[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 26 (Monday, February 9, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7254-7284]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-02555]



[[Page 7253]]

Vol. 80

Monday,

No. 26

February 9, 2015

Part V





Department of Transportation





-----------------------------------------------------------------------





Federal Transit Administration





-----------------------------------------------------------------------





 FTA Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Apportionments, Allocations, and Program 
Information; Notice

Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 26 / Monday, February 9, 2015 / 
Notices

[[Page 7254]]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


FTA Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Apportionments, Allocations, and 
Program Information

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: On December 16, 2014, President Obama signed the Consolidated 
and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (FY 2015 
Appropriations) which provided $11.008 billion in new budget authority 
including a full fiscal year's funding for the Federal Transit 
Administration's (FTA) programs funded from the General Fund of the 
Treasury, which funds its administrative expenses as well as its 
Research, Technical Assistance and Training programs, Capital 
Investment Grants program, and Grants to the Washington Metropolitan 
Area Transit Authority. The FY 2015 Appropriations Act follows several 
continuing resolutions that provided funds for these programs through 
December 15, 2014.
    The Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 extended FTA's 
contract (budget) authority to carry out its formula assistance 
programs only through May 31, 2015. The act pro-rated the amount of 
budget authority available for the period October 1, 2014 through May 
31, 2015 based on an anticipated full FY 2015 total of $8.595 billion. 
As a result, FTA may apportion only 8/12th or $5.722 billion in 
contract authority at this time. When combined with the full-year 
funding from the General Funded programs listed above, FTA is 
apportioning or allocating in this notice a total of $8.136 billion of 
the $11.008 billion of new budget authority provided in the FY 2015 
Appropriations. Congress will have to extend the authorization for 
public transportation beyond May 31, 2015, before additional contract 
authority can be provided for the formula assistance programs.
    FTA annually publishes one or more notices apportioning funds 
appropriated by law. This notice apportions and provides information on 
the FY 2015 funding currently available for FTA assistance programs, 
provides program guidance and requirements, and information on several 
program issues important in the current year. This notice also provides 
information on FTA's discretionary programs and forthcoming program 
guidance.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information about this 
notice contact Jamie Pfister, Director, Office of Transit Programs, at 
(202) 366-2053. Please contact the appropriate FTA Regional Office for 
any specific requests for information or technical assistance. A list 
of FTA Regional Offices and contact information is available on the FTA 
Web site under the heading ``Regional Offices'' at http://www.fta.dot.gov. An FTA headquarters contact for each major program 
area is included in the discussion of that program in the text of the 
notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Overview
II. FY 2015 Available Funding for FTA Programs
    A. Funding Based on the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2015
    B. Oversight Takedown
    C. FY 2015 Formula Apportionments; Data and Methodology
    D. FY 2015 Discretionary Program Funding
III. FY 2015 Program Highlights and Changes
    A. MAP-21 Implementation
    B. Transitioning to a New Electronic Grant Management System
    C. New Common Rule
    D. The Recovery Act
    E. Vanpool In-Kind Match Provision
    F. Flood Insurance
    G. In-State or Local Geographical Preferences
    H. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Congestion Mitigation 
and Air Quality (CMAQ) Funds for Operating Assistance
IV. FY 2015 Program Specific Information
    A. Metropolitan Planning Program (49 U.S.C. 5305(d))
    B. State Planning and Research Program (49 U.S.C. 5305(e))
    C. Urbanized Area Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5307)
    D. Passenger Ferry Grant Program (49 U.S.C. 5307(h))
    E. Fixed Guideway Capital Investment Grant Program (49 U.S.C. 
5309)--New and Small Starts and Core Capacity
    F. Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals With 
Disabilities Program (49 U.S.C. 5310)
    G. Rural Area Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5311)
    H. Rural Transportation Assistance Program (49 U.S.C. 
5311(b)(3))
    I. Appalachian Development Public Transportation Assistance 
Program (49 U.S.C. 5311(c)(2))
    J. Formula Grants for Public Transportation on Indian 
Reservations Program (49 U.S.C. 5311(j))
    K. Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment Projects 
(49 U.S.C. 5312)
    L. Transit Cooperative Research Program (49 U.S.C. 5313)
    M. Technical Assistance and Standards Development (49 U.S.C. 
5314)
    N. Human Resources and Training Programs (49 U.S.C. 5322)
    O. Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program (49 U.S.C. 
5324)
    P. State Safety Oversight Grant Program (49 U.S.C. 5329(e)(6))
    Q. State of Good Repair Program (49 U.S.C. 5337)
    R. Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5339)
    S. Growing States and High Density States Formula Factors (49 
U.S.C. 5340)
    T. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Grants 
(Section 601 of Pub. L. 110-432)
V. FTA Policy and Procedures for FY 2015 Grants
    A. Automatic Pre-Award Authority To Incur Project Costs
    B. Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) Policy
    C. FY 2015 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances
    D. Civil Rights
    E. FHWA Flex Funds and Consolidated Planning Grants
    F. Grant Application Procedures
    G. Grant Management

I. Overview

    On October 1, 2012, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st 
Century Act (MAP-21) (Pub. L. 112-141) authorized the Federal Transit 
Administration's (FTA) public transportation assistance programs for 
FYs 2013-2014. A notice announcing changes and implementation 
instructions in FTA programs in accordance with MAP-21 was published in 
the Federal Register on October 16, 2012. (See 77 FR 63669). On August 
8, 2014, Congress passed the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 
2014 (Pub. L. 113-159) which extended MAP-21 authorizations as well as 
contract authority to carry out FTA's formula programs through May 31, 
2015. On December 16, 2014, the FY 2015 Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 
113- 235) was signed into law, providing a full fiscal year of funding 
for FTA's discretionary programs and its administrative expenses which 
are funded from the General Fund of the Treasury. Prior to December 16, 
2014, Congress provided partial funding for FY 2015 through continuing 
resolutions (Pub. L. 113-164, Pub. L. 113-202, and Pub. L. 113-203). 
This notice apportions formula funds based on the Highway and 
Transportation Funding Act of 2014, which made 8/12th or $5.722 billion 
of the anticipated fiscal year 2015 total of $8.595 billion available 
through May 31, 2015. As a result, FTA may only apportion $5.722 
billion to carry out FTA's formula programs at this time. Should 
Congress pass legislation that provides additional contract authority 
to support the formula programs for FY 2015, FTA will

[[Page 7255]]

issue a notice apportioning any amount above the $5.722 billion up to 
$8.595 billion, which is the obligation limitation provided for such 
programs in the FY 2015 Appropriations Act. In addition, this notice 
provides funding information for FTA's FY 2015 discretionary programs, 
including $2.12 billion in new budget authority for FY 2015 Capital 
Investment Grant (CIG) Program allocations as well as prior year 
discretionary programs and their unobligated balances.
    The FY 2015 Appropriations also provides $150 million in new budget 
authority for FY 2015 for grants to the Washington Metropolitan Area 
Transportation Authority and $37.5 million for the Research, Technical 
Assistance and Training Programs. Finally, this notice provides program 
information, including the status of MAP-21 implementation for many of 
the grant programs and other regulatory requirements.

II. FY 2015 Available Funding for FTA Programs

A. Funding Based on the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2015

    The FY 2015 Appropriations Act provides $2.41 billion in new budget 
authority for FTA's Capital Investment Grants program, Research, 
Technical Assistance and Training programs, Grants to the Washington 
Metropolitan Transit Authority and administrative expenses in FY 2015. 
In addition to $2.12 billion made available to carry out the Capital 
Investment Grants (CIG) program, the FY 2015 Appropriations Act directs 
FTA to use $27.98 million in FY 2011 or prior fiscal years' unobligated 
discretionary bus and bus facilities funds for new bus rapid transit 
projects recommended in the President's FY 2015 budget submission to 
Congress provided that such funds are subject to the CIG Program 
requirements under 49 U.S.C. 5309. This brings the total funding 
available for CIG to $2.148 billion in FY 2015.
    In addition, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 
provides $5.722 billion in contract authority derived from the Mass 
Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund for the period October 1, 
2014 through May 31, 2015 to carry out FTA's formula programs in FY 
2015. This is in addition to over $7.92 billion in formula and bus 
funds that remain unobligated from prior fiscal years. FTA will issue 
another notice apportioning any additional FY 2015 contract authority 
for formula assistance programs Congress may provide beyond May 31, 
2015.

B. Oversight Takedown

    In order to conduct oversight activities in accordance with 49 
U.S.C. 5338(i), 0.5 percent is set aside from the amounts available to 
carry out the Planning Programs (section 5305); the Enhanced Mobility 
of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Formula Program (section 
5310); and the Rural Areas Formula Grants Program (section 5311). In 
addition, 0.75 percent is set aside from amounts made available to 
carry out the Urbanized Area Formula Grants Programs, and the High 
Intensity Fixed Guideway State of Good Repair Formula Program (section 
5337(c)). Additionally, one percent of the amount made available to 
carry out the CIG Program (section 5309) as well as one percent of the 
amount available for Grants to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit 
Authority (section 601 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement 
Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-432)) is set aside for FTA oversight 
activities.

C. FY 2015 Formula Apportionments; Data and Methodology

    FTA is publishing apportionment tables on its Web site for each 
program that reflects the full year appropriations less oversight take-
downs, as applicable. FTA is continuing to use, as it did in FYs 2013 
and 2014, urbanized area and demographic data from the 2010 Census. 
Tables displaying the funds available to eligible states, tribes, and 
urbanized areas have been posted on FTA's Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/apportionments.
1. National Transit Database and Census Data Used in the FY 2015 
Apportionments
    Consistent with past practices, the calculations for sections 5307, 
5311, including 5311(j) (``Tribal Transit''), 5329, 5337, and 5339 
programs rely on the most-recent transit service data reported to the 
National Transit Database (NTD), which in this case is the 2013 report 
year. In some cases where an apportionment is based on the age of the 
system, the age is calculated as of September 30, 2014, which was the 
last day before FY 2015 began. Any recipient or beneficiary of either 
the section 5307 or section 5311 program funds is required to report to 
the NTD. Additionally, a number of transit operators report to the NTD 
on a voluntary basis. For the 2013 report year, the NTD includes data 
from 852 reporters in urbanized areas, 819 of which reported operating 
transit service. The NTD also includes data from 1,404 providers of 
rural transit service, which includes 124 Indian Tribes providing 
transit service.
    The tiers of the sections 5303, 5305, 5307 and 5339 formulas that 
are based on population and population density continue to rely on data 
published by the 2010 Census, as required by law. Likewise, the tiers 
of the section 5311 formula that are based on rural population and 
rural land area are calculated using 2010 Census data.
    The formulas for sections 5307, 5311, and 5311(j) include tiers 
where funding is allocated on the basis of the number of persons living 
in poverty, and the section 5310 formula allocates funding on the basis 
of the population of older adults and people with disabilities. The 
Census Bureau no longer publishes decennial census data on persons 
living in poverty and persons with disabilities. As a result, FTA uses 
the data for these populations available via the Census' American 
Community Survey (ACS).
    The FY 2015 apportionments use data on low-income persons, persons 
with disabilities, and older adults from the 2008-2012 ACS five-year 
data set, which was published in December 2013. This data set provides 
the first estimates that are based on the new Urbanized Area boundaries 
from the 2010 Census. These data represent the most recent five-year 
ACS estimates that are available as of October 1st for the year being 
apportioned.
    The NTD and census data that FTA used to calculate the 
apportionments associated with this notice can be found on FTA's Web 
site: www.fta.dot.gov/apportionments.

D. FY 2015 Discretionary Program Funding

1. Notices of Funding Availability
    MAP-21 authorized several discretionary grant programs, such as the 
Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning Pilot Program, Low or No 
Emissions Bus and Facilities Program, Tribal Transit Discretionary 
Program, and Passenger Ferry Program. FTA publishes individual Notices 
of Funding Availability (NOFAs), which contain specific application and 
eligibility information, for its discretionary programs announcing the 
availability of funds. However, in several cases, such as for the 
Workforce Development Program and the Tribal Transit Discretionary 
Program, FTA will use proposals received in response to the previously 
published FY 2014 NOFAs for purposes of allocating both FY 2014 and FY 
2015 available funding. NOFAs are posted in Grants.Gov and on FTA's Web 
site once published in the Federal Register.

[[Page 7256]]

2. Research, Technical Assistance, and Training Program Funding
    The FY 2015 Appropriations provides approximately $37.5 million for 
Research, Technical Assistance and Training program activities of which 
$30 million is available to carry out Research, Development, 
Demonstration, and Development projects under 49 U.S.C. 5312, and $3 
million is available for Transit Cooperative Research Program 
activities under 49 U.S.C. 5313. In addition, $4 million is available 
for Technical Assistance and Standards Development under 49 U.S.C. 5314 
and $500,000 is provided to carry out Human Resource and Training 
activities under 49 U.S.C. 5322(a) and (b). More information about 
these programs can be found in Section IV of this notice.
3. FY 2015 Capital Investment Grant Program Allocations
    The Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program (49 U.S.C. 5309), which 
historically authorizes the New and Small Starts Programs and now 
includes the Core Capacity Improvement Program, is excluded from the 
NOFA process because the program has an ongoing project development and 
review process, and funding is allocated consistent with information 
already available to FTA. By way of this notice, FTA is publishing the 
FY 2015 CIG Allocations table (Table 7) to its Web site for 
approximately $2.12 billion available in new budget authority to carry 
out the program. These projects were included in the FY 2015 Annual 
Report on Funding Recommendations for CIG Program published on March 3, 
2014. Pursuant to FY 2015 appropriations, in addition to funds 
appropriated to carry out the CIG program, $27.98 million in FY 2011 
and prior year unobligated or recovered section 5309 (Discretionary Bus 
and Bus Facilities) funds are available to carry out bus rapid transit 
(BRT) projects subject to the requirements of the CIG program. More 
information about this program can be found in Section IV of this 
notice.
4. Unobligated Prior Year Discretionary Allocations
    FTA is posting tables of prior year discretionary allocations that 
remain unobligated as of September 30, 2014 to its FY 2015 
Apportionments Web page. These tables can be found here: 
www.fta.dot.gov/apportionments and are numbered Tables 14-17. Each 
table contains information pertaining to the lapse date of these funds.

III. FY 2015 Program Highlights and Changes

A. MAP-21 Implementation

1. Guidance
    A result of the MAP-21 authorization and in addition to regulatory 
activities, FTA is continuing to update program circulars to reflect 
MAP-21 changes and provide guidance for new and existing programs. 
Below is a chart of publication dates or expected publication dates for 
the program circulars. FTA publishes draft circulars for notice and 
comment, and takes into consideration all comments received prior to 
final publication. In the interim and until FTA publishes final program 
circulars, existing program circulars combined with the interim 
guidance in the October 16, 2012 apportionment notice can be used to 
administer the programs. FTA's electronic grant management system and 
financial systems both have been updated to reflect new programs and 
new codes provided by MAP-21. If there are additional questions about 
the major formula programs or grants, please contact your Regional 
Office or the Headquarters program contacts listed in Section IV of 
this notice.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Actual publication date  (for       Actual/expected  publication of
                Program                         notice and  comment)                   final  circular
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Urbanized Area Formula Grant Program    April 22, 2013.....................  January 16, 2014.
 (Section 5307).
Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and       July 11, 2013......................  June 6, 2014.
 Individuals with Disabilities
 (Section 5310).
Rural Areas Formula Program (Section    September 26, 2013.................  October 24, 2014.
 5311).
State of Good Repair Formula Program    March 4, 2014......................  January 28, 2015.
 (Section 5337).
Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Program  July 30, 2014......................  Winter/Spring 2015.
 (Section 5339).
Research, Technical Assistance and      August 13, 2014....................  Winter/Spring 2015.
 Training Program: Application
 Instructions and Program Management
 Guidelines.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Rulemakings
    On June 2, 2014, FTA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) 
published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Statewide and 
Nonmetropolitan Transportation Planning: Metropolitan Transportation 
programing in the Federal Register requesting comment on proposed 
revisions to the regulations governing the development of metropolitan 
transportation plans and programs for urbanized areas, State 
transportation plans and programs, and the congestion management 
process. The changes reflect the new requirements for a performance 
based planning process required by MAP-21, and proposed that State 
Departments of Transportation and metropolitan planning organizations 
take a performance-based approach to planning and programming; a new 
emphasis on the nonmetropolitan transportation planning process; a 
structural change to the membership of larger Metropolitan Planning 
Organizations (MPOs); a new framework for voluntary scenario planning; 
and a framework for programmatic mitigation processes. The comment 
period for the NPRM closed on October 2, 2014. FTA and FHWA are 
currently reviewing approximately 160 letters from commenters. FTA 
expects to issue a Final Rule in 2015.
    On October 3, 2013 FTA published an expansive Advanced Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking (ANRPM) in the Federal Register requesting comment 
on a number of questions related to the implementation of the new 
requirements under MAP-21 for a National Transit Safety Plan, Agency 
Safety Plans, a new Safety Certification Training Program, and a new 
National Transit Asset Management System. The comment period for this 
ANPRM closed on January 2, 2014. FTA currently is reviewing 
approximately 2,500 pages of comments from more than 140 commenters. 
FTA expects to issue NPRMs on these topics in 2015.
    FTA is also continuing to work with States with rail fixed guideway 
public transportation systems (rail transit systems) to develop and 
carry out State Safety Oversight (SSO) Programs consistent with the 
requirements of MAP-21. On October 1, 2013, FTA announced the initial 
certification status of each State and is now working with each State 
to address, among other things, identified gaps in their SSO

[[Page 7257]]

Programs (SSO Program or SSOP) with MAP-21 requirements and to develop 
work plans to address these gaps as well as enhance a State's SSOP. As 
of December 31, 2014, FTA had certified two states as having SSO 
Programs compliant with the MAP-21 statutory provisions and approved 25 
Certification Work Plans. FTA expects to issue an NPRM in FY 2015 
seeking comment on its plan to implement the SSO Program. Additional 
information on FTA's safety authority and the requirements under 
section 5329 can be found in Section IV of this notice.

B. Transitioning to a New Electronic Grant Management System

    FTA's Transportation Electronic Award and Management (TEAM) system 
was opened in October 2014 for awarding grants with funds appropriated 
in FY 2014 or a prior fiscal year. However, FTA is planning to 
transition to the Transit Award Management System (TrAMS) in April, 
2015 and to close TEAM for grant making on March 1, 2015.
    TrAMS, by design, collects and presents information contained in 
new grant applications differently than TEAM, which will make it 
difficult to migrate applications that have not yet been awarded by 
March 1, 2015 into the new system. FTA has previously provided guidance 
that grant applications needed to be in submitted status in TEAM as of 
January 1, 2015 to ensure award could be made by March 1, 2015. FTA 
will make a concerted effort to award any other pending grant 
applications in TEAM by March 1, 2015. However, grant applications not 
awarded in TEAM by March 1 will not be migrated into TrAMS and the 
recipient will need to re-create their application in TrAMS.
    When deployed, TrAMS aims to offer a more efficient, user-friendly, 
and flexible tool to award and manage grants and cooperative 
agreements. It seeks to provide more useful information, and will 
strengthen the integrity and consistency of our grant award and 
management process.
    FTA has created a page on its Web site, http://www.fta.dot.gov/TrAMS to provide additional information and updates on our new grant 
making system. Individuals who would like access to this Web site 
should contact their FTA Regional Office for the password to use or 
send an email to [email protected].
    FTA will continue to provide training and technical assistance on 
using TrAMS. Training will include live, hands-on workshops, where 
feasible, as well as training videos and guidance and technical 
assistance documents. More information on upcoming training will be 
posted at http://www.fta.dot.gov/TrAMS.
    FTA also will migrate data, information, and attachments about 
current recipients and their awarded grants (as of March 1, 2015) from 
TEAM into TrAMS.
    In addition, in order to minimize the amount of data and 
information that needs to be migrated into TrAMS, FTA encourages its 
grantees to promptly close any awarded grants where funds are fully 
disbursed or where the grantees no longer plan to implement the 
projects funded in the grant. FTA grantees will be able to use TrAMS to 
manage active grants where work on the transit projects identified in 
the grant is ongoing. (These grants will be migrated from TEAM to 
TrAMS).

C. New Common Rule

    On December 26, 2013 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
issued the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and 
Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200. Part 200 
replaces the former Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants (OMB 
Circular A-102 and Circular A-110 or 2 CFR part 215 or Circular) as 
well as the Cost Principles (Circulars A-21 or 2 CFR part 220; Circular 
A-87 or 2 CFR part 225; and A-122, 2 CFR 230). Additionally it replaces 
Circular A-133 guidance on the Single Annual Audit.
    The administrative requirements and cost principles found in 2 CFR 
part 200 (Uniform Guidance) became effective for new awards and 
additional funding to existing awards on December 26, 2014. The audit 
requirements will apply to audits of fiscal years beginning on or after 
December 26, 2014. For the most part 2 CFR part 200 does not 
substantially change administrative requirements, cost principles and 
audit requirements as experienced by FTA grantees.
    Except as otherwise provided in 2 CFR part 1201, which was 
published as an interim final rule in the Federal Register on December 
26, 2014 and effective that same date, the Department of Transportation 
adopted OMB's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and 
Audit Requirements for Federal Awards under 2 CFR part 200. Part 1201 
deviates from part 200 only with respect to standard application 
requirements, equipment, procurements by States, and financial 
reporting. In addition, part 1201 supersedes and repeals the 
requirements of the Department of Transportation Common Rules (49 CFR 
part 18--Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative 
Agreements to State and Local Governments and 49 CFR part 19--Uniform 
Administrative Requirements--Uniform Administrative Requirements for 
Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, 
and other Non-Profit Organizations), except that grants and cooperative 
agreements executed prior to December 26, 2014 shall continue to be 
subject to 49 CFR parts 18 and 19 as in effect on the date of such 
grants or agreements. DOT's interim final rule can be viewed at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/12/19/2014-28697/federal-awarding-agency-regulatory-implementation-of-office-of-management-and-budgets-uniform#sec-1201-102.
    FTA is working to update its guidance, FTA Circular 5010.1D, 
``Grant Management Requirements'' to ensure it is consistent with the 
new Common Rule. As FTA is required to issue revised updated guidance 
through a notice and comment process, grantees may continue to follow 
the procedures of FTA Circular 5010.1D. However, where Circular 5010 
references specific requirements of 49 CFR 18 or 19, or the old Common 
Rule, non-Federal entities should follow the guidance in the 2 CFR part 
200 and 2 CFR part 1201 for awards or amendments made after December 
26, 2014. As the following requirements are incorporated in Circular 
5010 by reference, non-Federal recipients are expected to follow these 
requirements for new awards or amendments made after December 26, 2014:
     Cost Principles: Where our Circulars reference cost 
principles found in the former Common Rule, non-federal entities must 
now follow the Cost Principles in 2 CFR 200 Subpart E, unless stated 
otherwise in 2 CFR part 1201, for awards made after December 26, 2014.
     Indirect Cost Rates: Non-federal entities must follow 
procedures for Indirect Cost Rates found in 2 CFR 200, unless stated 
otherwise in 2 CFR part 1201, for awards made after December 26, 2014.
     Audit Requirements: Non-federal entities whose FY 2015 
fiscal year starts January 1, 2015, or later, must follow the Single 
Annual Audit requirements of 2 CFR 200 Subpart F.

D. The Recovery Act

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) (Pub. L. 111-5) 
appropriated $8.4 billion for three major FTA transit programs. 
Pursuant to ARRA, FTA had until September 30, 2010 to obligate the $8.4 
billion in grants. Additionally, as a matter of law,

[[Page 7258]]

all remaining ARRA funds MUST be disbursed (paid) from grants by the 
end of the 5th fiscal year (FY) after funds were required to be 
obligated. (SEE 31 U.S.C. 1552.) For FTA ARRA projects, that 
requirement takes affect at the end of FY 2015. Accordingly, once ECHO 
closes for disbursements (payments) in late September 2015, all 
remaining unliquidated obligations within FTA ARRA funded grants will 
no longer be available to the grantee and will be deobligated from the 
grant. Even if a grantee has incurred costs or disbursed funds prior to 
the close of ECHO, if the grantee has not actually drawn down the funds 
by the time ECHO closes in late September 2015, FTA will be unable to 
reimburse the grantee. Therefore, grantees with open ARRA grants are 
strongly encouraged to ensure project activities are completed and all 
funds are draw down before late September 2015. For ARRA TIGER 1 
projects, the same requirement will be in effect for the end of FY 
2016.

E. Vanpool In-Kind Match Provision

    MAP-21 amended 49 U.S.C. 5323(i) ``Government Share of Costs for 
Certain Projects'' to include a paragraph that allows a grantee to 
credit towards its local share the costs a private provider incurs when 
acquiring rolling stock to be used in providing public transportation 
in the grantee's service area. The credit in this case will be handled 
in a similar manner as transportation development credits (formerly 
known as toll revenue credits). In order to take advantage of this 
credit, the private provider must exclude any amounts received from the 
federal, state or local government when acquiring the rolling stock. To 
determine the amount of credit available to a grantee and to track the 
application of the use of van pool capital acquisition for local share, 
the grantee that will apply the share to a grant will be required to 
supply the following information in the TEAM/TrAMS grant: Vehicle 
Identification Number; cost/value of the van when it joined the program 
(including capital cost of contracting calculations if applicable); 
amount of federal, state or local financial assistance used to acquire 
the van (note that if any federal funds were used to acquire the van--
then the required local share will also be deducted); amount used as 
credit for previous grants; the amount to be used as credit for this 
grant; and a copy of the Certified Statement to verify the van is being 
used in grantee's service area. In addition, section 5323(i)(2)(B) 
allows a vanpool provider to use revenues in excess of its operating 
costs to acquire rolling stock if the private provider and the grantee 
enter into an agreement that the private provider will use the rolling 
stock in the grantee's service area.
    Grantees should contact their Regional Office for assistance if 
they intend to use this provision. FTA will also develop additional 
guidance and frequently asked questions to assist grantees with using 
this new match provision.

F. Flood Insurance

    Recipients are reminded they need to maintain flood insurance for 
any building located in a special flood hazard area that received 
Federal financial assistance. Section 102 of the Flood Disaster 
Protection Act of 1973 (FDPA) prohibits the Federal government from 
providing funds for acquisition or construction of buildings located in 
a special flood hazard area (100-year flood zone) unless the owner of 
the property first has obtained flood insurance. FTA's Master Agreement 
and annual Certifications and Assurances reference FDPA and recipients 
agree they will have flood insurance for buildings in a special flood 
hazard area.
    Specifically, Federal agencies may not provide any financial 
assistance for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, repair, 
or improvement of a building unless the recipient has first acquired 
flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Act to cover the 
buildings constructed or repaired with Federal funds. Consistent with 
the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) definition of 
``building,'' FTA has defined ``building'' in its Emergency Relief 
program regulation at 49 CFR 602.5, for insurance purposes, as ``a 
structure with two or more outside rigid walls and a fully secured 
roof, that is affixed to a permanent site. This includes manufactured 
or modular office trailers that are built on a permanent chassis, 
transported to a site in one or more sections, and affixed to a 
permanent foundation.'' In addition, where structures are both above 
and below ground, the flood insurance requirement applies where at 
least 51 percent of the cash value of the structure, less land value, 
is above ground.
    This flood insurance requirement applies to transit facilities such 
as maintenance facilities, storage facilities, and above-ground 
stations/terminals, as well as equipment and fixtures in the 
facilities. It does not apply to underground subway stations, track, 
tunnels, ferry docks, or to any transit assets outside of a special 
flood hazard area.
    A covered structure must be insured through the NFIP or a 
comparable private policy. The policy must provide coverage at least 
equal to the project cost for which Federal assistance is provided, or 
to the maximum limit of coverage available under the National Flood 
Insurance Act (currently $500,000 for buildings and $500,000 for 
equipment and fixtures), whichever amount is less. Facilities owned by 
state governments may be self-insured, but only where FEMA has approved 
the state's self-insurance policy. Private entities, and public 
entities other than state governments, may not self-insure and must 
obtain a flood insurance policy before receiving Federal funds and 
maintain the policy subsequent to grant award.

G. In-State or Local Geographical Preferences

    As part of the Appropriations Act for 2015, Congress enacted 
section 418 (Section 418 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing 
Appropriations Act, 2015, Pub. L. 113-235), which prohibits FTA from 
using FY 2015 funds to implement, administer, or enforce 49 CFR 
18.36(c)(2) for construction hiring. Section 18.36(c)(2) prohibits the 
use of statutorily or administratively imposed in-State or local 
geographical preferences in the evaluation of bids or proposals. 
Effective December 26, 2014, 49 CFR part 18 will apply only to grants 
obligated on or before December 25, 2014. Grants obligated on or after 
December 26, 2014 will be subject to 2 CFR part 200. This provision 
(18.36(c)(2)) is codified at 2 CFR 200.319(b) and is substantively the 
same as 18.36(c)(2). Although Congress did not address the change in 
codification in section 418, FTA intends to apply section 418 to grants 
obligated on or after December 26, 2014 and subject to 2 CFR 
200.319(b). Accordingly, grantees may include in-State or local 
geographic preferences in construction contracts awarded or advertised 
in FY2015. FTA will provide additional guidance regarding the 
implementation and applicability of section 418 on its Web site at 
www.fta.dot.gov. Grantees may not use section 418 to alter or amend the 
requirements of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program.

H. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Congestion Mitigation and Air 
Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) Funds for Operating Assistance

    In response to the modifications made by section 125 of the 
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, Public Law 113-76, FHWA in 
coordination with FTA has clarified what is meant by the

[[Page 7259]]

provision that prohibits the imposition of a time limitation for 
operating assistance eligibility on a system ``for which CMAQ funding 
was made available, obligated or expended in fiscal year 2012.'' The 
phrase ``made available'' applies to projects designated for CMAQ 
operating assistance in fiscal year (FY) 2012 through statute or to any 
commitment by the party that by law selects projects for operating 
assistance funding so long as the commitment occurred during FY 2012. 
There must be official documentation demonstrating that there was a 
specific commitment in FY 2012 to provide CMAQ funding for operating 
assistance for a particular project or service. Such official 
documentation could include a TIP or STIP, or other State or MPO 
official records. The specific project or service for which the CMAQ 
funds are being sought for operating assistance without a time 
limitation must be clearly identified in this documentation. 
Transportation services expressly eligible for CMAQ funding under 
SAFETEA-LU sections 1808(g)-(k) and certain provisions in previous 
appropriations acts are eligible to use CMAQ funds for operating 
assistance without time limitations. ``Obligated'' funding occurs on 
the date that the funds were obligated and FTA awarded the grant. 
``Expended'' funding occurs on the date that the grantee draws-down 
funds for eligible expenses from an FTA grant. FTA will work with 
grantees at the time of grant application to verify eligibility under 
this provision. Complete guidance regarding eligibility for operating 
assistance under the CMAQ Program can be found in the Revised Interim 
Guidance on CMAQ Operating Assistance under MAP-21, published in July 
2014 and available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/cmaq/.

IV. FY 2015 Program Specific Information

    This section of the notice provides the available FY 2015 funding 
to date and/or other important program-related information for 20 FTA 
programs that are contained in this notice. Funding for twelve programs 
is apportioned by statutory or administrative formula. Funding for the 
other eight programs will be allocated on a discretionary or 
competitive basis. Available funding and/or other important information 
for each of the programs is presented immediately below. This includes 
program apportionments or allocations, certain program requirements, 
length of time FY 2015 funding is available for obligation and other 
significant program information pertaining to FY 2015. For the formula 
programs, the funding represents the $5.722 billion available at this 
time as authorized by the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 
2014. FTA expects to publish another notice should Congress provide 
additional contract authority for this fiscal year.

A. Metropolitan Planning Program (49 U.S.C. 5305(d))

    Section 5305(d) authorizes Federal funding to support a 
cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive planning program for 
transportation investment decision-making at the metropolitan area 
level. The specific requirements of metropolitan transportation 
planning are set forth in 49 U.S.C. 5303 and further explained in 23 
CFR part 450, as incorporated by reference in 49 CFR part 613, 
Statewide Transportation Planning; Metropolitan Transportation 
Planning; Final Rule. FTA apportions funds directly to State 
Departments of Transportation (DOTs). State DOTs then allocate the 
funds to Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), for planning 
activities that support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area.
    MAP-21 requires that the metropolitan transportation planning 
process must provide for the establishment of a performance-based 
approach to decision-making. Upon publication of a final rule on the 
metropolitan transportation planning program, MPOs will be required to 
establish specific performance targets that address transportation 
system performance measures (to be issued by U.S. DOT), where 
applicable, to use in tracking progress towards attaining critical 
outcomes. These performance targets will be established by MPOs in 
coordination with States and transit providers. MPOs also will be 
required to provide a system performance report that evaluates their 
progress in meeting the performance targets in comparison with the 
system performance identified in prior reports.
    This funding must support work elements and activities resulting in 
balanced and comprehensive intermodal transportation planning for the 
movement of people and goods in the metropolitan area. Comprehensive 
transportation planning is not limited to transit planning or surface 
transportation planning, but also encompasses the relationships among 
land use and all transportation modes, without regard to the 
programmatic source of Federal assistance. Eligible work elements or 
activities include, but are not limited to, studies relating to 
management, mobility management, planning, operations, capital 
requirements, and economic feasibility; evaluation of previously funded 
projects; peer reviews and exchanges of technical data, information, 
assistance, and related activities in support of planning and 
environmental analysis among MPOs and other transportation planners; 
work elements and related activities preliminary to and in preparation 
for constructing, acquiring, or improving the operation of facilities 
and equipment; and development of coordinated public transit human 
services transportation plans.
    During the spring of 2014, the Acting Administrators of FTA and 
FHWA issued a Planning Emphasis Area letter to the MPO's requesting 
that they include work activities in their Unified Planning Work 
Programs (UPWP) to advance the following activities; (1) Transition to 
Performance Based Planning and Programming. This involves the 
development and implementation of a performance management approach to 
transportation planning and programming that supports the achievement 
of transportation system performance outcomes; (2) Models of Regional 
Planning--Promote cooperation and coordination across MPO boundaries 
and across State boundaries where appropriate to ensure a regional 
approach to transportation planning. This is particularly important 
where more than one MPO or State serves an urbanized area or adjacent 
urbanized areas. This cooperation could occur through the metropolitan 
planning agreements that identify how the planning process and planning 
products will be coordinated, through the development of joint planning 
products, and/or by other locally determined means; and (3) Ladders of 
Opportunity--Access to essential services--USDOT is encouraging state 
and local decision makers to plan for transportation investments and 
policies that provide ``ladders of opportunity'' connecting people 
safely to jobs, education, and health care and other essential services 
and improving their quality of life.
    An exhaustive list of eligible work activities is provided in FTA 
Circular 8100.1C, Program Guidance for Metropolitan Planning and State 
Planning and Research Program Grants, dated September 1, 2008. For more 
about the Metropolitan Planning Program, contact Victor Austin, Office 
of Planning and Environment at (202) 366-2996 or [email protected].

[[Page 7260]]

1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    The FY 2015 Appropriations provides a total of $70,931,607 for the 
Metropolitan Planning Program (section 5305(d)) to support metropolitan 
transportation planning activities set forth in section 5303. The total 
amount apportioned for the Metropolitan Planning Program to States for 
MPOs' use in urbanized areas (UZAs) is $70,576,949 as shown in the 
table below, after the deduction for oversight (authorized by section 
5338).

                 Metropolitan Planning Program--FY 2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Appropriation..................................        $70,931,607
Oversight Deductions.................................           -354,658
                                                      ------------------
  Total Apportioned..................................         70,576,949
------------------------------------------------------------------------
States' apportionments for this program are displayed in Table 2.

2. Basis for Allocation
    Eighty percent of the funds are apportioned to the States based on 
the most recent decennial Census for each State's UZA population. The 
remaining 20 percent is provided to the States with UZAs with one 
million or more in population in order to address planning needs in 
larger, more complex UZAs.
3. Requirements
    The State allocates Metropolitan Planning funds to MPOs in UZAs or 
portions thereof to provide funds for planning projects included in a 
one or two-year program of planning work activities (the Unified 
Planning Work Program, or UPWP). The UPWP includes multimodal systems 
planning activities spanning both highway and transit planning topics. 
Each State has either reaffirmed or developed, in consultation with 
their MPOs, an allocation formula among MPOs within the State, based on 
the 2010 Census. The allocation formula among MPOs in each State may be 
changed annually, but the FTA Regional Office must approve any change 
before grant award. Program guidance for the Metropolitan Planning 
Program is found in FTA Circular 8100.1C, Program Guidance for 
Metropolitan Planning and State Planning and Research Program Grants, 
dated September 1, 2008.
4. Period of Availability
    The Metropolitan Planning program funds apportioned in this notice 
are available for obligation during FY 2015 plus three additional 
fiscal years. Accordingly, funds apportioned in FY 2015 must be 
obligated in grants by September 30, 2018. Any FY 2015 apportioned 
funds that remain unobligated at the close of business on September 30, 
2018, will revert to FTA for reapportionment under the Metropolitan 
Planning program.

B. State Planning and Research Program (49 U.S.C. 5305(e))

    This program provides financial assistance to States for statewide 
transportation planning and other technical assistance activities, 
including supplementing the technical assistance program provided 
through the Metropolitan Planning program. The specific requirements of 
Statewide transportation planning are set forth in 49 U.S.C. 5304 and 
further explained in 23 CFR part 450 as referenced in 49 CFR part 613, 
Statewide Transportation Planning; Metropolitan Transportation 
Planning; Final Rule. This funding must support work elements and 
activities resulting in balanced and comprehensive intermodal 
transportation planning for the movement of people and goods. 
Comprehensive transportation planning is not limited to transit 
planning or surface transportation planning, but also encompasses the 
relationships among land use and all transportation modes, without 
regard to the programmatic source of Federal assistance. For more 
information, contact Victor Austin, Office of Planning and Environment 
at (202) 366-2996 or [email protected].
1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    FY 2015 Appropriations provides a total of $14,817,434 for the 
State Planning and Research Program (section 5305(e)). The total amount 
apportioned for the State Planning and Research Program (SPRP) is 
$14,743,347 as shown in the table below, after the deduction for 
oversight (authorized by section 5338).

                   Statewide Planning Program--FY 2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Appropriation..................................        $14,817,434
Oversight Deductions.................................            -74,087
                                                      ------------------
Total Apportioned....................................         14,743,347
------------------------------------------------------------------------
States' apportionments for this program are displayed in Table 2.

2. Basis for Allocation
    FTA apportions funds to States by a statutory formula that is based 
on the most recent decennial Census data available, and the State's UZA 
population as compared to the UZA population of all States.
3. Requirements
    Funds are provided to States for statewide transportation planning 
programs. These funds may be used for a variety of purposes such as 
planning, technical studies and assistance, demonstrations, and 
management training. In addition, a State may authorize a portion of 
these funds to be used to supplement Metropolitan Planning funds 
allocated by the State to its UZAs, as the State deems appropriate. 
Program guidance for the State Planning and Research program is found 
in FTA Circular 8100.1C, Program Guidance for Metropolitan Planning and 
State Planning and Research Program Grants, dated September 1, 2008.
    MAP-21 requires that the statewide and non-metropolitan 
transportation planning process must provide for the establishment and 
use of a performance-based approach to decision-making. Upon 
publication of a final rule on the statewide and non-metropolitan 
transportation planning program, State Departments of Transportation 
will be required to establish specific performance targets that address 
transportation system performance measures (to be issued by U.S. DOT), 
where applicable, to use in tracking progress towards attaining 
critical outcomes. These performance targets will be established by 
States in coordination with MPOs and transit providers. States will be 
encouraged to provide a system performance report that evaluates their 
progress in meeting the performance targets in comparison with the 
system performance identified in prior reports.
4. Period of Availability
    The State Planning and Research program funds apportioned in this 
notice are available for obligation during FY 2015 plus three 
additional fiscal years. Accordingly, funds apportioned in FY 2015 must 
be obligated in grants by September 30, 2018. Any FY 2015 apportioned 
funds that remain unobligated at the close of business on September 30, 
2018 will revert to FTA for reapportionment under the State Planning 
and Research program.

C. Urbanized Area Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5307)

    Section 5307 authorizes Federal assistance for capital, planning, 
job access and reverse commute projects, and, in some cases, operating 
assistance for public transportation in urbanized areas. An urbanized 
area (UZA) is an area with a population of 50,000 or more that has been 
defined and

[[Page 7261]]

designated as such by the U.S. Census Bureau.
    FTA calculates an apportionment amount for each UZA based on 
statutory formulas. For UZAs with populations of 200,000 or more, FTA 
apportions funds directly to one or more designated recipients, which 
are local or statewide agencies designated by the governor in 
accordance with sections 5303 and 5304, to receive and allocate section 
5307 funds to eligible public transportation projects in the UZA. For 
UZAs with populations between 50,000 and 200,000, FTA apportions funds 
directly to the governor for allocation to eligible public 
transportation projects in those areas of the state. Eligible funding 
recipients are limited to designated recipients and other local 
government authorities that a designated recipient or governor 
authorizes to apply for the funds directly to FTA.
    Additional detailed guidance on the Urbanized Area Formula Program 
is available in FTA Circular 9030.1E, Urbanized Area Formula Program: 
Program Guidance and Application Instructions, dated January 16, 2014. 
This circular is in effect for all grants awarded after the date of its 
publication. The circular can be accessed at www.fta.dot.gov/circulars.
    The circular contains guidance on several provisions that were 
established by MAP-21 and took effect beginning in FY 2013. These 
include a new provision allowing operating assistance for transit 
agencies in UZAs over 200,000 in population that operate a maximum of 
100 buses in fixed route service during peak service hours, the 
eligibility of job access and reverse commute projects under section 
5307, changes to the definition of ``capital project,'' expanded 
eligibility for sources of local match, and the replacement of the 
``transit enhancements'' requirements with a similar ``associated 
transit improvements'' requirement. For more information about the 
Urbanized Area Formula Program contact Adam Schildge, Office of Program 
Management, at (202) 366-0778 or [email protected].
1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    FY 2015 Appropriations provides a total of $2,968,361,507 for the 
Urbanized Area Formula Program (section 5307). The total amount 
apportioned to UZAs is $3,211,537,790, which includes the addition of 
amounts apportioned to UZAs pursuant to the section 5340 Growing States 
and High Density States Formula factors. This amount excludes the set-
aside for the Passenger Ferry Discretionary Program, apportionments 
under the State Safety Oversight Program, and funding for oversight 
(authorized by section 5338), as shown in the table below.

                 Urbanized Area Formula Program--FY 2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Appropriation..................................                \a\
                                                          $2,968,361,507
Ferry Discretionary Program..........................        -19,972,603
State Safety Oversight Program.......................        -14,841,808
Oversight Deduction..................................        -22,262,711
Section 5340 Funds Added.............................        300,253,404
                                                      ------------------
  Total Apportioned..................................      3,211,537,790
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ Includes 1.5 percent set-aside for Small Transit Intensive Cities
  Formula. Table 3 displays the amounts apportioned under the Urbanized
  Area Formula Program.

2. Basis for Allocation
    FTA apportions Urbanized Area Formula Program funds based on 
statutory formulas. Congress established four separate formulas that 
are used to apportion portions of the available funding: The section 
5307 Urbanized Area Formula Program formula, the Small Transit 
Intensive Cities (STIC) formula, the Growing States and High Density 
States formula, and a formula based on low-income population. 
Additional information on these formulas is provided in the following 
subsections.
    Consistent with prior apportionment notices, Table 3 shows a total 
section 5307 apportionment for each UZA, which includes amounts 
apportioned under each of these formulas. Detailed information about 
the formulas is provided in Table 4. For technical assistance purposes, 
the UZAs that receive STIC funds are listed in Table 6. FTA will 
provide breakouts of the funding allocated to each UZA under these 
formulas upon request; such requests should be directed to your FTA 
Regional Office.
i. Section 5307--Urbanized Area Formula
    For UZAs between 50,000 and 199,999 in population, the section 5307 
formula is based on population and population density. For UZAs with 
populations of 200,000 and more, the formula is based on a combination 
of bus revenue vehicle miles, bus passenger miles, bus operating costs, 
fixed guideway vehicle revenue miles, and fixed guideway route miles, 
as well as population and population density. The Urbanized Area 
Formula is defined in 49 U.S.C. 5336.
    To calculate a UZA's FY 2015 apportionment, FTA used population and 
population density statistics from the 2010 Census and validated 
mileage and transit service data from transit providers' 2013 National 
Transit Database (NTD) Report Year (when applicable). Consistent with 
section 5336(b), FTA has included in the urbanized area formula 22.27 
percent of the fixed guideway directional route miles and vehicle 
revenue miles from eligible transit systems that were ordinarily 
attributable to rural areas.
    FTA has calculated dollar unit values for the formula factors used 
in the Urbanized Area Formula Program apportionment calculations. These 
values represent the amount of money each unit of a factor is worth in 
this year's apportionment. The unit values change each year, based on 
all of the data used to calculate the apportionments, as well as the 
amount appropriated by Congress. The dollar unit values for FY 2015 are 
displayed in Table 5. To replicate the basic formula component of a 
UZA's apportionment, multiply the dollar unit value by the appropriate 
formula factor (i.e., the population, population x population density), 
and when applicable, data from the NTD (i.e., route miles, vehicle 
revenue miles, passenger miles, and operating cost).
ii. Small Transit Intensive Cities Formula
    Under the STIC formula, FTA apportions funds to UZAs under 200,000 
in population that have public transportation service that operates at 
a level equal to or above the industry average for all UZAs with a 
population of at least 200,000, but not more than 999,999. STIC funds 
are apportioned on the basis of six performance categories: Passenger 
miles traveled per vehicle revenue mile, passenger miles traveled per 
vehicle revenue hour, vehicle revenue miles per capita, vehicle revenue 
hours per capita, passenger miles traveled per capita, and passengers 
per capita. A UZA is granted a ``STIC share'' for each performance 
category in which its data exceeds the average of all UZAs between 
200,000 and 1 million in population. The total dollar amount available 
for apportionment in the STIC formula is then divided evenly among each 
of the STIC shares.
    The data used to determine a UZA's eligibility under the STIC 
formula and to calculate the STIC apportionments was obtained from the 
NTD reports for the 2013 reporting year. Because performance data 
change with each year's NTD reports, the UZAs eligible for STIC funds 
and the amount each receives may vary each year. UZAs that received 
funding through the STIC

[[Page 7262]]

formula for FY 2015 are listed in Table 6.
iii. Section 5340--Growing States and High Density States Formula
    FTA also apportions funds to qualifying UZAs and States according 
to the section 5340 Growing States and High Density States formula. 
Half of the funds appropriated for section 5340 are apportioned to 
Growing States and half to High Density States. More information on 
this program and its formula is found in Section IV.S. of this notice.
iv. Low-Income Population
    Beginning in FY 2013, the formula for this program has included a 
formula factor for low-income population. Of the amount authorized and 
appropriated for the Urbanized Area Formula Program in each year, 3.07 
percent is apportioned on the basis of low income population.
3. Requirements
    Program guidance for the Urbanized Area Formula Program is found in 
FTA Circular 9030.1E, Urbanized Area Formula Program: Program Guidance 
and Application Instructions, dated January 16, 2014, and is 
supplemented by additional information and changes that may be provided 
in this notice, otherwise published in the Federal Register, or posted 
to the Section 5307 Web page.
4. Period of Availability
    Section 5307 funds are available for a period of six years (year of 
apportionment plus five additional years). Accordingly, 5307 funds 
apportioned in FY 2015 must be obligated in grants by September 30, 
2020. Any FY 2015 apportioned funds that remain unobligated at the 
close of business on September 30, 2020 will revert to FTA for 
reapportionment under the Urbanized Area Formula Program. Grantees are 
encouraged to obligate funds when projects are ready and not wait until 
the last year the funds are available.
5. Other Program Information
i. Allocating Funds to Small Urbanized Areas and Designated Recipients
    Consistent with the definition of ``designated recipient,'' FTA 
apportions funds according to the formula under section 5336 to 
designated recipients in UZAs of 200,000 or more in populations (large 
UZAs) and to the Governor of the State for UZAs of less than 200,000 in 
population (small UZAs). Pursuant to section 5336(e), the Governor of 
the State may allocate apportionments among the small UZAs. FTA 
interprets the legislation to allow a Governor to do so regardless of 
whether a small UZA has been designated as a TMA. FTA can make grants 
under this program to direct recipients after sub-allocation of funds.
ii. State Safety Oversight Funding
    As mentioned above, under MAP-21 there is a 0.5 percent take-down 
from the Section 5307 Urbanized Area program that has been made 
available to states for State Safety Oversight (SSO) program activities 
as authorized under 49 U.S.C. 5329. More information about this program 
funding is in Section IV of this notice.
iii. Eligibility for Safety Certification Training
    Recipients of sections 5307 funds may use up to 0.5 percent of 
those funds to cover up to 80 percent of the cost of participation by 
an employee who has direct safety oversight responsibility for the 
public transportation system. Likewise, participation by SSOA personnel 
with direct safety oversight responsibilities will be an eligible 
expense for section 5329(e)(6)(A) funds.
iv. National Transit Database Reporting
    Section 5335 requires that each recipient or beneficiary under the 
Section 5307 program submit an annual report to the NTD containing 
information on financial, operating, and asset condition information. 
An annual NTD report should be a full report of all transit activities, 
regardless of funding source. For the 2014 Report Year, the reporting 
requirements apply to any recipient of a Section 5307 grant obligated 
in 2013, any recipient of a Section 5307 grant with outlays in 2014, or 
any entity that continued to benefit in 2014 from capital assets 
purchased using Section 5307 grants. Also, recipients or subrecipients 
that benefitted from Section 5307 grants in prior years, and which 
anticipate benefitting from Section 5307 grants in future years, should 
also continue to report to the NTD. Recipients or beneficiaries of 
Section 5307 grants that do not operate transit service, either 
directly or through a contract for purchased transportation services, 
are still required to report to the NTD on capital and planning 
expenditures, but have significantly reduced reporting requirements. 
Recipients or beneficiaries of Section 5307 grants that operate 30 or 
fewer vehicles in maximum service across all transit modes are also 
eligible for reduced, ``Small Systems'' reporting requirements. 
Recipients or beneficiaries making full annual reports to the NTD are 
also subject to monthly reporting requirements on service operations 
and safety incidents. MAP-21 also established new requirements for 
reporting asset inventories and condition assessments to FTA at section 
5326(b)(3), 5335(a), and 5335(c). FTA previously proposed guidance for 
implementing these requirements in the Federal Register. FTA is 
currently reviewing and analyzing the comments received on this 
proposal, and will publish a future notice in the Federal Register with 
the final reporting requirements. The NTD Reporting Manuals contains 
detailed reporting instructions and are posted on the NTD Web site.

D. Passenger Ferry Grant Program (49 U.S.C. 5307(h))

    The Passenger Ferry Grant Program (Ferry program) is an authorized 
discretionary program funded from the Section 5307 Urbanized Area 
Formula Grants program and offers public ferry systems in urbanized 
areas financial assistance for capital projects. For more information 
about the Ferry Program, contact Vanessa Williams, Office of Program 
Management, at (202) 366-4818 or [email protected].
1. Funding Available
    The FY 2015 Appropriations provides a total of $19,972,603 in 
section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula grant funding to be set-aside for 
the Ferry program.
2. Basis for Allocation
    Funds are allocated by a discretionary competition and published in 
a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) in the Federal Register. The 
NOFA will announce the available funding, program description, 
application procedures, specific eligibility, and criteria for project 
selection for the Ferry program. Announcement of project selections are 
posted to FTA's Web site and published in the Federal Register.
3. Program Requirements
    Eligible recipients are designated recipients or eligible direct 
recipients of Section 5307 funds engaged in providing a public 
transportation passenger ferry service. Ferry systems that accommodate 
cars must also accommodate walk-on passengers. Funding may be used to 
support existing ferry service, establish new ferry service, repair and 
modernize ferry boats, terminals, and related facilities and equipment. 
Funds may not be used for operating expenses, planning, or preventive 
maintenance.
    The Federal match for this program is 80 percent, 85 percent for 
net project

[[Page 7263]]

costs for acquiring vehicles (including clean-fuel or alternative fuel) 
in compliance with the Clean Air Act (CAA) or the Americans with 
Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990; and 90 percent for net project costs 
for vehicle-related equipment or facilities (including clean-fuel or 
alternative-fuel vehicle-related equipment or facilities) in compliance 
CAA or ADA.
4. Period of Availability
    Passenger Ferry funds follow the same period of availability as 
section 5307, and are available for a period of six years (year of 
apportionment plus five additional years). Accordingly, funds allocated 
in FY 2015 must be obligated in grants by September 30, 2020. Any of 
the funds allocated in FY 2015 that remain unobligated at the close of 
business on September 30, 2020 will revert to FTA for reallocation 
under the Ferry program. Grantees are encouraged to obligate funds when 
projects are ready and not wait until the last year the funds are 
available.
5. Other Program Information
    The Ferry program grantees, the same as with all other FTA 
grantees, are required to comply with all applicable Federal statutes 
and regulations as a condition of their financial assistance. This 
includes all third party procurement guidance as described in 
FTA.C.4220.1F.

E. Fixed Guideway Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program (49 U.S.C. 
5309)--New and Small Starts and Core Capacity

    The Fixed Guideway Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program provides 
funds for construction of new corridor-based bus rapid transit and 
fixed guideway systems or extensions to existing systems and, as 
amended by MAP 21, projects that will expand the core capacity of an 
existing fixed guideway corridor. Eligible projects are new fixed-
guideway systems, such as rapid rail (heavy rail), commuter rail, light 
rail, hybrid rail, trolleybus (using overhead catenary), cable car, 
passenger ferries, and bus rapid transit, or an extension of any of 
these. The Small Starts program also includes corridor-based bus rapid 
transit projects where the majority of the alignments do not operate on 
a separate fixed guideway but include features that emulate the 
services provided by rail fixed guideway including defined stations, 
traffic signal priority for public transit vehicles, and short headway 
bi-directional services for a substantial part of weekdays and weekend 
days. The addition of Core Capacity eligibility under the program 
provides funds for substantial, corridor-based investments in existing 
fixed guideway systems that are at capacity today or will be in five 
years. Core Capacity Improvement projects must increase the capacity of 
the existing fixed guideway system in the corridor by at least 10 
percent. Projects become candidates for funding under this program by 
successfully completing steps in the process defined in section 5309 
and obtaining a satisfactory rating under the statutorily-defined 
criteria. For New Starts and Core Capacity Improvement projects, the 
steps in the process include project development, engineering, and 
construction. For Small Starts projects the steps in the process 
include project development and construction. New Starts and Core 
Capacity Improvement projects receive construction funds from the 
program through a full funding grant agreement (FFGA) that defines the 
scope of the project and specifies the total multi-year Federal 
commitment to the project. Small Starts projects receive construction 
funds through a single year grant or a Small Starts Grant Agreement 
(SSGA) that defines the scope of the project and specifies the Federal 
commitment to the project.
    For more information about the New or Small Starts or Core Capacity 
project development process or evaluation and rating process contact 
Elizabeth Day, Office of Planning and Environment, at (202) 366-4033 or 
[email protected], or for information about published allocations 
contact Eric Hu, Office of Transit Programs, at (202) 366-0870 or 
[email protected].
1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    The FY 2015 Appropriations provides a total of $2,120,000,000 in 
new budget authority for the section 5309 program. Pursuant to FY 2015 
appropriations, in addition to funds appropriated to carry out the CIG 
program, $27.98 million in FY 2011 and prior year unobligated or 
recovered section 5309 (Discretionary Bus and Bus Facilities) funds are 
available to carry out bus rapid transit (BRT) projects subject to the 
requirements of the CIG program. The total amount available for 
allocation is $2,098,800,000, after the one percent deduction for 
oversight, as shown in the table below.

             Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program--FY 2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Appropriation............................           $2,120,000,000
Oversight Deductions...........................              -21,200,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Total Available..............................           $2,098,800,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Basis for Allocation
    Funds are allocated on a discretionary basis and subject to program 
evaluation. Within the amounts appropriated by the 2015 Appropriations 
Act, the Act directed FTA to first fully fund those projects covered by 
a full funding grant agreement, then fully fund those projects whose 
section 5309 share is less than 40 percent, and then distribute the 
remaining funds so as to protect as much as possible the projects' 
budgets and schedules. It is not, however, a requirement for projects 
to have a New Starts share of less than 40 percent to be eligible for 
federal funding under the CIG program or to receive an allocation. 
Rather, as section 165 of the FY 2015 Appropriations Act states, the 
section 5309 Federal share for New Starts and Core Capacity projects 
may be up to 60 percent.
3. Requirements
    In January 2013, FTA published a final rule explaining the MAP-21 
evaluation and rating process for New and Small Starts projects, which 
became effective in April 2013. Additionally, FTA published 
corresponding final policy guidance in August 2013 that provides 
additional details and explanations on that process. FTA will be 
completing additional rulemaking and guidance documents related to the 
remainder of the section 5309 MAP-21 provisions, including: Getting 
into and through the steps in the New Starts and Small Starts process; 
the evaluation and rating process for the Core Capacity Improvement 
program; getting into and through the steps in the Core Capacity 
process; warrants; expedited technical capacity reviews; and Programs 
of Inter-Related Projects. Project sponsors should reference the FTA 
Web site at www.fta.dot.gov for the most current fixed guideway capital 
investment grant program information. Grant-related guidance is found 
in FTA Circular 9300.1B, Capital Investment Program Guidance and 
Application Instructions, November 1, 2008; and C5200.1A, Full Funding 
Grant Agreement Guidance, December 5, 2002, which will be updated in 
the future to incorporate the changes made by MAP-21.
4. Period of Availability
    MAP-21 expanded the period of availability for section 5309 capital 
investment funds to five years, (the fiscal year in which the amount is 
made

[[Page 7264]]

available plus four additional years). Therefore, funds for a project 
identified in FY 2015 must be obligated for the project by September 
30, 2019. Section 5309 funds that remain unobligated to the projects 
for which they originally were designated after five fiscal years may 
be made available for other section 5309 projects. Grantees are 
encouraged to obligate funds when projects are ready and not wait until 
the last year the funds are available.

F. Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals With Disabilities 
Program (49 U.S.C. 5310)

    The Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities 
Program provides formula funding to States and Designated Recipients of 
large UZAs (areas with populations of 200,000 or more) to improve 
mobility by expanding transportation options for seniors and 
individuals with disabilities. This program provides funds for: (1) 
Public transportation capital projects planned, designed, and carried 
out to meet the special needs of seniors and people with disabilities 
when public transportation is insufficient, unavailable, or 
inappropriate; (2) public transportation projects that exceed the 
requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990; (3) 
public transportation projects that improve access to fixed route 
service and decrease reliance by people with disabilities on 
complementary paratransit; and (4) alternatives to public 
transportation that assist seniors and individuals with disabilities 
with transportation. A critical component of meeting these goals is the 
development and approval of projects by key community stakeholders, 
including seniors and individuals with disabilities, of a locally 
developed coordinated plan.
    FTA apportions funds specifically for large UZAs, small UZAs (areas 
under 200,000 in population) and rural areas (areas under 50,000 in 
population) and requires new designations in large UZAs. Additionally, 
MAP-21 expanded the eligibility provisions to include operating 
expenses. Other provisions include the requirement that at least 55% of 
funds be used for traditional capital projects; up to 10% can be used 
for administrative expenses; and the remainder can be used for 
nontraditional projects. MAP-21 also reinforces the utility of 
interventions like mobility management which is eligible as a capital 
expense for both traditional and nontraditional projects.
    On June 6, 2014, FTA published the final program circular, FTA C 
9070.1G, Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with 
Disabilities: Program Guidance and Application Instructions, which 
reflects changes made to the program pursuant to MAP-21 and detailed 
guidance on its provisions. The circular can be accessed at 
www.fta.dot.gov/circulars.
    For more information about the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and 
Individuals with Disabilities Program, contact Mary Leary, Office of 
Transit Programs, at (202) 366-0224 or [email protected].
1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    FY 2015 Appropriations provides a total of $171,964,110 for the 
section 5310 program. The total amount apportioned to States and UZAs 
for the section 5310 program is $171,104,289, after the deduction for 
oversight (authorized by section 5338), as shown below in the table.

Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals With Disabilities Program--
                                 FY 2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Appropriation..................................       $171,964,110
Oversight Deductions.................................           -859,821
                                                      ------------------
  Total Apportioned..................................        171,104,289
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Table 8 displays the amounts apportioned under the Enhanced Mobility of
  Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program.

2. Basis for Allocation
    Based on the statutory formula, sixty percent of the funds are 
apportioned among Designated Recipients for large UZAs; twenty percent 
of the funds are apportioned among the States for their small UZAs; and 
twenty percent of the funds are apportioned among the States for their 
rural areas.
3. Requirements
    Recipients and subrecipients should refer to the program circular, 
FTA C 9070.1G, Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with 
Disabilities: Program Guidance and Application Instructions, dated June 
6, 2014, for a complete list of program requirements. Listed below are 
a few critical requirements and reminders about the program that can 
prevent award of funds to designated recipients.
i. Designated Recipients
    For small UZAs and rural areas, the State is the Designated 
Recipient for section 5310. Current 5310 designations remain in effect 
until changed by the Governor of a State by officially notifying the 
appropriate FTA regional administrator of re-designation.
    In large UZAs, the recipient charged with administering the section 
5310 program must be officially designated through a process consistent 
with sections 5303 and 5304 prior to grant award. The MPO, State, or 
another public agency may be a preferred choice based on local 
circumstances. The designation of a recipient shall be made by the 
Governor in consultation with responsible local officials and publicly 
owned operators of public transportation, as required in sections 5303 
and 5304. Section 5310 funds cannot be awarded until this designation 
is on file with the FTA Regional Office. A State agency may be the 
Designated Recipient for section 5310 funds for a large UZA; this 
arrangement still requires a designation letter to administer the 
program under MAP-21. However, if the State is selected as the 
Designated Recipient in a large UZA, the apportioned funds for the 
large UZA must be allocated to eligible subrecipients within the UZA.
    Designated Recipients are responsible for administering the 
program. Responsibilities include: Notifying eligible local entities of 
funding availability; developing project selection processes; 
determining project eligibility; developing the program of projects; 
obligating and managing the program funds; program reporting; and 
ensuring that all subrecipients comply with Federal requirements.
    Although FTA will only award grants to the States for the small 
urbanized and rural areas and Designated Recipients for the large 
urbanized areas under this program, there are other entities eligible 
to receive funding as a subrecipient. These include private nonprofit 
agencies, public bodies approved by the state to coordinate services 
for elderly persons and persons with disabilities, or public bodies 
which certify to the Governor that no nonprofit corporations or 
associations are readily available in an area to provide the service.
ii. Eligible Expenses
    MAP-21 expanded eligibility of the funds, permitting them to be 
used for operating, in addition to capital, for transportation services 
that address the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities. 
However, not less than 55 percent of the funds available for this 
program must be used for capital projects planned, designed, and 
carried out to meet the special needs of seniors and individuals with 
disabilities when public transportation is insufficient, inappropriate, 
or unavailable. FTA refers to these projects as ``traditional 5310'' 
projects and based on the statutory language, these projects must be 
carried out by the traditional 5310 subrecipients, which are non-
profits, or

[[Page 7265]]

a State or local governmental authority that is approved by a State to 
coordinate services for seniors and individuals with disabilities, or 
certifies that there are no non-profit organizations readily available 
in the area to provide the service. The 55 percent is a floor. 
Recipients may use more or all of their section 5310 funds for these 
types of projects. Remaining funds may be used for operating or capital 
projects such as: Public transportation projects that exceed the 
requirements of the ADA; public transportation projects that improve 
access to fixed-route service and decrease reliance by individuals with 
disabilities on complementary paratransit; or alternatives to public 
transportation that assist seniors and individuals with disabilities. 
Eligible subrecipients for these other eligible section 5310 activities 
include a State or local governmental authority, a private non-profit 
organization, or an operator of public transportation that receives a 
section 5310 grant indirectly through a recipient. The acquisition of 
public transportation services remains an eligible capital expense 
under this section.
    States and Designated Recipients may use up to ten percent of their 
annual apportionment to administer, plan, and provide technical 
assistance for a funded project. No local share is required for these 
program administrative funds.
iii. Planning and Consultation
    The States and Designated Recipients must certify that: Projects 
selected for funding under this program are included in a locally 
developed, coordinated public transit-human services transportation 
plan; and the plan was developed and approved through a process that 
included participation by seniors, individuals with disabilities, 
representatives of public, private, nonprofit transportation and human 
services providers, and other members of the public. Although the 
requirement for a coordinated plan is not new, FTA recognizes that some 
large UZAs may need to modify existing coordinated plans to address the 
specific needs of the program's target populations and/or be approved 
by individuals from the target populations. Modifications to existing 
plans are acceptable. FTA also encourages the integration of locally 
developed coordinated planning activities with other planning 
activities including those of the Department of Transportation and of 
other Federal agencies. MAP-21 requires that to the maximum extend 
feasible, the services funded under this section are coordinated with 
transportation services of other Federal departments and agencies.
    Additional guidance for developing coordinated plans can be found 
in Chapter V of the FTA C 9070.1G, Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and 
Individuals with Disabilities: Program Guidance and Application 
Instructions, dated June 6, 2014.
iv. State and Project Management Plans
    FTA requires States and Designated Recipients responsible for 
implementing the section 5310 program to document their approach to 
managing the program in a Program Management Plan (PMP) or State 
Management Plan (SMP). States and Designated Recipient are required to 
submit SMPs and PMPs to the Regional Office prior to grant award for 
review and approval. Approval of these plans must be on file before the 
award of a section 5310 grant in FY 2015. For assistance with 
developing these plans, recipients can use Chapter VII of the FTA C 
9070.1G, Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with 
Disabilities: Program Guidance and Application Instructions, dated June 
6, 2014. This chapter includes guidance on how to create and use SMP 
and can be used as a guide to develop a PMP for the large UZAs. The 
primary purposes of management plans are to serve as the basis for FTA 
management reviews of the program, and to provide public information on 
the administration of the programs.
4. Period of Availability
    For Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities 
Program funds apportioned under this notice, the period of availability 
is three years (year of apportionment plus two additional years). 
Accordingly, funds apportioned in FY 2015 must be obligated in grants 
by September 30, 2017. Any FY 2015 apportioned funds that remain 
unobligated at the close of business on September 30, 2017 will revert 
to FTA for reapportionment among the States and UZAs.
5. Other Program Information
    FTA recently developed frequently asked questions (FAQs) that are 
posted to its Web site. These questions are meant to assist recipients 
and stakeholders with the continued implementation of the program. 
Please visit: http://www.fta.dot.gov/about/15035.html for the FAQs and 
other information about FTA's formula programs.
    MAP-21 required FTA to report to Congress on candidate performance 
measures for the Section 5310 program. FTA initially sought comments on 
this topic during publication of the proposed program circular, and 
then sought additional comments through an Online Dialogue in 2014. 
This report will be provided to Congress and then made available in 
2015. Grantees under the Section 5310 must still continue to report 
annually on the existing performance measures for this program, in 
accordance with FTA's responsibilities under the Government Performance 
and Results Act. The following are the current quantitative and 
qualitative performance measures: (1) Gaps in Service Filled. Provision 
of transportation options that would not otherwise be available for 
seniors and individuals with disabilities measured in numbers of 
seniors and people with disabilities afforded mobility they would not 
have without program support as a result of traditional Section 5310 
projects implemented in the current reporting year. (2) Ridership. 
Actual or estimated number of rides (as measured by one-way trips) 
provided annually for individuals with disabilities and seniors on 
Section 5310-supported vehicles and services as a result of traditional 
Section 5310 projects implemented in the current reporting year. (3) 
Increases or enhancements related to geographic coverage, service 
quality, and/or service times that impact availability of 
transportation services for seniors and individuals with disabilities 
as a result of other Section 5310 projects implemented in the current 
reporting year. (4) Additions or changes to physical infrastructure 
(e.g., transportation facilities, sidewalks, etc.), technology, and 
vehicles that impact availability of transportation services for 
seniors and individuals with disabilities as a result of other Section 
5310 projects implemented in the current reporting year. (5) Actual or 
estimated number of rides (as measured by one-way trips) provided for 
seniors and individuals with disabilities as a result of other Section 
5310 projects implemented in the current reporting year. The data for 
these five performance measures are due with the 4th quarter or annual 
report submitted by recipients no later than October 30 in FTA's 
electronic award management system.

G. Rural Area Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5311)

    The Rural Areas program provides formula funding to States and 
Indian tribes for the purpose of supporting public transportation in 
areas with a population of less than 50,000 (rural areas). Funding may 
be used for capital, operating, planning, job access and reverse 
commute projects, and State

[[Page 7266]]

administration expenses. Eligible sub-recipients include State and 
local governmental authorities, Indian Tribes, private non-profit 
organizations, and private operators of public transportation services, 
including intercity bus companies. Indian Tribes are also eligible 
direct recipients under section 5311, both for funds apportioned to the 
States and for projects apportioned or selected to be funded with funds 
set aside for a separate Tribal Transit Program. One significant 
modification to section 5311 was the inclusion of job access and 
reverse commute projects. Additionally, the program should coordinate 
public transportation services with rural transportation services by 
other Federal sources.
    On October 24, 2014, FTA published final guidance for the program 
in FTA Circular 9040.1G, Formula Grants for Rural Areas: Program 
Guidance and Application Instructions, which reflected updates pursuant 
to MAP-21. The circular can be accessed at www.fta.dot.gov/circulars.
    For more information about the Formula Grants for Rural Areas 
program, contact Mary Leary, Office of Transit Programs, at (202) 366-
0224 or [email protected].
1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    The FY 2015 Appropriations provides $404,644,932 for the section 
5311 program. The total amount apportioned to the States for the 
section 5311 program is $411,107,459, after the deductions for the 
Rural Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP), oversight (authorized 
by section 5338), the Tribal Transit Program, the Appalachian 
Development Public Transportation Assistance Program, and the addition 
of section 5340 for Growing States, as shown in the table below.

             Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program--FY 2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Appropriation..................................       $404,644,932
Oversight Deductions.................................         -2,023,225
RTAP Takedown........................................         -8,092,899
Tribal Takedown......................................        -19,972,603
Appalachian Takedown.................................        -13,315,068
Section 5340 Funds...................................         49,866,322
                                                      ------------------
  Total Apportioned..................................        411,107,459
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Table 9 displays the amounts apportioned to the States under the Formula
  Grants for Rural Areas Program.

2. Basis for Allocation
    The section 5311 funds are apportioned pursuant to a statutory 
formula. The majority of rural formula funds (83.15 percent) are 
apportioned based on land area and population factors. In this first 
tier, no State may receive more than 5 percent of the amount 
apportioned on the basis of land area. The remaining rural formula 
funds (16.85 percent) are apportioned based on land area, vehicle 
revenue miles, and low-income individual factors. Vehicle revenue miles 
are a new service factor and the low-income individual factor reflects 
that job access and reverse commute projects are now eligible under the 
program. In this second tier, no State may receive more than 5 percent 
of the amount apportioned on the basis of land area, or more than 5 
percent of the amounts apportioned for vehicle revenue miles. In 
addition to funds made available under section 5311, FTA adds amounts 
apportioned based on rural population according to the growing States 
formula factors of 49 U.S.C. 5340 to the amounts apportioned to the 
States under the section 5311 formula.
    Data from the Rural Module of the National Transit Database (NTD) 
2013 Report Year was used for this apportionment, including data from 
directly-reporting Indian tribes.
    Other than the .5 percent takedown for oversight, the section 5311 
program includes three takedowns: The Appalachian Development Public 
Transportation Assistance Program (ADTAP); the Rural Transit Assistance 
Program (RTAP); and the Tribal Transit Program. These separate programs 
are described in the sections that follow.
3. Requirements
    The section 5311 program provides funding for capital, operating, 
planning, job access and reverse commute projects, and administration 
expenses for public transit service in rural areas. The planning 
activities undertaken with section 5311 funds are in addition to those 
awarded to the State under section 5305 and must be used specifically 
for rural areas' needs. States may elect to use 10 percent of their 
apportionment at 100 percent federal share to administer the section 
5311 program and provide technical assistance to subrecipients. 
Technical assistance includes project planning, program and management 
development, public transportation coordination activities, and 
research the State considers appropriate to promote effective delivery 
of public transportation to rural areas.
    Each State prepares an annual program of projects, which must 
provide for fair and equitable distribution of funds within the States, 
including Indian reservations, and must provide for maximum feasible 
coordination with transportation services assisted by other Federal 
sources.
    Additional program guidance for the Rural Areas Program is found in 
FTA Circular 9040.1G, Formula Grants for Rural Areas: Program Guidance 
and Application Instructions, dated October 24, 2014.
4. Period of Availability
    For section 5311 program funds apportioned under this notice, the 
period of availability is three years (year of apportionment plus two 
additional years). Accordingly, funds apportioned in FY 2015 must be 
obligated in grants by September 30, 2017. Any FY 2015 apportioned 
funds that remain unobligated at the close of business on September 30, 
2017 will revert to FTA for reapportionment under the Formula Grants to 
Rural Areas Program.
5. Other Program Information
i. National Transit Database (NTD) Reporting
    Section 5335 requires that each recipient or beneficiary under the 
section 5311 program submit an annual report to the NTD containing 
information on capital investments, operations, and service. Section 
5311(b)(4) specifies that the report shall include information on total 
annual revenue, sources of revenue, total annual operating costs, total 
annual capital costs, fleet size and type, and related facilities, 
revenue vehicle miles, and ridership. Annual NTD reports should be a 
complete report of all transit activities, regardless of funding 
source. State or Territorial DOT 5311 grant recipients must complete a 
one-page form of basic data for each 5311 sub-recipient, unless the 
sub-recipient is already providing a full report to the NTD, either as 
a Tribal Transit direct recipient, or as a subrecipient of another 
State, or as an UZA reporter (without receiving a full reporting 
waiver). For the 2014 Report Year, State or Territorial DOTs must 
report on behalf of any sub-recipient included in the program of 
projects for a grant that was open in 2014, that received outlays of 
section 5311 grant funds in 2014, or that continued to benefit in 2014 
from capital assets purchased using section 5311 grants. State or 
Territorial DOTs should also continue to report on behalf of any sub-
recipients that benefitted from section 5311 grants in prior years, and 
which anticipate benefitting from section 5311 grants in future years. 
For Tribal Transit direct recipients that have not previously reported 
to the NTD, your organization is required to report to the NTD if one 
of the following apply:

[[Page 7267]]

You obligated a grant in 2013, expended funds from a section 5311 grant 
in 2014; or you continued to benefit in 2014 from capital assets using 
section 5311 grants, unless the Tribe is already filing a full NTD 
Report as an UZA reporter or unless the Tribe has only received $50,000 
or less in planning grants. MAP-21 also established new requirements 
for reporting asset inventories and condition assessments to FTA at 
sections 5326(b)(3), 5335(a), and 5335(c). FTA grantees and sub-
recipients should look for a future Federal Register Notice with 
proposed changes to the FTA's NTD Reporting Manual for more information 
and an opportunity to comment on FTA's implementation of these new 
statutory requirements.

H. Rural Transportation Assistance Program (49 U.S.C. 5311(b)(2))

    This program provides funding to assist in the design and 
implementation of training and technical assistance projects, research, 
and other support services tailored to meet the needs of transit 
operators in rural areas. For more information about the Rural 
Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) contact Mary Leary, Office of 
Transit Programs, at (202) 366-0224 or [email protected].
1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    The FY 2015 Appropriations provides $8,092,899 for the section 5311 
RTAP Program. Of this amount, 15 percent, or $1,213,935 is available 
for the National RTAP program. The remainder is allocated to the 
States, as shown below.

            Rural Transportation Assistance Program--FY 2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Appropriation..................................         $8,092,899
National RTAP........................................         -1,213,935
                                                      ------------------
  Total Apportioned..................................          6,878,964
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Table 9 shows the FY 2015 RTAP allocations to the States.

2. Basis for Allocation
    FTA allocates funds to the States by an administrative formula. 
First, FTA allocates $65,000 to each State ($10,000 to territories), 
and then allocates the balance based on rural population in the 2010 
Census.
3. Requirements
    States may use the funds to undertake research, training, technical 
assistance, and other support services to meet the needs of transit 
operators in rural areas. These funds are to be used in conjunction 
with a State's administration of the Rural Areas Formula Program, but 
also may support the rural components of the section 5310 program.
4. Period of Availability
    The section 5311 RTAP funds apportioned in this notice are 
available for obligation in FY 2015 plus two additional years, 
consistent with that established for the section 5311 program. Any 
funds that remain unobligated on September 30, 2017 will revert to FTA 
for apportionment under the program.
5. Other Program Information
    The National RTAP project is administered by cooperative agreement 
and re-competed at five-year intervals. In July of 2014, FTA awarded a 
cooperative agreement to Neponset Valley Transportation Management 
Association to administer the National RTAP program. The National RTAP 
projects are guided by a project review board that consists of managers 
of rural transit systems and State DOT RTAP programs. National RTAP 
resources also support the biennial TRB National Conference on Rural 
Public and Intercity Bus Transportation and other research and 
technical assistance projects of a national scope to promote effective 
delivery of public transportation in rural areas.

I. Appalachian Development Public Transportation Assistance Program (49 
U.S.C. 5311(c)(2))

    MAP-21 established this program as a take-down under the section 
5311 program to provide additional funding to support public 
transportation in the Appalachian region. There are sixteen eligible 
States that receive an allocation under this provision. The States and 
their allocation are shown in the Rural Areas Formula program table 
posted on FTA's Web site under the FY 2015 Apportionments page. For 
more information about the Appalachian Development Public 
Transportation Assistance Program (ADTAP), contact Mary Leary, Office 
of Transit Programs, at (202)366-0224 or [email protected].
1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    The FY 2015 Appropriations provides $13,315,068 for the ADTAP, as 
shown below.

  Appalachian Development Public Transportation Assistance Program--FY
                                  2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Appropriation..................................        $13,315,068
Total Apportioned....................................         13,315,068
------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Basis for Allocation
    FTA apportions the funds using percentages established under 
section 9.5(b) of the Appalachian Regional Commission Code (subtitle IV 
of title 40). According to this provision, allocations will be based in 
general on each State's remaining estimated need to complete eligible 
sections of the Appalachian Development Highway System as determined 
from the latest percentages of available cost estimates for completion 
of the System. Such cost estimates shall be produced at approximate 
five year intervals. Allocations shall contain upper and lower limits 
in amounts to be determined by the Commission and shall be made in 
accordance with legislation.
3. Requirements
    Funds apportioned under this program can be used for purposes 
consistent with section 5311 to support public transportation in the 
Appalachian region. Funds can be applied for in the State's annual 
section 5311 grant.
    MAP-21 includes a provision that permits the use of Appalachian 
program funds that cannot be used for operating to be used for a 
highway project under certain circumstances. States should contact 
their Regional Office if they intend to request a transfer. Additional 
information about the requirements for this funding can be found in 
Chapter VII of the FTA Circular 9040.1G, Formula Grants for Rural 
Areas: Program Guidance and Application Instructions, dated October 24, 
2014.
4. Period of Availability
    Section 5311 Appalachian program funds are available for three 
years (year of apportionment plus two additional years), consistent 
with that established for the section 5311 program. Funds that remain 
unobligated on September 30, 2017 will revert to FTA for reallocation.

J. Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program (49 U.S.C. 
5311)

    The Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program (Tribal 
Transit Program) is a takedown from the section 5311 apportionment, 
which allocates funds by both statutory formula consistent with 5311(j) 
and through a competitive discretionary program consistent with section 
5311(c)(1)(A). The Tribal Transit formula funds are apportioned to 
Indian tribes for any purpose eligible under section 5311, which 
includes capital, operating, planning, job access and reverse commute 
projects, and administrative assistance for rural public transit

[[Page 7268]]

services and rural intercity bus service. Eligible direct recipients 
are federally recognized Indian tribes in rural areas.
    On December, 9, 2014, FTA published a Notice of Funding 
Availability (NOFA) soliciting proposals for the FY 2014 discretionary 
resources. FTA intends to use this solicitation and proposals received 
in response to this NOFA to allocate FY 2015 discretionary resources. 
Applications are due February 18, 2015. Specific eligibility for the 
discretionary resources is outlined in the NOFA.
    For more information about the Tribal Transit Program contact 
[Eacute]lan Flippin, Office of Transit Programs at (202) 366-3800 or 
[email protected].
1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    The FY 2015 Appropriations provides $19,972,603 for the program, of 
which $14,972,603 is apportioned by formula and $5,000,000 will be 
allocated through a competitive discretionary program.

      Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program--FY 2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Appropriation..................................        $19,972,603
Total Appropriated to Tribes by Formula..............         14,972,603
Total Available for Discretionary Allocation.........          5,000,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Basis for Allocation
    The majority of the funding is allocated by formula, as described 
below. The remainder of the appropriation plus prior year discretionary 
funds that have lapsed, will be made available through a discretionary 
competition.
i. Tribal Transit Formula Program
    The Tribal Transit formula program is distributed to eligible 
Indian tribes providing public transportation on tribal lands. The 
formula apportionment shown in Table 10 is based on a statutory formula 
which includes three tiers. Tiers 1 and 2 are based on data reported to 
NTD by Indian tribes; Tier 3 is based on 2008-2012 American Community 
Survey data.
    The three tiers for the formula are:
Tier 1--50 percent based on vehicle revenue miles reported to the NTD
Tier 2--25 percent provided in equal shares to Indian tribes reporting 
at least 200,000 vehicle revenue miles to the NTD
Tier 3--25 percent based on Indian tribes providing public 
transportation on reservations where more than 1,000 low income 
individuals reside

    Tribes should continue to report vehicle revenue miles to the NTD 
for inclusion in future TTP formula apportionments.
ii. Tribal Transit Discretionary Program
    The Tribal Transit Discretionary program funds are allocated 
annually based on a discretionary competition and as published in a 
NOFA in the Federal Register. Funds are allocated for grants to Indian 
tribes for purposes eligible under section 5311; however, FTA may limit 
the discretionary program based on funding priorities. FTA published a 
NOFA in the Federal Register soliciting projects for the available FY 
2014 discretionary funds on December 9, 2014. FTA intends to use this 
solicitation to allocate FY 2015 discretionary funds, as available. The 
NOFA contains information about the available funding, application 
procedures, specific eligibility, and criteria for project selection 
for the discretionary program.
3. Requirements
    Formula funds apportioned under this program can be used for 
purposes consistent with section 5311 to support public transportation 
on Indian Reservations in rural areas. Funds allocated under the 
discretionary program must be used consistent with the tribe's proposal 
and the allocation notice published in the Federal Register, which is 
used to announce the selected projects. Eligible recipients under both 
the discretionary and formula program include Federally-recognized 
Indian tribes or Alaska native villages, groups, or communities as 
identified by the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian 
Affairs (BIA). A tribe must have the legal, financial and technical 
capabilities to receive and administer Federal funds.
    Section 5335 requires NTD reporting for all direct recipients of 
section 5311 funds. This reporting requirement has and continues to 
apply to the Tribal Transit Program. Tribes that provide public 
transportation in rural areas are reminded to report annually so they 
are included in the Tribal Transit formula apportionments. Tribes 
needing assistance with reporting to the NTD should contact the NTD 
Helpline at 1-888-252-0936 or [email protected].
4. Period of Availability
    Tribal Transit program funds are available for three years (year of 
apportionment or allocation plus two additional years), consistent with 
that established for the section 5311 program. Any FY 2015 formula 
funds that remain unobligated at the close of business on September 30, 
2017 will revert to FTA for reapportionment under the Tribal Transit 
Program.
5. Other Program Information
    The funds set aside for the Tribal Transit Program are not meant to 
replace or reduce funds that Indian tribes receive from States through 
the section 5311 program but are to be used to enhance public 
transportation on Indian reservations and transit serving tribal 
communities. Funds allocated to Indian tribes by the States may be 
included in the State's section 5311 application or awarded by FTA in a 
grant directly to the Indian tribe. FTA encourages Indian tribes 
intending to apply to FTA as direct recipients to contact the 
appropriate FTA Regional Office at the earliest opportunity.
    Tribal Transit Program grantees, the same as with all other FTA 
grantees, are obliged to comply with applicable Federal requirements as 
a condition of their financial assistance. To assist tribes with 
understanding these requirements and the recent program changes, FTA 
conducted five Tribal Transit Technical Assistance Workshops in FY 2013 
and FY 2014. FTA will continue similar offerings in FY 2015; workshops 
are tentatively planned for Santa Fe, Sacramento, and Denver. In 
addition, FTA will begin reviews to assess technical assistance needs 
and provide specific technical assistance for tribes beginning in March 
2015; these reviews will include an assessment of capabilities related 
to compliance areas pursuant to the Master Agreement, a site visit and 
technical assistance from FTA and its contractors. FTA will post 
information about upcoming workshops to its Web site and will 
disseminate information about the reviews through the Regional Offices. 
FTA has regional tribal transit liaisons in each of the FTA Regional 
Offices that are available to assist tribes with applying for and 
managing FTA grants. A list of regional tribal transit liaisons can be 
found on FTA's Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/13094_15845.html. 
Tribes are encouraged to work directly with their regional tribal 
transit liaison.
    Technical assistance for Indian tribes may also be available from 
the State DOT using the State's allocation of RTAP or funds available 
for State administration under section 5311, from the Tribal 
Transportation Assistance Program (TTAP) Centers supported by FHWA, and 
from the Community Transportation Association of America under a 
program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 
National RTAP will also be developing new resources for Tribal

[[Page 7269]]

Transit. For more information about National RTAP, contact [Eacute]lan 
Flippin, Program Manager at 202-366-3800 or visit the National RTAP Web 
site http://www.nationalrtap.org.

K. Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment Projects (49 
U.S.C. 5312)

    MAP-21 amended the section 5312: Research; Innovation and 
Development; and, Demonstration, Deployment and Evaluation to include a 
Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment program to fund low or no 
emission vehicles, facilities, or related equipment in non-attainment 
or maintenance areas. Additionally, MAP-21 established a structured 
process for applications, evaluations, and reporting for the research 
programs. For more information contact Vincent Valdes, Office of 
Research, Demonstration and Innovation, at (202) 366-3052 or 
[email protected].
1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    The FY 2015 Appropriations provides a total of $30,000,000 for 
section 5312. Of this amount, $22,500,000 is allocated for the Low or 
No Emissions Vehicle Deployment Program.
2. Basis for Allocation
    Topical areas are based on the Department's Strategic Goals and 
projects are generally selected through Notices of Funding Availability 
(NOFAs).
3. Requirements
    Application Instructions and Program Management Guidelines are set 
forth in FTA Circular 6100.1D, Research, Technical Assistance and 
Training Programs: Application Instructions and Program Management 
Guidelines. FTA is in the process of updating this circular to 
incorporate changes resulting from MAP-21 and expects to publish a 
final circular in early 2015. All research recipients are required to 
work with FTA to develop approved Statements of Work. Under MAP-21, all 
research projects now require at least a 20 percent non-Federal share. 
In some cases, FTA may require a higher non-Federal share if FTA 
determines a recipient would obtain a clear and direct financial 
benefit from the project, or if non-Federal share is an evaluation 
factor under a competitive selection process. Projects under the Low or 
No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program are also subject to section 5307 
requirements.
4. Period of Availability
    Except for the Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program, FTA 
establishes the period in which the funds must be obligated to the 
project. If the funds are not obligated within that period of time, 
they revert to FTA for reallocation under the program. Low or No 
Emission Vehicle Deployment funds are available for two years in 
addition to the year the funds are made available to a recipient, for a 
total of three years.
5. Other Program Information
    Requests for research proposals will be published in Grants.gov. 
Awards for Low and No Emission Vehicle Deployment competition with 
previous fiscal year funds will be announced on February 5, 2015.

L. Transit Cooperative Research Program (49 U.S.C. 5313)

    The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) funds a variety of 
applied research efforts for practitioners in the transit industry. 
TCRP is the cooperative effort of three organizations: The FTA; the 
National Academies, acting through the Transportation Research Board 
(TRB); and the Transit Development Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit 
educational and research organization established by the American 
Public Transportation Association (APTA).
1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    The FY 2015 Appropriations provides a total of $3,000,000 for this 
section.
2. Basis for Allocation
    TCRP issues annual calls for problem statements. For more 
information and past reports see www.tcrponline.org.
3. Requirements
    Funds are allocated directly to the Transportation Research Board 
at the National Academies of Sciences. For application requirements for 
this program, please see www.tcrponline.org.
4. Period of Availability
    The Transportation Research Board establishes the period in which 
funds must be obligated to a project.

M. Technical Assistance and Standards Development (49 U.S.C. 5314)

    This section allows FTA to provide technical assistance to 
recipients to more effectively and efficiently provide transit service 
and to improve administration of Federal transit funds. It also 
authorizes the development of voluntary and consensus-based standards 
and best practices. Additionally, through a competitive process, FTA 
may enter into agreements with national nonprofit organizations to 
assist providers of public transportation to: Comply with the Americans 
with Disabilities Act (ADA); comply with human services transportation 
coordination requirements and enhance Federal coordination; to meet the 
transportation needs of elderly individuals; to increase transit 
ridership in coordination with MPOs and other entities through 
development around public transportation stations; to address 
transportation equity needs; and to provide any other technical 
assistance activities deemed necessary by FTA. For more information 
contact Vincent Valdes, Office of Research, Demonstration and 
Innovation, at 202-366-3052 or [email protected] or Jamie Pfister, 
Office of Program Management, at 202-366-2053 or [email protected].
1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    The FY 2015 Appropriations provides a total of $4,000,000 for this 
section.
2. Basis for Allocation
    FTA will allocate funds based on identified technical assistance 
and standards needs for the transit industry and generally selected 
through a competitive process.
3. Requirements
    Application Instructions and Program Management Guidelines are set 
forth in FTA Circular 6100.1D, Research, Technical Assistance, and 
Training Programs: Application Instructions and Program Management 
Guidelines, dated May 1, 2011. FTA is in the process of updating this 
circular to incorporate changes resulting from language in MAP-21 and 
expects to publish the final circular in early 2015. All recipients of 
Technical Assistance and Standards funds are required to work with FTA 
to develop approved Statements of Work. Projects funded using grants 
require at least a 20 percent non-Federal share.
4. Period of Availability
    FTA establishes the period in which funds must be obligated to a 
project. If the funds are not obligated within that period of time, 
they revert back to FTA for reallocation under the program.
5. Other Program Information
    Requests for proposals will be published in Grants.gov.

N. Human Resources and Training Programs (49 U.S.C. 5322)

    FTA may make grants or enter into contracts for human resource 
needs

[[Page 7270]]

including: Employment training programs; outreach programs to increase 
minority and female employment; research on public transportation 
personnel and training need; and, training and assistance for minority 
business opportunities. Additionally, the Innovative Public 
Transportation Workforce Development program is a competitive grant 
program to assist in the development of innovative workforce 
activities.
    A national transit institute is authorized under section 5322(d). 
The institute is authorized to develop training and education programs 
related to topics in public transportation. For more information 
contact Vincent Valdes, Office of Research, Demonstration and 
Innovation, at (202) 366-3052 or [email protected]
1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    The FY 2015 Appropriations provides $500,000 for this section to 
carry out human resource activities under section 5322(a), (b) and (e). 
There is $3,328,767 is available for a national transit institute 
authorized under section 5322(d).
2. Basis for Allocation
    On September 5, 2014, FTA published a Notice of Funding 
Availability (NOFA) soliciting proposals for Ladders of Opportunity: 
Public Transportation Workforce Development Projects. FTA intends to 
use that solicitation and proposals received in response to that NOFA 
to allocate FY 2015 discretionary resources. Applications were due 
November 17, 2014. Specific eligibility for the discretionary resources 
was outlined in the NOFA. FTA will allocate funds based on identified 
workforce development and training needs, as well as by an innovative 
workforce development competition or through a standard award process.
3. Requirements
    Application Instructions and Program Management Guidelines are set 
forth in FTA Circular 6100.1D, Research, Technical Assistance, and 
Training Programs: Application Instructions and Program Management 
Guidelines, dated May 1, 2011. FTA is in the process of updating this 
circular to incorporate changes resulting from language in MAP-21. All 
recipients of Human Resources and Training funds are required to work 
with FTA to develop approved Statements of Work. FTA may award funds 
through contracts or grants. Grants funded under the Human Resources 
and Training and the Innovative Public Transportation Workforce 
Development Program require a 50 percent non-Federal share.
4. Period of Availability
    FTA establishes the period in which funds must be obligated to a 
project. If the funds are not obligated within that period of time, 
they revert back to FTA for reallocation under the program.
5. Other Program Information
    Requests for proposals will be published in Grants.gov.

O. Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program (49 U.S.C. 5324)

    FTA's Emergency Relief (ER) Program is authorized to provide 
funding for public transportation expenses incurred as a result of an 
emergency or major disaster. No funding was provided in the FY 2015 
Appropriations Act for this program. Eligible expenses include 
emergency operating expenses, such as evacuations, rescue operations, 
and expenses incurred to protect assets in advance of a disaster, as 
well as capital projects to protect, repair, reconstruct, or replace 
equipment and facilities of a public transportation system in the 
United States or on an Indian reservation that the Secretary determines 
is in danger of suffering serious damage or has suffered serious damage 
as a result of an emergency. While Congress did not provide funding for 
this program in FY 2015, in the event of a declared emergency or major 
disaster recipients may use funds apportioned under sections 5307 and 
5311 for emergency purposes. However, recipients are advised that 
formula funds used for emergency purposes will not be replaced or 
restored in the event that funding is subsequently made available 
through FTA under the ER Program or by FEMA.
    In response to Hurricane Sandy, the Disaster Relief Appropriations 
Act of 2013 made $10.9 billion available (which was subsequently 
reduced to $10.2 billion by sequestration and intergovernmental 
transfers of funds to other bureaus and offices within DOT) for the 
Emergency Relief program for public transportation systems only in the 
affected areas. These funds cannot be used for other disasters. FTA has 
announced and allocated funding for affected transit agencies within 
the declared disaster area through a series of Federal Register notices 
beginning in 2013 and continuing through 2014.
    In order for an agency to be eligible for Emergency Relief funding, 
the agency must have been affected by an emergency as defined under 
section 5324. Section 5324(a)(2) defines an emergency as ``a natural 
disaster affecting a wide area (such as a flood, hurricane, tidal wave, 
earthquake, severe storm) or a catastrophic failure from any external 
cause as a result of which (a) the Governor of a State has declared an 
emergency and the Secretary has concurred or (b) the President has 
declared a major disaster under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford 
Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.'' Expenses incurred due 
to incidents that do not rise to the level of a Governor's declaration 
with concurrence by the Secretary of Transportation will not be 
eligible to be funded under section 5324. Further, in the event of a 
Presidential declaration of emergency, FTA may reimburse only those 
expenses that are not reimbursed under the Stafford Act. If funding is 
available under the Emergency Relief program for a public 
transportation system affected by an emergency, agencies are directed 
to seek emergency relief from FTA rather than FEMA.
    If a recipient has been affected by an emergency or major disaster, 
the recipient should contact the appropriate FTA Regional Office as 
soon as practicable to determine whether Emergency Relief funds are 
available, and to notify it that it plans to seek reimbursement for 
emergency operations and/or repairs that have already taken place or 
are in process. If Emergency Relief funds are unavailable the recipient 
may seek reimbursement from FEMA. Properly documented costs for which 
the grantee has not received reimbursement from FEMA may later be 
reimbursed by grants made either from section 5324 funding (if 
appropriated) or section 5307 and 5311 program funding, once the 
eligible recipient formally applies to FTA for reimbursement and FTA 
determines that the expenses are eligible for emergency relief.
    On October 7, 2014, FTA published final program regulations for the 
Emergency Relief Program at 49 CFR part 602. This final rule replaces 
the interim final rule published on March 29, 2013. This final rule 
establishes and clarifies the procedures and eligibility requirements 
for entities seeking or receiving funding under this program. FTA 
solicited and responded to public comments in the development of these 
regulations.
    FTA anticipates publishing for notice and comment a program 
guidance manual for the ER Program in early 2015. This guidance manual 
will contain additional information on the procedures, eligibility 
requirements, and recommended practices for entities that have been or 
may be affected by an emergency or disaster, including those

[[Page 7271]]

seeking or receiving funding under this program. FTA will solicit and 
respond to public comments on this manual. The publication of this 
guidance manual will be announced in a subsequent notice.
    Additional information about the Emergency Relief program and FTA's 
response to Hurricane Sandy is available on the FTA Web site at 
www.fta.dot.gov/emergencyrelief.
    For more information on the ER Program or FTA's response to 
Hurricane Sandy, contact Adam Schildge, Office of Program Management, 
at 202-366-0778 or [email protected]. For questions regarding the 
Final Rule, contact Bonnie Graves, Office of Chief Counsel, at 202-366-
4011 or [email protected].

P. State Safety Oversight Grant Program (49 U.S.C. 5329(e)(6))

    MAP-21 establishes a Public Transportation Safety Program (section 
5329) authorizing FTA to establish and enforce a new comprehensive 
framework to oversee the safety of public transportation throughout the 
United States. Section 5329(e)(6) of 49 U.S.C. provides funding to 
support States with rail fixed guideway public transportation systems 
(rail transit systems) to develop and carry out State Safety Oversight 
(SSO) Programs consistent with the requirements of MAP-21. For more 
information about the State Safety Oversight Formula Grant Program, 
contact Maria Wright, Office of Safety Review, at (202)366-5922 or 
[email protected].
1. Funding Available
    Under MAP-21, there is a 0.5 percent take-down from the section 
5307 Urbanized Area Formula grant program that provides the funding to 
be apportioned to States for SSO program activities. For the partial FY 
2015 year apportionment, the amount available for the SSO program is 
$14,841,808.
2. Basis for Allocation
    FTA apportions SSO grant program funds to eligible States using a 
three-tier formula based on statutory requirements:
    (a) Tier 1, the Service Tier, apportions sixty percent (60%) of 
available funds based on the vehicle passenger miles (PMT), vehicle 
revenue miles (VRM), and directional route miles (DRM) reported by the 
rail fixed guideway public transportation systems in each State. The 
Service Tier also includes a cap so that no State can receive more than 
15% of the funding available for each of the above service measures 
(i.e. PMT, VRM, DRM).
    (b) Tier 2, the Base Tier, apportions twenty percent (20%) of 
available funds equally to each eligible State, to ensure a minimum 
funding level for each State, regardless of the level of service 
provided by the rail transit agencies overseen in the program.
    (c) FTA apportions the remaining twenty percent (20%) through Tier 
3, the Modal Tier, which takes into account the number of separate rail 
transit systems (e.g., light rail, heavy rail, etc.) not regulated by 
the FRA in each State's jurisdiction. The Modal Tier also includes rail 
transit agencies in engineering or construction that are overseen by 
the State.
3. Program Requirements
i. Eligible Recipients
    Eligible recipients include any eligible State or entity designated 
by the eligible State(s) with the legal capacity to perform all of the 
following responsibilities: (a) Receive and dispense Federal funds for 
the purposes of the State Safety Oversight Program (SSOP); (b) submit 
grant applications to FTA; and (c) enter into formal grant agreements 
with FTA.
ii. Eligible Activities
    FTA requires each applicant to demonstrate in its grant application 
that its proposed grant activities will develop, lead to, or carry out 
an enhanced SSOP that meets the requirements under 49 U.S.C. 5329(e). 
Grant funds may be used for program operational and administrative 
expenses, including employee training activities.
    Grant funds under this program used for activities related to 
oversight of rail transit systems within an SSOA's jurisdiction must 
meet the definition of a rail fixed guideway public transportation 
system, including those rail transit systems in operation, in the 
engineering or construction phase of development, and those in a 
planning or other earlier phase occurring prior to the engineering or 
construction phase as long as that rail transit system meets all 
applicable Federal requirements. FTA maintains a list of these systems 
based on documentation provided by States in annual reports and other 
submittals to FTA. Eligible States should contact FTA as soon as they 
become aware of a new rail transit system in planning, engineering, 
construction, or operations in their jurisdictions.
    Eligible States must detail how they will use SSO Formula Grant 
Funds in certification work plans and SSO grant applications. SSO 
formula grant funds may only be used to support activities that meet 
existing 49 CFR part 659 requirements if those activities also meet 49 
U.S.C. 5329(e). FTA has provided FAQs to further clarify eligible 
activities: http://www.fta.dot.gov/tso.html.
    FTA is in the process of implementing the National Public 
Transportation Safety Program under 49 U.S.C. 5329, and a rulemaking on 
the SSO Program, among other things, is expected under 49 U.S.C. 
5329(e). If FTA subsequently establishes criteria or conditions for 
grants made under the SSO Formula Grant Program that are different from 
those in this notice, the different criteria or conditions will not be 
applied retroactively to applications submitted or grants awarded 
consistent with this notice, unless the change benefits the applicant.
iii. SSOP Certification
    As stated in the FTA's March 14, 2014 Federal Register notice on 
the SSO Formula Grant Program, the SSO grant award and certification 
processes are considered separate and distinct from each other. FTA 
announced the initial certification status of each eligible State on 
October 1, 2013. To determine this status, FTA evaluated each eligible 
State's submitted SSO program against the statutory mandates set forth 
in 49 U.S.C. 5329(e). As required in 49 U.S.C. 5329(e)(7), FTA provided 
each State with the results of this evaluation in writing by October 1, 
2013. FTA also conducted teleconference calls with the eligible States 
to review these results.
    States that were certified may be awarded grants to cover the costs 
associated with implementing or carrying out their SSO programs. States 
that were not certified, but received FTA approval to submit grant 
applications, may be awarded grants to support initial development and 
implementation of enhanced SSOPs.
    To confirm States use their grant funds to enhance their SSOPs in 
ways that address MAP-21 requirements, FTA intends for States to use 
FTA's October 1, 2013 certification correspondence and the supporting 
teleconference calls to develop work plans to supplement their 
applications to FTA's new SSO Formula Grant Program.
    States that are not certified are required to provide these work 
plans as part of the grant application process. An eligible State's 
work plan must be submitted and approved prior to submission of the 
State's grant application. States that are certified are encouraged, 
but not required, to submit work plans that will further enhance their 
SSOPs.

[[Page 7272]]

    These work plans should demonstrate a clear and workable transition 
to meet MAP-21 statutory requirements. They should identify gaps or 
deficiencies in their respective State's authorizing safety legislation 
relative to MAP-21 statutory requirements, articulate a clear end 
result to achieve compliance, and identify eligible activities with 
reasonable timeframes to accomplish these goals. FTA will provide 
States with a work plan template, as well as supporting materials for 
addressing some of the more common gaps in meeting MAP-21 provisions. 
These materials are available on the FTA Web site at: http://www.fta.dot.gov/tso.html.
    States are not required to use these materials and may use a format 
of their choice when developing their work plan.
    FTA will work with grantees to identify meaningful milestones to 
apply grant funding. FTA will review each plan to assess compliance 
with MAP-21 statutory requirements and the reasonableness of the 
activities and timeframes proposed. FTA must accept each State's work 
plan before the State may submit its grant application and the funds 
can be awarded. FTA will work closely with each eligible State to 
determine conformance with these eligibility criteria and to develop 
these transition or remedial work plans to address any non-compliance 
with these criteria.
    FTA will conduct quarterly teleconference calls and quarterly and 
annual reporting to monitor the progress of eligible States in meeting 
MAP-21 statutory requirements.
iv. Ineligible Activities
    The SSO Formula Grant Program specified in 49 U.S.C. 5329(e)(6) is 
intended to support administrative and operating costs for State safety 
oversight of rail transit systems. Therefore, the following costs are 
ineligible:
    (a) Project costs that cover rail transit system expenses;
    (b) Project costs for State activities unrelated to the SSOP;
    (c) Project costs that directly support the operation or 
maintenance of a rail transit system;
    (d) Project costs for which the recipient has received funding from 
another Federal agency; and
    (e) Other project costs that FTA determines are not appropriate for 
the SSOP.
    To find standards for determining eligible and ineligible expenses, 
see 2 CFR part 200.
v. Grant Application Procedures
    To receive the funds apportioned through this formula, each 
eligible State must be or become an FTA grantee. Eligible States should 
follow these steps to begin the grant application process:
    (a) Identify FTA grant recipient: Each Governor will need to 
identify the State agency that will be the FTA grant recipient for 
these program funds by sending a letter to the appropriate FTA Regional 
Administrator. A listing of FTA Regional Offices and full contact 
information is available at http://www.fta.dot.gov/.
    (b) Coordinate with the FTA Regional Office: The identified grant 
recipient should work with the FTA Regional Office to determine what 
additional activities or information are required with respect to the 
new SSO Formula Grant Program. If the identified grant recipient is not 
an existing FTA grant recipient, it must work with the appropriate FTA 
Regional Office to be established as a new FTA recipient. The FTA 
Regional Office will identify the specific activities necessary to 
become established as a FTA recipient.
    (c) Identify sufficient and allowable matching funds: Eligible 
States are required to provide a twenty percent (20%) match for FTA-
funded SSOP activities.
vi. Grant Requirements
    Section 5329(e)(6)(B)(ii) requires that grant funds apportioned to 
eligible States must be subject to uniform administrative requirements 
for grants and cooperative agreements to State and local governments 
under part 18 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, for grants 
awarded prior to December 26, 2014 and 2 CFR part 200 and 2 CFR part 
1201 for grants awarded on or after December 26, 2014 and as well as 
amendments to grants after that date. Among these requirements, the 
following terms and conditions apply:
    (a) Work Plan Submission Requirements. States that have not yet 
been certified as part of FTA's October 1, 2013 initial certification 
determination must submit a work plan. The work plan must identify and 
address gaps and deficiencies in the State's SSOP to meet 49 U.S.C. 
5329(e) requirements.
    (b) 49 CFR part 659. Until three years after a final rule issued by 
FTA, 49 U.S.C. 5330 and its implementing regulations at 49 CFR part 659 
will stay effective. In order to receive FTA funding for its SSOP, 
recipients in compliance with 49 CFR part 659 as of October 1, 2013, 
must, at a minimum, maintain compliance until these provisions are 
repealed. However, as stated above, SSO Formula Grant Program funds may 
not be used to support activities that meet 49 CFR part 659 
requirements unless those activities also meet 49 U.S.C. 5329(e) 
requirements.
    (c) Local Share. FTA's formula provides a Federal share covering up 
to eighty percent (80%) of the eligible project costs of an SSOP grant 
developed or carried out under MAP-21. Eligible States must provide at 
least a twenty percent (20%) local share. The twenty percent (20%) 
local share may not include other Federal funds, any funds received by 
the State from a rail transit agency, or any revenues earned by a rail 
transit agency. Section 5329(e)(4)(A)(i) requires each SSOA to be 
financially and legally independent from any public transportation 
entity it oversees. States that currently rely entirely upon fees, 
assessments, or funding from rail transit systems in their jurisdiction 
to fund SSO activities are unable to use those funds for any SSO 
Formula Grant Program activities and will need to address this issue of 
financial and legal independence as part of their work plan. FTA will 
work with these States on an individual basis, to the extent necessary, 
to identify permissible local share sources. States overseeing multi-
state operations may include funds collected from partner States as 
part of their local share as long as those funds are not otherwise 
prohibited under this Grant Program. As part of the grant application, 
States need to include the source of the local match. In addition, for 
those States overseeing multi-state operations must show evidence of 
agreement regarding how the local share will be met among the States.
4. Period of Availability
    SSO Formula Grant Program funds are available for three years (year 
of apportionment plus two additional years). Any FY 2015 funds that 
remain unobligated at the close of business on September 30, 2017 will 
revert to FTA for reapportionment under the SSO Formula Grant Program.
5. Other Program Requirements
i. Pre-Award Authority
    Grantees may be reimbursed for eligible activities incurred as of 
the date of publication of this notice, provided the grantee has been 
certified or upon approval of a certification work plan. A grant marked 
for pre-award authority cannot be executed unless the Initial Federal 
Financial Report (FFR) has been completed in TEAM-Web. Please see the

[[Page 7273]]

most current version of FTA Circular 5010, ``Grants Management 
Guidelines'' found on FTA's Circular Web page. (http://www.fta.dot.gov/circulars) or contact your Regional Office for more information.
ii. Procurement and Contracting Guidelines
    FTA procurement and contracting requirements apply to projects 
funded by the SSO Formula Grant Program. For additional information, 
please see the latest version of FTA Circular 4220.1, ``Third Party 
Contracting Guidance.'' (http://www.fta.dot.gov/circulars)
iii. Grant Management
    FTA Circular 5010, ``Grants Management Guidelines'' (http://www.fta.dot.gov/circulars) provides FTA's grant management 
requirements. All recipients need to affirm the current version of 
FTA's Master Agreement, which contains the terms and conditions 
applicable to awards of Federal financial assistance. The Master 
Agreement will be incorporated by reference and made part of the 
underlying Grant Agreement when executed. The latest Master Agreement 
can be found on FTA's Web site (http://www.fta.dot.gov/grants/15072.html).
iv. Annual Certifications and Assurances
    Each Applicant for (and later Recipient of) SSO grant funds must 
sign and submit the required Certifications and Assurances and submit 
updated Certifications and Assurances annually thereafter. Submissions 
may be made electronically through TEAM-Web (or its successor, TrAMS). 
The latest Certifications and Assurances can be found on FTA's Web site 
at http://www.fta.dot.gov/grants/13071.html.
v. Planning Requirements
    Projects funded by the SSO Formula Grant Program may, but are not 
required to, be included in the Statewide Transportation Improvement 
Program (STIP) or a Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). 
Inclusion of such projects in the STIP or TIP is not a prerequisite in 
order to be reimbursed by FTA.
vi. Cost Principles (2 CFR Part 200 Subpart E)
    Cost principles established in 2 CFR part 200 subpart E must be 
used as guidelines for determining the eligibility of specific types of 
expenses. Grantees should exercise care when incurring costs to confirm 
all expenditures meet the criteria of eligible costs. Failure to comply 
with these requirements may result in expenditures for which use of 
project funds cannot be authorized. For further information on 
allowable costs and FTA financial grant management expectations, please 
refer to the most current version of FTA Circular 5010, ``Grants 
Management Guidelines'' Chapter VI, ``Financial Management.'' The 
document can be found at the following web address: http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/C_5010_1D_Finalpub.pdf.

Q. State of Good Repair Program (49 U.S.C. 5337)

    The State of Good Repair (SGR) Grant program provides capital 
assistance for maintenance, rehabilitation, and replacement projects of 
existing fixed guideway and high intensity motorbus systems to maintain 
a state of good repair. FTA estimates that a backlog of $86 billion of 
transit assets need to be replaced or repaired and that number 
continues to grow. Additionally, SGR grants are eligible for developing 
and implementing Transit Asset Management plans. This program provides 
funding for the following transit modes: Rapid rail (heavy rail), 
commuter rail, light rail, hybrid rail, monorail, automated guideway, 
trolleybus (using overhead catenary), aerial tramway, cable car, 
inclined plane (funicular), passenger ferries, bus rapid transit, and 
fixed-route bus services operating on high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) 
facilities.
    MAP-21 replaces and modifies elements of the fixed guideway 
modernization program (section 5309) with this program. Projects, 
including new maintenance facilities or maintenance equipment, that 
solely expand capacity or service are not eligible projects. However, 
FTA will permit expansion of capacity within replacement projects to 
meet current or projected short-term service needs (e.g., replacing a 
maintenance facility with a larger facility, or replacing a bus with a 
larger bus). The SGR program is intended to fund projects to maintain, 
replace or rehabilitate transit assets of existing fixed guideway and 
high intensity motorbus systems.
    FTA published the State of Good Repair program guidance, FTA 
Circular 5300.1, State of Good Repair Grants Program: Guidance and 
Application Instructions, dated January 28, 2015. The circular can be 
accessed at www.fta.dot.gov/circulars.
    For more information about the SGR program, contact Eric Hu, Office 
of Transit Programs, at (202) 366-0870 or [email protected].
1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    The FY 2015 Appropriations provides a total of $1,441,955,342 for 
the SGR program. After a 0.75 percent oversight takedown from the 
amount apportioned to the fixed guideway tier, the total amount 
allocated for the SGR program is $1,431,448,895, as shown in the table 
below.

           State of Good Repair Formula Grant Program--FY 2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Appropriation..................................  \a\$1,441,955,342
Oversight Deductions.................................        -10,506,447
                                                      ------------------
  Total Apportioned..................................      1,431,448,895
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ Total Appropriation includes $1,400,859,615 for the High Intensity
  Fixed Guideway tier and $41,095,727 for the High Intensity Motorbus
  tier.

    Table 11 shows the FY 2015 SGR Program formula apportionments to 
eligible UZAs.
2. Basis for Allocation
    FTA allocates SGR program funds according to a statutory formula. 
Funds are apportioned to UZAs with fixed guideway and high intensity 
motorbus systems that have been in operation for at least seven years. 
This means that only segments of fixed guideway and high intensity 
motorbus systems that entered into revenue service on or before 
September 30, 2007 are included in the formula, as identified in the 
NTD.
    The law requires that 97.15 percent of the total amount authorized 
for the SGR program be apportioned to UZAs with ``high intensity fixed 
guideway'' systems. The apportionments to UZAs with ``high intensity 
fixed guideway'' systems are determined by two equal elements: (1) The 
proportion a recipient would have received of the fiscal year 2011 
apportionment for 49 U.S.C. 5337, as it then existed, if calculated 
using the current version of 49 U.S.C. 5336(b)(1) and the current 
definition of ``fixed guideway'' at 49 U.S.C. 5337(a); (2) the 
proportion of vehicle revenue miles of an UZA to the total vehicle 
revenue miles of all UZAs and the proportion of directional route miles 
of an UZA to the total directional route miles of all UZAs. High 
Intensity Motorbus systems will receive the remaining 2.85 percent of 
the total amount authorized for the SGR program, and the apportionments 
to UZAs are based on vehicle revenue miles and directional route miles. 
Apportionment changes resulting from the exclusion of vehicle revenue 
and directional miles reported from bus service provided other than on 
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes will take effect in FY 2016.

[[Page 7274]]

    Vehicle revenue miles and directional route miles that are 
attributable to an UZA must be placed in revenue service at least 7 
years before the first day of the fiscal year. FTA will apportion 
section 5337 funds to the section 5307 Designated Recipient for the UZA 
with fixed guideway transportation systems operating at least 7 years. 
The Designated Recipients will then allocate funds as appropriate to 
recipients that are public entities in the UZA and provide split 
letters to the FTA. FTA can make grants to direct recipients after sub-
allocation of funds.
3. Requirements
    In addition to the program guidance found in the circular, all 
recipients will need to certify that they will comply with the 
forthcoming rule issued under section 5326 for the Transit Asset 
Management plan, and SGR projects will need to be included in 
recipients' Transit Asset Management plans. This requirement is subject 
to FTA rulemaking and will become effective only after the rule is 
issued.
    While funds are apportioned based only on fixed guideway and high 
intensity motorbus segments that have been in operation seven years or 
longer, a recipient may use the funds apportioned to it for eligible 
maintenance, replacement, and rehabilitation projects on any part of 
its existing fixed guideway system. Eligible capital projects are those 
necessary to maintain fixed guideway systems in a state of good repair, 
including projects to replace and rehabilitate:
    i. Rolling stock;
    ii. Track;
    iii. Line equipment and structures;
    iv. Signals and communications;
    v. Power equipment and substations;
    vi. Passenger stations and terminals;
    vii. Security equipment and systems;
    viii. Maintenance facilities and equipment;
    ix. Operational support equipment, including computer hardware and 
software;
    x. Development and implementation of a transit asset management 
plan; and
    xi. Other replacement and rehabilitation projects FTA determines 
appropriate.
    Allowable activities within eligible replacement projects include 
the replacement of older features with new ones. Allowable activities 
within eligible rehabilitation projects include the incorporation of 
current design standards and additional features required by Federal 
law. Equipment, vehicles, and facilities to be replaced must have 
reached or exceeded its minimum useful life to be eligible for SGR 
funds.
    In addition to replacement and rehabilitation, new maintenance 
facilities or maintenance equipment are eligible if needed to maintain 
the existing fixed guideway system or equipment in a state of good 
repair. Also, preventive maintenance activities are eligible.
    FTA will permit expansion of capacity within eligible replacement 
projects to meet current or projected short-term service needs (e.g., 
replacing a maintenance facility with a larger facility, or replacing a 
bus with a larger bus). For any expansion elements included in a 
replacement project, the grantee will need to address how the project 
meets current or short term service levels. FTA will review the 
reasonableness of such expansion elements when reviewing the grant.
4. Period of Availability
    The SGR funds apportioned in this notice are available for 
obligation during FY 2015 plus three additional years. Accordingly, 
funds apportioned in FY 2015 must be obligated in grants by September 
30, 2018. Any FY 2015 apportioned funds that remain unobligated at the 
close of business on September 30, 2018 will revert to FTA for 
reapportionment under the SGR Program.
5. Other Program Information
    Projects that maintain and rehabilitate capital assets used for bus 
service other than on High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, such as High 
Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes, are not eligible for high intensity 
motorbus funds. High intensity motorbus funds may be used for public 
transportation service provided on HOV lanes during peak hours. 
Apportionment changes resulting from the exclusion of bus service other 
than on HOV will take effect in FY 2016.

R. Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Grants (49 U.S.C. 5339)

    MAP-21 established the Bus and Bus Facilities Formula program, 
replacing some of the elements of the former Bus and Bus Facilities 
discretionary program under SAFETEA-LU. The program provides funding to 
replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment as well 
as construct bus-related facilities.
    Eligible recipients are designated recipients and States that 
operate or allocate funding to fixed-route bus operators. Eligible 
subrecipients include public agencies or private nonprofit 
organizations engaged in public transportation, including those 
providing services open to a segment of the general public, as defined 
by age, disability, or low income. While the statute limits eligible 
recipients to fixed route bus operators or those entities that allocate 
funding to fixed route bus operators, eligible projects are not 
restricted to fixed route bus capital projects.
    FTA is in the process of finalizing the program circular (FTA 
Circular 5100.1), which was published for notice and comment in July 
2014. In the meantime, recipients should review the sections below for 
interim program guidance combined with the previously published interim 
guidance contained in the FY 2013 Apportionment Notice, dated October 
16, 2012. For more information about the Bus and Bus Facilities 
program, contact Sam Snead, Office of Transit Programs, at (202) 366-
1089 or [email protected].
1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    The FY 2015 Appropriations provides a total of $284,809,315 for the 
Bus and Bus Facilities program. After the take-down for the States and 
Territories (National Distribution), $241,202,466 is available to be 
apportioned to the UZAs, as shown below.

                     Bus and Bus Facilities--FY 2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Appropriation..................................       $284,809,315
State and Territory Allocation.......................        -43,606,849
                                                      ------------------
  Total Apportioned..................................        241,202,466
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Table 12 shows the FY 2015 Bus and Bus Facilities formula apportionments
  to States, Territories, and UZAs.

2. Basis for Allocation

    Funds are apportioned according to a statutory formula. However, 
State and Territories (including the District of Columbia and Puerto 
Rico) receive a fixed allocation before FTA applies the formula. This 
fixed allocation, referred to as the National Distribution allocation, 
provides each State $832,192 and each territory $332,877. These funds 
are available for use anywhere in the State or Territory. The remainder 
of the funding is apportioned for UZAs based on population, vehicle 
revenue miles and passenger miles and is specifically for use in UZAs.
    For large UZAs, the Designated Recipient(s) work with interested 
parties, including the MPO, to allocate amounts among eligible 
subrecipients. The Designated Recipient in consultation with interested 
parties should determine the subarea allocation fairly and rationally 
through a process based on local needs.

[[Page 7275]]

    Pursuant to section 5339(c)(2), except for the funds set aside for 
distribution to each state, funds available to carry out section 5339 
are apportioned consistent with the formula set forth in section 5336 
other than subsection (b). Pursuant to section 5336(e), the Governor 
exercises the authority to allocate section 5339 formula apportionments 
to all small UZAs within the State--including those that lie within the 
planning areas of MPOs serving TMAs. Federal law clearly states that it 
is up to the State to determine the distribution method for section 
5339 funds among small UZAs, and inclusion of small UZAs within the 
planning area of an MPO that serves a transportation management area 
(TMA) does not change the status of those small UZAs. They are still 
small UZAs and subject to the Governor's allocation. There is no legal 
prohibition to the Governor allocating the apportioned funds through 
competition. Regardless of how the State decides to allocate the 
section 5339 bus funds, the MPO, the State, and the transportation 
operators are reminded that, with exceptions not relevant in this case, 
projects not included in a federally-approved Statewide Transportation 
Improvement Program (STIP) will not be eligible to receive those 
program funds. (See 23 CFR 450.330(d)).
3. Requirements
    Eligible capital projects include projects to replace, 
rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment, and projects to 
construct bus-related facilities. This includes the acquisition of 
buses for fleet and service expansion, bus maintenance and 
administrative facilities, transfer facilities, bus malls, 
transportation centers, intermodal terminals, park-and-ride stations, 
acquisition of replacement vehicles, bus rebuilds, passenger amenities 
such as passenger shelters and bus stop signs, accessory and 
miscellaneous equipment such as mobile radio units, supervisory 
vehicles, fare boxes, computers, and shop and garage equipment. While 
bus rehabilitation activities (e.g. rebuilds to extend the useful life) 
are eligible, preventive maintenance is not eligible under this 
program. The draft circular included language that stated that mid-life 
overhauls are not eligible as they are a form of preventive 
maintenance. FTA is reviewing comments related to this topic as well as 
others and will address those comments in the Federal Register notice 
accompanying the publication of the final circular. The grant 
requirements of section 5307, such as the requirement for Department of 
Labor Certification, apply to recipients of grants made under this 
section.
    Section 5339 limits eligible direct (grant) recipients under this 
program to the Designated Recipients in large UZAs and States for all 
areas under 200,000 in population (small UZAs and rural areas). States 
are expected to be the grant recipient for the National Distribution 
amounts, unless the funds are transferred to a 5307 recipient. Please 
see additional guidance for permissible transfers in ``Other Program 
Information'' section below.
    A grant for a capital project under this section shall be for 80 
percent of the net capital costs of the project, unless a recipient of 
a grant provides additional local matching amounts. The local match 
shall be provided in cash from non-Government sources other than 
revenues from providing public transportation services; from revenues 
derived from the sale of advertisement or concessions; from 
undistributed cash surplus, a replacement or depreciation cash fund or 
reserve, or new capital; or from amounts received under a service 
agreement with a State or local social service agency or private social 
service organization.
    FTA is in the process of finalizing the circular for this formula 
program. In the meantime, grantees can utilize program guidance and 
requirements found in this notice along with the interim guidance 
published in the Federal Register on October 16, 2012 (See 77 FR 
63669), combined with the FTA circular for the former discretionary Bus 
program, which can be found in FTA Circular 9300.1B, Bus and Bus 
Facilities Instructions.
4. Period of Availability
    The Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Program funds apportioned in 
this notice are available for obligation during FY 2015 plus three 
additional years. Accordingly, funds apportioned in FY 2015 must be 
obligated in grants by September 30, 2018. Any FY 2015 apportioned 
funds that remain unobligated at the close of business on September 30, 
2018 will revert to FTA for reapportionment under the Bus and Bus 
Facilities Formula Program.
5. Other Program Information
    The only allowable transfer provision for these program funds to 
another FTA program applies to the National Distribution allocation. 
The Governor of a State may transfer any part of the State's National 
Distribution amounts to supplement funding under the rural areas 
(section 5311) or urbanized areas (5307) formula programs. If 
transferred to a 5307 direct recipient (in a large or small UZA), FTA 
will permit the recipient to apply directly for the funds in a 5307 
grant. However, the funds can only be used for purposes eligible under 
Section 5339.
    As for the funding apportioned by formula, for small UZAs, the 
Governor has flexibility to allocate the funds among the small UZAs to 
meet the capital bus needs in those areas.

S. Growing States and High Density States Formula Factors (49 U.S.C. 
5340)

    FTA continues to use formula factors (established under 49 U.S.C. 
5340) to distribute additional funds to the section 5307 and section 
5311 programs for Growing States and High Density States. FTA publishes 
single UZA and rural apportionments that show the total amount for 5307 
and 5311 programs that includes apportionments for these programs 
together with section 5340.
1. FY 2015 Funding Availability
    The FY 2015 Appropriation provides $350,119,726 to be apportioned 
using the formula factors prescribed for Growing States and High 
Density States set forth in section 5340.
2. Basis for Allocation
    Under the Growing States portion of the section 5340 formula, 50 
percent of funds are allocated to States on the basis of their 
projected population growth. FTA projects each State's 2025 population 
by comparing each State's apportionment year population (as determined 
by the Census Bureau) to the State's 2010 Census population and 
extrapolating to 2025 based on each State's rate of population growth 
between 2010 and the apportionment year. Each State receives a share of 
Growing States funds on the basis of its projected 2025 population 
relative to the nationwide projected 2025 population.
    Once each State's share is calculated, funds attributable to that 
State are divided into an UZA allocation and a non-UZA allocation on 
the basis of the percentage of each State's 2010 Census population that 
resides in UZA and non-UZA areas. Urbanized areas receive portions of 
their State's urbanized area allocation on the basis of the 2010 Census 
population in that UZA relative to the total 2010 Census population in 
all UZAs in the State. These amounts are added to the UZA's section 
5307 apportionment.
    The States' rural area allocation is added to the allocation that 
each State receives under the section 5311 Formula Grants for Rural 
Areas program.
    The remaining 50 percent of the section 5340 funds are allocated 
under

[[Page 7276]]

the High Density States portion of the section 5340 formula. These 
funds are allocated to UZAs in States with a population density equal 
to or greater than 370 persons per square mile. Based on this threshold 
and 2010 Census data, the States that qualify are Maryland, Delaware, 
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey 
(these are the same States that qualified under SAFETEA-LU). The amount 
of funds provided to each of these seven States is allocated on the 
basis of the population density of the individual State relative to the 
population density of all seven States. Once funds are allocated to 
each State, funds are then allocated to UZAs within the States on the 
basis of an individual UZA's population relative to the population of 
all UZAs in that State.
    FTA cannot provide unit values for the Growing States or High 
Density formulas because the apportionments to individual States and 
UZAs are based on their relative population data, rather than on a 
national per capita basis.

T. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Grants

    The FY 2015 Appropriations provides $150,000,000 for grants to the 
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). Such funding is 
authorized under section 601 of the Passenger Rail Investment and 
Improvement Act of 2008. See Public Law 110-432, Division B, Title VI.
    Grants may be provided for capital and preventive maintenance 
expenditures for WMATA after (1) FTA certifies that WMATA is making 
significant progress in eliminating the material weaknesses, 
significant deficiencies, and minor control deficiencies in the most 
recent Financial Management Oversight Review; and (2) FTA determines 
that WMATA has placed the highest priority on investments that will 
improve the safety of the system.
    FTA will communicate further program requirements directly to 
WMATA.

V. FTA Policy and Procedures for FY 2015 Grants

A. Automatic Pre-Award Authority To Incur Project Costs

    This section includes some changes to automatic pre-award authority 
published in previous notices, particularly in light of the new 
authorization and several new formula programs, some of which will 
require new Designated Recipients before projects costs can be 
reimbursed.
1. Caution to New Grantees and for New Formula Programs
    While FTA provides pre-award authority to incur expenses before 
grant award for formula programs, it recommends that first-time grant 
recipients and recipients of grants under new formula programs NOT 
utilize this automatic pre-award authority without verifying with the 
appropriate FTA Regional Office that all pre-requisite requirements 
have been met. As a new grantee, it is easy to misunderstand pre-award 
authority conditions and be unaware of all of the applicable FTA 
requirements that must be met in order to be reimbursed for project 
expenditures incurred in advance of grant award. FTA programs have 
specific statutory requirements that are often different from those for 
other Federal grant programs with which new grantees may be familiar. 
If funds are expended for an ineligible project or activity, or for an 
eligible activity but at an inappropriate time (e.g., prior to NEPA 
completion), FTA will be unable to reimburse the project sponsor and, 
in certain cases, the entire project may be rendered ineligible for FTA 
assistance.
2. Policy
    FTA provides pre-award authority to incur expenses before grant 
award for certain program areas described below. This pre-award 
authority allows grantees to incur certain project costs before grant 
approval and retain the eligibility of those costs for subsequent 
reimbursement after grant approval. The grantee assumes all risk and is 
responsible for ensuring that all conditions are met to retain 
eligibility. This pre-award spending authority permits an eligible 
grantee to incur costs on an eligible transit capital, operating, 
planning, or administrative project without prejudice to possible 
future Federal participation in the cost of the project. In this 
notice, FTA provides pre-award authority until September 30, 2017 for 
capital assistance under all formula programs, so long as the 
conditions described below are met. Historically, FTA provides pre-
award authority until the end of the authorization period and then 
extends it in one to two year increments. Recipients entering into any 
contracts that assume federal funding beyond September 30, 2017, should 
contact their Regional Office to request a letter of no prejudice (see 
section below). FTA provides pre-award authority for planning and 
operating assistance under the formula programs without regard to the 
period of the authorization. For a discretionary program in which FTA 
publishes a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), recipients should 
refer to the specific NOFA or notice of award for specific details as 
to the eligibility of pre-award authority for that funding opportunity. 
Additional information pertaining to specific uses of pre-award 
authority is below:
    i. Operating, Planning, or Administrative Assistance. FTA does not 
impose additional conditions on pre-award authority for operating, 
planning, or administrative assistance under the formula grant 
programs. Grantees may be reimbursed for expenses incurred before grant 
award so long as funds have been expended in accordance with all 
Federal requirements, and the grantee is otherwise eligible to receive 
the funding. In addition to cross-cutting Federal grant requirements, 
program specific requirements must be met. For example, a planning 
project must have been included in a Unified Planning Work Program 
(UPWP); a 5310 project must have been included in a coordinated public 
transit-human services transportation plan (coordinated plan) and 
selected by the Designated Recipient before incurring expenses; 
expenditure on State Administration expenses under State Administered 
programs must be consistent with the State Management Plan (as defined 
in the most current version of FTA Circular 9040.1, Chapter 6). 
Designated Recipients for section 5310 have pre-award authority for the 
ten percent of the apportionment they may use for program 
administration.
    ii. Transit Capital Projects. For transit capital projects, the 
date that costs may be incurred is: (1) For design and environmental 
review, the date of the authorization of formula funds or the date of 
the announcement of the discretionary allocation of funds for the 
project; (2) for property acquisition, demolition, construction, and 
acquisition of vehicles, equipment, or construction materials for 
projects that qualify for a categorical exclusion pursuant to 23 CFR 
771.118(c), the date of the authorization of formula funds or the date 
of the announcement of the discretionary allocation of funds for the 
project; and (3) for property acquisition, demolition, construction, 
and acquisition of vehicles, equipment, or construction materials for 
projects that require a categorical exclusion pursuant to 23 CFR 
771.118(d), an environmental assessment, or an environmental impact 
statement, the date that FTA completes the environmental review process 
required by NEPA and its implementing regulations by its issuance of a 
Section 771.118(d) categorical exclusion

[[Page 7277]]

determination, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), or a Record 
of Decision (ROD). For projects that qualify for a categorical 
exclusion pursuant to 23 CFR 771.118(c), if a project is subsequently 
found not to qualify for this CE, it will be ineligible for FTA 
assistance. FTA recommends that any grant applicant that is concerned 
that a larger project may not clearly qualify for the CEs at 23 CFR 
771.118(c)(8), (c)(9), (c)(10), (c)(12), and (c)(13), contact FTA's 
Regional Office for assistance in determining the appropriate 
environmental review process and level of documentation necessary 
before incurring costs for property acquisition, demolition, 
construction, and acquisition of vehicles, equipment, or construction 
materials.
    iii. New Starts, Small Starts and Core Capacity Projects. The pre-
award authority described above does not apply to section 5309 Fixed 
Guideway Capital Investment Grant Program (CIG) projects. Specific 
instances of pre-award authority for CIG Program projects are described 
in paragraph 4 below. If pre-award authority has not been granted for a 
particular type of work on a CIG program project, the project sponsor 
must obtain a written Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) from FTA before 
starting that work. To obtain an LONP for a CIG program project, a 
grantee must submit a written request accompanied by adequate 
information and justification to the appropriate FTA Regional Office, 
as described in Section 4. below.
    iv. Research, Technical Assistance, and Training. Unless provided 
for in an announcement of project selections, pre-award authority does 
not apply to section 5312 Research, development, demonstration, and 
deployment projects, section 5314 Technical Assistance and Standards 
Development, or section 5322 Human Resources and Training. Before an 
applicant may incur costs for activities under these programs, it must 
first obtain a written Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) from FTA. To 
obtain an LONP for a Research, Technical Assistance or Training 
project, a grantee must submit a written request accompanied by 
adequate information and justification to the appropriate FTA 
headquarters office. Information about LONP procedures may be obtained 
from the appropriate headquarters office.
3. Conditions
    Before incurring costs, grantees are strongly encouraged to consult 
with the appropriate FTA Regional Office regarding the eligibility of 
the project for future FTA funds and for questions on environmental 
requirements, or any other Federal requirements that must be met.
    The conditions under which pre-award authority may be utilized are 
specified below:
    i. Pre-award authority is not a legal or implied commitment that 
the subject project will be approved for FTA assistance or that FTA 
will obligate Federal funds. Furthermore, it is not a legal or implied 
commitment that all items undertaken by the applicant will be eligible 
for inclusion in the project.
    ii. All FTA statutory, procedural, and contractual requirements 
must be met.
    iii. No action will be taken by the grantee that prejudices the 
legal and administrative findings that the Federal Transit 
Administrator must make in order to approve a project.
    iv. Local funds expended by the grantee after the date of the pre-
award authority will be eligible for credit toward local match or 
reimbursement if FTA later makes a grant or grant amendment for the 
project. Local funds expended by the grantee before the date of the 
pre-award authority will not be eligible for credit toward local match 
or reimbursement. Furthermore, the expenditure of local funds or 
undertaking of project implementation activities such as land 
acquisition, demolition, or construction before the date of pre-award 
authority for those activities (i.e., the completion of the NEPA 
process) would compromise FTA's ability to comply with Federal 
environmental laws and may render the project ineligible for FTA 
funding.
    v. The Federal amount of any future FTA assistance awarded to the 
grantee for the project will be determined on the basis of the overall 
scope of activities and the prevailing statutory provisions with 
respect to the Federal/local match ratio at the time the funds are 
obligated.
    vi. For funds to which the pre-award authority applies, the 
authority expires with the lapsing of the fiscal year funds.
    vii. When a grant for the project is subsequently awarded, the 
initial Federal Financial Report, in TEAM-Web (or, its successor, 
TrAMS), must indicate the use of pre-award authority.
    viii. Planning, Environmental, and Other Federal requirements.
    All Federal grant requirements must be met at the appropriate time 
for the project to remain eligible for Federal funding. The growth of 
the Federal transit program has resulted in a growing number of 
inexperienced grantees who find compliance with Federal planning and 
environmental laws increasingly challenging.
    FTA has modified its approach to pre-award authority, and the date 
that costs may be incurred is as follows. For design and environmental 
review, costs may be incurred as of the date of the authorization of 
formula funds or the date of the announcement of the discretionary 
allocation of funds for the project. For property acquisition, 
demolition, construction, and acquisition of vehicles, equipment, or 
construction materials for projects that qualify for a categorical 
exclusion pursuant to 23 CFR 771.118(c), costs may be incurred as of 
the date of the authorization of formula funds or the date of the 
announcement of the discretionary allocation of funds for the project. 
For property acquisition, demolition, construction, and acquisition of 
vehicles, equipment, or construction materials for projects that 
require a categorical exclusion pursuant to 23 CFR 771.118(d), an 
environmental assessment, or an environmental impact statement, costs 
may be incurred as of the date that FTA completes the environmental 
review process required by NEPA and its implementing regulations (i.e., 
through issuance of a Section 771.118(d) categorical exclusion 
determination, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), or a Record 
of Decision (ROD)). For pre-award authority triggered by the completion 
of the NEPA process, the completion of planning and air quality 
requirements is a prerequisite, as those activities are completed prior 
to conclusion of the environmental review process.
    The requirement that a project be included in a locally-adopted 
Metropolitan Transportation Plan, the metropolitan transportation 
improvement program and federally approved statewide transportation 
improvement program (23 CFR part 450) must be satisfied before the 
grantee may advance the project beyond planning and preliminary design 
with non-Federal funds under pre-award authority triggered by the 
completion of the NEPA process. If the project is located within an 
EPA-designated non-attainment or maintenance area for air quality, the 
conformity requirements of the Clean Air Act, 40 CFR part 93, must also 
be met before the project may be advanced into implementation-related 
activities under pre-award authority triggered by the completion of the 
NEPA process. For projects that qualify for a categorical exclusion 
pursuant to 23 CFR 771.118(c), if a project is subsequently found not 
to qualify for this CE, it will be ineligible for FTA assistance. For 
all other projects, compliance with NEPA and other

[[Page 7278]]

environmental laws and executive orders (e.g., protection of parklands, 
wetlands, and historic properties) must be completed before State or 
local funds are spent on implementation activities, such as site 
preparation, construction, and acquisition, for a project that is 
expected to be subsequently funded with FTA funds.
    For a planning project to have pre-award authority, the planning 
project must be included in a MPO-approved Unified Planning Work 
Program (UPWP).
    ix. Federal procurement procedures, as well as the whole range of 
applicable Federal requirements (e.g., Buy America, Davis-Bacon Act, 
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)) must be followed for projects 
in which Federal funding will be sought in the future. Failure to 
follow any such requirements could make the project ineligible for 
Federal funding. In short, this increased administrative flexibility 
requires a grantee to make certain that no Federal requirements are 
circumvented through the use of pre-award authority.
    x. Recipients exercising pre-award authority to update, repair, or 
modernize stations, must be mindful that the DOT ADA regulations at 49 
CFR 37.161(b) provide that an accessibility feature must be repaired 
promptly if it is damaged or out of order. When the accessibility 
feature is out of order, a Recipient must take reasonable steps to 
accommodate individuals with disabilities who would otherwise use the 
feature. The rule does not, and probably could not, state a time limit 
for making particular repairs, given the variety of circumstances 
involved. However, repairing accessible features must be made a high 
priority. Allowing obstructions or out of order accessibility equipment 
to persist beyond a reasonable period of time would violate part 37, as 
would mechanical failures due to improper or inadequate maintenance. 
Failure of the entity to ensure that accessible routes are free of 
obstruction and properly maintained, or failure to arrange prompt 
repair of inoperative elevators, lifts, or other accessibility-related 
equipment, would also violate part 37.
    xi. All program specific requirements must be met. For example, 
projects under section 5310 must comply with specific program 
requirements, including coordinated planning.
    xii. Recipients exercising pre-award authority are expected to 
comply with the DBE regulations. The Department of Transportation's DBE 
program helps small businesses owned by socially and economically 
disadvantaged individuals to compete in the marketplace, and is 
designed to support the people who create jobs--our nation's 
entrepreneurs. When procuring vehicles, recipients are reminded of the 
requirements of 49 CFR 26.49(a), which requires ``if you are a transit 
vehicle manufacturer, you must establish and submit for FTA's approval 
an annual overall percentage goal'' and ``as a transit vehicle 
manufacturer, you may make the certification required by this section 
if you have submitted the goal this section requires and FTA has 
approved it or not disapproved it.'' Recipients are advised that it is 
not enough to accept a certification stating that ``FTA has not 
disapproved'' of a TVMs DBE goal. Rather, Recipients must ensure that 
the TVM has submitted a goal to FTA and FTA has either approved it or 
not disapproved it. A recipient may request from FTA verification that 
a TVM has submitted a DBE goal to FTA for its review. Please email your 
Regional Civil Rights Officer regarding your request and FTA will 
respond via email within five business days. Furthermore, to assist 
with TVM certification compliance, FTA maintains a web posting of all 
certified TVMs located at http://www.fta.dot.gov/12326_5626.html. 
Finally, FTA takes the position that failure by a Recipient to verify a 
TVM's eligibility to bid on an FTA-assisted contract prior to award 
cannot be cured after award of the contract and will likely result in 
FTA declining to provide Federal funding for the vehicle procurement.
4. Pre-Award Authority for the Fixed Guideway Capital Investment 
Program (New and Small Starts Projects and Core Capacity Projects)
    Projects proposed for section 5309 Capital Investment Grants (CIG) 
program funds are required to follow a process defined in law. For New 
Starts and Core Capacity projects, this process includes three phases--
project development (PD), engineering, and construction. For Small 
Starts projects, this process includes two phases--PD and construction. 
After receiving a letter from the project sponsor requesting entry into 
the PD phase, FTA must respond in writing within 45 days whether the 
information was sufficient for entry. If FTA's correspondence indicates 
the information was sufficient and the New Starts, Small Starts or Core 
Capacity project may enter PD, FTA extends pre-award authority to the 
project sponsor to incur costs for PD activities. PD activities include 
the work necessary to complete the environmental review process and as 
much engineering and design activities as the project sponsor believes 
are necessary to support the environmental review process. Upon 
completion of the environmental review process for a New Starts, Small 
Starts, or Core Capacity Improvement project with a ROD, FONSI, or CE 
determination by FTA, FTA extends pre-award authority to project 
sponsors in PD to incur costs for as much engineering and design as 
needed to develop a reasonable cost estimate and financial plan for the 
project, utility relocation, and real property acquisition and 
associated relocations for any property acquisitions not already 
accomplished as a separate project for hardship or protective purposes 
or right-of-way under 49 U.S.C. 5323(q). Upon receipt of a letter 
notifying a New Starts or Core Capacity project sponsor of the 
project's approval into the engineering phase, FTA extends pre-award 
authority for any remaining engineering and design, demolition, vehicle 
purchases, and procurement of long lead items for which market 
conditions play a significant role in the acquisition price. The long 
lead items include, but are not limited to, procurement of rails, ties, 
and other specialized equipment, and commodities. Please contact the 
FTA Regional Office for a determination of activities not listed here, 
but which meet the intent described above. FTA provides this pre-award 
authority in recognition of the long-lead time and complexity involved 
with purchasing vehicles as well as their relationship to the 
``critical path'' project schedule. FTA cautions grantees that do not 
currently operate the type of vehicle proposed in the project about 
exercising this pre-award authority. FTA encourages these sponsors to 
wait until later in the process when project plans are more fully 
developed. FTA reminds project sponsors that the procurement of 
vehicles must comply with all Federal requirements including, but not 
limited to, competitive procurement practices, the Americans with 
Disabilities Act, and Buy America. FTA encourages project sponsors to 
discuss the procurement of vehicles with FTA in regards to Federal 
requirements before exercising pre-award authority. Because there is 
not a formal engineering phase for Small Starts projects, FTA does not 
extend pre-award authority for demolition, vehicle purchases and 
procurement of long lead items. Instead, this work must await receipt 
of a construction grant award.
i. Real Property Acquisition
    As noted above, FTA extends pre-award authority for the acquisition 
of real property and real property rights for fixed guideway capital 
investment

[[Page 7279]]

projects (New or Small Starts or Core Capacity) upon completion of the 
environmental review process for that project. The environmental review 
process is completed when FTA signs an environmental Record of Decision 
(ROD) or Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), or makes a 
Categorical Exclusion (CE) determination. With the limitations and 
caveats described below, real estate acquisition may commence, at the 
project sponsor's risk. For FTA-assisted projects, any acquisition of 
real property or real property rights must be conducted in accordance 
with the requirements of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real 
Property Acquisition Policies Act (URA) and its implementing 
regulations, 49 CFR part 24. This pre-award authority is strictly 
limited to costs incurred: (i) To acquire real property and real 
property rights in accordance with the URA regulation, and (ii) to 
provide relocation assistance in accordance with the URA regulation. 
This pre-award authority is limited to the acquisition of real property 
and real property rights that are explicitly identified in the final 
environmental impact statement (FEIS), environmental assessment (EA), 
or CE document, as needed for the selected alternative that is the 
subject of the FTA-signed ROD or FONSI, or CE determination. This pre-
award authority regarding property acquisition that is granted at the 
completion of the environmental review process does not cover site 
preparation, demolition, or any other activity that is not strictly 
necessary to comply with the URA, with one exception. That exception is 
when a building that has been acquired, has been emptied of its 
occupants, and delaying demolition poses a potential fire safety hazard 
or other hazard to the community in which it is located, or is 
susceptible to reoccupation by vagrants. Demolition of the building is 
also covered by this pre-award authority upon FTA's written agreement 
that the adverse condition exists. Pre-award authority for property 
acquisition is also provided when FTA makes a CE determination for a 
protective buy or hardship acquisition in accordance with 23 CFR 
771.117(d)(12). Pre-award authority for property acquisition is also 
provided when FTA completes the environmental review process for the 
acquisition of right-of-way as a separate project in accordance with 49 
U.S.C. 5323(q). Guidance on this approach to property acquisition is 
available on FTA's Web site.
    When a tiered environmental review in accordance with 23 CFR 
771.111(g) is used, pre-award authority is NOT provided upon completion 
of the first tier environmental document except when FTA signs the 
Tier-1 ROD or FONSI and explicitly provides such pre-award authority 
for a particular identified acquisition. Project sponsors should use 
pre-award authority for real property acquisition relocation assistance 
with a clear understanding that it does not constitute a funding 
commitment by FTA. FTA provides pre-award authority upon completion of 
the environmental review process for real property acquisition and 
relocation assistance to maximize the time available to project 
sponsors to move people out of their homes and places of business, in 
accordance with the requirements of the URA, but also with maximum 
sensitivity to the circumstances of the people so affected.
ii. Reimbursement of Costs Incurred Under Pre-Award Authority
    Although FTA provides pre-award authority for property acquisition, 
long lead items, and vehicle purchases upon completion of the 
environmental review process, FTA will not make a grant to reimburse 
the sponsor for real estate activities, vehicle purchases or purchases 
of long lead items conducted under pre-award authority until the 
project receives its construction grant. This is to ensure that Federal 
funds are not risked on a project whose advancement into construction 
is still not yet assured.
iii. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Activities
    NEPA requires that major projects proposed for FTA funding 
assistance be subjected to a public and interagency review of the need 
for the project, its environmental and community impacts, and 
alternatives to avoid and reduce adverse impacts. Projects of more 
limited scope also need a level of environmental review, either to 
support an FTA finding of no significant impact (FONSI) or to 
demonstrate that the action is categorically excluded (i.e., CE) from 
the more rigorous level of NEPA review. FTA's regulation titled 
``Environmental Impact and Related Procedures,'' at 23 CFR part 771 
states that a grant applicant's costs for the preparation of 
environmental documents requested by FTA are eligible for FTA financial 
assistance (23 CFR 771.105(e)). Accordingly, FTA extends pre-award 
authority for costs incurred to comply with NEPA regulations and to 
conduct NEPA-related activities, effective as of the earlier of the 
following two dates: (1) The date of the Federal approval of the 
relevant STIP or STIP amendment that includes the project or any phase 
of the project, or that includes a project grouping under 23 CFR 
450.216(j) which includes the project; or (2) the date that FTA 
approves the project into project development. The grant applicant must 
notify the FTA Regional Office upon initiation of the Federal 
environmental review process in accordance with the FTA Administrator's 
``Dear Colleague'' letter the dated February 24, 2011. NEPA-related 
activities include, but are not limited to, public involvement 
activities, historic preservation reviews, section 4(f) evaluations, 
wetlands evaluations, endangered species consultations, and biological 
assessments. This pre-award authority is strictly limited to costs 
incurred to conduct the NEPA process and associated engineering, and to 
prepare environmental, historic preservation and related documents. 
When a New Starts, Small Starts, or Core Capacity project is granted 
pre-award authority for the environmental review process, the 
reimbursement for NEPA activities conducted under pre-award authority 
may be sought at any time through section 5307 (Urbanized Area Formula 
Program), section 5309, or the flexible highway programs (STP and 
CMAQ). As with any pre-award authority, FTA reimbursement for costs 
incurred is not guaranteed.
iv. Other New and Small Starts and Core Capacity Project Activities 
Requiring Letter of No Prejudice (LONP)
    Except as discussed in paragraphs i through iii above, a major 
capital investment project sponsor must obtain a written LONP from FTA 
before incurring costs for any activity. To obtain an LONP, an 
applicant must submit a written request accompanied by adequate 
information and justification to the appropriate FTA Regional Office, 
as described in B below.

B. Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) Policy

1. Policy
    LONP authority allows an applicant to incur costs on a project 
utilizing non-Federal resources, with the understanding that the costs 
incurred subsequent to the issuance of the LONP may be reimbursable as 
eligible expenses or eligible for credit toward the local match should 
FTA approve the project at a later date. LONPs are applicable to 
projects and project activities not covered by automatic pre-award 
authority. The majority of LONPs will be for section 5309 Capital 
Investment Grant (CIG) program (New or

[[Page 7280]]

Small Starts or Core Capacity) projects undertaking activities not 
covered under automatic pre-award authority. LONPs may be issued for 
formula and discretionary funds beyond the life of the current 
authorization or FTA's extension of automatic pre-award authority, 
which, by way of this notice, has been extended until September 30, 
2017; however, the LONP is limited to a five-year period, unless 
otherwise authorized in the LONP. Recipients preparing to enter into 
contracts that assume federal funding beyond September 30, 2017, should 
contact their Regional Office to pursue a LONP.
2. Conditions and Federal Requirements
    The conditions and requirements for pre-award authority specified 
in Section V.A.2 and V.A.3. above apply to all LONPs. Because project 
implementation activities may not be initiated before completion of the 
environmental review process, FTA will not issue an LONP for such 
activities until the environmental review process has been completed 
with a ROD, FONSI, or CE determination.
3. Request for LONP
    Before incurring costs for project activities not covered by 
automatic pre-award authority, the project sponsor must first submit a 
written request for an LONP, accompanied by adequate information and 
justification, to the appropriate Regional Office and obtain FTA's 
written approval. FTA approval of an LONP is determined on a case-by-
case basis. Receipt of Federal funding under the capital investment 
program is not implied or guaranteed by an LONP.

C. FY 2015 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances

    On October 31, 2014, FTA published a Notice of Availability in the 
Federal Register stating that the FY 2015 Certifications and Assurances 
are available on the FTA Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov and in 
TEAM-Web at http://ftateamweb.fta.dot.gov. The FY 2015 Certifications 
and Assurances must be used for all grants and cooperative agreements 
awarded in FY 2015. All recipients with active projects are required to 
sign the FY 2015 Certifications and Assurances within 90 days after its 
publication.

D. Civil Rights Requirements

1. Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)
    The Department of Transportation's (DOT) Disadvantaged Business 
Enterprise (DBE) program is an affirmative action program designed to 
combat discrimination and its continuing effects by providing 
contracting opportunities on Federally-funded highway, transit, and 
airport projects for small businesses owned and controlled by socially 
and economically disadvantaged individuals. Over the years, the 
Department has met or exceeded the national aspirational goal 
established by Congress in the statutes authorizing the program since 
1983 and has made continuous program improvements. The Department's 
2014 Final Rule, which went into effect on November 5, 2014, contains 
important improvements to the implementation and administration of the 
DBE program regulations.
    First, the Department revised its standard Uniform Certification 
application to remove unnecessary details (e.g., the phone number and 
address of applicant's bank). The application now includes new items 
useful to certifiers such as State departments of transportation, 
transit authorities, and airports. For example, the Personal Net Worth 
form is an adaptation of the SBA Form 413 tailored to DBE program 
requirements. All applicants must use this simplified form to document 
the economic status of the disadvantaged owner(s). The spouse of a 
disadvantaged owner who is involved in the operation of the firm must 
also submit a personal net worth form with the application.
    Second, the Uniform Report of DBE Awards or Commitments and 
Payments captures data on minority women-owned DBEs and actual payments 
to DBEs during the reporting period. FTA recipients will continue 
reporting in TEAM until the new DBE reporting module is finalized in 
TrAMS, which we expect to be completed by the June 1, 2015 reporting 
cycle.
    Third, MAP-21 requires State Departments of Transportation, on 
behalf of the Unified Certification Program, submit the percentage of 
DBEs in the state owned by non-minority women, minority women, and 
minority men. All reports must be submitted by January 1, 2015 to the 
USDOT Departmental Office of Civil Rights at [email protected].
    Fourth, bidders/offerors that are required to submit DBE 
information for a DOT-assisted contract that contains a DBE goal must 
provide the information at the time of bid (as a matter of 
responsiveness) or no later than seven days after bid opening (as a 
matter of responsibility). The seven days period will be reduced to 
five days beginning January 1, 2017. The DBE information submitted must 
include the North American Industrial Classification System code 
applicable to the kind of work the DBE will perform on the contract, 
and, when a non-DBE subcontractor is selected over a DBE, copies of the 
quotes from each DBE and non-DBE subcontractor. The bidder/offeror 
shall make copies of DBE subcontracts available upon request. In 
addition, the Final Rule provides additional examples of the ways to 
evaluate good faith efforts. A bidder/offeror will not be deemed to 
demonstrate good faith if it rejects a DBE simply because it is not the 
low bidder, or if it is unable to find a replacement DBE at the 
original price, without more. When evaluating the efforts of the low 
bidder to meet the contract goal, recipients should review the 
performance of other bidders.
    Fifth, regarding transit vehicle manufacturers (TVMs), the Final 
Rule adds a definition for TVM that includes ferry boat manufacturers. 
Recipients purchasing ferries must ensure that they purchase from 
entities that have been approved by FTA and are therefore on FTA's TVM 
Web page (http://www.fta.dot.gov/12326_5626.html) or they have 
submitted a goal that has not been disapproved by FTA. Please contact 
your Regional Civil Rights Officers if you are unsure that the entity 
has submitted a DBE goal to FTA. FTA will develop a Memorandum of 
Understanding with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) so ferry 
purchases with FHWA funding will also be subject to the TVM provisions 
(i.e., approved by FTA and listed on FTA's TVM Web site).
    Sixth, recipients are advised that including DBE goals on federally 
assisted vehicle purchases, without FTA's prior approval, is 
impermissible. All requests should be submitted to Britney Berry at 
[email protected] for FTA approval.
    Lastly, in order to provide appropriate flexibility in implementing 
TVM DBE provisions, FTA reminds recipients that overly prescriptive 
contract specifications on vehicle procurements eliminate opportunities 
for DBEs in vehicle manufacturing and counter the intent of the DBE 
program. FTA is acutely aware that recipients identify specific major 
system suppliers in the request for proposals (RFPs), which effectively 
excludes small businesses and DBEs from the most lucrative portion of 
the vehicle contract: The major systems. FTA urges recipients to 
explore ways that encourage TVMs and major systems suppliers to 
implement supplier diversity and development programs, which will 
assist TVMs in achieving their DBE goals.

[[Page 7281]]

2. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
    The U.S. DOT's Title VI implementing regulations are found in 49 
CFR part 21. FTA's Title VI Circular (4702.1B) provides guidance on 
carrying out the regulatory requirements. For recipients in urbanized 
areas of 200,000 or more in population and with 50 or more fixed-route 
vehicles in peak service, the recipient must conduct a service equity 
analysis for all service changes that meet the recipient's definition 
of ``major service change'' prior to implementing the service change. 
Recipients also must conduct a fare equity analysis for all fare 
increases or decreases prior to implementing a fare change. 
Furthermore, an environmental justice analysis is not a substitute for 
a Title VI service equity analysis triggered by a major service change 
or fare change. As recipients prepare their budgets, it is vitally 
important that an appropriate major service change or fare change 
analysis is completed prior to taking the proposed action. Should you 
have any questions, please contact your Regional Civil Rights Officer.
3. Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
    FTA has developed a 12 chapter Circular regarding recipient 
compliance with ADA requirements. A notice was published in the Federal 
Register on November 12, 2014, regarding the availability of seven 
chapters that are open for public comment. The comment period for these 
seven chapters was originally set to close on January 12, 2015. At the 
request of the American Public Transit Association, FTA has extended 
the comment period for another 30 days or until February 12, 2015.

E. FHWA ``Flex Funding'' and Consolidated Planning Grants

    Certain Federal-aid highway program funds under the title 23 may be 
transferred or ``flexed'' to FTA for eligible Title 49, Chapter 53 
purposes. These Title 23 programs include the Surface Transportation 
Program (23 U.S.C. 133) (STP), the Transportation Alternatives Program 
(23 U.S.C. 101) (TAP), the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality 
Improvement Program (23 U.S.C. 149) (CMAQ), the National Highway 
Performance Program (23 U.S.C. 119) (NHPP).
1. Transferring Title 23 Funds From FHWA to FTA
    Section 104(f) of title 23 U.S.C. allows FHWA, at the request of 
the State, to transfer funds for transit capital projects and eligible 
operating activities that have been designated as part of the 
metropolitan and statewide planning and programming process. The 
project must be included in an approved STIP before the funds can be 
transferred. The State DOT may request, by letter, that the FHWA 
Division Office transfer highway funds for a transit project. The 
letter should include a description of the project as contained in the 
STIP, the amount to be transferred, the apportionment year, State, 
urbanized area, Federal-aid apportionment category (i.e., STP, CMAQ, 
TAP, NHPP) or other funding source, indication of the intended 
recipient and the FTA formula program (i.e., section 5307, 5310, or 
5311). As noted in the CMAQ paragraph below, requests to transfer CMAQ 
funding from FHWA to FTA must also clearly identify the amount to be 
used for operating assistance.
    Once a written request for transfer is received (using FHWA 
transfer request form 1576), if, upon review, the FHWA Division Office 
concurs in the transfer, it provides written confirmation to the State 
DOT and FTA that the apportionment amount is available for transfer. 
The FHWA Division Office provides the transfer request to the FHWA 
Office of Budget which transfers the funds to FTA.
    FHWA funds transferred to FTA will be administered under one of the 
three FTA formula programs (i.e., Urbanized Area Formula (section 
5307), Formula Grants for the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and 
Individuals with Disabilities (section 5310), or Formula Grants for 
Rural Areas (section 5311)). Unobligated balances for High Priority 
projects under Section 1702 of SAFETEA-LU or Transportation Improvement 
projects under Section 1934 of SAFETEA-LU and other such funds for 
which Congress has identified a particular project that are transferred 
to FTA will be aligned with and administered through FTA's Urbanized 
Area Formula Grant Program (section 5307). Under 23 U.S.C. 104(f), FHWA 
funds transferred to FTA retain the same matching share that the funds 
would have if used for highway purposes and administered by FHWA.
    Transferred funds may be used for a capital transit purpose 
eligible under the FTA formula program to which they are transferred. 
MAP-21 revised the operating assistance eligibilities under CMAQ as 
described in Section 3 below.
    The FTA grantee's application for the project must specify the 
program in which the funds will be used, and the application must be 
prepared in accordance with the requirements and procedures governing 
that program. Upon review and approval of the grantee's application, 
FTA obligates funds for the project.
    In the event that the transferred funds are not obligated for the 
intended purpose within the period of availability of the formula 
program to which they were transferred, in most instances, they become 
available to the State for any eligible capital transit project under 
the program to which they were transferred.
2. Matching Share for FHWA Transfers
    Pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 104(f)(1)(B), FHWA funds transferred to FTA 
retain the same matching share that the funds would have if used for 
highway purposes and administered by FHWA. For the STP, CMAQ, and TAP 
programs, this Federal share is generally 80 percent, subject to upward 
adjustment in sliding scale States as noted below.
    For a period of time under SAFETEA-LU, CMAQ funds were available at 
a 100 percent Federal share. Starting on October 1, 2012, the CMAQ 
Federal share generally will be 80 percent. There are a few instances 
in which a Federal share on funds transferred from FHWA can be higher 
than 80 percent. In States with large areas of Indian and certain 
public domain lands and national forests, parks and monuments, the 
local share for highway projects is determined by a sliding scale rate, 
calculated based on the percentage of public lands within that State. 
This sliding scale, which permits a greater Federal share, but not to 
exceed 95 percent, is applicable to transfers used to fund transit 
projects in these public land States. FHWA develops the sliding scale 
matching ratios for the increased Federal share. Also, there may be 
instances where the applicable Federal share may be reduced to a lower 
Federal share than is generally applicable, such as under the NHPP 
where the Federal share must be reduced to a maximum of 65 percent if 
the State DOT does not develop and implement an asset management plan.
    Certain safety projects or projects that include an air quality or 
congestion relief component such as commuter carpooling and vanpooling 
projects using FHWA transfer funds administered by FTA may retain the 
same 100 percent Federal share; however, these projects are subject to 
a limitation for each State of an amount equal to 10 percent of the 
sums apportioned for programs under 23 U.S.C 104.
    For further guidance, please see FHWA Order, issued on August 12, 
2013 on ``Fund Transfers to Other Agencies and Among Title 23 
Programs'', which is available at

[[Page 7282]]

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/orders/45511.pdf.
3. CMAQ Funds for Operating Assistance
    The CMAQ program, at 23 U.S.C. 149, continues to provide a flexible 
funding source to State and local governments for transportation 
projects and programs to help achieve the goals of the Clean Air Act. 
Funding is available for projects that reduce congestion and improve 
air quality for areas that do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality 
Standards (NAAQS) for ozone, carbon monoxide, or particulate matter--
nonattainment areas--and for areas that were out of compliance but have 
now met the standards--maintenance areas. Transit investments, 
including transit vehicle acquisitions and construction of new 
facilities or improvements to facilities that increase transit capacity 
may be eligible for CMAQ funds. For additional information on this 
program, refer to the Interim CMAQ Program Guidance under MAP-21 
available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/cmaq/. 
FHWA is considering comments received on its Notice of Interim Guidance 
issued in the Federal Register on November 12, 2013 and will issue 
final guidance in the near future. (See 78 FR 67442-02.)
    Under limited circumstances, funds may also be used for operating 
assistance. Refer to the Revised Interim Guidance on CMAQ Operating 
Assistance under MAP-21 available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/cmaq, as well as the discussion in Section 
III.H in this notice, for additional information.
    As a reminder, all CMAQ transfer requests initiated by grantees to 
the MPO and State, and ultimately processed from FHWA to FTA, must 
clearly identify whether the CMAQ funds will be used for operating 
assistance or capital projects. Grantees must clearly identify the 
operating assistance amounts in the grant budget and, also, when 
requesting expenditures in ECHO-Web.
4. Consolidated Planning Grants
    FTA and FHWA planning funds under both the Metropolitan Planning 
and State Planning and Research Programs can be consolidated into a 
single consolidated planning grant (CPG), awarded by either FTA or 
FHWA. The CPG eliminates the need to monitor individual fund sources, 
if several have been used, and ensures that the oldest funds will 
always be used first. Under the CPG, States can report metropolitan 
planning program expenditures (to comply with the Single Audit Act) for 
both FTA and FHWA under the Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance 
number for FTA's Metropolitan Planning Program (20.505). Additionally, 
for States with an FHWA Metropolitan Planning (PL) fund-matching ratio 
greater than 80 percent, FTA's 20 percent local share requirement can 
be waived to allow FTA funds used for metropolitan planning in a CPG to 
be granted at the higher FHWA rate. For some States, this Federal match 
rate can exceed 90 percent.
    States interested in transferring planning funds between FTA and 
FHWA should contact the FTA Regional Office or FHWA Division Office for 
more detailed procedures. Current guidelines are included in FHWA's 
Order dated August 12, 2013, on ``Fund Transfers to Other Agencies and 
Among Title 23 Programs'', which is available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/orders/45511.pdf.
    For further information on CPGs, contact Ann Souvandara, Office of 
Budget and Policy, FTA, at (202) 366-0649.

F. Grant Application Procedures

    All applications for FTA funds should be submitted to the 
appropriate FTA Regional Office. FTA utilizes TEAM-Web, an Internet-
accessible electronic grant application system, and all applications 
are filed electronically. As noted in Section III of this notice, 
beginning in April, FTA will use the TrAMS system as a replacement to 
TEAM.
    FTA regional staff is responsible for working with grantees to 
review and process grant applications. In order for an application to 
be considered complete and for FTA to assign a grant number, enabling 
submission in TEAM-Web and submitted to Department of Labor (when 
applicable), the following requirements must be met:
     Recipient's contact information, including Dun and 
Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS), is correct and up-
to-date. 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.
     Recipient has registered in the System for Award 
Management (SAM) and its registration is current. (https://www.sam.gov)
     Recipient has properly submitted its annual certifications 
and assurances.
     Recipient's Civil Rights submissions are current and 
approved.
     Documentation is on file to support recipient's status as 
either a designated recipient (for the program and area) or a direct 
recipient.
     Funding is available, including any flexible funds 
included in the budget, and split letters or suballocation letters on 
file (where applicable) to support amount being applied for in grant 
application.
     The project is listed in a currently approved 
Transportation Improvement Program (TIP); Statewide Transportation 
Improvement Program (STIP), or Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP).
     All eligibility issues are resolved.
     Required environmental findings are made.
     The project budget's Activity Line Items (ALI), scope, and 
project description meet FTA requirements.
     Local share funding source(s) is identified.
     For projects involving new construction (using at least 
$100 million in New Starts or formula funds), FTA has reviewed the 
project management plan and given approval.
     Milestone information is complete, or FTA determines that 
milestone information can be finalized before the grant is ready for 
award. FTA will also review status of other open grants' reports to 
confirm financial and milestone information is current on other open 
grants and projects.
    Before FTA can award grants for discretionary projects and 
activities, notification must be given to the House and Senate 
authorizing and appropriations committees.
    Other important issues that impact FTA grant processing activities 
are discussed below.
1. Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and 
System for Award Management (SAM) Registration
    Each applicant or recipient of Federal Funds is required to: (1) Be 
registered in SAM before submitting its application; (2) provide a 
valid DUNS number in its application; and (3) continue to maintain an 
active SAM registration with current information at all times during 
which it has an active award or an application or plan under 
consideration by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). FTA will not 
make an award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all 
applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully 
complied with the requirements by the time the FTA is ready to make a 
Federal award, FTA may determine that the applicant is not

[[Page 7283]]

qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a 
basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.
    The System for Award Management (SAM) https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/ is the Official U.S. Government system that consolidated the 
capabilities of CCR/FedReg, ORCA, and EPLS. There is no fee to register 
or use this site. Entities may register and update their information at 
no cost directly from the above site.'' Your SAM registration (formerly 
CCR registration) needs to be renewed at least annually.
2. Grant Budgets--SCOPE and ALI Codes; Financial Purpose Codes
    FTA uses the SCOPE and Activity Line Item (ALI) Codes in the grant 
budgets to track program trends, to report to Congress, and to respond 
to requests from the Inspector General and the Government 
Accountability Office (GAO), as well as to manage grants. The accuracy 
of the data is dependent on the careful and correct use of codes. FTA 
is in the process of revising the SCOPE and ALI table to include new 
codes for the newly eligible capital items, to better track certain 
expenditures, and to accommodate the new programs. FTA encourages 
grantees to review the table before selecting codes from the drop-down 
menus in TEAM-Web while creating a grant budget. Additional information 
about how to use the SCOPE and ALI codes to accurately code budgets 
will be added to the resources available through TEAM-Web.
    Under sections 5307 and 5311, FTA will continue to use the SCOPE 
established for job access and reverse projects (646-00) in order to 
track the use of these program funds for this eligible purpose. 
Similarly, for section 5310 grants made with FY 2013 and later funds, 
FTA will continue to use the SCOPE established for ``new-freedom'' type 
projects (647-00).
    In addition to SCOPE and ALI codes, FTA uses financial purpose 
codes (FPCs) in TEAM to identify specific funding uses and track the 
actual obligations and expenditures of funds to a specific use, such as 
capital, planning, or operating. FPCs are identified at the time 
program funds are reserved and must be identified when a grantee 
requests a draw-down in ECHO-web. The available FPCs differ by program, 
based on the programs eligibility. For example, in a grant for a 
capital-only program (e.g. section 5337 or 5339), the funds would be 
obligated using FPC 00. Grantees should be aware that several new FPCs 
were introduced for MAP-21 grants, particularly for section 5307, 5310, 
and 5311 to track eligible uses like job access and reverse commute 
projects (FPC 03) and new-freedom projects (FPC 03). Grantees should 
pay close attention to the FPCs used when their grants are obligated so 
they use the correct FPCs in their ECHO-Web requests. FTA will no 
longer use FPC codes in TRAMS.
3. Designated and Direct Recipients, Documentation and Supplemental 
Agreements
    For its formula programs, FTA primarily apportions funds to the 
Designated Recipient in the large UZAs (areas over 200,000), or for 
areas under 200,000 (small UZAs and rural areas), it apportions the 
funds to the Governor, or its designee (e.g., State DOT). Depending on 
the program and as described in the individual program sections found 
in Section IV of this notice, further suballocation of funds may be 
permitted to eligible recipients who can then apply directly to FTA for 
the funding (``direct recipients''), so long as the required 
documentation is on file. However, there are certain programs under 
MAP-21 whereby FTA will only award grants to the designated recipients 
for the area or program. These include sections 5310 and 5339.
    For the programs in which FTA can make grants to eligible direct 
recipients, other than the Designated Recipient(s), recipients are 
reminded that documentation must be on file to support the (1) status 
of the recipient either as a Designated Recipient or direct recipient; 
and (2) the allocation of funds to the direct recipient. Additionally, 
FTA requires a supplemental agreement to be pinned to the grant in 
TEAM-Web prior to grant execution. The supplemental agreement is 
required when the recipient of the funds is not the Designated 
Recipient. It permits the grant recipient (e.g., direct recipient) to 
receive and dispense the Federal funds and sets forth that the grant 
recipient is assuming all responsibilities of the grant agreement.
    Under MAP-21, with the exception of the new UZAs resulting from the 
2010 Census under the section 5307 program, the only program for which 
NEW designations are needed in the large urbanized areas before a grant 
can be made is section 5310. Before the first grant application in a 
large UZAs under section 5310 is submitted to FTA, the Governor must 
designate an agency charged with administering the Enhanced Mobility of 
Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities funds. This designation must 
be on file with the Regional Office prior to the award of any section 
5310 grants in large UZAs.
    For all other programs, documentation to support existing 
designated recipients for the UZA must also be on file at the time of 
the first application in FY 2015. Further, split letters and/or 
suballocation letters (Governor's Apportionment letters), must also be 
on file to support grant applications from direct recipients.
4. Payments
    Once a grant has been awarded and executed, requests for payment 
can be processed. To process payments FTA uses ECHO-Web, an Internet 
accessible system that provides grantees the capability to submit 
payment requests on-line, as well as receive user-IDs and passwords via 
email. New applicants should contact the appropriate FTA Regional 
Office to obtain and submit the registration package necessary for set-
up under ECHO-Web.
5. Oversight
    FTA is responsible for conducting oversight activities to help 
ensure that grants recipients use FTA federal financial assistance in a 
manner consistent with their intended purpose and in compliance with 
regulatory and statutory requirements. FTA conducts periodic oversight 
reviews to assess grantee compliance with applicable Federal 
requirements. Each Urbanized Area Formula Program recipient is reviewed 
every three years, (also known as FTA's Triennial Review); and States 
and state-wide public transportation agencies are reviewed periodically 
to assess the management practices and program implementation of FTA 
state-wide programs (e.g., Planning, Rural Areas, Enhanced Mobility of 
Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Programs). Other more 
detailed reviews are scheduled based on an annual grantee oversight 
assessment. Important objectives of FTA's oversight program include, 
but are not limited to: Determining grantee compliance with Federal 
requirements; identifying technical assistance needs, and delivering 
technical assistance to meet those needs; spotting emerging issues with 
grantees in a forward-looking fashion; recognizing when there is a need 
for more in-depth reviews in the areas of procurement, financial 
management, and civil rights; and identifying grantees with recurring 
or systemic issues.
6. Technical Assistance
    As noted throughout the notice, FTA continues to rely on several of 
the existing program circulars for general program guidance. FTA is 
continuing to update the program circulars, with an opportunity for 
notice and comment, to reflect changes under MAP-21. In the

[[Page 7284]]

meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact 
FTA. FTA headquarters and regional staff will be pleased to answer your 
questions and provide any technical assistance you may need to apply 
for FTA program funds and manage the grants you receive. At its 
discretion, FTA may also use program oversight consultants to provide 
technical assistance to grantees on a case by case basis. This notice 
and the program guidance circulars previously identified in this 
document may be accessed via the FTA Web site at www.fta.dot.gov.

G. Grant Management

    Recipients of FTA funds are reminded that all FTA grantees require 
some level of grant reporting and that it is critical to ensure reports 
demonstrate reasonable progress is being made on the project. At a 
minimum, all grants require a Federal Financial Report (FFR) and a 
Milestone Progress Report (MPR) on an annual basis, with some reports 
required quarterly depending on the recipient and the type of projects 
funded under the grant. The requirements for these reports and other 
reporting requirements can be found in FTA Circular 5010.1D, Grant 
Management Requirements, dated August 27, 2012. FTA staff, auditors, 
and contractors rely on the information provided in the FFR and MPR to 
review and report on the status of both financial and project-level 
activities contained in the grant. It is critical that recipients 
provide accurate and complete information in these reports and submit 
them by the required due date. Failure to report and/or demonstrate 
reasonable progress on projects can result in suspension or close-out 
of a grant.
    In FY 2015, FTA will continue to focus on inactive grants and 
grants that do not comply with reporting requirements and, if 
appropriate, will take action to close out and deobligate funds from 
these grants if reasonable progress is not being made. The efficient 
use of funds will further FTA's fulfillment of its mission to provide 
efficient and effective public transportation systems for the nation.
    Furthermore, inactive grants continue to be a major audit finding 
within the Department of Transportation and FTA must take action to 
ensure its grants do not impact the Department not receiving a ``clean 
audit'' opinion on its annual financial statement audit.
    In October of 2014 FTA identified a list of grants that were 
awarded on or prior to September 30, 2011 and have had no funds 
disbursed since September 30, 2012 or have never had a disbursement.
    FTA Regional Offices will be contacting grant recipients with one 
or more grants that meet this criteria to notify them that FTA intends 
to close the grant and deobligate any remaining funds unless the 
grantee can provide information that demonstrates that the projects 
funded by the grant remain active and the grantee has a realistic 
schedule to expedite completion of the projects funded in the grant.
    In addition, recipients of open American Recovery and Reinvestment 
Act (ARRA) grants should be aware that, as a matter of law, all 
remaining ARRA funds MUST be disbursed from grants by the end of the 
5th fiscal year (FY) after funds were required to be obligated. (SEE 31 
U.S.C. 1552.) For FTA ARRA projects, that requirement takes affect at 
the end of FY 2015. Accordingly, once ECHO closes for disbursements in 
late September 2015, all remaining funds within FTA ARRA funded grants 
will no longer be available to the grantee and will be deobligated from 
the grant. Even if a grantee has incurred costs or disbursed funds 
prior to the close of ECHO, if the grantee has not actually drawn down 
the funds by the time ECHO closes in late September, FTA will be unable 
to reimburse the grantee. Therefore, grantees with open ARRA grants 
must ensure project activities are completed and all funds are drawdown 
before ECHO closes by late September 2015. For ARRA TIGER 1 projects, 
the same requirement will be in effect for the end of FY 2016.

Therese McMillan,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2015-02555 Filed 2-6-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-P