[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 101 (Thursday, May 27, 2021)]
[Pages 28675-28681]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-11197]



Federal Transit Administration

FY 2021 Competitive Funding Opportunity: Public Transportation on 
Indian Reservations Program; Tribal Transit Program

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of funding opportunity.


SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the 
opportunity to apply for $10 million in competitive grants for the 
Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Public Transportation on Indian Reservations 
(Tribal Transit) Program. As required by Federal public transportation 
law, funds will be awarded competitively for any purpose eligible under 
FTA's Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program, 49 U.S.C. 5311, including 
planning, capital, and operating assistance for tribal public transit 
services in rural areas. FTA may award additional funding that is made 
available to the program prior to the announcement of project 

DATES: Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the 
GRANTS.GOV ``APPLY'' function by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on August 25, 
2021. Any applicant intending to apply should initiate the process of 
registering on the GRANTS.GOV site immediately to ensure completion of 
registration before the submission deadline. Instructions for applying 
can be found on FTA's website at http://www.transit.dot.gov/howtoapply 
and in the ``FIND'' module of GRANTS.GOV. The funding opportunity ID is 
FTA-2021-003-TR. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jacarl Melton, Office of Program 
Management, (202) 366-2269, or email [email protected]. A TDD is 
available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDD/FIRS).


Table of Contents

A. Program Description
B. Federal Award Information
C. Eligibility Information
D. Application and Submission Information
E. Application Review Information
F. Federal Award Administration Information
G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts
H. Other Information

A. Program Description

    Federal public transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5311(c)(1)(A)) 
authorizes FTA to award competitive grants ``under such terms and 
conditions as may be established by the Secretary'' to Indian tribes 
for any purpose eligible under FTA's Formula Grants for Rural Areas 
Program, 49 U.S.C. 5311, including planning, capital, and operating 
assistance. Tribes may apply for this funding directly.
    The Tribal Transit Program (Federal Assistance Listing: 20.509) 
supports FTA's strategic goals and objectives through the timely and 
efficient investment in public transportation. This program also 
supports the President's Build Back Better initiative to mobilize 
American ingenuity to build a modern infrastructure and an equitable, 
clean energy future. In addition, the Tribal Transit Program and this 
NOFO will advance the goals of the January 20, 2021 Executive Order on 
Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through 
the Federal Government.
    Competitive funds distributed to Indian tribes under the Tribal 
Transit Program do not replace or reduce funds that Indian tribes 
receive from States through FTA's Formula Grants for Rural Areas 
Program. Specific project eligibility under this competitive allocation 
is described in Section C of this notice.

B. Federal Award Information

    Federal public transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5338(a)(2)(F), 49 
U.S.C. 5311(c)(1)) authorizes $5 million in FY 2021 for competitive 
grants under the Tribal Transit Program. The Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2021, (Pub. L. 116-260), appropriated the 
authorized amount for grants under this program. The American Rescue 
Plan Act of 2021 (Pub. L. 117-2) appropriated an additional $5 million 
for grants under this program. There is a $25,000 cap on planning grant 
awards, and FTA has discretion to cap capital and operating awards. 
Additional funds made available prior to project selection may be 
allocated to eligible projects.
    In FY 2020, the program received applications for 30 eligible 
projects requesting a total of $9.4 million. Twenty-five projects were 
funded at a total of $7.7 million.
    FTA will grant pre-award authority to incur costs for selected 
projects beginning on the date FY 2021 project selections are announced 
on FTA's website. Funds are available for obligation for two fiscal 
years after the fiscal year in which the competitive awards are 
announced. Funds are available only for projects that have not incurred 
costs prior to the announcement of project selections.

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

    Eligible applicants include Federally-recognized Indian tribes or 
Alaska Native villages, groups, or communities as identified by the 
U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). 
As evidence of Federal recognition, an Indian tribe may submit a copy 
of the most up-to-date Federal Register notice published by BIA: 
Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Service from the United 
States Bureau of Indian Affairs. To be an eligible recipient, an Indian 
tribe must have the requisite legal, financial, and technical 
capabilities to receive and administer Federal funds under this 
program. Additionally, applicants must be located and provide service 
in a rural area with a population of less than 50,000. A service area 
can include some portions of urban areas, as long as the tribal transit 
service serves rural areas. An applicant must be registered in the 
System for Award Management (SAM) database and maintain an active SAM 
registration with current information at all times during which it has 
an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration 
by FTA.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    There is no local match requirement for operating, capital, or 
planning projects under this program. All projects will be awarded at a 
100 percent Federal share, unless the applicant chooses to provide a 
local match at its own discretion. If choosing to provide a local 
match, the proposal should include a description of the Indian tribe's 
financial commitment.
    If desired by the applicant, tribes may use any local match 
eligible under

[[Page 28676]]

Chapter 53, including cash from non-Government sources other than 
revenues from providing public transportation services; revenues 
derived from the sale of advertising and concessions; amounts received 
under a service agreement with a State or local social service agency 
or private social service organization; revenues generated from value 
capture financing mechanisms; funds from an undistributed cash surplus; 
replacement or depreciation cash fund or reserve; new capital; or in-
kind contributions. Transportation development credits or in-kind match 
may be used for local match if identified and documented in the 

3. Eligible Projects

    Eligible projects include public transportation planning, capital, 
or operating expenses. Unlike in prior years, all eligible applicants 
may apply for operating assistance.
    Public transportation includes regular, continuing shared-ride 
surface transportation services open to the public or open to a segment 
of the public defined by age, disability, or low income. FTA will award 
grants to eligible Indian tribes proposing projects serving rural 
areas. Applicants must submit one proposal for each project. Specific 
types of projects include: Capital investment for start-ups, 
replacement, or expansion needs; operating assistance; and planning 
projects up to $25,000. Indian tribes applying for capital replacement 
or expansion needs must demonstrate a sustainable source of operating 
funds for existing or expanded services.

D. Application and Submission Information

1. Address To Request Application Package

    Applications must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV. 
General information for submitting applications through GRANTS.GOV can 
be found at www.fta.dot.gov/howtoapply along with specific instructions 
for the forms and attachments required for submission. Mail and fax 
submissions will not be accepted. A complete proposal submission 
consists of two forms: The SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance 
(available at GRANTS.GOV) and the supplemental form for the FY 2021 
Tribal Transit Program (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV or the FTA website 
at https://www.transit.dot.gov/tribal-transit). Failure to submit the 
information as requested can delay review or disqualify the 

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

(i) Proposal Submission
    Applications must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV. 
General information for submitting applications through GRANTS.GOV can 
be found at www.fta.dot.gov/howtoapply along with specific instructions 
for the forms and attachments required for submission. Mail and fax 
submissions will not be accepted. A complete proposal submission 
consists of two forms: The SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance 
(available at GRANTS.GOV) and the supplemental form for the FY 2021 
Tribal Transit Program (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV or the FTA website 
at https://www.transit.dot.gov/tribal-transit). Failure to submit the 
information as requested can delay review or disqualify the 
application. A complete proposal submission will consist of at least 
two files: (1) The SF-424 Mandatory form (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV); 
and (2) the Tribal Transit supplemental form found on the FTA website 
at http://www.transit.dot.gov. The Tribal Transit supplemental form 
provides guidance and a consistent format for applicants to respond to 
the criteria outlined in this NOFO. The supplemental form and any 
supporting documents must be attached to the ``Attachments'' section of 
the SF-424. The application must include responses to all sections of 
the SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance and the supplemental 
form, unless indicated as optional. The information on the supplemental 
form will be used to determine applicant and project eligibility for 
the program, and to evaluate the proposal against the selection 
criteria described in part E of this notice.
    FTA will only accept one supplemental form per SF-424 submission. 
Applicants may attach additional supporting information to the SF-424 
submission, including but not limited to letters of support, project 
budgets, fleet status reports, or excerpts from relevant planning 
documents. Supporting documentation must be described and referenced by 
file name in the appropriate response section of the supplemental form, 
or it may not be reviewed.
    Information such as applicant name, Federal amount requested, local 
match amount, description of areas served, etc. may be requested in 
varying degrees of detail on both the SF-424 and Supplemental Form. 
Applicants must fill in all fields unless stated otherwise on the 
forms. Applicants should not place N/A or ``refer to attachment'' in 
lieu of typing in responses in the field sections. If information is 
copied into the supplemental form from another source, applicants 
should verify that pasted text is fully captured on the supplemental 
form and has not been truncated by the character limits built into the 
form. Applicants should use both the ``Check Package for Errors'' and 
the ``Validate Form'' validation buttons on both forms to check all 
required fields on the forms, and ensure that the Federal and local 
amounts specified are consistent.
    Complete instructions on the application process can be found at 
http://www.transit.dot.gov. Important: FTA urges applicants to submit 
their project proposals at least 72 hours prior to the due date to 
allow time to receive the validation message and to correct any 
problems that may have caused a rejection notification. FTA will not 
accept submissions after the stated submission deadline. GRANTS.GOV 
scheduled maintenance and outage times are announced on the GRANTS.GOV 
website at http://www.GRANTS.GOV. The deadline will not be extended due 
to scheduled maintenance or outages.
    Applicants are encouraged to begin the process of registration on 
the GRANTS.GOV site well in advance of the submission deadline. 
Registration is a multi-step process which may take several weeks to 
complete before an application can be submitted. Registered applicants 
may still be required to take steps to keep their registration up to 
date before submissions can be made successfully: (1) Registration in 
the SAM is renewed annually; and (2) persons making submissions on 
behalf of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) must be 
authorized in GRANTS.GOV by the AOR to make submissions. Applicants 
must submit one proposal for each project.
(ii) Application Content
    The SF-424 Mandatory Form and the Supplemental Form will prompt 
applicants for the required information, including:
    a. Name of Federally recognized tribe and, if appropriate, the 
specific tribal agency submitting the application.
    b. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) 
number if available.
    c. Contact information including: Contact name, title, address, 
phone number, and email address.
    d. Description of public transportation services, including areas 
currently served by the tribe, if any.

[[Page 28677]]

    e. Name of person(s) authorized to apply on applicant's behalf must 
accompany the proposal (attach a signed transmittal letter).
    f. Complete Project Description: Indicate the category for which 
funding is requested (i.e., project type: Capital, operating, or 
planning), and then indicate the project purpose (i.e., start-up, 
expansion, or replacement). Describe the proposed project and what it 
will accomplish (e.g., number and type of vehicles, routes, service 
area, schedules, type of services, fixed route or demand responsive, 
safety aspects), route miles (if fixed route), ridership numbers 
expected (actual if an existing system, estimated if a new system), 
major origins and destinations, population served, and whether the 
tribe provides the service directly or contracts for services, and note 
vehicle maintenance plans.
    g. Project Timeline: Include significant milestones such as date of 
contract for purchase of vehicles, actual or expected delivery date of 
vehicles; facility project phases (e.g., environmental reviews, design, 
construction); or dates for completion of planning studies. If applying 
for operating funding for new services, indicate the period of time 
that funds would be used to operate the system (e.g., one year). This 
section should also include any needed timelines for tribal council 
project approvals, if applicable.
    h. Budget: Provide a detailed budget for each proposed purpose, 
noting the Federal amount requested and any additional funds that will 
be used. An Indian tribe may use up to fifteen percent of a grant award 
for capital projects for specific project-related planning and 
administration, and the indirect cost rate may not exceed ten percent 
(if necessary, add as an attachment) of the total amount requested/
awarded. Indian tribes must also provide their annual operating budget 
as an attachment or under the ``Financial Commitment and Operating 
Capacity'' section of the supplemental form.
    i. Technical, Legal, Financial Capacity: Applicants must be able to 
demonstrate adequate technical, legal, and financial capacity to be 
considered for funding. Every proposal MUST describe this capacity to 
implement the proposed project.
    1. Technical Capacity: Provide examples of management of other 
Federal projects, including previously funded FTA projects and/or 
similar types of projects for which funding is being requested. 
Describe the resources available to implement the proposed transit 
    2. Legal Capacity: Provide documentation or other evidence to 
demonstrate status as a federally recognized Indian tribe. Further, 
demonstrate evidence of an authorized representative with authority to 
bind the applicant and execute legal agreements with FTA. If applying 
for capital or operating funds, identify whether appropriate Federal or 
State operating authority exists.
    3. Financial Capacity: Provide documentation or other evidence 
demonstrating current adequate financial systems to receive and manage 
a Federal grant. Fully describe: (1) All financial systems and 
controls; (2) other sources of funds currently managed; and (3) the 
long-term financial capacity to maintain the proposed or existing 
transit services.

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

    Each applicant is required to: (1) Be registered in SAM before 
submitting an application; (2) provide a valid unique entity identifier 
in its application; and (3) continue to maintain an active SAM 
registration with current information at all times during which the 
applicant has an active Federal award or an application or plan under 
consideration by FTA. These requirements do not apply if the applicant 
has an exemption approved by FTA under Federal grants and agreements 
law (2 CFR 25.110(d)). FTA may not make an award until the applicant 
has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM 
requirements. If an applicant has not fully complied with the 
requirements by the time FTA is ready to make an award, FTA may 
determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and 
use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another 
applicant. Non-Federal entities that have received a Federal award are 
required to report certain civil, criminal, or administrative 
proceedings to SAM (currently the Federal Awardee Performance and 
Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)) to ensure registration 
information is current and comply with federal requirements. Applicants 
should reference 2 CFR 200.113, for more information.
    FTA may not make an award until the applicant has complied with all 
applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements. If an 
applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time FTA 
is ready to make an award, FTA may determine that the applicant is not 
qualified to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for 
making a Federal award to another applicant. SAM registration takes 
approximately 3-5 business days, but FTA recommends allowing ample 
time, up to several weeks, for completion of all steps. For additional 
information on obtaining a unique entity identifier, please visit 

4. Submission Dates and Times

    Project proposals must be submitted electronically through 
GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on August 25, 2021. Mail and fax 
submissions will not be accepted. Proposals submitted after the 
deadline will only be considered under extraordinary circumstances not 
under the applicant's control. Applications are time and date stamped 
by GRANTS.GOV upon successful submission.
    Within 48 hours after submitting an electronic application, the 
applicant should receive an email message from GRANTS.GOV with 
confirmation of successful transmission to GRANTS.GOV. If a notice of 
failed validation or incomplete materials is received, the applicant 
must address the reason for the failed validation, as described in the 
email notice, and resubmit before the submission deadline. If making a 
resubmission for any reason, include all original attachments 
regardless of which attachments were updated and check the box on the 
supplemental form indicating this is a resubmission.

5. Funding Restrictions

    Funds must be used only for the specific purposes requested in the 
application. Funds under this NOFO cannot be used to reimburse projects 
for otherwise eligible expenses incurred prior to an FTA award under 
this program. Refer to Section C.3., Eligible Projects, for information 
on activities that are allowable in this grant program. Allowable 
direct and indirect expenses must be consistent with the Governmentwide 
Uniform Administrative Requirements and Cost Principles (2 CFR part 
200) and FTA Circular 5010.

6. Other Submission Requirements

    Applicants are encouraged to identify scaled funding options in 
case insufficient funding is available to fund a project at the full 
requested amount. If an applicant indicates that a project is scalable, 
the applicant must provide an appropriate minimum funding amount that 
will fund an eligible project that achieves the objectives of the 
program and meets all relevant program requirements. The applicant must 
provide a clear explanation of how the

[[Page 28678]]

project budget would be affected by a reduced award. FTA may award a 
lesser amount regardless of whether a scalable option is provided.
    All applications must be submitted via the GRANTS.GOV website. FTA 
does not accept applications on paper, by fax machine, email, or other 
means. For information on application submission requirements, please 
see Section D.1., Address to Request Application.

E. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

    Proposals for capital and operating assistance projects will be 
evaluated primarily on the responses provided in the supplemental form. 
Additional information may be provided to support the responses; 
however, any additional documentation must be directly referenced on 
the supplemental form, including the file name where the additional 
information can be found. Applications will be evaluated based on the 
quality and extent to which the following evaluation criteria are 
(i.) Planning and Local/Regional Prioritization
    Applications will be evaluated based on the degree to which the 
applicant: (1) Describes how the proposed project was developed; (2) 
demonstrates that a sound basis for the project exists; and (3) 
demonstrates that the applicant is ready to implement the project if 
funded. Information may vary depending upon how the planning process 
for the project was conducted and what is being requested. Planning and 
local/regional prioritization should:
    a. Describe the planning document and/or the planning process 
conducted to identify the proposed project;
    b. Provide a detailed project description, including the proposed 
service, vehicle and facility needs, and other pertinent 
characteristics of the proposed or existing service implementation;
    c. Identify existing transportation services in and near the 
proposed service area, and document in detail whether the proposed 
project will provide opportunities to coordinate service with existing 
transit services, including human service agencies, intercity bus 
services, or other public transit providers;
    d. Discuss the level of support by the community and/or tribal 
government for the proposed project;
    e. Describe how the mobility and client-access needs of tribal 
human services agencies were considered in the planning process;
    f. Describe what opportunities for public participation were 
provided in the planning process and how the proposed transit service 
or existing service has been coordinated with transportation provided 
for the clients of human services agencies, with intercity bus 
transportation in the area, or with any other rural public transit 
    g. Describe how the proposed service complements rather than 
duplicates any currently available services;
    h. If the Tribe is already providing transit service, describe if 
this project is included in the Tribe's transit asset management plan;
    i. Describe the implementation schedule for the proposed project, 
including time period, staffing, and procurement; and
    j. Describe any other planning or coordination efforts not 
mentioned above.
(ii.) Project Readiness
    Applications will be evaluated on the degree to which the applicant 
describes readiness to implement the project. The project readiness 
factor involves assessing whether:
    a. The project qualifies for a categorical exclusion (see 23 CFR 
771.118), or the required environmental work has been initiated or 
completed, for construction projects requiring an environmental 
assessment or environmental impact statement under, among others, the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended;
    b. Project implementation plans are complete, including initial 
design of facilities projects;
    c. Project funds can be obligated and the project can be 
implemented quickly, if selected; and
    d. The applicant demonstrates the ability to carry out the proposed 
project successfully.
(iii.) Demonstration of Need
    Applications will be evaluated based on the degree to which the 
applicant identifies the need for transit resources. In addition to 
project-specific criteria, FTA will consider the project's impact on 
service delivery and whether the project represents a one-time or 
periodic need that cannot reasonably be funded from FTA program formula 
allocations or State and/or local resources. FTA will evaluate how the 
proposal demonstrates the transit needs of the Indian tribe as well as 
how the proposed transit improvements or the new service will address 
identified transit needs. Proposals should include information such as 
destinations and services not currently accessible by transit; needs 
for access to jobs or health care; safety enhancements; special needs 
of elders or individuals with disabilities; behavioral health care 
needs of youth; income-based community needs; or other mobility needs. 
If an applicant received a planning grant in previous fiscal years, the 
proposal should indicate the status of the planning study and how the 
proposed project relates to that study.
    Applicants applying for capital expansion or replacement projects 
should also address the following factors in their proposal. If the 
proposal is for capital funding associated with an expansion or 
expanded service, the applicant should describe how current or growing 
demand for the service necessitates the expansion (and therefore, more 
capital) and/or the degree to how the project is addressing a current 
capacity constraint. Capital replacement projects should include 
information about the age, condition, and performance of the asset to 
be replaced by the proposed project and/or how the replacement may be 
necessary to maintain the transit system in a state of good repair.
(iv.) Demonstration of Benefits
    Applications will be evaluated based on the degree to which the 
applicant identifies expected or, in the case of existing service, 
achieved project benefits. FTA is particularly interested in how these 
investments will improve the quality of life for the tribe and 
surrounding communities in which it is located. Applicants should 
describe how the transportation service or capital investment will 
provide greater access to employment opportunities, educational 
centers, healthcare, or other needs that impact the quality of life for 
the community, and how it is expected to improve the environment. 
Possible examples include: Increased or sustained ridership and daily 
trips; improved service; elimination of gaps in service; improved 
operations and coordination; increased reliability; and other 
applicable community benefits related to health care, education, the 
economy, or the environment. Benefits can be demonstrated by 
identifying the population of tribal members and non-tribal members in 
the proposed project service area and estimating the number of daily 
one-way trips the proposed transit service will provide or the actual 
number of individual riders served. Applicants are encouraged to 
consider qualitative and quantitative benefits to the Indian tribe and 
to the surrounding communities that are meaningful to them.

[[Page 28679]]

    Using the information provided under this criterion, FTA will rate 
proposals based on the quality and extent to which they discuss the 
following four factors:
    a. The project's ability to improve transit efficiency or increase 
    b. Whether the project will improve or maintain mobility, or 
eliminate gaps in service for the Indian tribe;
    c. Whether the project will improve or maintain access to important 
destinations and services;
    d. Any other qualitative benefits, such as greater access to jobs, 
education, and health care services, and environmental considerations.
(v.) Financial Commitment and Technical, Legal, Financial and Operating 
    Provision of a local match for the FY 2021 Tribal Transit Program 
is not required. Applications that include a local match will not be 
evaluated more favorably than those that do not. However, FTA is 
interested in ensuring that projects that receive funding are 
    Applications must identify the source of local match (if any is 
included) and any other funding sources used by the Indian tribe to 
support proposed transit services, including human service 
transportation funding, the Federal Highway Administration's Tribal 
Transportation Program funding, or other FTA programs. If applicable, 
the applicant also should describe how prior year Tribal Transit 
Program funds were spent to date to support the service. Additionally, 
Indian tribes applying to operate new services should provide a 
sustainable funding plan that demonstrates how it intends to maintain 
    If applicable, FTA will consider any other resources the Indian 
tribe will contribute to the project, including in-kind contributions, 
commitments of support from local businesses, donations of land or 
equipment, and human resources. The proposal should describe to what 
extent the new project or funding for existing service leverages other 
funding. Based upon the information provided, the proposals will be 
rated on the extent to which the proposal demonstrates that:
    a. Tribal Transit Program funding does not replace existing 
    b. The Indian tribe will provide non-financial support to the 
    c. The Indian tribe is able to demonstrate a sustainable funding 
plan; and
    d. Project funds are used in coordination with other services for 
efficient utilization of funds.
(vi.) Evaluation Criteria for Planning Proposals
    For planning grants, the proposal must describe the need for and a 
general scope of the proposed study. Applications will be evaluated 
based on the degree to which the applicant addresses the following:
    a. The tribe's long-term commitment to transit; and
    b. The method used to implement the proposed study and/or further 
tribal transit.

2. Review and Selection Process

    An FTA technical evaluation committee will review proposals under 
the project evaluation criteria. Members of the technical evaluation 
committee and other involved FTA staff reserve the right to screen the 
applications, and seek clarification about any statement in an 
application. After consideration of the findings of the technical 
evaluation committee, the FTA Administrator will determine the final 
selection and amount of funding for each project. Geographic diversity 
and the applicant's receipt and management of other Federal transit 
funds may be considered in FTA's award decisions.
    After applying the above criteria, in support of the President's 
January 20, 2021 Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the 
Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis and the 
President's January 27, 2021 Executive Order on Tackling the Climate 
Crisis at Home and Abroad, and to assist in promoting environmental 
justice, the FTA Administrator will give priority consideration to 
applications that are expected to create significant community benefits 
relating to the environment.

3. FAPIIS Check

    Prior to making an award, FTA is required to review and consider 
any information about the applicant that is in the Federal Awardee 
Performance and Integrity Information Systems accessible through SAM. 
An applicant may review and comment on any information about itself 
that a Federal awarding agency previously entered. FTA will consider 
any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in 
the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment 
about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of 
performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk 
posed by applicants as described in the Office of Management and 
Budget's Uniform Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR 200.206).

F. Federal Award Administration Information

1. Federal Award Notice

    FTA will publish a list of the selected projects, including Federal 
dollar amounts and award recipients, on FTA's website. Project 
recipients should contact their FTA Regional Offices and tribal liaison 
for information about setting up grants in FTA's Transit Award 
Management System (TrAMS). At the time the project selections are 
announced, FTA will extend pre-award authority for the selected 
projects. There is no blanket pre-award authority for these projects 
before announcement.
    There is no minimum or maximum grant award amount for operating and 
capital projects. Planning projects do not have a minimum grant award 
amount but will not receive an award of more than $25,000.
    FTA intends to fund as many meritorious projects as possible. Only 
proposals from eligible recipients for eligible activities will be 
considered for funding. Due to funding limitations, applicants that are 
selected for funding may receive less than the amount originally 
requested. In those cases, applicants must be able to demonstrate that 
the proposed projects are still viable and can be completed with the 
amount awarded.
    Successful proposals will be awarded through FTA's TrAMS as grant 
agreements. The appropriate FTA Regional Office and tribal liaison will 
manage project agreements.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

a. Pre-Award Authority
    FTA will issue specific guidance to recipients regarding pre-award 
authority at the time of selection. FTA does not provide pre-award 
authority for competitive funds until projects are selected, and even 
then, there are Federal requirements that must be met before costs are 
incurred. For more information about FTA's policy on pre-award 
authority, please see the most recent Apportionment Notice at https://www.transit.dot.gov.
b. Grant Requirements
    Except as otherwise provided in this NOFO, Tribal Transit Program 
grants are subject to the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 5311(c)(1) as 
described in the latest FTA Circular 9040 for the Formula Grants for 
Rural Areas Program. If the Department determines that a recipient has 
failed to comply with applicable Federal requirements, the Department 
may terminate the award of funds and

[[Page 28680]]

disallow previously incurred costs, requiring the recipient to 
reimburse any expended award funds. All recipients must also follow the 
Award Management Requirements (FTA Circular 5010). Technical assistance 
regarding these requirements is available from each FTA regional 
c. Buy America
    FTA requires that all capital procurements meet FTA's Buy America 
requirements (49 U.S.C. 5323(j) and 49 CFR part 661), which require 
that all iron, steel, or manufactured products be produced in the 
United States. Federal public transportation law provided for a phased 
increase in the domestic content for rolling stock between FY 2016 and 
FY 2020. For FY 2020 and beyond, the cost of components and 
subcomponents produced in the United States must be more than 70 
percent of the cost of all components. There is no change to the 
requirement that final assembly of rolling stock must occur in the 
United States. FTA issued guidance on the implementation of the phased 
increase in domestic content on September 1, 2016 (81 FR 60278). 
Applicants should read the policy guidance carefully to determine the 
applicable domestic content requirement for their project. Any proposal 
that will require a waiver must identify in the application the items 
for which a waiver will be sought. Applicants should not proceed with 
the expectation that waivers will be granted.
d. Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
    FTA requires that its recipients receiving planning, capital, and/
or operating assistance that will award prime contracts exceeding 
$250,000 in FTA funds in a Federal fiscal year comply with Department 
of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program 
regulations (49 CFR part 26). Applicants should expect to include any 
funds awarded, excluding those to be used for vehicle procurements, in 
setting their overall DBE goal. Note, however, that projects including 
vehicle procurements remain subject to the DBE program regulations. The 
rule requires that, prior to bidding on any FTA-assisted vehicle 
procurement, entities that manufacture vehicles, or perform post-
production alterations or retrofitting, must submit a DBE program plan 
and goal methodology to FTA. Further, to the extent that a vehicle 
remanufacturer is responding to a solicitation for new or 
remanufactured vehicles with a vehicle to which the remanufacturer has 
provided post-production alterations or retrofitting (e.g., replacing 
major components such as an engine to provide a ``like new'' vehicle), 
the vehicle remanufacturer is considered a transit vehicle manufacturer 
and must also comply with the DBE regulations.
    FTA will then issue a transit vehicle manufacturer (TVM) 
concurrence/certification letter. Grant recipients must verify each 
entity's compliance with these requirements before accepting its bid. A 
list of compliant, certified TVMs is posted on FTA's web page at 
https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/civil-rights-ada/eligible-transit-vehicle-manufacturers. Please note that this list is 
nonexclusive, and recipients must contact FTA before accepting bids 
from entities not listed on this web-posting. Recipients may also 
establish project-specific DBE goals for vehicle procurements. FTA will 
provide additional guidance as grants are awarded. For more information 
on DBE requirements, please contact Scheryl Portee, Office of the Chief 
Counsel, 202-366-0840, email: [email protected].
e. Standard Assurances
    The applicant assures that it will comply with all applicable 
Federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, directives, FTA 
circulars, and other Federal administrative requirements in carrying 
out any project supported by the FTA grant. The applicant acknowledges 
that it is under a continuing obligation to comply with the terms and 
conditions of the grant agreement issued for its project with FTA. The 
applicant understands that Federal laws, regulations, policies, and 
administrative practices might be modified from time to time and may 
affect the implementation of the project. The applicant agrees that the 
most recent Federal requirements will apply to the project, unless FTA 
issues a written determination otherwise. The applicant must submit the 
Certifications and Assurances before receiving a grant if it does not 
have current certifications on file.

3. Reporting

    The post-award reporting requirements include submission of the 
Federal Financial Report (FFR) and Milestone Progress Report in TrAMS, 
and FTA's National Transit Database (NTD) reporting as appropriate (see 
FTA Circular 9040). Reports to TrAMS and NTD are due annually. 
Applicants should include any goals, targets, and indicators referenced 
in their application to the project in the Executive Summary of the 
TrAMS application.
    As part of completing the annual certifications and assurances 
required of FTA grant recipients, a successful applicant must report on 
the suspension or debarment status of itself and its principals. If the 
award recipient's active grants, cooperative agreements, and 
procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies exceeds 
$10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of 
an award made pursuant to this Notice, the recipient must comply with 
the Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters reporting requirements 
described in Appendix XII to 2 CFR part 200.

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    For further information concerning this notice, please contact 
Jacarl Melton, Office of Program Management, (202) 366-2269, or email: 
[email protected]. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDD/FIRS).

H. Other Information

    This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372, 
``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.'' FTA will consider 
applications for funding only from eligible recipients for eligible 
projects listed in Section C of this Notice.
    Additionally, to assist tribes with understanding requirements 
under the Tribal Transit Program, FTA has conducted Tribal Transit 
Technical Assistance Workshops. FTA has expanded its technical 
assistance to tribes receiving funds under this program. Through the 
Tribal Transit Technical Assistance Assessments Initiative, FTA 
collaborates with Tribal Transit Leaders to review processes and 
identify areas in need of improvement, and then assists to offer 
solutions to address these needs--all in a supportive and mutually 
beneficial manner that results in technical assistance. FTA has 
completed over fifty assessments to date. These assessments include 
discussions of compliance areas pursuant to the Master Agreement, a 
site visit, promising practices reviews, and technical assistance from 
FTA and its contractors. These workshops and assessments have received 
excellent feedback from Tribal Transit Leaders and provided FTA with 
invaluable opportunities to learn more about Tribal Transit Leaders' 
perspectives and better honor the sovereignty of tribal nations.
    FTA will post information about upcoming workshops to its website 
and will disseminate information about the assessments through its 
regional offices. Contact information for FTA's regional

[[Page 28681]]

offices can be found on FTA's website at www.transit.dot.gov.
    Applicants may also receive technical assistance by contacting 
their FTA regional Tribal Liaison. A list of Tribal Liaisons is 
available on FTA's website at www.transit.dot.gov.
    If awarded, grant funding made available through this program may 
be included in a Tribal Transportation Self-Governance funding 
agreement if there is an existing Self-Governance compact in place 
between the Tribe and the U.S. Department of Transportation. If funds 
are transferred to a Tribal Self-Governance funding agreement, the 
funds will be subject to the requirements and provisions of the Tribal 
Transportation Self-Governance Program regulation at 49 CFR part 29 and 
may be used only for the purpose for which they were awarded.

Nuria I. Fernandez,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2021-11197 Filed 5-26-21; 8:45 am]