[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 47 (Thursday, March 10, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13268-13271]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-5427]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


FY 2011 Discretionary Funding Opportunity: Paul S. Sarbanes 
Transit in Parks Program

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of availability: solicitation of project proposals.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the 
upcoming availability of Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Paul S. Sarbanes Transit 
in Parks Program (Transit in Parks Program) discretionary funds. This 
notice solicits proposals to compete for FY 2011 funds under the 
program, which was established by Section 3021 of SAFETEA-LU, as 
amended (49 U.S.C. 5320). The amount of funding available will be 
determined by Congressional appropriation prior to the selection of 
awardees, and based on the timing of such funding becoming available, 
may also include funding for Fiscal Year 2012. The program is 
administered by FTA in partnership with the Department of the Interior 
(DOI) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service.
    The program funds capital and planning expenses for alternative 
transportation systems such as buses, trams and non-motorized trails in 
federally-managed parks and public lands. Federal land management 
agencies, as well as State, tribal and local governments acting with 
the consent of a Federal land management agency are eligible to apply. 
DOI, after consultation with and in cooperation with FTA, will 
determine the final selection and funding of projects. Geographic 
diversity will be considered when allocating funds.
    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.

DATES: Complete proposals must be received by 12 midnight EST on May 9, 
2011.

ADDRESSES: Project proposals must be submitted electronically through 
the GRANTS.GOV Web site and applicants must be properly registered. 
Anyone intending to apply electronically through GRANTS.GOV should 
initiate the process of registering on the GRANTS.GOV site immediately 
to ensure completion of registration before the deadline for 
submission. GRANTS.GOV applicants should receive two confirmation e-
mails. The first will confirm that the application was received and a 
subsequent e-mail will be sent within 24-48 hours indicating whether 
the application was validated or rejected by the system. 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. The 
required electronic project proposal template as well as guidance on 
completing a proposal template can also be found on GRANTS.GOV and on 
the program Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_6106.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact the appropriate FTA Regional 
Administrator (Appendix A) for proposal-specific information or the 
appropriate land management agency (Appendix B) for the Paul S. 
Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program. For general program information, 
contact Adam Schildge, Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program, (202) 
366-0778, Adam.Schildge@dot.gov. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 
(TDD/FIRS). For technical assistance or general inquiries regarding 
alternative transportation in federal lands, contact the Transit in 
Parks Technical Assistance Center at http://www.triptac.org, (877) 704-
5292, or helpdesk@triptac.org.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

A. Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program
I. Overview
II. Program Purpose
III. Program Information
    1. Eligible Applicants
    2. Eligible Projects
    3. Financial Limitations and Cost Sharing
    4. Application Content
    5. Evaluation Criteria
IV. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information
Appendix A--FTA Regional Offices
Appendix B--Land Management Agency Contacts

I. Overview

    Section 3021 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient 
Transportation Equity Act--A Legacy for Users of 2005 (SAFETEA-LU), as 
amended, established the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program 
(Transit in Parks Program) (49 U.S.C. 5320). The program is 
administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in partnership 
with the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture's Forest Service.
    Congestion in and around parks and public lands causes traffic 
delays and noise and air pollution that substantially detract from the 
visitor's experience and the protection of natural resources. In August 
2001, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and DOI published a 
comprehensive study of alternative transportation needs in national 
parks and related Federal lands. The study identified significant 
alternative transportation needs at sites managed by the National Park 
Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service. Additionally, a supplement to this report identified Forest 
Service sites that would benefit from such services.

II. Program Purpose

    The purpose of the program is to provide for the planning and 
capital costs of alternative transportation systems that will enhance 
the protection of national parks and Federal lands; increase the 
enjoyment of visitors' experience by conserving natural, historical, 
and cultural resources; reduce congestion and pollution; improve 
visitor mobility and accessibility; enhance visitor

[[Page 13269]]

experience; and ensure access to all, including persons with 
disabilities.

III. Program Information

1. Eligible Applicants

    Eligible applicants are Federal land management agencies that 
manage an eligible area, including but not limited to the National Park 
Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, 
the Forest Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation; and State, tribal 
and local governments with jurisdiction over land in the vicinity of an 
eligible area, acting with the consent of a Federal land management 
agency, alone or in partnership with a Federal land management agency 
or other governmental or non-governmental participant. Note: If the 
applicant is a State, tribal, or local government, a letter from the 
affected unit(s) of the Federal land management agency or agencies 
expressing support for the project must be submitted with the project 
proposal in order to indicate consent. Applications without support 
letters from the relevant Federal land management agency or agencies 
unit(s) will be deemed ineligible. Non-profit organizations are not 
eligible for this program, but they may partner with an eligible 
applicant as defined above.

2. Eligible Projects

    SAFETEA-LU defines alternative transportation as ``transportation 
by bus, rail, or any other publicly or privately owned conveyance that 
provides to the public general or special service on a regular basis, 
including sightseeing service. This also includes a non-motorized 
transportation system (including the provision of facilities for 
pedestrians, bicycles, and non-motorized watercraft).''
    The program funds capital and planning expenses for alternative 
transportation systems such as buses, trams and non-motorized systems 
in, and in the vicinity of, federally-managed parks and public lands. A 
qualified planning or capital project must be within the vicinity of a 
Federally-owned or managed park, refuge, or recreational area open to 
the general public and meet the goals of the program. Operating 
expenses are not eligible under the program. A project proposal may 
include in its budget up to 15 percent for project administration, 
contingency, and oversight. As specified in 49 U.S.C. Sec.  5320(b)(5), 
the following types of projects are eligible:
a. Planning
    Activities to comply with metropolitan and statewide planning 
provisions (49 U.S.C. 5320(b)(5)(A) referencing 49 U.S.C. 5303, 5304, 
5305). Activities include planning studies for an alternative 
transportation system including evaluation of no-build and all other 
reasonable alternatives, traffic studies, visitor utilization studies, 
transportation analysis, feasibility studies, and environmental 
studies.
b. Capital
    Eligible capital projects include all aspects of ``acquiring, 
constructing, supervising, or inspecting equipment or a facility for 
use in public transportation, expenses incidental to the acquisition or 
construction (including designing, engineering, location surveying, 
mapping, and acquiring rights-of-way), payments for the capital 
portions of rail trackage rights agreements, transit-related 
intelligent transportation systems, relocation assistance, acquiring 
replacement housing sites, and acquiring, constructing, relocating, and 
rehabilitating replacement housing.''
    Capital projects may include those projects operated by an outside 
entity, such as a public transportation agency, state or local 
government, private company engaged in public transportation, or 
private non-profit organization; and
    Projects may also include the deployment/commercialization of 
alternative transportation vehicles that introduce innovative 
technologies or methods.
    The capital cost of leasing vehicles is an eligible expense under 
the program. For vehicle acquisition projects, sponsors should compare 
the cost-effectiveness of leasing versus purchasing vehicles. Leasing 
may be particularly cost effective in circumstances in which transit 
service is only needed during a peak visitation period that lasts only 
a few months. In these cases, leasing a vehicle for a few months during 
the year may be less expensive than purchasing a vehicle only used for 
a few months during the year. An award can cover the capital cost of 
leasing vehicles but not the cost of operations, such as fuel or 
driver's salary.
    Project sponsors should also compare the cost effectiveness of 
providing service versus contracting for service. The capital portion 
of contracted service is an eligible capital expense under the program. 
For example, if a public land agency contracts with a private bus 
company to provide shuttle service with privately owned buses, the 
portion of the contract that covers the capital expense of the buses is 
an eligible expense under the Transit in Parks Program. Operating 
expenses are not eligible under the program. Project sponsors will be 
asked to compare the cost-effectiveness of their preferred option to 
other alternatives in the financial sustainability portion of the 
proposal.
c. ``Fixed Guideway'' and Bus Projects
    The SAFETEA-LU legislation includes language allowing eligibility 
of ``fixed guideway'' projects. These are defined as those 
transportation projects that run on a dedicated right of way, like a 
light rail, trolley, bus rapid transit, or any type of ferry system. 
For these types of projects, eligible projects can include development 
of a new fixed guideway project; rehabilitation or modernization of 
existing fixed guideway systems; and expansion of existing systems. For 
bus or shuttle projects, eligible projects can include purchase of 
buses and related equipment; replacement of buses and related 
equipment; rehabilitation of buses and related equipment; construction 
of bus-related facilities such as bus shelters; and purchase of rolling 
stock that incorporates clean fuel technology or the replacement of 
buses of a type in use on August 10, 2005, with clean fuel vehicles.
d. Other Eligible Projects
    The Transit in Parks Program specifically includes these other 
eligible capital projects:
    (1) The capital costs of coordinating Federal land management 
agency public transportation systems with other public transportation 
systems.
    (2) Non-motorized transportation systems (including the provision 
of facilities for pedestrians, bicycles and non-motorized watercraft).
    (3) Water-borne access systems within or in the vicinity of an 
eligible area as appropriate and consistent with 49 U.S.C. 5320.
    (4) Any other alternative transportation project that enhances the 
environment; prevents or mitigates an adverse impact on a natural 
resource; improves Federal land management agency resource management; 
improves visitor mobility and accessibility and the visitor experience; 
reduces congestion and pollution (including noise pollution and visual 
pollution); or conserves a natural, historical, or cultural resource 
(excluding rehabilitation or restoration of a non-transportation 
facility). This includes the enhancement or extension of qualifying 
alternative transportation systems, including the development of 
related intelligent transportation systems (ITS).

[[Page 13270]]

    In order to be considered for funding a project must consist of one 
or more of the eligible activities listed above, meet the definition of 
alternative transportation, and contribute to the goals of the program. 
Technical assistance relating to planning and implementing alternative 
transportation systems is available from the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit 
in Parks Technical Assistance Center, http://www.triptac.org.

3. Financial Limitations and Cost Sharing

    No one project may receive more than 25 percent of the available 
funds. Additionally, projects selected for funding under the Paul S. 
Sarbanes Transit in the Parks Program can be funded at up to 100 
percent Federal share.

4. Application Content

    The required electronic project proposal template as well as 
guidance on completing a proposal template can be found on GRANTS.GOV 
and on the program Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants/grants_financing_6106.html. Applications should not exceed 10 pages 
(excluding the standard form 424, letters of support and/or supporting 
graphics) and use 12 pt. font. Applications exceeding this length may 
not be reviewed.

5. Evaluation Criteria

    Proposed capital projects will be evaluated based on the following 
criteria:
a. Demonstration of Need
    (1) Visitor mobility and experience current or anticipated problem; 
and
    (2) Environmental current or anticipated problem.
b. Visitor Mobility and Experience Benefits of Project
    (1) Reduced traffic congestion;
    (2) Enhanced visitor mobility, accessibility, and safety; and
    (3) Improved visitor education, recreation, and health benefits.
c. Environmental Benefits of Project
    (1) Protection of sensitive natural, cultural, and historic 
resources; and
    (2) Reduced pollution (air, noise, visual).
d. Financial Sustainability and Operational Efficiency
    (1) Effectiveness in meeting management goals;
    (2) Realistic financial plan;
    (3) Cost effectiveness; and
    (4) Partnering, funding from other sources, innovative financing.
    Proposed planning projects will be evaluated based on the following 
criteria:
a. Demonstration of Need
    (1) Visitor mobility and experience current or anticipated problem; 
and
    (2) Environmental current or anticipated problem.
b. Methodology for Assessing Visitor Mobility and Experience Benefits 
of Project
    (1) Reduced traffic congestion;
    (2) Enhanced visitor mobility, accessibility, and safety; and
    (3) Improved visitor education, recreation, and health benefits.
c. Methodology for Assessing Environmental Benefits of Project
    (1) Protection of sensitive natural, cultural, and historical 
resources; and
    (2) Reduced pollution (air, noise, visual).
d. Methodology for Assessing Operational Efficiency and Financial 
Sustainability of Alternatives
    (1) Effectiveness in meeting management goals;
    (2) Realistic financial plan;
    (3) Cost effectiveness; and
    (4) Partnering, funding from other sources.
    A special note on non-motorized transportation systems: While non-
motorized systems, such as trails, are eligible under the program, not 
all non-motorized systems will meet the goals of the program needed to 
be considered for funding. Like motorized systems, in order to be 
considered for funding, non-motorized systems must reduce or mitigate 
the number of auto trips by providing an alternative to travel by 
private auto. In addition, non-motorized systems must provide a high 
degree of connectivity within a transportation system. Finally, they 
should improve safety for motorized and non-motorized transportation 
system users.

IV. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information

    Complete applications must be submitted via GRANTS.GOV by May 9, 
2011. Frequently asked questions and other program information are 
available at http://www.fta.dot.gov/atppl. Projects selected for 
funding will be required to report quarterly and submit performance 
data to the appropriate agency. Detailed information on reporting will 
be included in the Federal Register notice announcing projects selected 
for funding. Technical assistance regarding the program is available by 
contacting Adam Schildge, Federal Transit Administration, (202) 366-
0778, adam.schildge@dot.gov or the appropriate Federal Land Management 
Agency contact (see Appendix C). For technical assistance or general 
inquiries regarding alternative transportation in federal lands, please 
contact the Transit in Parks Technical Assistance Center at http://www.triptac.org, (877) 704-5292, or helpdesk@triptac.org.

Peter Rogoff,
Administrator.

            Appendix A--FTA Regional and Metropolitan Offices
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MaryBeth Mello, Regional Administrator,     Robert C. Patrick, Regional
 Region 1--Boston, Kendall Square, 55        Administrator, Region 6--
 Broadway, Suite 920, Cambridge, MA 02142-   Ft. Worth, 819 Taylor
 1093, Tel. 617-494-2055.                    Street, Room 8A36, Ft.
                                             Worth, TX 76102, Tel. 817-
                                             978-0550.
States served: Connecticut, Maine,          States served: Arkansas,
 Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode         Louisiana, Oklahoma, New
 Island, and Vermont.                        Mexico and Texas.
Brigid Hynes-Cherin, Regional               Mokhtee Ahmad, Regional
 Administrator, Region 2--New York, One      Administrator, Region 7--
 Bowling Green, Room 429, New York, NY       Kansas City, MO, 901 Locust
 10004-1415, Tel. 212-668-2170.              Street, Room 404, Kansas
                                             City, MO 64106, Tel. 816-
                                             329-3920.
States served: New Jersey, New York. New    States served: Iowa, Kansas,
 York Metropolitan Office, Region 2--New     Missouri, and Nebraska.
 York, One Bowling Green, Room 428, New
 York, NY 10004-1415, Tel. 212-668-2202.
Letitia Thompson, Regional Administrator,   Terry Rosapep, Regional
 Region 3--Philadelphia, 1760 Market         Administrator, Region 8--
 Street, Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA 19103-  Denver, 12300 West Dakota
 4124, Tel. 215-656-7100.                    Ave., Suite 310, Lakewood,
                                             CO 80228-2583, Tel. 720-963-
                                             3300.
States served: Delaware, Maryland,          States served: Colorado,
 Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia,      Montana, North Dakota,
 and District of Columbia.                   South Dakota, Utah, and,
                                             Wyoming.

[[Page 13271]]

 
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 Administrator,      Leslie T. Rogers, Regional
 Region 4--Atlanta, 230 Peachtreet Street,   Administrator, Region 9--
 NW., Suite 800, Atlanta, GA 30303, Tel.     San Francisco, 201 Mission
 404-865-5600.                               Street, Room 1650, San
                                             Francisco, CA 94105-1926,
                                             Tel. 415-744-3133.
States served: Alabama, Florida, Georgia,   States served: American
 Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina,      Samoa, Arizona, California,
 Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee,     Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, and
 and Virgin Islands.                         the Northern Mariana
                                             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 Administrator,      Rick Krochalis, Regional
 Region 5--Chicago, 200 West Adams Street,   Administrator, Region 10--
 Suite 320, Chicago, IL 60606, Tel. 312-     Seattle, Jackson Federal
 353-2789.                                   Building, 915 Second
States served: Illinois, Indiana,            Avenue, Suite 3142,
 Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.   Seattle, WA 98174-1002,
                                             Tel. 206-220-7954.
                                            States served: Alaska,
                                             Idaho, Oregon, and
                                             Washington.
Chicago Metropolitan Office, Region 5--
 Chicago, 200 West Adams Street, Suite
 320, Chicago, IL 60606, Tel. 312-353-
 2789.
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Appendix B--Federal Land Management Agencies Transit in Parks Program 
Contacts

     National Park Service: Mark H. Hartsoe, Mark_H_Hartsoe@nps.gov; telephone: 202-513-7025, fax: 202-371-6675, mail: 1849 
C Street, NW. (MS2420); Washington, DC 20240-0001.
     Fish and Wildlife Service: Nathan Caldwell, e-mail to: 
Nathan_Caldwell@fws.gov, telephone: 703-358-2205, fax: 703-358-2517, 
mail: 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 634; Arlington, VA 22203.
     Forest Service: Ed James, ejames@fs.fed.us, telephone: 
703-605-4616, mail: 1621 N Kent Street, Room 900, Arlington, VA 22209.
     Bureau of Land Management: Victor F. Montoya, Victor_Montoya@blm.gov, telephone: 202-912-7041, mail: 1620 L Street, WO-854, 
Washington, DC 20036.

[FR Doc. 2011-5427 Filed 3-9-11; 8:45 am]
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