Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
This announcement is available on the FTA Web site at:
Appendix B: FY 2011 Discretionary Programs Schedule
The bus and bus facilities program is authorized under 49 U.S.C. 5309(b), as amended by Section 3011 of SAFETEA-LU:
“The Secretary may make grants under this section to assist State and local governmental authorities in financing capital projects * * * to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities, including programs of bus and bus-related projects for assistance to subrecipients that are public agencies, private companies engaged in public transportation, or private non-profit organizations.”
Maintaining the nation's public transportation fleet, infrastructure, and equipment in a state of good repair is essential to providing reliable, high-quality, and safe transit services to the tens of millions of Americans who depend on it daily. Transit not only provides mobility options for the American public, but contributes to the livability of our nation's communities and to environmental and energy sustainability. However, given recent limitations in State and local resources and the need to meet projected growth in demand for transit service, many local transit agencies are finding it difficult to meet their basic re-investment needs. FTA's June 2010 National State of Good Repair Assessment Study (National SGR Study) estimated a combined $77.7 billion repair and replacement backlog in our nation's bus and rail systems.
The state of repair of transit infrastructure is an important issue for both large and small systems across the country. FTA's National SGR Study indicates that roughly one-third of the nation's transit assets are in either marginal or poor condition, implying that these assets are near or have already exceeded their expected useful life. While most of the $77.7 billion backlog can be attributed to rail, more than 40 percent of the nation's buses are also in poor to marginal condition. It also estimates that an annual average of $14.4 billion in normal replacement expenditures by all levels of government nationwide would be required to keep the backlog from getting larger.
Recognizing growing investment needs and the large backlog of transit assets needing repair or replacement, the FTA proposed a $10.7 billion Bus and Rail State of Good Repair formula program in the President's FY 2012 budget. In advance of the implementation of this program, this notice makes available up to $750 million in FY 2011 Section 5309 bus and bus discretionary program resources for a “State of Good Repair Bus” (SGR Bus) grant initiative.
Improving and maintaining America's buses and bus facilities so that the nation's public transportation systems are in good physical condition and successfully accomplish their performance objectives is a key strategic goal of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and FTA. The SGR Bus initiative is intended to contribute to the improvement of the condition of transit capital assets by providing financial assistance for recapitalization of buses and bus facilities. As part of the program, FTA will prioritize the replacement and rehabilitation of intermodal facilities that support the connection of bus service with multiple modes of transportation such as: rail, ferry, intercity bus and private transportation providers. In order to be eligible for funding, intermodal facilities must have adjacent connectivity with bus service. In addition, FTA will prioritize funding for the development and implementation of new, or improvement of existing, transit asset management systems. Transportation asset management is a strategic and systematic process of operating, maintaining, improving, and expanding physical assets effectively throughout their life cycle. Successful systems focus on good business and engineering policy, practices and procedures for resource allocation and utilization with the objective of better decision-making based upon quality information and well defined objectives.
Federal transit funds are available to State or local governmental authorities as recipients and other public transportation providers as subrecipients. There is no floor or upper limit for any single grant under this program; however, FTA intends to fund as many meritorious projects as possible. In addition, FTA will take into consideration the geographic diversity of its award decisions.
Consistent with 49 U.S.C. 5309(m)(8), the Secretary shall consider the age and condition of buses, bus fleets, bus-related facilities and equipment of applicants in its award of State of Good Repair Bus grants.
Eligible proposers and eventual grant applicants under this initiative are Direct Recipients under the Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula program, States, and Indian Tribes. Proposals for funding eligible projects in rural (nonurbanized) areas must be submitted as part of a consolidated State proposal with the exception of nonurbanized projects to Indian Tribes. Tribes, States, and Direct Recipients may also submit consolidated proposals for projects in urbanized areas.
Proposals shall contain projects to be implemented by the Recipient or its subrecipients. Eligible subrecipients include public agencies, private non-profit organizations, and private providers engaged in public transportation.
SAFETEA-LU grants authority to the Secretary to make grants to assist State and local governmental authorities in financing capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct or rehabilitate bus-related facilities, including programs of bus and bus-related projects for assistance to subrecipients that are public agencies, private companies engaged in public transportation, or private non-profit organizations.
Projects eligible for funding under the SGR Bus initiative are capital projects such as: Purchase, replacement, or rehabilitation of, buses and vans and related equipment (including Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), fare equipment, communication devices that are FCC mandatory narrow-banding compliant); replacement or the modernization of bus maintenance and revenue service (passenger) facilities; replacement or modernization of intermodal facilities; and the development and implementation of transit asset management systems, that address the objectives identified in the Program Purpose subsection above.
Costs will be shared at the following ratio: 80 percent FTA/20 percent local contribution. FTA will not approve deferred local share requests under this program. The Federal share may exceed 80 percent for certain projects related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Clean Air Act (CAA) as follows: ADA—The Federal share is 90 percent for the cost of vehicle-related equipment or facilities attributable to compliance with the ADA of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101
A Federal share of 90 percent may also be applied to projects to provide access for bicycles to public transportation facilities, to provide shelters and parking facilities for bicycles in or around public transportation facilities, or to install equipment for transporting bicycles on public transportation vehicles.
The FY 2011 Appropriations Act allows a 90 percent Federal share for the total cost of a biodiesel bus. The Act also allows a 90 percent Federal share for the net capital cost of factory installed or retrofitted hybrid electric propulsion systems and any equipment related to such a system. For administrative simplicity, FTA allows recipients to compute the Federal share at 83 percent for eligible vehicle purchases.
Project proposals must be submitted electronically through
Proposals should provide basic sponsor identifying information, including:
a. Proposer's name and FTA recipient ID number.
b. Contact information for notification of project selection (including contact name, title, address, congressional district, email, fax and phone number).
c. A general description of services provided by the agency including ridership, fleet size, areas served,
d. A description of the agency's technical, legal, and financial capacity to implement the proposed project. Some of this information is included in Standard Form 424 when applying through GRANTS.GOV.
Every proposal must:
a. Describe concisely, but completely, the project scope to be funded. As FTA may elect to only partially fund some project proposals (see below), the scope should be “scalable” with specific components of independent utility clearly identified.
b. Address each of the evaluation criteria separately, demonstrating how the project responds to each criterion.
c. Provide a line-item budget for the total project, with enough detail to describe the various key components of the project. As FTA may elect to only partially fund some project proposals, the budget should provide for the minimum amount necessary to fund specific project components of independent utility.
d. Provide the Federal amount requested.
e. Document the matching funds, including amount and source of the match, demonstrating strong local or private sector financial participation in the project.
f. Provide support documentation, including financial statements, bond-ratings, and documents supporting the commitment of non-federal funding to the project, or a timeframe upon which those commitments would be made.
g. Provide a project time-line, including significant milestones such as the date anticipated to issue a request for proposals for vehicles, or contract for purchase of vehicle(s), and actual or expected delivery date of vehicles, or notice of request for proposal and notice to proceed for capital construction/rehabilitation projects.
Complete proposals for the State of Good Repair initiative must be submitted electronically through the GRANTS.GOV Web site by July 29, 2011. 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. In addition to the Mandatory SF424 Form that will be downloaded from GRANTS.GOV, FTA requires applicants to complete the Supplemental FTA Form (Applicant and Proposal Profile) for this initiative. The supplemental form provides guidance and a consistent format for applicants to respond to the criteria outlined in this NOFA and described in detail on the FTA Web site at the program Web site;
Only proposals from eligible recipients for eligible activities will be considered for funding (see Section III). Due to funding limitations, proposers that are selected for funding may receive less than the amount originally requested.
Proposers should submit three (3) copies of any supplemental information that cannot be submitted electronically to the appropriate regional office. Supplemental information submitted in hardcopy must be postmarked by July 29, 2011.
Projects will be evaluated by FTA based on the proposals submitted according to the following criteria. Each proposer is encouraged to demonstrate the responsiveness of a project to all of the selection criteria with the most relevant information that the proposer can provide, regardless of whether such information has been specifically requested, or identified, in this notice. FTA will assess the extent to which a project addresses the following criteria.
1. Planning and prioritization at the local/regional level:
a. Project is consistent with the transit priorities identified in the long range plan and/or contingency/illustrative projects. Proposer should note if project could not be included in the financially constrained Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)/Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) due to lack of funding (if selected, project must be in TIP before grant award).
b. Local support is demonstrated by availability of local match and letters of support for project.
c. In an area with more than one transit operator, the proposal demonstrates coordination with, and support of, other transit operators, or other related projects within the proposer's Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) or the geographic region within which the proposed project will operate.
2. The project is ready to implement:
a. Project is a Categorical Exclusion (CE) or required environmental work has been initiated or completed for construction projects requiring an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
b. Project implementation plans are complete, including initial design of facilities projects.
c. TIP/STIP can be amended (evidenced by MPO/State endorsement).
d. Project funds can be obligated and the project implemented quickly, if selected.
3. Technical, legal, and financial capacity to implement the particular project proposed:
a. The proposer has the technical capacity to administer the project.
b. There are no outstanding legal, technical, or financial issues with the grantee that would make this a high-risk project to implement quickly.
c. The proposer has adequate financial systems in place and has identified the source of local match if selected (no deferred local share will be allowed).
In addition, for each of the project types below, the following criteria will apply:
1. For bus projects:
a. The age of the asset to be replaced or rehabilitated by the proposed project, relative to its useful life.
b. The degree to which the proposed project addresses a demonstrated and verifiable backlog of deferred maintenance.
c. Consistency with the proposer's bus fleet management plan.
d. Condition and performance of the asset to be replaced by the proposed project, as ascertained through field inspections or otherwise, if available.
e. The project conforms to FTA's spare ratio guidelines.
2. For bus facility and equipment projects:
a. The age of the asset to be rehabilitated or replaced relative to its useful life.
b. The degree to which proposed project addresses a demonstrated and verifiable backlog of deferred maintenance.
c. Supports emerging or advanced technologies for transit facilities and equipment.
3. For transit asset management system projects:
If asset management system development or upgrades are proposed, the proposal shall describe, as applicable, the system element(s) the proposer is seeking to improve; including:
a. How asset management plans/systems will be developed or upgraded.
b. How asset inventories will be maintained physically and fiscally.
c. How assets initial condition will be assessed.
d. How assets will be inspected and monitored, and at what frequency.
e. How logistical decision support tools (including options and tradeoff analysis) will be used in the proposer's day-to-day operations.
f. Demonstrated long-term financial and management commitment of the proposer to using the asset management system.
Proposals will be evaluated by a technical evaluation committee. The FTA Administrator will determine the final selection and amount of funding for each project. Selected projects will be announced in September or October 2011. FTA will publish the list of all selected projects and funding levels in the
FTA will award grants for the selected projects to the proposer through the FTA electronic grants management and award system, TEAM, after receipt of a complete application in TEAM. These grants will be administered and managed by the FTA regional offices in accordance with the Federal requirements of the Section 5309 Bus program. 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.
If selected, applicants will apply for a grant through TEAM and adhere to the customary FTA grant requirements of the Section 5309 Bus and Bus Facilities program, including those of FTA Circular 9300.1B and Circular 5010.1D and 49 U.S.C. 5333(b) labor protections. All discretionary grants, regardless of award amount, will be subject to the Congressional Notification and release process. Technical assistance regarding these requirements is available from each FTA regional office.
Applicants are encouraged to notify the appropriate State Departments of Transportation and MPO in areas likely to be served by the project funds made available under this program. Incorporation of funded projects in the long-range plans and transportation improvement programs of States and metropolitan areas is required of all funded projects.
The applicant assures that it will comply with all applicable Federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, 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.
Post-award reporting requirements include submission of Financial Status Reports and Milestone Reports in TEAM on a quarterly basis for all projects. Documentation is required for payment. In addition, project sponsors receiving grants for asset management systems and innovative technologies may be required to report on the performance of these systems and technologies.
Contact the appropriate FTA Regional Administrator (Appendix A) for proposal specific information and issues. For information on the SGR Bus and Bus Facilities Initiative, contact Kimberly Sledge, Office of Program Management, (202) 366-2053, e-mail: