, BIA: 
Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Service from the United 
States Bureau of Indian Affairs. To be an eligible recipient, an Indian 
tribe must have the requisite legal, financial and technical 
capabilities to receive and administer Federal funds under this 
program. Applicants must be registered in the System for Award 
Management (SAM) database (instructions for registration are located 
under Appendix C) and maintain an active SAM registration with current 
information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or 
an application or plan under consideration by FTA.
ii. Eligible Projects
    FTA will award grants to eligible Indian tribes located in non-
urbanized, rural areas. Eligible projects include public transportation 
capital projects for start-ups, replacement or expansion, operating 
costs for start-ups, and planning. However, FY 2013 will be a 
transition year for the discretionary program. Exceptions will be made 
for those Indian tribes who are not receiving a FY 2013 formula 
apportionment or that only received a Tier 3 allocation. So long as the 
Indian tribe can demonstrate it provides public transportation, but had 
not yet reported to the NTD to be included in the FY 2013 formula 
apportionment, it will be allowed to apply for operating assistance to 
continue its operations. Indian tribes who currently do not have 
existing service are permitted to apply for start-up projects 
consisting of operating and/or capital funding requests. Indian tribes 
applying for capital replacement or expansion needs must be able to 
demonstrate they have a sustainable source of operating funds for the 
existing or expansion services. The acquisition of public 
transportation services, including service agreements with private 
providers of public transportation services will also be eligible. 
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 
12101 et seq., public fixed-route operators are required to provide ADA 
complementary paratransit service to individuals who are unable to use 
a fixed route due to their disability or a fixed route being 
inaccessible. Public transportation includes regular, continuing 
shared-ride surface transportation services that are open to the public 
or open to a segment of the public defined by age, disability, or low 
income. Additionally, eligible applicants may apply for planning grants 
of up to $25,000 for planning studies.
iii. Cost Sharing or Matching
    The federal share for projects selected under the TTP discretionary 
program is up to a 90 percent federal share of project costs, unless 
the Indian tribe can demonstrate a financial hardship in their 
application. FTA is interested in the Indian tribe's financial 
commitment to the proposed project and requests Indian tribes include a 
description of their financial commitment to the proposed project in 
the proposal. Sources of local match can be found in Section C-3 of 
this document.
iv. Proposal Content (All Applicants Must Completely Respond to Items 
in This Section To Be Considered for TTP Funding) Funding Sources That 
Are Available To Support Public Transportation Service
a. Proposal Submission Process
    FTA requires all project proposals be submitted electronically 
through http://www.GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. EDT on July 8, 2013. Mail 
and fax submissions will not be accepted. A complete proposal 
submission will consist of at least two files: (1) The SF 424 Mandatory 
form (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV) and (2) the Tribal Transit 
supplemental form found on the FTA Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/tribaltransit. The Tribal Transit supplemental form provides guidance 
and a consistent format for applicants to

[[Page 27292]]

respond to the criteria outlined in this Notice of Funding Availability 
(NOFA). Once completed, the applicant must place the supplemental form 
in the attachments section of the SF 424 Mandatory form. Applicants 
must use the supplemental form designated for TTP and attach the form 
to their submission in GRANTS.GOV, to complete the application process. 
A proposal submission may contain additional supporting documentation 
as attachments. Within 24-48 hours after submitting an electronic 
application, the applicant should receive three email messages from 
GRANTS.GOV: (1) Confirmation of successful transmission to GRANTS.GOV; 
(2) confirmation of successful validation by GRANTS.GOV; and (3) 
confirmation of successful validation by FTA. If the applicant does not 
receive confirmations of successful validation and instead receives a 
notice of failed validation or incomplete materials, the applicant must 
address the reason for the failed validation or incomplete materials, 
as described in the notice, and resubmit the proposal before the 
submission deadline. If making a resubmission for any reason, the 
applicant must include all original attachments regardless of which 
attachments are updated and check the box on the supplemental form 
indicating this is a resubmission.
    Complete instructions on the application process can be found at 
http://www.fta.dot.gov/tribaltransit. Important: FTA urges applicants 
to submit their project proposals at least 72 hours prior to the due 
date to allow time to receive the validation message and to correct any 
problems that may have caused a rejection notification. FTA will not 
accept submissions after the stated submission deadline. GRANTS.GOV 
scheduled maintenance and outage times are announced on the GRANTS.GOV 
Web site http://www.GRANTS.GOV. The deadline will not be extended due 
to scheduled maintenance or outages.
    Applicants may submit one proposal for each project or one proposal 
containing multiple projects. Applicants submitting multiple projects 
in one proposal must be sure to clearly define each project by 
completing a supplemental form for each project. Additional 
supplemental forms must be added within the proposal by clicking the 
``add project'' button in Section II of the supplemental form.
    Information, such as applicant name, Federal amount requested, 
description of areas served, and other information may be requested in 
varying degrees of detail on both the SF 424 form and supplemental 
form. Applicants must fill in all fields unless stated otherwise on the 
forms. Applicants should use both the ``Check Package for Errors'' and 
the ``Validate Form'' validation buttons on both forms to check all 
required fields on the forms, and ensure that the Federal and local 
amounts specified are consistent. The following information MUST be 
included on the SF 424 and supplemental forms for all requests for TTP 
b. Proposal Information
    1. Name of Federally-recognized tribe and, if appropriate, the 
specific tribal agency submitting the application.
    2. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) 
number if available. (Note: If selected, applicant will be required to 
provide DUNS number prior to grant award).
    3. Contact information including: Contact name, title, address, 
congressional district, fax and phone number, and email address if 
    4. Description of public transportation services including areas 
currently served by the tribe, if any.
    5. Name of person(s) authorized to apply on behalf of the tribe 
(attach a signed transmittal letter) must accompany the proposal.
c. Project Information
1. Project Description
    Indicate the category for which funding is requested; i.e., project 
type: Capital, operating or planning and then indicate the project 
purpose; i.e., start-up, expansion or replacement. Provide a summary 
description of the proposed project and how it will be implemented 
(e.g., number and type of vehicles, routes, service area, schedules, 
type of services, fixed route or demand responsive), route miles (if 
fixed route), ridership numbers (actual if an existing system, 
estimated if a new system), major origins and destinations, population 
served, and whether the tribe provides the service directly or 
contracts for services and how vehicles will be maintained.
2. Project Timeline
    Include significant milestones such as date of contract for 
purchase of vehicle(s), actual or expected delivery date of vehicles; 
facility project phases (e.g., NEPA compliance, design, construction); 
or dates for completion of planning studies. If applying for 
operational funding for new services, indicate the period of time funds 
are used to operate the system (e.g. one year). This section should 
also include any significant dates for expected tribal council 
approvals for the projects, if applicable.
3. Budget
    Include a detailed budget including the Federal amount requested 
for each purpose for which funds are sought and any funding from other 
sources that will be provided. An Indian tribe may allow up to fifteen 
percent of capital activities of the grant award for specific project-
related planning and administration and the indirect costs rate may not 
exceed ten percent (if necessary add as an attachment) of the total 
4. Technical, Legal, Financial Capacity
    Indian tribes must be able to demonstrate adequate capacity in 
technical, legal and financial areas to be considered for funding. 
Every proposal MUST describe the Indian tribe's technical, legal, and 
financial capacity to implement the proposed project.
    i. Technical Capacity: Provide examples of the Indian tribe's 
management of other Federal projects, including previously funded FTA 
projects and/or similar types of projects for which funding is being 
requested. Describe the resources the Indian tribe has to implement the 
proposed transit project.
    ii. Legal Capacity: Provide documentation or other evidence to show 
that the applicant is a federally recognized Indian tribe and has an 
authorized representative to execute legal agreements with FTA on 
behalf of the Indian tribe. If applying for capital or operating funds, 
identify whether the Indian tribe has appropriate Federal or State 
operating authority.
    iii. Financial Capacity: Identify whether the Indian tribe has 
adequate financial systems in place to receive and manage a Federal 
grant. Describe the Indian tribe's financial systems and controls. 
Describe other sources of funds the Indian tribe manages and describe 
the long-term financial capacity to maintain the proposed or existing 
transit services.
v. Evaluation Criteria Operating and Capital Assistance Requests
    Applications will be grouped into their respective category for 
review and scoring purposes. Applicants must address criteria in 
Sections a-e for operating and capital requests. Applicants applying 
for planning grants must address evaluation criteria in Section f.
a. Planning and Local/Regional Prioritization
    In this section, the applicant should describe how the proposed 
project was developed and demonstrate that there is a sound basis for 
the project and that the applicant is ready to implement the

[[Page 27293]]

project if funded. Information may vary depending upon how the planning 
process for the project was conducted and what is being requested. 
Planning and local/regional prioritization should consider and address 
the following areas:
    1. Describe the planning document and/or the planning process 
conducted to identify the proposed project.
    2. Provide a detailed project description including the proposed 
service, vehicle and facility needs, and other pertinent 
characteristics of the proposed or existing service implementation.
    3. Identify existing transportation services in and near the 
proposed service area and document in detail, whether the proposed 
project will provide opportunities to coordinate service with existing 
transit services, including human service agencies, intercity bus 
services, or other public transit providers.
    4. Discuss the level of support by the community and/or tribal 
government for the proposed project.
    5. Describe how the mobility and client-access needs of tribal 
human service agencies were considered in the planning process.
    6. Describe what opportunities for public participation were 
provided in the planning process and how the proposed transit service 
or existing service has been coordinated with transportation provided 
for the clients of human service agencies, with intercity bus 
transportation in the area, or with any other rural public transit 
    7. Describe how the proposed service complements rather than 
duplicates any currently available services.
    8. Describe the implementation schedule for the proposed project, 
including period, staffing, and procurement.
    9. Describe any other planning or coordination efforts that not 
mentioned above.
b. Project Readiness
    In this section, the applicant should describe the extent to which 
the project is ready to implement. This will involve assessing whether:
    1. Project is a Categorical Exclusion (CE) or the required 
environmental work has been initiated or completed for construction 
projects requiring an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) under, among others, the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969, as amended.
    2. Project implementation plans are complete, including initial 
design of facilities projects.
    3. Project funds can be obligated and the project can be 
implemented quickly, if selected.
    4. Applicant demonstrates the ability to carry out the proposed 
project successfully.
c. Demonstration of Need
    FTA will evaluate each project to determine its needs for 
resources. In addition to the project-specific criteria, this will 
include evaluating the project's impact on service delivery and whether 
the project represents a one-time or periodic need that cannot 
reasonably be funded from the FTA program formula allocations or State 
and/or local resources. In this section, the proposal should 
demonstrate the transit needs of the Indian tribe and discuss how the 
proposed transit improvements or the new service will address the 
identified transit needs. Proposals should include information such as 
destinations and services not currently accessible by transit, needs 
for access to jobs or health care, special needs of seniors and 
individuals with disabilities, income-based community needs, or other 
mobility needs. If an applicant received a planning grant in previous 
fiscal years, it should indicate the status of the planning study and 
how the proposed project relates to that study.
    Capital expansion or replacement projects should also address the 
following in the proposal. If the proposal is for capital funding 
associated with an expansion or expanded service, the applicant should 
describe how current or growing demand for the service necessitates the 
expansion (and therefore, more capital) and/or the degree to how the 
project is addressing a current capacity constraint. Capital 
replacement projects should include information about the age, 
condition, and performance of the asset to be replaced by the proposed 
project and/or how the replacement may be necessary to maintain the 
transit system in a state of good repair.
d. Demonstration of Benefits
    In this section, proposals should identify expected or, in the case 
of existing service, achieved, project benefits. Possible examples 
include increased or sustained ridership and daily trips, improved 
service, improved operations and coordination, increased reliability, 
and economic benefits to the community. Benefits can be demonstrated by 
identifying the population of tribal members and non-tribal members in 
the proposed project service area and estimating the number of daily 
one-way trips the proposed transit service will provide or the actual 
number of individual riders and trips on existing service. There may be 
many other, less quantifiable, benefits to the Indian tribe and 
surrounding community from the proposed project. Applicants should 
document, explain, or show the benefits in whatever format is 
reasonable to present them. Based on the information provided, 
proposals will be rated based on four factors:
    1. Will the project improve transit efficiency or increase 
    2. Will the project improve or maintain mobility for the Indian 
    3. Will the project improve or maintain access to important 
destinations and services?
    4. Are there other qualitative benefits?
e. Financial Commitment and Operating Capacity
    In this section, the proposal should identify the source of local 
match (10 percent is required for all operating and capital projects), 
and any other funding sources used by the Indian tribe to support 
proposed transit services, including human service transportation 
funding, Indian Reservation Roads, or other FTA programs. If requesting 
the local match to be waived based on financial hardship, the applicant 
must submit budgets and sources of other revenue to demonstrate 
hardship. If applicable, the applicant should also describe how prior 
year TTP funds have been spent to date to support the service. 
Additionally, Indian tribes applying for operating of new services 
should provide a sustainable funding plan that demonstrates how it 
intends to maintain operations.
    The proposal should describe any other resources the Indian tribe 
will contribute to the project, including in-kind contributions, 
commitments of support from local businesses, donations of land or 
equipment, and human resources, and describe to what extent the new 
project or funding for existing service leverages other funding. Based 
upon the information provided, the proposals will be rated on the 
extent to which the proposal demonstrates that:
    1. TTP Funding does not replace existing funding.
    1. The Indian tribe will provide non-financial support to the 
    2. Indian tribe's ability to demonstrate a sustainable funding 
plan; and
    3. Project funds are used in coordination with other services for 
efficient utilization of funds.

[[Page 27294]]

f. Evaluation Criteria for Planning Proposals
    For planning grants, the proposal should describe, in no more than 
three pages, the need for and a general scope of the proposed study. 
The proposal should also address the following:
    1. What the tribes' long-term commitment to transit is?
    2. How the proposed study will be implemented and/or further tribal 
vi. Review and Selection Process
    A technical evaluation committee will review proposals under the 
project evaluation criteria. Members of the technical evaluation 
committee and other involved FTA staff reserve the right to screen and 
rate the applications it receives and to seek clarification from any 
applicant about any statement in its application that FTA finds 
ambiguous and/or request additional documentation to be considered 
during the evaluation process to clarify information contained within 
the proposal. After consideration of the findings of the technical 
evaluation committee, the FTA Administrator will determine the final 
selection and amount of funding for each project. Geographic diversity 
and the applicant's receipt and management of other discretionary 
awards may be considered in FTA's award decisions. FTA expects to 
announce the selected projects and notify successful applicants by 
September 2013. Once successful applicants are announced, they will 
work with the appropriate Regional office to develop a grant 
application consistent with the selected proposal in FTA's 
Transportation Electronic Award Management System (TEAM).

4. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information

    This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372, 
``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.'' FTA will consider 
applications for funding only from eligible recipients for eligible 
projects listed in Section 3-ii. Due to funding limitations, applicants 
that are selected for funding may receive less than the amount 
requested. Complete applications must be submitted through GRANTS.GOV 
by July 8, 2013.
    Applicants may receive technical assistance for application 
development by contacting their FTA regional tribal liaison, or the 
National Rural Transportation Assistance Program office (Appendix B). 
Contact information for FTA's regional offices can be found on FTA's 
Web site at www.fta.dot.gov. A list of FTA regional Tribal Liaisons are 
included in Appendix A.

Peter Rogoff,

Appendix B

                      Technical Assistance Contacts
Alaska Tribal Technical Assistance   Northern Plains Tribal Technical
 Program, Kim Williams, University    Assistance Program, Dennis Trusty,
 of Alaska, Fairbanks, P.O. Box       United Tribes Technical College,
 756720, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6720,    3315 University Drive, Bismarck,
 (907) 842-2521, (907) 474-5208,      ND 58504, (701) 255-3285 ext.
 [email protected], http://        1262, (701) 530-0635,
 community.uaf.edu/~alaskattac,       [email protected], http://
 Service area: Alaska.                www.uttc.edu/forum/ttap/ttap.asp,
                                      Service area: Montana (Eastern),
                                      Nebraska (Northern), North Dakota,
                                      South Dakota, Wyoming.
National Indian Justice Center,      Northwest Tribal Technical,
 Raquelle Myers, 5250 Aero Drive,     Assistance Program, Richard A.
 Santa Rosa, CA 95403, (707) 579-     Rolland, Eastern Washington
 5507 or (800) 966-0662, (707) 579-   University, Department of Urban
 9019, [email protected], http://          Planning, Public & Health
 www.nijc.org/ttap.html, Service      Administration, 216 Isle Hall,
 area: California, Nevada.            Cheney, WA 99004, (800) 583-3187,
                                      (509) 359-7485, [email protected],
                                      http://www.ewu.edu/TTAP/, Service
                                      area: Idaho, Montana, (Western),
                                      Oregon, Washington.
Tribal Technical Assistance Program  Tribal Technical Assistance Program
 at Colorado State University,        at Oklahoma State University,
 Ronald Hall, Rockwell Hall, Room     James Self, Oklahoma State
 321, Colorado State University,      University, 5202 N. Richmond Hills
 Fort Collins, CO 80523-1276, (800)   Road, Stillwater, OK 74078-0001,
 262-7623, (970) 491-3502,            (405) 744-6049, (405) 744-7268,
 [email protected], http://   [email protected], http://ttap.colostate.edu/, Service area:   ttap.okstate.edu/, Service area:
 Arizona, Colorado, New, Mexico,      Kansas, Nebraska, (Southern),
 Utah.                                Oklahoma, Texas.
Tribal Technical Assistance Program  National RTAP (National Rural
 (TTAP), Bernie D. Alkire, 301-E      Transit Assistance Program),
 Dillman Hall, Michigan               Contact: Patti Monahan, National
 Technological University, 1400       RTAP, 5 Wheeling Ave., Woburn, MA
 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931-  01801, (781) 404-5015 (Direct),
 1295, (888) 230-0688, (906) 487-     (781) 895-1122 (Fax), (888) 589-
 1834, [email protected], http://       6821 (Toll Free),
 www.ttap.mtu.edu/, Service area:     [email protected],
 Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut,      www.nationalrtap.org
 Delaware, Florida, Georgia,
 Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky,
 Louisiana, Maine, Maryland,
 Massachusetts, Michigan,
 Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri,
 New Hampshire, New Jersey, New
 York, North Carolina, Ohio,
Community Transportation             ...................................
 Association of America, The
 Resource Center--800-891-0590,

Appendix C

Registering in SAM and Grants.Gov

    Registration in Brief:
    Registration takes approximately 3-5 business days, please allow 
4 weeks for completion of all steps.
    In order to apply for a grant, you and/or your organization must 
first complete the registration process in Grants.gov. The 
registration process for an Organization or an Individual can take 
between three to five business days or as long as four weeks if all 
steps are not completed in a timely manner. So please register in 
Grants.gov early.
    The Grants.gov registration process ensures that applicants for 
Federal Funds have the basic prerequisites to apply for and to 
receive federal funds. Applicants for FTA discretionary funds must:
     Have a valid DUNS number
     Have a current registration in SAM (formerly CCR)
     Register and apply in Grants.gov
    The required registration steps are described in greater detail 
on Grants.gov Web site. The following is a link to a helpful 
checklist and explanations published by Grants.gov to assist 
applicants: Organization Registration Checklist. If you have not 
recently applied for federal funds, we recommend that you initiate 
your search,

[[Page 27295]]

registration, and application process with Grants.gov. Visiting the 
Grants.gov site will inform you of how to apply for grant 
opportunities, as well as assist you in linking to the other 
required registrations, i.e., Dun & Bradstreet to obtain a DUNS 
Number, and System for Award Management (SAM).
    Summary of steps (these steps are available in Grants.gov during 
    STEP 1: Obtain DUNS Number
    Same day. If requested by phone (1-866-705-5711) DUNS is 
provided immediately. If your organization does not have one, you 
will need to go to the Dun & Bradstreet Web site at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform to obtain the number.
    STEP 2: Register with SAM
    Three to five business days or up to two weeks. If you already 
have a TIN, your SAM registration will take 3-5 business days to 
process. If you are applying for an EIN please allow up to 2 weeks. 
Ensure that your organization is registered with the System for 
Award Management (SAM) at System for Award Management (SAM). If your 
organization is not, an authorizing official of your organization 
must register.
    STEP 3: Establish an Account in Grants.gov--Username & Password
    Same day. Complete your AOR (Authorized Organization 
Representative) profile on Grants.gov and create your username and 
password. You will need to use your organization's DUNS Number to 
complete this step. https://apply07.grants.gov/apply/OrcRegister.
    STEP 4: Grants.gov--AOR Authorization
    *Same day. The E-Business Point of Contact (E-Biz POC) at your 
organization must login to Grants.gov to confirm you as an 
Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). Please note that there 
can be more than one AOR for your organization. In some cases the E-
Biz POC is also the AOR for an organization. *Time depends on 
responsiveness of your E-Biz POC.
    *Please Note: Grants.gov gives you the option of registering as 
an ``individual'' or as an ``organization.'' If you register in 
Grants.gov as an as an ``Individual,'' your ``Organization'' will 
not be allowed to use the Grants.gov username and password. To apply 
for grants as an Organization you must register as an Organization 
and use that specific username and password issued during the 
``organization'' registration process.

[FR Doc. 2013-11053 Filed 5-8-13; 8:45 am]