[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 23 (Friday, February 3, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 5617-5627]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-2260]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


Alternative Transportation in Parks and Public Lands Program

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program Announcement of FY 
2011 and Partial 2012 Project Selections.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Transit 
Administration (FTA) announces the selection of projects, funded with 
Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 and 2012 appropriations, and previously 
unallocated prior year funds, for the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks 
program, as authorized by Section 3021 of the Safe, Accountable, 
Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act--A Legacy for Users of 
2005 (SAFETEA-LU) and its extensions, and codified in 49 U.S.C. 5320. 
The Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program funds capital and 
planning expenses for alternative transportation systems in parks and 
public lands. Federal land management agencies and State, tribal and 
local governments acting with the consent of a Federal land management 
agency are eligible recipients.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Project sponsors who are State, local, 
or tribal entities may contact the appropriate FTA regional office at 
http://www.fta.dot.gov/ for grant-specific issues. Project sponsors who 
are a Federal land management agency or a specific unit of a Federal 
land management agency should work with the contact listed below at 
their headquarters office to coordinate the availability of funds to 
that unit.
     National Park Service: Mark H Hartsoe, Mark_H_Hartsoe@nps.gov; tel: (202) 513-7025, fax: (202) 371-6675, mail: 1849 C 
Street NW., (MS2420); Washington, DC 20240-0001.
     Fish and Wildlife Service: Nathan Caldwell, Nathan_Caldwell@fws.gov, tel: (703) 358-2205, fax: (703) 358-2517, mail: 4401 
N. Fairfax Drive, Room 634; Arlington, VA 22203.
     Forest Service: Rosana Barkawi, rosanabarkawi@fs.fed.us, 
tel: (703) 605-4509, mail: 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 
20250-1101.
     Bureau of Land Management: Victor F. Montoya, Victor_Montoya@blm.gov, tel: (202) 912-7041, mail: 1620 L Street, WO-854, 
Washington, DC 20036.
    For general information about the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks 
program, please contact Adam Schildge, Office of Program Management, 
Federal Transit Administration, at adam.schildge@dot.gov, (202) 366-
0778.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FTA announces the selection of projects for 
the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program for Fiscal Years 2011 and 
2012. As proposed in the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) 
published on March 10, 2011, FTA is including available FY 2012 funding 
in this selection of projects. Once additional FY 2012 funding becomes 
available, FTA may select additional projects from the FY 2011 
applicants; publish an additional FY 2012 NOFA; incorporate such funds 
into a future FY 2013 NOFA; or pursue a combination of the above.
    A total of $26,844,035 was appropriated for FTA's Paul S. Sarbanes 
Transit in Parks program in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011. Of this amount, 
$26,709,535 is available for project awards and $134,500 is reserved 
for oversight activities. An additional $633,845 is available for 
project awards in FY 2011 from funds appropriated in 2006, 2008 and 
2010. This includes funds previously reserved for other authorized 
program activities and funds returned from previously awarded projects. 
The total amount available for FY 2011 is $27,343,380.
    The Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011 
provided $13,450,000 for the program for the period of October 1, 2011 
through March 31, 2012, which is approximately half of the FY 2011 
full-year amount. From this amount, a total of $67,530 is reserved for 
oversight activities in FY 2012. With the addition of $55,965 in 
previously unavailable FY 2011 contract authority and $26,985 in funds 
returned from previously awarded projects, a total of $13,465,420 is 
available for project awards. The combined total amount of funding for 
project awards in FY 2011 and 2012 at the time of this announcement is 
$40,808,800.

       FY 2011 & FY 2012 Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           FY 2011           FY 2012
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Appropriation.......................      $26,844,035       $13,450,000
Oversight Deduction (0.5%)..........         (134,500)          (67,530)
FY 2011 Contract Authority..........  ................           55,965
Prior Year Unobligated Funds........          633,845            26,985
Available for Grants................       27,343,380        13,465,420
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A total of 106 applicants requested $91.1 million, which is more 
than three times the amount announced in FY 2011 and more than twice 
the total amount currently available, indicating high competition for 
funds. A joint review committee of the U.S. Department of Interior, the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and DOT evaluated the 
project proposals based on the criteria defined in 49 U.S.C. 
5320(g)(2). Final selections were made through a collaborative process.
    The goals of the program are to conserve natural, historical, and 
cultural resources; reduce congestion and pollution; improve visitor 
mobility and accessibility; enhance visitor experience; and ensure 
access to all, including persons with disabilities, through alternative 
transportation projects. The projects selected to use FY 2011 and 2012 
funding represent a diverse set of capital and planning projects across 
the country, ranging from bus purchases to installation of Intelligent 
Transportation Systems (ITS), and are listed in Table 1.

Applying for Funds

    Recipients who are State or local government entities will be 
required to apply for Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program funds 
electronically through FTA's electronic grant award and management 
system, TEAM. These entities are assigned discretionary project IDs as 
shown in Table I and Table II of this notice. The content of these 
grant applications must reflect the approved proposal. (Note: 
Applications for the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program do not 
require Department of Labor Certification.) Upon grant award, payments 
to grantees will be made by electronic transfer to the grantee's 
financial institution through FTA's Electronic Clearing House Operation 
(ECHO) system. Staff in FTA's Regional offices are available to assist 
applicants.
    Recipients who are Federal land management agencies will be 
required to enter into an interagency agreement (IAA) with FTA. FTA 
will administer one IAA with each Federal land management agency 
receiving funding through the program for all of that agency's 
projects. Consistent with section 9.5.2a of the ``Department of 
Transportation Financial Management Policies Manual (October 24, 2006), 
funds awarded to Federal land

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management agencies through interagency agreements remain available for 
a period of five years from execution of the agreement. Individual 
units of Federal land management agencies should work with the contact 
at their headquarters office listed above to coordinate the 
availability of funds to that unit.

Program Requirements

    Section 5320 requires funding recipients to meet certain 
requirements. Requirements that reflect existing statutory and 
regulatory provisions can be found in the document ``Alternative 
Transportation in Parks and Public Lands Program: Requirements for 
Recipients'' available at www.fta.dot.gov/transitinparks. These 
requirements are incorporated into the grant agreements and inter-
agency agreements used to fund the selected projects.

Pre-Award Authority

    Pre-award authority allows an agency that will receive a grant or 
interagency agreement to incur certain project costs prior to receipt 
of the grant or interagency agreement and retain eligibility of the 
costs for subsequent reimbursement after the grant or agreement is 
approved. The recipient assumes all risk and is responsible for 
ensuring that all conditions are met to retain eligibility, including 
compliance with Federal requirements such as the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA), SAFETEA-LU planning requirements, and provisions 
established in the grant contract or Interagency Agreement. This 
automatic pre-award spending authority, when triggered, permits a 
grantee to incur costs on an eligible transit capital or planning 
project without prejudice to possible future Federal participation in 
the cost of the project or projects. Under the authority provided in 49 
U.S.C. 5320(h), FTA is extending pre-award authority for FY 2011 and 
2012 Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks projects announced in this 
notice effective January 17, 2012 when the projects were publicly 
announced.
    The conditions under which pre-award authority may be utilized are 
specified below:
    a. Pre-award authority is not a legal or implied commitment that 
the project(s) will be approved for FTA assistance or that FTA will 
obligate Federal funds for those projects. Furthermore, it is not a 
legal or implied commitment that all items undertaken by the applicant 
will be eligible for inclusion in the project(s).
    b. All FTA statutory, procedural, and contractual requirements must 
be met. This includes adherence to Federal planning requirements for 
recipients of FTA grants, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 
requirements, and Federal competitive procurement requirements.
    c. No action will be taken by the grantee that prejudices the legal 
and administrative findings that the Federal Transit Administration 
must make in order to approve a project.
    d. Local funds expended pursuant to this pre-award authority will 
be eligible for reimbursement if FTA later makes a grant or interagency 
agreement for the project(s). Local funds expended by the grantee prior 
to the January 17, 2012 public announcement will not be eligible for 
credit toward local match or reimbursement. Furthermore, the 
expenditure of local funds on activities such as land acquisition, 
demolition, or construction, prior to the completion of the NEPA 
process, would compromise FTA's ability to comply with Federal 
environmental laws and may render the project ineligible for FTA 
funding.
    e. When a grant for the project is subsequently awarded, the 
Financial Status Report in TEAM-Web must indicate the use of pre-award 
authority, and the pre-award item in the project information section of 
TEAM should be marked ``yes.''

Reporting Requirements

    All recipients must submit quarterly reports to FTA containing the 
following information:
    (1) Narrative description of project(s); and,
    (2) discussion of all budget and schedule changes.
The headquarters office for each Federal land management agency should 
collect a quarterly report for each of the projects delineated in the 
interagency agreement and then send these reports by email to Adam 
Schildge, FTA, mailto: adam.schildge@dot.gov. Examples can be found on 
the program Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/transitinparks. State, 
local and tribal governments will provide this information to FTA via 
the TEAM-Web system for projects that are funded through FTA grants.
    The quarterly reports are due to FTA on the dates noted below:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Quarter                    Covering             Due date
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1st Quarter Report............  October 1-December 31.  January 30.
2nd Quarter Report............  January 1-March 31....  April 30.
3rd Quarter Report............  April 1-June 30.......  July 30.
4th Quarter Report............  July 1-September 31...  October 30.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In order to allow FTA to compute aggregate program performance 
measures FTA requires that all recipients of funding for capital 
projects under the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program submit the 
following information as a part of their fourth quarter report:
    [ssquf] Annual visitation to the relevant land unit;
    [ssquf] Annual number of persons who use the alternative 
transportation system (ridership/usage);
    [ssquf] An estimate of the number of vehicle trips mitigated based 
on alternative transportation system usage and the typical number of 
passengers per vehicle;
    [ssquf] Cost per passenger; and,
    [ssquf] A note of any special services offered for those systems 
with higher costs per passenger but more amenities.

Oversight

    Recipients of FY 2011 and FY 2012 Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks 
program funds will be required to certify that they will comply with 
all applicable Federal and FTA programmatic requirements. FTA direct 
grantees will complete this certification as part of the annual 
Certification and Assurances package, and Federal Land Management 
Agency recipients will complete the certification by signing the 
interagency agreement. This certification is the basis for oversight 
reviews conducted by FTA.
    The Secretary of Transportation and FTA have elected not to apply 
the triennial review requirements of 49 U.S.C. 5307(h)(2) to Paul S. 
Sarbanes Transit in Parks program recipients that are other Federal 
agencies. Instead, working with the existing oversight systems at the 
Federal Land Management Agencies, FTA will perform periodic reviews of 
specific projects funded by the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks 
program. These reviews

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will ensure that projects meet the basic statutory, administrative, and 
regulatory requirements as stipulated by this notice and the 
certification. To the extent possible, these reviews will be 
coordinated with other reviews of the project. FTA direct grantees of 
Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program funds (State, local and 
tribal government entities) will be subject to all applicable 
triennial, State management, civil rights, and other reviews.

    Issued in Washington, DC, January 27, 2012.
Peter Rogoff,
Administrator.
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[FR Doc. 2012-2260 Filed 2-2-12; 8:45 am]
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