[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 32 (Wednesday, February 16, 2022)]
[Pages 8923-8929]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-03341]

[[Page 8923]]



Federal Transit Administration

FY 2022 Competitive Funding Opportunity: Public Transportation on 
Indian Reservations Program; Tribal Transit Program

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).


SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the 
opportunity to apply for $8.75 million in competitive grants for the 
Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 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, 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 selections.

DATES: Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the 
GRANTS.GOV ``APPLY'' function by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on May 25, 
2022. 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-2022-003-TPM-TRTR. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matthew Lange, Office of Program 
Management, (312) 353-4118 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 investments that 
(1) enhance safety, (2) renew our transit systems; (3) reduce 
greenhouse gas emissions from public transportation, (4) improve 
equity, and (5) connect communities. This program also supports the 
President's Building a Better America 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 (Executive Order 13985).
    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 (Section 5311 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) and (49 
U.S.C. 5311(c)(1)(A), as amended by the Infrastructure Investment and 
Jobs Act (Pub. L. 117-58, the ``Bipartisan Infrastructure Law'' or 
``BIL'')) authorizes $8,752,896 in FY 2022 for competitive grants under 
the Tribal Transit Program, subject to the availability of FY 2022 
appropriated funding. Additional funds made available prior to project 
selection may be allocated to eligible projects. If during FY 2022, 
additional funding is made available for this program after 
announcement of project selections, FTA may make additional awards.
    FTA will set a $25,000 cap on planning grant awards, and FTA has 
discretion to cap capital and operating awards.
    In FY 2021, the program received applications for 51 eligible 
projects requesting a total of $18,779,220. Thirty-nine projects were 
funded at a total of $10,360,657.
    FTA will grant pre-award authority to incur costs for selected 
projects beginning on the date FY 2022 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). 
This list can be found at: https://www.bia.gov/service/tribal-leaders-directory/federally-recognized-tribes. 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 identified in the most 
recent decennial census), so long as rural areas are also served.

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 Chapter 53 of Title 49, 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. Amounts appropriated or otherwise made available to a 
department or agency of the Government that are eligible to be expended 
for transportation, including amounts made available to carry out the 
Federal Lands Highway Program established by Section 204 of Title 23 
are eligible

[[Page 8924]]

sources of local match. Transportation development credits or in-kind 
match may be used for local match if identified and documented in the 
application. More information about eligible sources of local match can 
be found in FTA Circular 9040.1G, available on the FTA website.

3. Eligible Projects

    Eligible projects include public transportation planning, capital, 
or operating expenses. All eligible applicants may apply for operating 
    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. Specific types 
of projects include: Capital investment for start-ups, replacement, or 
expansion needs; operating assistance; and planning projects up to 
$25,000. Applications that include requests for more than one project 
type must identify the specific funds requested for each project type 
(planning, capital, or operating).
    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.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

(i) Proposal Submission
    Applications must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV. 
Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. A complete proposal 
submission consists of two forms and their supporting attachments: The 
SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance (available at GRANTS.GOV) and 
the supplemental form for the FY 2022 Tribal Transit Program (available 
for download at 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. 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 Section E of this 
    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. Applicants should enter their 
information in the supplemental form (fillable PDF) that is made 
available on FTA's website or through the GRANTS.GOV application 
package and should attach this to the application in its original 
format. Applicants should not use scanned versions of the form, 
``print'' the form to PDF, convert or create a version using another 
text editor, etc. Complete instructions on the application process can 
be found at http://www.transit.dot.gov.
(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) 
    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.
    e. Name of person(s) authorized to apply on applicant's behalf 
(must accompany the proposal with 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. If applying for more than one project type (planning, capital, 
or operating), please specify the total amount of funds requested for 
each project type. An Indian tribe may use up to fifteen percent of a 
grant award for capital projects for specific project-related planning 
and administration. The indirect cost rate may not exceed ten percent 
of the total amount awarded. Indian tribes must also provide their 
annual operating budget as an attachment or under the ``Financial

[[Page 8925]]

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 or similar 
types of projects for which funding is being requested. Describe the 
resources available to implement the proposed transit project.
    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 
is excepted from registration by FTA or the U.S. Office of Management 
and Budget under 2 CFR 25.110. 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 
    SAM registration takes approximately 3-5 business days, but since 
there could be unexpected steps or delays (for example, if there is a 
need to obtain an Employer Identification Number), 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 https://www.sam.gov.

4. Submission Dates and Times

    Project proposals must be submitted electronically through 
GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on May 25, 2022. 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. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted.
    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.
    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, except under extraordinary circumstances not under 
the applicant's control. 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 
    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 that 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. For example, (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.

5. Funding Restrictions

    Funds must be used only for the specific purposes requested in the 
application and described in the resulting award. 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 Circulars 

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 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 for Capital and Operating Assistance Projects

    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 
addressed. Applications will be evaluated based on the degree to which 
the applicant describes how the proposed project was developed; 
demonstrates that a sound basis for the project exists; and 
demonstrates that the applicant is ready to implement the project if 

[[Page 8926]]

(i.) Planning and Local/Regional Prioritization
    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 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 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 other laws, 
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969;
    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 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.
    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) or the degree to which the project will 
address 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 or how the replacement 
is 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 applications for 
operating assistance for 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 
    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 2022 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

[[Page 8927]]

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 operations.
    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.

2. 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.

3. Review and Selection Process

    An FTA technical evaluation committee will review proposals under 
the project evaluation criteria. FTA may 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 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at 
Home and Abroad, FTA will give priority consideration to applications 
that are expected to create significant community benefits relating to 
the environment, including those projects that incorporate low or no 
emission technology or specific elements to address greenhouse gas 
emissions and climate change impacts. FTA encourages applicants to 
demonstrate whether they have considered climate change and 
environmental justice in terms of the transportation planning process 
or anticipated design components with outcomes that address climate 
change (e.g., resilience or adaptation measures).
    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.

4. Integrity and Performance Review

    Prior to making an award with a total amount of Federal share 
greater than the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $10,000), 
FTA is required to review and consider any information about the 
applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system 
accessible through SAM (currently the Federal Awardee Performance and 
Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)). An applicant may review and 
comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency 
previously entered into FAPIIS. FTA will consider any comments by the 
applicant, in addition to the other information in FAPIIS, 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 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. Successful 
proposals will be awarded through FTA's Transit Award Management System 
(TrAMS) as grant agreements. The appropriate FTA Regional Office and 
tribal liaison will manage project agreements. Project recipients 
should contact their FTA Regional Offices and tribal liaison for 
information about setting up grants in FTA's 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.

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) and the 
Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit 
Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR part 200, as described in FTA 
Circular 9040.1G for the Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program. All 
recipients must also follow the Award Management Requirements (FTA 
Circular 5010.1E). Technical assistance regarding these requirements is 
available from each FTA regional office.
c. Buy America and Domestic Preferences for Infrastructure Projects
    All capital procurements must comply with FTA's Buy America 
requirements (49 U.S.C. 5323(j)), which require that all iron, steel, 
and manufactured products be produced in the United States, and impose 
minimum domestic content and final assembly requirements for rolling 
stock. The cost of rolling stock components and subcomponents produced 
in the United States must be more than 70 percent of the cost of all 
components, and final assembly of rolling stock must occur in the 
United States. Any proposal that will require a waiver must identify 
the items for which a waiver will be sought in the application. 
Applicants should not proceed with the expectation that waivers will be 
d. Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
    Recipients of planning, capital, or operating assistance that will 
award prime contracts (excluding transit vehicle purchases), the 
cumulative total of which exceeds $250,000 in FTA funds in a Federal 
fiscal year, must

[[Page 8928]]

comply with the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program 
regulations (49 CFR part 26).
    To be eligible to bid on any FTA-assisted transit vehicle 
procurement, entities that manufacture transit vehicles or perform 
post-production alterations or retrofitting must be certified Transit 
Vehicle Manufacturers (TVM). If 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 engine to 
provide a ``like new'' vehicle), the vehicle remanufacturer must be a 
certified TVM.
    The TVM rule requires that, prior to bidding on any FTA-assisted 
vehicle procurement, manufacturers of transit vehicles submit a DBE 
Program plan and annual goal methodology to FTA. FTA then will issue a 
TVM concurrence and certification letter. Grant recipients must verify 
each manufacturer's TVM status before accepting its bid. A list of 
compliant, certified TVMs is posted on FTA's website at https://www.transit.dot.gov/TVM. Recipients should contact FTA before accepting 
a bid from a manufacturer not on this list. In lieu of using a 
certified TVM, a recipient may establish project-specific DBE goals for 
its vehicle procurement. FTA will provide additional guidance as grants 
are awarded. For more information on DBE requirements, please contact 
Monica McCallum, FTA Office of Civil Rights, 206-220-7519, 
[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 current 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.
f. Autonomous Vehicles
    If an applicant is proposing to deploy autonomous vehicles or other 
innovative motor vehicle technology, the application should demonstrate 
that all vehicles will comply with applicable safety requirements, 
including those administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 
(FMCSA). Specifically, the application should show that vehicles 
acquired for the proposed project will comply with applicable Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSR). If the vehicles may not comply, the application 
should either (1) show that the vehicles and their proposed operations 
are within the scope of an exemption or waiver that has already been 
granted by NHTSA, FMCSA, or both agencies, or (2) directly address 
whether the project will require exemptions or waivers from the FMVSS, 
FMCSR, or any other regulation and, if the project will require 
exemptions or waivers, present a plan for obtaining them.

3. Reporting

    Post-award reporting requirements include submission of the Federal 
Financial Report (FFR) and Milestone Progress Report (MPR) in TrAMS, 
and FTA's National Transit Database (NTD) reporting as appropriate (see 
FTA Circular 9040.1G). 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 exceed 
$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 
Matthew Lange, Office of Program Management, (312) 353-4118, or email: 
[email protected]. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDD/FIRS).

H. Other Information

    User-friendly information and resources regarding DOT's 
discretionary grant programs relevant to rural applicants can be found 
on the Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success 
(ROUTES) website at https://www.transportation.gov/rural. Information 
about FTA programs that is specific to tribes can be found on FTA's 
Tribal Entities landing page at https://www.transit.dot.gov/funding/tribal-entities.
    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.
    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. 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 offices can be 
found on FTA's website at https://www.transit.dot.gov/about/regional-offices/regional-offices.
    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 https://www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/federal-transit-administrations-regional-tribal-liaisons.
    If awarded, grant funding made available through this program may 
be included in a Tribal Transportation Self-

[[Page 8929]]

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 administered under 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,
[FR Doc. 2022-03341 Filed 2-15-22; 8:45 am]