[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 103 (Friday, May 28, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 30100-30103]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-12950]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


FY 2010 Discretionary Livability Funding Opportunity: 
Alternatives Analysis Program

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of FTA Alternatives Analysis Funds: 
Solicitation of Project Proposals.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the 
availability of up to $25.7 million in discretionary Fiscal Year (FY) 
2009 and 2010 funds under the Alternatives Analysis Program (49 U.S.C. 
5339) authorized by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, 
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy For Users (SAFETEA-LU), Public Law 
109-59, August 10, 2005. Discretionary program funds will be 
distributed in accordance with the mission of this program and in 
support of the Department of Transportation's Livability Initiative.
    This announcement is available on the FTA Web site at: http://www.fta.dot.gov. FTA will announce final selections on the Web site and 
in the Federal Register. A synopsis of this funding opportunity will be 
posted in the FIND module of the government-wide electronic grants Web 
site at http://www.grants.gov. All proposals must be submitted to FTA 
electronically through the GRANTS.GOVAPPLY function. Applicants will 
receive two confirmation e-mails. The first will confirm that the 
application was received and a second will confirm within 24-48 hours 
whether the application was validated or rejected by the system. 
Additional information on submitting proposals through the GRANTS.GOV 
Web site is provided later in this announcement.

DATES: Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the 
GRANTS.GOV Web site by July 12, 2010.
    To apply for funding through GRANTS.GOV, applicants must be 
properly registered. Complete instructions on how to register and 
submit proposals can be found at www.GRANTS.GOV. If interested parties 
experience difficulties at any point during the registration or 
application process, please call the GRANTS.GOV Customer Support 
Hotline at 1-800-518-4726, Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general program information, 
contact Kenneth Cervenka, Alternatives Analysis Program, Office of 
Planning and Environment, by phone at (202) 493-0512 or by e-mail at 
Kenneth.Cervenka@dot.gov. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDD/
FIRS).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

Alternatives Analysis Program

I. Program Purpose
II. Policy Priority--DOT Livability Initiative
III. Eligible Applicants
IV. Eligible Projects
V. Cost Sharing and Matching
VI. Application Content
VII. Evaluation Criteria
VIII. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information

Appendix A FTA Regional Offices

[[Page 30101]]

Alternatives Analysis Program

    FTA has the authority to implement this program under SAFETEA-LU 
amendments to 49 U.S.C. 5339. The authorizing legislation allows for 
the Secretary of Transportation to make awards under this program at 
his discretion. FTA may allocate up to $25.7 million from available 
prior year and FY 2010 funds. These funds will be allocated for 
alternatives analysis activities selected from applications submitted 
in response to this notice.

I. Program Purpose

    The purpose of the Alternatives Analysis program (49 U.S.C. 5339) 
is to assist potential sponsors of New Starts and Small Starts projects 
in the evaluation of all reasonable modal and multimodal alternatives 
and general alignment options to address transportation needs in a 
defined travel corridor.
    As defined in 49 U.S.C. 5309(1)(a), an alternatives analysis is a 
study conducted as part of the transportation planning process which 
includes: (1) An assessment of a wide range of public transportation 
alternatives designed to address a transportation problem in a corridor 
or subarea; (2) [the development of] sufficient information to enable 
the Secretary to make the findings of project justification and local 
financial commitment required under Section 5309; (3) the selection of 
a locally preferred alternative; and (4) the adoption of the locally 
preferred alternative as part of the long-range transportation plan 
required under section 5303. Further information on conducting an 
alternatives analysis, including descriptions of the documents 
produced, can be found on FTA's Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/planning/newstarts/planning_environment_2396.html.
    FTA will award discretionary funding available under Section 5339 
to support a limited number of alternatives analyses, or technical work 
conducted as part of on-going alternatives analyses, to develop 
information for local decision-makers and for the Secretary regarding 
potential New Starts and Small Starts projects. These funds will be 
awarded for alternatives analysis activities selected from proposals 
submitted in response to this notice.

II. Policy Priority--DOT's Livability Initiative

    FTA has long fostered livable communities and sustainable 
development through its various transit programs and activities. Public 
transportation supports the development of communities, providing 
effective and reliable transportation alternatives that increase access 
to jobs, recreation, health and social services, entertainment, 
educational opportunities, and other activities of daily life, while 
also improving mobility within and among these communities. Through 
various initiatives and legislative changes over the last fifteen 
years, FTA has allowed and encouraged projects that help integrate 
transit into a community through neighborhood improvements and 
enhancements to transit facilities or services; make improvements to 
areas adjacent to public transit facilities that may facilitate 
mobility needs of transit users; or support other infrastructure 
investments that enhance the use of transit and other alternative 
transportation options for the community.
    On June 16, 2009, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary 
Ray LaHood, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 
Secretary Shaun Donovan, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
Administrator Lisa Jackson announced a new partnership to help American 
families in all communities--rural, suburban and urban--gain better 
access to affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower 
transportation costs. DOT, HUD, and EPA created this high-level 
interagency partnership to better coordinate federal transportation, 
environmental protection, and housing investments.
    Through the Alternatives Analysis Program grants, FTA will support 
a limited number of alternatives analyses, or technical work conducted 
as part of proposed or on-going alternatives analyses, that would 
advance major transit investments that foster the six livability 
principles that serve as the foundation for the DOT-HUD-EPA Partnership 
for Sustainable Communities:
    1. Provide more transportation choices
    2. Promote equitable, affordable housing
    3. Enhance economic competitiveness
    4. Support existing communities
    5. Coordinate policies and leverage investment
    6. Value communities and neighborhoods
    FTA will also consider geographic distribution in project 
selection.

III. Eligible Applicants

    Section 5339 allows FTA to make grants and agreements, under 
criteria established by the Secretary, to States, authorities of the 
States, metropolitan planning organizations, and local governmental 
authorities to conduct alternatives analyses as defined by section 
5309(a)(1).

IV. Eligible Projects

    Alternatives analyses must be documented in the Unified Planning 
Work Program of the metropolitan planning organization for the area. 
Applicants must commit to begin the alternatives analysis study within 
12 months of grant approval, unless the study is already underway. FTA 
will award available discretionary funding to eligible applicants to 
conduct an alternatives analysis or to support additional technical 
tasks in an alternatives analysis that will improve and expand the 
information available to decision-makers considering major transit 
improvements. FTA will consider proposals for all areas of technical 
work that can better develop information about the costs and benefits 
of potential major transit improvements, including those that might 
seek New Starts or Small Starts funding. FTA will give priority to 
technical work that would advance the study of alternatives that foster 
the six livability principles that serve as the foundation for the DOT-
HUD-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

V. Cost Sharing and Matching

    Studies or technical tasks selected for funding will receive up to 
80 percent of the study cost. Awards remain available for 3 fiscal 
years, including the fiscal year in which the award is made. FTA will 
not approve requests for deferred local share under this program.
    To promote collaboration on the development of major transit 
capital improvements and to demonstrate the value of partnerships 
across government agencies that serve various public service missions, 
FTA will give priority to proposals that are supported, financially or 
otherwise, by non-transportation public agencies that are pursuing 
similar objectives and are aligning their community development 
activities to increase the efficiency of Federal investments.

VI. Application Content

    A. Brief Description of the Alternatives Analysis: Provide a 
paragraph about the study stating its goals and providing a brief 
description of the work plan. This section should also list all the 
partners involved in the study.
    B. Applicant Information: Provide basic identifying information, 
including: (a) Applicant name, address, congressional district and FTA 
recipient

[[Page 30102]]

ID number; (b) contact information (including contact name, title, 
address, e-mail, fax and phone number); (c) description of services 
provided by the agency, including areas served. Some of this 
information is included in the Standard Form 424. If this is a 
collaborative study, provide the contact information for the LEAD 
agency only.
    C. Evaluation Criteria: Address each of the evaluation criteria 
separately, providing evidence that demonstrates the ways that the 
proposed study meets each criterion.
    D. Work Plan and Budget for the On-going or Up-coming Alternatives 
Analysis: Provide the work plan and budget describing the nature, 
technical approaches, and cost of the alternatives analysis indicating 
what items would be funded with Section 5339 funds and what items would 
be funded by other sources.
    E. The total application may not exceed 25 pages.

VII. Proposal Evaluation Criteria and Other Considerations

    Awards under this notice could range from $50,000 to up to $2 
million in Section 5339 funding. Eligible applicants must be able to 
begin the alternatives analysis within 12 months of the study being 
selected for funding if it is not already underway. Proposals will be 
evaluated as follows:
    A. Demonstrated Need. Applicants must demonstrate need for these 
funds by identifying a substantial transportation problem in the study 
corridor and the degree to which the Alternatives Analysis technical 
work will develop information on the full range of costs and benefits 
of the major transit capital improvements being studied, including 
alternatives that may seek New Starts or Small Starts funding. To 
demonstrate need, applicants should provide the following information:
    1. Description of Study Area, Transportation Problems, and Needs. 
Applicants should provide a statement of the transportation problem for 
which alternative solutions are to be analyzed. This information 
provides the context for performing the analysis and for identifying 
the measures against which alternatives strategies will be evaluated.
    2. Description of Conceptual Alternatives. Applicants should 
provide a conceptual definition of a broad range of strategies for 
improving conditions in the corridor. For each alternative, the 
conceptual definition includes the preliminary identification of 
candidate general alignments and operating strategies, including 
general ideas of overall bus service levels, service standards, and 
guideway service options.
    3. Preliminary Evaluation Criteria. Applicants should identify the 
preliminary evaluation criteria that specify, in part, the desired 
outcomes of an improvement, and provide the basis for comparing the 
performance of the various alternatives. This should include criteria 
which would inform decision-makers how an improvement would advance the 
six livability outcomes: provide more transportation choices; promote 
equitable, affordable housing; enhance economic competitiveness; 
support existing communities; coordinate policies and leverage 
investment; and value communities and neighborhoods.
    B. The Technical Capacity of the Applicant to Carry Out the 
Proposed Work Successfully. Applicants must demonstrate the technical 
capacity to successfully undertake an analysis of alternatives. 
Demonstration of technical capacity may include such items as staffing 
levels and skill sets at the organization undertaking the alternatives 
analysis and any previous experience completing an alternatives 
analysis or corridor study.
    C. Potential Impact on Decision-Making. Applicants must demonstrate 
the potential impact of the proposed tasks on decision-making. FTA will 
give priority to project sponsors that are coordinating the development 
of transit projects with relevant public housing agencies, or relevant 
public agencies with energy or environmental missions.

VIII. Technical Assistance and Other Requirements

    FTA's Office of Planning and Environment staff is available to 
discuss and clarify expectations regarding these efforts before 
applicants submit proposals. Proposals will be reviewed and ranked 
based on the criteria in this notice by FTA headquarters staff in 
consultation with the appropriate FTA regional office (see Appendix A). 
Highly qualified proposals will be considered for inclusion in a 
national list that represents the highest and best use of the available 
funding. The FTA Administrator will determine the final selection and 
amount of funding for each study. Selected studies will be announced in 
Fall 2010. FTA will publish the list of all selected studies and 
funding levels in the Federal Register.
    All proposals must be submitted to FTA electronically through the 
GRANTS.GOVAPPLY function. Applicants will receive two confirmation e-
mails. The first will confirm that the application was received and a 
second will confirm within 24-48 hours whether the application was 
validated or rejected by the system. Registering with GRANTS.GOV is a 
one-time process; however, processing delays may occur and it can take 
up to several weeks for first-time registrants to receive confirmation 
and a user password. Therefore, applicants should start the 
registration process as early as possible to prevent delays that may 
preclude submitting an application by the deadline specified. Proposals 
will not be accepted after the relevant due date; delayed registration 
is not an acceptable reason for extensions. Further, applicants are 
urged to submit their application at least 72 hours prior to the due 
date of the application to allow time to receive the validation message 
and to correct any problems that may have caused a rejection 
notification.
    If applicants experience unforeseen GRANTS.GOV technical issues 
beyond their control that prevent the submission of their application 
by the deadline, the applicant must contact FTA staff at 
Kenneth.Cervenka@dot.gov within 24 hours after the deadline and request 
approval to submit the application. At that time, FTA staff will 
require the applicant to e-mail the complete grant application, their 
DUNS number, and provide a GRANTS.GOV Help Desk tracking number(s). 
After FTA staff reviews all of the information submitted as well as 
contacts the GRANTS.GOV Help Desk to validate the technical issues 
reported, FTA staff will contact the applicant to either approve or 
deny its request to submit a late application. If the reported 
technical issues cannot be validated, the application will be rejected 
as untimely.
    To ensure a fair competition for limited discretionary funds, the 
following conditions are not valid reasons to permit late submissions: 
(1) Failure to complete the registration process before the deadline 
date; (2) failure to follow GRANTS.GOV instructions on how to register 
and apply as posted on its Web site; (3) failure to follow all of the 
instructions in the funding availability notice; and (4) technical 
issues experienced with the applicant's computer or information 
technology (IT) environment.

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 24th day of May, 2010.
Peter Rogoff,
Administrator.

Appendix A--FTA Regional and Metropolitan Offices

[[Page 30103]]



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Richard H. Doyle, Regional             Robert C. Patrick, Regional
 Administrator, Region 1--Boston,       Administrator, Region 6-Ft.
 Kendall Square 55 Broadway, Suite      Worth, 819 Taylor Street, Room
 920, Cambridge, MA 02142-1093, Tel.    8A36, Ft. Worth, TX 76102, Tel.
 617-494-2055.                          817-978-0550.
 States served: Connecticut, Maine,    States served: Arkansas,
 Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode    Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico
 Island, and Vermont.                   and Texas.
Brigid Hynes-Cherin, Regional          Mokhtee Ahmad, Regional
 Administrator, Region 2--New York,     Administrator, Region 7--Kansas
 One Bowling Green, Room 429, New       City, MO, 901 Locust Street,
 York, NY 10004-1415,Tel. 212-668-      Room 404, Kansas City, MO
 2170.                                  64106,Tel. 816-329-3920.
States served: New Jersey, New York..  States served: Iowa, Kansas,
                                        Missouri, and Nebraska.
New York Metropolitan Office, Region
 2--New York, One Bowling Green, Room
 428, New York, NY 10004-1415, Tel.
 212-668-2202.
Letitia Thompson, Regional             Terry Rosapep, Regional
 Administrator, Region 3--              Administrator, Region 8--Denver,
 Philadelphia, 1760 Market Street,      12300 West Dakota Ave., Suite
 Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA 19103-     310, Lakewood, CO 80228-2583,
 4124, Tel. 215-656-7100.               Tel. 720-963-3300.
States served: Delaware, Maryland,     States served: Colorado, Montana,
 Pennsylvania, Virginia, West           North Dakota, South Dakota,
 Virginia, and District of Columbia.    Utah, and Wyoming.
Philadelphia Metropolitan Office,
 Region 3--Philadelphia, 1760 Market
 Street, Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA
 19103-4124, Tel. 215-656-7070.
Washington, DC Metropolitan Office,
 1990 K Street, NW, Room 510,
 Washington, DC 20006, Tel. 202-219-
 3562.
Yvette Taylor, Regional                Leslie T. Rogers, Regional
 Administrator, Region 4--Atlanta,      Administrator, Region 9--San
 230 Peachtreet Street, NW., Suite      Francisco, 201 Mission Street,
 800, Atlanta, GA 30303, Tel. 404-865-  Room 1650, San Francisco, CA
 5600.                                  94105-1926,Tel. 415-744-3133.
States served: Alabama, Florida,       States served: American Samoa,
 Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi,        Arizona, California, Guam,
 North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South     Hawaii, Nevada, and the Northern
 Carolina, Tennessee, and Virgin        Mariana Islands.
 Islands.
                                       Los Angeles Metropolitan Office,
                                        Region 9--Los Angeles, 888 S.
                                        Figueroa Street, Suite 1850, Los
                                        Angeles, CA 90017-1850, Tel. 213-
                                        202-3952.
Marisol Simon, Regional                Rick Krochalis, Regional
 Administrator, Region 5--Chicago,      Administrator, Region 10--
 200 West Adams Street, Suite 320,      Seattle, Jackson Federal
 Chicago, IL 60606, Tel. 312-353-2789.  Building, 915 Second Avenue,
                                        Suite 3142, Seattle, WA 98174-
                                        1002, Tel. 206-220-7954.
States served: Illinois, Indiana,      States served: Alaska, Idaho,
 Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and         Oregon, and Washington.
 Wisconsin.
Chicago Metropolitan Office, Region
 5--Chicago, 200 West Adams Street,
 Suite 320, Chicago, IL 60606, Tel.
 312-353-2789.
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[FR Doc. 2010-12950 Filed 5-27-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-P