[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 123 (Monday, June 27, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 37393-37402]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-16015]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


FY 2011 Discretionary Livability Funding Opportunity; Section 
5309 Bus and Bus Facilities Livability Initiative Program Grants and 
Section 5339 Alternatives Analysis Program

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of FTA Livability Funding Opportunity 
Program Funds: Solicitation of Project Proposals.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the 
availability of discretionary funds in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 for two 
programs in support of the Department of Transportation's (DOT) 
Livability Initiative: the Bus and Bus Facilities grant funds (49 
U.S.C. 5309(b)) (``Bus Livability Program'') and the Alternatives 
Analysis Program (49 U.S.C. 5339), both authorized by the Safe, 
Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A legacy 
for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Pub. L. 109-59, August 10, 2005. The Bus 
Livability Program will be funded using at least $150 million in 
available FY 2011 Discretionary Bus and Bus Facilities Program funds. 
The Alternatives Analysis program will be funded using up to $25 
million in FY 2010 and FY2011 discretionary funds. These discretionary 
program funds will be distributed in accordance with the mission of 
each program and in support of the U.S. DOT's Livability Initiative and 
the Partnership for Sustainable Communities between the U.S. DOT, the 
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Please note that this notice is 
one of several discretionary funding opportunities that FTA intends to 
issue by early Fall 2011. 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 
for funding under each discretionary program. This announcement is 
available on the FTA Web site at: http://www.fta.dot.gov. FTA will 
announce final selections for each program on the Web site and in the 
Federal Register. Additionally, a synopsis of each 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 for both the Bus Livability Program and the 
Alternatives Analysis Program must be submitted by July 29, 2011. All 
proposals must be submitted electronically through the GRANTS.GOV APPLY 
function. Agencies should initiate the process of registering on the 
GRANTS.GOV site immediately to ensure completion of registration before 
the submission deadline. Registration is a multi-step process, which 
may take several weeks to complete before an application can be 
submitted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Bus Livability Program

    Contact the appropriate FTA Regional Administrator (Appendix A) for 
proposal-specific information and issues. For general program 
information, contact Bryce McNitt, Office of Budget and Policy, (202) 
366-2618, e-mail bryce.mcnitt@dot.gov. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-
8339 (TDD/FIRS).

Alternatives Analysis Program

    For general program information, contact Kenneth Cervenka, Office 
of Planning and Environment, (202) 493-0512, e-mail 
Kenneth.Cervenka@dot.gov. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDD/
FIRS).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. DOT Livability Initiative
A. Authority
B. Policy Priority
II. Livability Program Information
A. Bus Livability Program
1. Description
2. Award Information
3. Eligibility Information
4. Application and Submission Information
5. Application Review, Selection, and Notification
6. Award Administration
7. Agency Contacts
B. Alternatives Analysis Program
1. Description
2. Award Information
3. Eligibility Information
4. Application and Submission Information
5. Application Review, Selection and Notification
6. Award Administration
7. Agency Contacts
Appendix A FTA Regional Offices
Appendix B Notice of Other Funding Opportunities

I. DOT Livability Initiative Overview

A. Authority:

Bus Livability
    The 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-- * * *
    (3) 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.''
Alternatives Analysis
    The program is authorized under the Alternatives Analysis Program 
(49 U.S.C. 5339) of SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59, August 10, 2005.

    ``* * * The Secretary may award grants to States, authorities of 
the States, metropolitan planning organizations, and local 
governmental authorities to develop alternatives analyses as defined 
by section 5309(a)(1). 5309(a)(1) ``* * * a study conducted as part 
of the transportation planning process required under sections 5303 
and 5304 * * *''

B. Policy Priority

    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 options 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 transportation facilities or services; make 
improvements to areas adjacent to public transit facilities that may 
facilitate mobility needs of transit users; or support other 
infrastructure

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investments that enhance the use of transit and other 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.
    At least $150 million in unallocated Section 5309 Bus and Bus 
Facilities Program funds are available under this notice. In addition, 
FTA will use up to $25 million in Alternatives Analysis Program funds 
to further support the Livability Initiative. By using these available 
funds, FTA and DOT can support tangible livability improvements within 
existing programs while demonstrating the feasibility and value of such 
improvements. These demonstrations can provide a sound basis for 
advancing greater investments in the future. In addition, the program 
builds on the momentum generated by the investments made through the FY 
2010 Partnership for Sustainable Communities, including FTA's FY 2010 
Bus Livability and Alternatives Analysis grant programs, and funding 
provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
    This notice represents one of the several discretionary grant 
funding opportunities to be announced by FTA this fiscal year. This 
notice identifies opportunities for funding under the Department of 
Transportation's livable communities strategic goal. It is expected 
that FTA will announce other discretionary funding opportunities no 
later than early Fall 2011 to support efforts related to transit state 
of good repair, clean fuels and greenhouse gas/energy reduction, 
transit in parks and public lands, tribal transit, and over-the-road 
bus efforts. (See Appendix B).

C. Principles

    Both the Bus Livability and the Alternatives Analysis programs will 
invest in projects that fulfill the following six livability principles 
that serve as the foundation for the DOT-HUD-EPA Partnership for 
Sustainable Communities:
    1. Provide more transportation choices: Develop safe, reliable, and 
economical transportation choices to decrease household transportation 
costs, reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil, improve air 
quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote public health.
    2. Promote equitable, affordable housing: Expand location- and 
energy-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races 
and ethnicities to increase mobility and lower the combined cost of 
housing and transportation.
    3. Enhance economic competitiveness: Improve economic 
competitiveness through reliable and timely access to employment 
centers, educational opportunities, services and other basic needs by 
workers as well as expanded business access to markets.
    4. Support existing communities: Target federal funding toward 
existing communities--through such strategies as transit-oriented, 
mixed-use development and land recycling--to increase community 
revitalization, improve the efficiency of public works investments, and 
safeguard rural landscapes.
    5. Coordinate policies and leverage investment: Align policies and 
funding to remove barriers to collaboration, leverage funding and 
increase the accountability and effectiveness of all levels of 
government to plan for future growth, including making smart energy 
choices such as locally generated renewable energy.
    6. Value communities and neighborhoods: Enhance the unique 
characteristics of all communities by investing in healthy, safe and 
walkable neighborhoods--rural, urban or suburban.
    FTA will also consider geographic distribution in project 
selection.

II. Livability Program Information

Bus Livability Program

1. Description
    The Bus Livability Program will be funded using at least $150 
million in available 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), Pub. L. 109-59, August 10, 2005. FTA may use additional 
Bus and Bus Facilities funding that becomes available to further 
support this initiative.
    The Bus Livability Program makes funds available to public 
transportation providers to finance 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. 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.
    Improving mobility and shaping America's future by ensuring that 
the transportation system is accessible, integrated, and efficient, 
while offering flexibility of choices is a key strategic goal of the 
DOT. FTA is committed to creating livable communities that improve the 
quality of life for all Americans. Public transportation provides 
transportation options that connect communities and fosters 
sustainability and the development of urban and rural land use. Through 
Bus Livability Program grants, FTA will invest in projects that fulfill 
the six livability principles that serve as the foundation for the DOT-
HUD-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities listed in section I, 
Part C of this NOFA (above).
    FTA will evaluate proposals and assess a project's ability to 
advance local economic development goals, improve mobility for all 
citizens, create partnerships that result in the integration of 
transportation and land-use decision making and result in environmental 
benefits. Additionally, many rural areas are fighting to preserve their 
way of life by limiting urban sprawl and protecting valuable 
agricultural lands. Often these communities have seen jobs and 
businesses leave for larger communities and need assistance preserving 
and reinvigorating the traditional rural town center where locals can 
visit the grocery store, doctor, hardware store, family restaurant and 
town hall in easy walking distance of one another. FTA is committed to 
funding a mix of projects that include projects that demonstrate 
livability principles in rural areas including projects that provide 
access to jobs, medical services and other necessities in rural areas 
and that support the independence of elderly citizens and individuals 
with disabilities.
2. Award Information
    Federal transit funds are available to State or Local governmental 
authorities as recipients and other public transportation providers as 
subrecipients at up to 80 percent of the project cost requires a 20% 
local match. There is no floor or ceiling for any single grant under 
this program;

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however, FTA intends to fund as many meritorious projects as possible.
    Consistent with 49 U.S.C. 5309(m)(8), the Secretary shall consider 
the age and condition of buses, bus fleets, related equipment, and bus-
related facilities of applicants in its award of Bus Livability grants. 
And, in addition, FTA will consider geographical diversity in making 
final funding decisions.
3. Eligibility Information
A. Eligible Applicants
    Eligible applicants under this program are direct recipients of 
funds provided under the Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula program 
(``Direct Recipients''), as well as States and Indian tribes. Proposals 
for funding eligible projects in rural (nonurbanized) areas must be 
submitted as part of a consolidated State application 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 may include projects to be implemented by the applicant 
as a ``Recipient'' or as one or more partners (``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 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 Bus Livability program are 
capital projects such as:
    Purchase and rehabilitation of buses and vans, bus-related 
equipment (including ITS, fare equipment, communication devices), 
construction and rehabilitation of bus-related facilities (including 
administrative, maintenance, transfer, and intermodal facilities, 
including facilities consistent with FTA's Joint Development and Bike/
Pedestrian policies which are available at http://www.fta.dot.gov/livability). 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.
    Funds made available under this program may not be used to fund 
operating expenses, preventive maintenance, or any other expanded 
capital eligibility items (for example, security drills, debt service 
reserve, mobility management). Funds also may not be used to reimburse 
projects that have incurred previous expenses absent evidence that FTA 
issued a Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) for the project before the costs 
were incurred. There is no blanket pre-award authority for projects to 
be funded under this announcement before their identification in the 
Federal Register of selected projects.
C. Cost Sharing
    Costs will be shared at the following ratio: 80 percent FTA/20 
percent local contribution, unless the grantee requests a lower Federal 
share. FTA will not approve deferred local share under this program.
    The Federal share may exceed 80 percent for certain projects 
related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Clean Air Act 
(CAA) and bicycle facilities (sec. 5319) 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 at 83 
percent for eligible ADA and CAA vehicle purchases.
    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.
4. Application and Submission Information
A. Proposal Submission Process
    Project proposal must be submitted electronically through http://www.grants.gov. In addition to the mandatory SF 424 Form that must be 
downloaded from GRANTS.GOV, FTA requires applicants to complete the 
Supplemental FTA Form to enter descriptive and data elements of 
individual program proposals for these discretionary programs. These 
supplemental forms provide guidance and a consistent format for 
applicants to respond to the criteria outlined in this Notice of 
Funding Availability (NOFA). The Supplemental Form can be found on the 
program Web site at 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 at http://www.fta.dot.gov/bus and will also be available in the ``FIND'' module 
of GRANTS.GOV. 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 the application to be rejected.
    An applicant may propose a project that would take more than one 
year to complete, which includes expending a single year of Bus 
Livability program grant funds over multiple years. The project would, 
however, need to be ready to begin upon receiving a grant and need to 
be completed in a reasonable period of time, as evaluated on a case-by-
case basis depending on the project type. In sum, the period of 
performance of the award is separate from the year of funds of the 
award.
B. Application Content
1. Applicant Information
    This provides basic sponsor identifying information, including: (a) 
Applicant name, and FTA recipient ID number, (b) contact information 
for notification of project selection (including contact name, title, 
address, e-mail, fax and phone number, (c) description of services 
provided by the agency including areas served, (d) existing fleet and 
employee information, and (e) a description of the agency's technical, 
legal, and financial capacity

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to implement the proposed project. For applicants applying through 
http://www.grants.gov, some of this information is included in Standard 
Form 424.
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 audited 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 Bus Livability program 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 SF-424 Form that will be downloaded from GRANTS.GOV, FTA 
requires applicants to complete the Supplemental FTA Form to enter 
descriptive and data elements of individual program proposals for the 
Bus Livability program. This supplemental form provides guidance and a 
consistent format for applicants to respond to the criteria outlined in 
this NOFA and can be located on the FTA Web site at 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 at 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.
D. Funding Restrictions
    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.
E. Other Submission Requirements
    Applicants should submit three 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.
5. Application Review, Selection, and Notification
A. Project Evaluation Criteria
    Projects will be evaluated according to the following criteria. 
Each applicant is encouraged to demonstrate the responsiveness of a 
project to any and all of the selection criteria with the most relevant 
information that the applicant 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 
criteria below and produces a livability or sustainability outcome.
    a. Demonstrated Need for Resources: FTA will evaluate each project 
to determine its need for resources. This determination will be made by 
examining the proposal to determine if:
    i. The project represents a one-time or periodic need that cannot 
reasonably be funded from FTA program formula allocations or State and/
or local revenues.
    ii. The project or applicant did not receive sufficient Federal 
funding in previous years.
    iii. The project will have a significant impact on service 
delivery.
    b. Planning and Prioritization at Local/Regional Level: FTA will 
examine each Bus Livability project proposal for consistency with the 
areas planning documents and local priorities. This examination will 
involve assessing whether:
    a. The project is consistent with the transit priorities identified 
in the long-range plan and/or contingency/illustrative projects.
    b. The MPO endorses the project, if in a UZA, and the State, if for 
a rural area.
    c. Local support is demonstrated by availability of local match for 
this and/or related projects and letters of support.
    d. Capital projects are consistent with service needs of the area.
    i. Example: Vehicle expansion proposal shows evidence of the need 
for additional capacity.
    e. If the project is multimodal in nature, the proposal 
demonstrates coordination with and support of other transportation 
modes and partners.
    c. Linkage to Livability Principles: Livability investments are 
projects that deliver not only transportation benefits, but also are 
designed and planned in such a way that they have a positive impact on 
qualitative measures of community life. This element delivers benefits 
that are inherently difficult to measure. However, it is implicit to 
livability that its benefits are shared and therefore magnified by the 
number of potential users in the affected community. Therefore, 
descriptions of how projects enhance livability should include a 
description of the affected community and the scale of the project's 
impact. To determine whether a project improves the quality of the 
living and working environment of a community, FTA will qualitatively 
assess whether the project:
    i. Will significantly enhance user mobility through the creation of 
more convenient transportation options for travelers;
    ii. The degree to which the proposed project contributes 
significantly to broader traveler mobility through intermodal 
connections, or improved connections between residential and commercial 
areas.

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    iii. Will improve existing transportation choices by enhancing 
points of modal connectivity or, in urban areas, by reducing congestion 
on existing transit systems or roadways.
    iv. Will improve accessibility and transport services for 
economically disadvantaged populations, non-drivers, senior citizens, 
and persons with disabilities.
    v. Is the result of a planning process which coordinated 
transportation and land-use planning decisions and encouraged community 
participation in the process.

    Note:  Special consideration may be given to those applicants 
who serve a community that holds FY 2010 HUD Preferred 
Sustainability Status. A list of these communities can be found via 
http://www.hud.gov/sustainability.

    d. Linkage to Environmental Sustainability: In order to determine 
whether a project promotes a more environmentally sustainable 
transportation system, i.e., reducing reliance on automobile travel, 
improving the pedestrian and walk environment of a community, use of 
environmental design techniques in the planning, construction, and 
operation of the project, FTA will assess the project's ability to:
    i. Improve energy efficiency or reduce energy consumption/green 
house gas emissions; applicants are encouraged to provide information 
regarding the expected use of clean or alternative sources of energy; 
projects that demonstrate a projected decrease in the movement of 
people by less energy-efficient vehicles or systems will be given 
priority under this factor; and
    ii. Maintain, protect or enhance the environment, as evidenced by 
environmentally friendly policies and practices utilized in the project 
design, construction, and operation that exceed the requirements of the 
National Environmental Policy Act including items such as whether the 
project uses a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-
certified design, the vehicles or facilities are rated with the energy-
star, the project re-uses a brownfield, construction equipment is 
retrofitted with catalytic converters, the project utilizes recycled 
materials, the project includes elements to conserve energy, such as 
passive solar heating, solar panels, wind turbines, reflective roofing 
or paving materials, or other advanced environmental design elements 
such as a green roof, etc.
    e. Leveraging of public and private investments.
    i. Jurisdictional and Stakeholder Collaboration: To measure a 
project's alignment with this criterion, FTA will assess the project's 
involvement of non-Federal entities and the use of non-Federal funds, 
including the scope of involvement and share of total funding. FTA will 
give priority to projects that receive financial commitments from, or 
otherwise involve, State and local governments, other public entities, 
or private or nonprofit entities, including projects that engage 
parties that are not traditionally involved in transportation projects, 
such as nonprofit community groups or the private owners of real 
property abutting the project. FTA will assess the amount of co-
investment from State, local or other non-profit sources.
    ii. Disciplinary Integration: To demonstrate the value of 
partnerships across government agencies that serve the various public 
service missions and to promote collaboration of the objectives 
outlined in this notice, FTA will give priority to projects that are 
supported, financially or otherwise, by non-transportation public 
agencies that are pursuing similar objectives. Special consideration 
will be given to those projects that leverage or provide services that 
support projects funded under the DOT-HUD-EPA Partnership for 
Sustainable Communities. For example, FTA will give priority to 
transportation projects that are supported by relevant public housing 
or human service agencies, or transportation projects that encourage 
energy efficiency or improve the environment and are supported by 
relevant public agencies with energy or environmental missions.
    f. The project is ready to implement.
    i. Any required environmental work has been initiated for 
construction projects requiring an Environmental Assessment (EA), 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), or documented Categorical 
Exclusion (CE).
    ii. Implementation plans are ready, including initial design of 
facilities projects.
    iii. TIP/STIP can be amended (evidenced by MPO/State endorsement).
    iv. Local share of funding is in place.
    v. Project can be obligated and implemented quickly if selected.
    vi. The applicant demonstrates the ability to carry out the 
proposed project successfully.

    Note:  Applicants must have basic technical, legal, and 
financial capacity as a precondition of grant award. Since proposals 
are limited to existing FTA grantees, applicants are assumed to have 
that basic capacity. This criterion refers to implementation of the 
particular project proposed.
    a. For larger capital projects, the applicant has the technical 
capacity to administer the project.
    b. For fleet replacement and/or expansion, the acquisition is 
consistent with the bus fleet management plan.
    c. For fleet expansion, the applicant has the operating funds to 
support the expanded service.
    d. There are no outstanding legal, technical or financial issues 
with the grantee that would bring the feasibility of successful 
project completion into question.
    e. Source of 20% local match is identified and is available for 
prompt project implementation if selected (no deferred local share 
will be allowed)
    f. The grantee is in fundable status for grant-making purposes.

B. Review and Selection Process
    Proposals will first be screened and ranked by appropriate FTA 
staff, in consultation with representatives from HUD and EPA. The FTA 
Administrator will determine the final selection and amount of funding 
for each project. Selected projects will be announced in late 2011. FTA 
will publish the list of all selected projects and funding levels in 
the Federal Register. Regional offices will also notify successful 
applicants of their success and the amount of funding awarded to the 
project.
6. Award Administration
A. Award Notices
    FTA will announce project selections in a Federal Register notice 
and will post the Federal Register Notices on its Web site. FTA 
regional offices will contact successful applicants. FTA will award 
grants for the selected projects to the applicant 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 pre-award authority for these projects 
prior to 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 C 9300.1A Circular 
and C 5010.1C and S. 5333(b) labor protections. Technical assistance 
regarding these requirements is available from each FTA regional 
office.

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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 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 timely submission of 
Financial Status Reports and Milestone reports in TEAM on a quarterly 
basis for all projects. Documentation is required for payment. In 
addition, grants that include innovative technologies may be required 
to report on the performance of these technologies.
7. Agency Contacts
    Contact the appropriate FTA Regional Administrator (see Appendix A) 
for proposal-specific information and issues. For general program 
information, contact Bryce McNitt, (202) 366-2618, e-mail 
bryce.mcnitt@dot.gov. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDD/FIRS).

B. Alternatives Analysis Program

1. Description
    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. 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 $25.0 
million from FY 2010 and 2011 funds. These funds will be allocated for 
alternatives analysis activities selected from applications submitted 
in response to this notice.
    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 an 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. These funds are not available for 
systems planning work that leads to the selection of a particular 
corridor for alternatives analysis, or for work performed after an 
application is made to enter Preliminary Engineering (New Starts) or 
Project Development (Small Starts).
2. Award Information
    Studies or technical tasks selected for funding will receive up to 
80 percent of the study cost. Awards remain available for three 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.
3. Eligibility Information
A. 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).
B. Eligible Projects
    Alternatives analyses must be documented in the Unified Planning 
Work Program (UPWP) of the metropolitan planning organization for the 
area. Applicants must commit to begin the alternatives analysis within 
12 months of grant approval. 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.
4. Application and Submission Information
A. Proposal Submission Process
    Complete proposals for the Alternatives Analysis Program 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 SF 424 Form that will be downloaded from GRANTS.GOV, FTA 
requires applicants to complete the Supplemental FTA

[[Page 37399]]

Form to enter descriptive and data elements of individual program 
proposals for the Alternatives Analysis Program. This supplemental form 
provides guidance and a consistent format for applicants to respond to 
the criteria outlined in this NOFA and is described in detail on the 
FTA Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/alternativesanalysis. 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. 
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. Proposals will not be accepted after the relevant due 
date; delayed registration is not an acceptable reason for extensions.
B. Application Content
    FTA will only evaluate applications that include the following 
components:
     A completed Standard Form 424 (SF 424), available through 
GRANTS.GOV;
     A completed Alternatives Analysis Applicant and Proposal 
Profile, available for download via http://www.fta.dot.gov/alternativesanalysis;
     A detailed work plan by major task that details the nature 
of and technical approaches to the proposed alternatives analysis; and
     A detailed budget that includes total cost, cost by major 
task, and indication of which items would be funded with Section 5339 
funds and which items would be funded by other sources.

The Applicant and Proposal Profile, work plan and budget must be 
submitted via GRANTS.GOV as attachments to the SF 424. Applicants may 
also attach letters of support, corridor maps and other supporting 
materials, but should not submit further narrative. Applicants must 
adhere to the Applicant and Proposal Profile's character limits.
    Instructions for completing certain fields in Section I of the 
Applicant and Proposal Profile are provided below:
     Description of Existing Rail Transit Service: If the 
proposed alternatives analysis would be for an extension of an existing 
rail transit line, provide a brief description of the service provided 
and markets along the existing line.
     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.
     Contact Information for Other Parties Involved: If another 
organization will be responsible for completing any component of the 
work plan, provide a name and contact information for the primary 
contact with the partner organization.
C. Technical Assistance
    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.
5. Application, Selection and Notification
A. Project Evaluation Criteria
    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; the proposed 
alternatives analysis must also be documented in the Unified Planning 
Work Program of the applicant's MPO. Proposals will be evaluated based 
on responses to the following criteria in Section II of the Applicant 
and Proposal Profile:
    1. Demonstrated Need for Resources. 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:
    a. Description of Study Area, Transportation Problems, and Needs. 
Applicants should provide a description of the study corridor, a 
statement of the transportation problem for which alternative solutions 
are to be analyzed and a statement of the need for a public 
transportation improvement in the corridor. This information provides 
the context for performing the analysis and for identifying the 
measures against which alternatives strategies will be evaluated.
    b. 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.
    c. 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 
each of 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. 
Applicants should also outline proposed measures for the livability 
outcomes.

[[Page 37400]]

    2. Technical Capacity. Applicants must demonstrate the technical 
capacity to successfully undertake an analysis of alternatives. 
Technical capacity may include previous experience on the applicant's 
or partner organizations' part in completing an alternatives analysis 
or corridor study. The applicant should also discuss staffing levels, 
staff skill sets and other resources that will enable it to carry out 
the proposed work successfully.
    3. 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.
B. Review and Selection Process
    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 2011. FTA will publish the list of all selected studies and 
funding levels in the Federal Register.
6. Award Administration
A. Award Notices
    FTA will announce project selections in a Federal Register Notice 
and will post the Federal Register Notices on the web. FTA regional 
offices will contact successful applicants. FTA will award grants for 
the selected projects to the applicant 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 5339 Alternatives Analysis Proram. At the time the project 
selections are announced, FTA will extend pre-award authority for the 
selected projects. There is no pre-award authority for these projects 
prior to 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 5339 
Alternatives Analysis Program, including those of FTA C 9300.1A 
Circular and C 5010.1C and S. 5333(b) labor protections. 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 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, 
grants which include innovative technologies may be required to report 
on the performance of these technologies.
7. Agency Contacts
    For general program information, contact Kenneth Cervenka, Office 
of Planning and Environment, (202) 493-0512, e-mail 
Kenneth.Cervenka@dot.gov. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDD/
FIRS).

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

Appendix A

                  FTA Regional and Metropolitan Offices
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mary Beth Mello                      Robert C. Patrick
Regional Administrator               Regional Administrator
Region 1--Boston                     Region 6--Ft. Worth
Kendall Square                       819 Taylor Street, Room 8A36
55 Broadway, Suite 920               Ft. Worth, TX 76102
Cambridge, MA 02142-1093             Tel. 817-978-0550
Tel. 617-494-2055
States served: Connecticut, Maine,   States served: Arkansas, Louisiana,
 Massachusetts, New Hampshire,        Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.
 Rhode Island, and Vermont.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brigid Hynes-Cherin                  Mokhtee Ahmad
Regional Administrator               Regional Administrator
Region 2--New York                   Region 7--Kansas City, MO
One Bowling Green, Room 429          901 Locust Street, Room 404
New York, NY 10004-1415              Kansas City, MO 64106
Tel. 212-668-2170                    Tel. 816-329-3920
States served: New Jersey, New       States served: Iowa, Kansas,
 York.                                Missouri, and Nebraska.

[[Page 37401]]

 
New York Metropolitan Office
Region 2-New York
One Bowling Green, Room 428
New York, NY 10004-1415
Tel. 212-668-2202
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Letitia Thompson                     Terry Rosapep
Regional Administrator               Regional Administrator
Region 3--Philadelphia               Region 8--Denver
1760 Market Street, Suite 500        12300 West Dakota Ave., Suite 310
Philadelphia, PA 19103-4124          Lakewood, CO 80228-2583
Tel. 215-656-7100                    Tel. 720-963-3300
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                        Leslie T. Rogers
Regional Administrator               Regional Administrator
Region 4--Atlanta                    Region 9--San Francisco
230 Peachtree Street, NW Suite 800   201 Mission Street, Room 1650
Atlanta, GA 30303                    San Francisco, CA 94105-1926
Tel. 404-865-5600                    Tel. 415-744-3133
States served: Alabama, Florida,     States served: American Samoa,
 Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi,      Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii,
 North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South   Nevada, and the Northern Mariana
 Carolina, Tennessee, and Virgin      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                        Rick Krochalis
Regional Administrator               Regional Administrator
Region 5--Chicago                    Region 10--Seattle
200 West Adams Street, Suite 320     Jackson Federal Building
Chicago, IL 60606                    915 Second Avenue, Suite 3142
Tel. 312-353-2789                    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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[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN27JN11.027

[FR Doc. 2011-16015 Filed 6-22-11; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-P