[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 122 (Friday, June 24, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 37184-37189]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-15918]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


Discretionary Bus and Bus Facilities Program

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of availability of FTA state of good repair bus and bus 
facilities initiative funds: Solicitation of project proposals.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the 
availability of discretionary Section 5309 Bus and Bus Facilities grant 
funds in support of its ``State of Good Repair'' initiative. The State 
of Good Repair (SGR) Bus initiative will be funded with up to $750 
million in unallocated Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 discretionary Bus and Bus 
Facilities Program funds, authorized by 49 U.S.C. 5309(b) of the Safe, 
Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy 
For Users (SAFETEA-LU), Public Law 109-59, August 10, 2005. FTA may use 
additional Bus and Bus Facilities program funding that becomes 
available in the future to further support this initiative.
    The SGR Bus initiative will make funds available to public transit 
providers to finance capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, and 
purchase buses and related equipment and to construct/rehabilitate bus-
related facilities, including programs of bus and bus-related projects 
which may include assistance to subrecipients that are public agencies, 
private companies engaged in public transportation, or private non-
profit organizations. This notice includes priorities established by 
FTA for these discretionary funds, the criteria FTA will use to 
identify meritorious projects for funding, and describes how to apply.
    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 notice. A synopsis of this announcement will be 
posted in the FIND module of the government-wide electronic grants Web 
site at  http://www.grants.gov. See Appendix B of this notice for 
information related to other discretionary program opportunities 
available in FY 2011.

DATES: Complete proposals for the SGR Bus initiative must be submitted 
by July 29, 2011. All proposals must be submitted electronically 
through the GRANTS.GOV APPLY function. In order to apply through 
GRANTS.GOV, proposers should initiate the process of registering on the 
GRANTS.GOV site immediately to ensure completion of registration before 
the deadline for submission.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Contact the appropriate FTA Regional 
Administrator (see Appendix A) for proposal-specific information and 
issues. For information on the SGR Bus initiative, contact Kimberly 
Sledge, Office of Program Management, (202) 366-2053, email: 
kimberly.sledge@dot.gov. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDD/
FIRS).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Funding Opportunity Description
II. Award Information
III. Eligibility Information
IV. Proposal Submission Information
V. Proposal Review, Selection, and Notification
VI. Award Administration
Appendix A: FTA Regional Contacts
    Appendix B: FY 2011 Discretionary Programs Schedule

I. Funding Opportunity Description

A. Authority

    The bus and bus facilities program is authorized under 49 U.S.C. 
5309(b), as amended by Section 3011 of SAFETEA-LU:


[[Page 37185]]


    ``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.''

B. Background

    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.

C. Program Purpose

    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.

II. Award Information

    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.

III. Eligibility Information

A. Eligible Proposers

    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.

B. Eligible Expenses

    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.

C. Cost Sharing

    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 et 
seq); CAA--The Federal share is 90 percent for the cost of vehicle 
related equipment or facilities (including clean-fuel or alternative-
fuel vehicle related equipment or facilities) attributable to 
compliance with the CAA (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq). For administrative 
simplicity, FTA allows recipients to compute the Federal share

[[Page 37186]]

at 83 percent for eligible ADA and CAA vehicle purchases. The 83 
percent Federal share does not apply to facilities. The award recipient 
must itemize the cost of specific, discrete, facility-related items 
being purchased to be in compliance with the ADA or the CAA. The 
Federal share is 90 percent of the cost for these itemized elements.
    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.

IV. Proposal Submission Information

A. Proposal Submission Process

    Project proposals must be submitted electronically through http://www.grants.gov. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted except 
for supplemental information that cannot be sent electronically.

B. Proposal Content

1. Proposal Information
    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, etc.
    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.
2. Project Information
    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.

C. Submission Dates and Times

    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; http://www.fta.dot.gov/bus. 
Applicants must use this Supplemental Form and attach it to their 
submission in GRANTS.GOV to successfully complete the application 
process. Within 24-48 hours after submitting an electronic application, 
the applicant should receive an e-mail validation message from 
GRANTS.GOV. The validation will state whether GRANTS.GOV found any 
issues with the submitted application. As an additional notification, 
FTA's system will notify the applicant if there are any problems with 
the submitted Supplemental FTA Form. If making a resubmission for any 
reason, include all original attachments regardless of which 
attachments were updated. Complete instructions on the application 
process can be found http://www.fta.dot.gov/bus. Important: FTA urges 
applicants to submit their applications 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. Submissions 
after July 29, 2011 will not be accepted.

D. Funding Restrictions

    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.

E. Other Submission Requirements

    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.

V. Proposal Review, Selection, and Notification

A. Project Evaluation Criteria

    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.

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    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.

B. Review and Selection Process

    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 Federal Register and notify 
successful applicants.

VI. Award Administration

A. Award Notices

    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.

B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

1. Grant Requirements
    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.
2. Planning
    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.
3. Standard Assurances
    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.

C. Reporting

    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.

VII. Agency Contacts

    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: kimberly.sledge@dot.gov. A 
TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDD/FIRS).

    Issued in Washington, DC this 21st day of June, 2011.
Peter Rogoff,
Administrator.

Appendix A

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                  FTA Regional and Metropolitan Offices
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Mary Beth Mello, 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,       8A36, Ft. Worth, TX 76102, Tel.
 Tel. 617-494-2055.                   817-978-0550.
States served: Connecticut, Maine,   States served: Arkansas, Louisiana,
 Massachusetts, New Hampshire,        Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.
 Rhode, Island, and Vermont.
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, Room
 York, NY 10004-1415, Tel. 212-668-   404, Kansas City, MO 64106, Tel.
 2170.                                816-329-3920.
States served: New Jersey, New       States served: Iowa, Kansas,
 York.                                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 310,
 Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA 19103-   Lakewood, CO 80228-2583, Tel. 720-
 4124, Tel. 215-656-7100.             963-3300.
States served: Delaware, Maryland,   States served: Colorado, Montana,
 Pennsylvania, Virginia, West         North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah,
 Virginia, and District of            and, Wyoming.
 Columbia.
Philadelphia Metropolitan Office,
 Region 3--Philadelphia, 1760
 Market Street, Suite 500,
 Philadelphia, PA 19103-4124, Tel.
 215-656-7070.
Washington, D.C. 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 Peachtree Street, NW., Suite     Francisco, 201 Mission Street,
 800, Atlanta, GA 30303, Tel. 404-    Room 1650, San Francisco, CA 94105-
 865-5600.                            1926, Tel. 415-744-3133.
States served: Alabama, Florida,     States served: American Samoa,
 Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi,      Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii,
 North, Carolina, Puerto Rico,        Nevada, and the Northern Mariana,
 South Carolina, Tennessee, and       Islands.
 Virgin 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--Seattle,
 200 West Adams Street, Suite 320,    Jackson Federal Building, 915
 Chicago, IL 60606, Tel. 312-353-     Second Avenue, Suite 3142,
 2789.                                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. 2011-15918 Filed 6-23-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P