[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 152 (Wednesday, August 6, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45797-45800]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-18090]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

[Docket No: FTA-2008-0002]


National Transit Database: Amendments to Urbanized Area Annual 
Reporting Manual

    Provider: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Amendments to 2008 National Transit Database 
Urbanized Area Annual Reporting Manual.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the adoption of certain amendments for 
the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) 2008 National Transit 
Database (NTD) Urbanized Area Annual Reporting Manual (Annual Manual). 
On February 7, 2008, FTA published a notice in the Federal Register (73 
FR 7361) inviting comments on proposed amendments to the 2008 Annual 
Manual. This notice provides responses to those comments, and announces 
the adoption of certain amendments for the 2008 Annual Manual, as well 
as the adoption of some amendments to take effect for the 2009 Report 
Year.

DATES: Effective Date: August 6, 2008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For program issues, John D. Giorgis, 
Office of Budget and Policy, (202) 366-5430 (telephone); (202) 366-7989 
(fax); or [email protected] (e-mail). For legal issues, Richard 
Wong, Office of the Chief Counsel, (202) 366-0675 (telephone); (202) 
366-3809 (fax); or [email protected] (e-mail).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    The National Transit Database (NTD) is the Federal Transit 
Administration's (FTA's) primary database for statistics on the transit 
industry. Recipients of FTA's Urbanized Area Formula Program (Section 
5307) and Other Than Urbanized Area Formula Program (Section 5311) are 
required by statute to submit data to the NTD. These data are used to 
``help meet the needs of * * * the public for information on which to 
base public transportation service planning * * * '' (49 U.S.C. 5335). 
Other transit providers in urbanized areas report to the NTD under 
these requirements on a voluntary basis for purposes of including their 
data in the apportionment of Urbanized Area Formula Grants. FTA details 
the NTD reporting requirements for urbanized area transit providers in 
the NTD Urbanized Area Annual Reporting Manual (Annual Manual).
    Currently, over 650 transit providers in urbanized areas report to 
the NTD through an Internet-based reporting system. Each year, 
performance data from these submissions are used to apportion over $5 
billion of FTA funds under the Urbanized Area Formula and the Fixed-
Guideway Modernization Grants Programs. These data are also used in the 
annual National Transit Summaries and Trends report, the biennial 
Conditions and Performance Report to Congress, and in meeting FTA's 
obligations under the Government Performance and Results Act.
    In an ongoing effort to improve the NTD Internet reporting system 
and to be responsive to the needs of transit providers reporting to the 
NTD, and to the needs of the transit data user community, FTA annually 
refines and clarifies reporting requirements to the NTD. This notice 
announces the adoption of certain amendments for the 2008 Annual 
Manual, as well as the adoption of some amendments to take effect for 
the 2009 Report Year.

II. Comments and FTA Response to Comments

    On February 7, 2008, FTA published a notice in the Federal Register 
(73 FR 7361) inviting comments on proposed amendments to the 2008 
Annual Manual. FTA received responses from seven commenters. Three of 
the commenters made comments on the set of amendments as a whole. One 
expressed support for the package of amendments as a whole and two 
commenters suggested that most of the proposed amendments should not 
take effect until the 2009 Report Year, in order to give reporters 
sufficient time to prepare reports under the new requirements. FTA 
agrees with the commenters and will therefore delay many of the 
proposed amendments until the 2009 Report Year, particularly those that 
impact relationships with purchased transportation providers. FTA will 
respond to all comments based on each proposed amendment.

(a) Contractual Relationship (B-30) Form

    FTA proposed to revamp this form to allow reporters to clearly 
report three separate types of relationships: (1) Traditional purchased 
transportation contracts; (2) taxicab contracts for demand response 
service; and (3) pass-through relationships. Under this proposal, 
taxicab contracts for demand response service would become a third type 
of service under the NTD, with reduced reporting requirements on the S-
10, and no reporting requirements for the A-10 (asset inventory) form. 
FTA received one comment in support of the proposed changes.
    FTA Response: Based on the above comments requesting that changes 
impacting the reporting requirements for purchased transportation 
services be delayed until the 2009 Report Year, FTA agrees to delay 
implementation of this amendment until the 2009 Report Year. The above 
requirements will be reflected in the 2009 Annual Manual.

[[Page 45798]]

To support the transition to reduced reporting requirements for taxicab 
demand response contracts in 2009, FTA will request that the following 
data elements on the S-10 form be reported separately for taxicab 
demand response services from all other purchased transportation demand 
response services: Vehicles Operated in Maximum Service, Vehicles 
Available for Maximum Service, Vehicle Revenue Miles, Vehicle Revenue 
Hours, Unlinked Passenger Trips, ADA Unlinked Passenger Trips, and 
Passenger Miles Traveled. FTA will automatically grant a waiver from 
this requirement for the 2008 Report Year to any transit provider with 
both taxicab demand response services and regular purchased 
transportation demand response services that is unable to report these 
data separately for the taxicab demand response services in 2008.
    FTA received one other comment, objecting to the reporting of 
contract administration costs on the B-30.
    FTA Response: FTA has long required the reporting of contract 
administration costs under the label of ``other costs incurred by 
buyer.'' This is not a new reporting requirement. The reporting of 
contract administration costs is essential for understanding the true 
costs of purchased transportation services relative to directly 
operated services. In response to this comment, FTA will amend the 
titles and definitions on the B-30 form to make the reporting of 
information more intuitive, but without altering or increasing the 
existing reporting requirements.

(b) Funds Expended and Earned (F-10) Form

    FTA proposed to only require transit providers to separate funds 
earned and spent on operations from funds earned and spent on capital 
in the context of fare revenues, other directly-generated revenues 
(e.g. parking and advertising revenues), contributed services (e.g. 
services provided directly by another government body), the various 
sources of Federal funds, total state government revenues, total local 
government revenues, and total revenues from independent political 
entities. FTA proposed to retain the requirement to continue to report 
total funds earned from each separate type of tax at the local and 
state levels.
    Two commenters voiced support for this proposal, proposing that FTA 
go further and consolidate expenditure reporting for the different 
categories of directly-generated revenues (e.g. fares, advertising, or 
concessions.)
    FTA Response: FTA agrees with the above comments and will adopt the 
suggestion to consolidate expenditure reporting for the different 
categories of directly-generated revenues on the F-10 Form. FTA will 
defer implementation of this amendment until the 2009 Report Year. The 
above requirements will be reflected in the 2009 Annual Manual.

(c) Bonds and Loans

    FTA proposed to eliminate the requirement to report Bond and Loan 
Payments separately for each category of funding. Instead, FTA proposed 
simplified bond and loan reporting that would require transit providers 
to report: (1) Year-beginning principal outstanding; (2) new bonds and 
loans (new principal and interest); (3) total interest paid; (4) total 
principal repaid; and (5) total year-end principal and interest 
outstanding.
    FTA received one comment in support of this proposal. Another 
commenter objected only to the proposal to eliminate the source of 
funds used to repay the bonds and loans. A third commenter objected to 
reporting interest expenses on the F-10 Form instead of on the F-40 
Form.
    FTA Response: FTA adopts the suggestion to retain the reporting of 
the source of funds used to repay bonds and loans. FTA does not adopt 
the suggestion to continue the reporting of interest on the F-40 Form. 
FTA believes that it would be much easier and more convenient to have 
all reporting related to bonds and loans in a single place. Based on 
the above comments, FTA will also defer implementation of this 
amendment until the 2009 Report Year. The above requirements will be 
reflected in the 2009 Annual Manual.

(d) Uses of Capital (F-20) Form

    FTA proposed to reduce the reporting requirements by combining the 
categories for Fare Revenue Collection Equipment and Communication and 
Information Systems into a single category for Intelligent 
Transportation Systems (ITS.)
    FTA received one comment in support of this proposal, and two 
comments objecting to this proposal that it was insufficiently defined.
    FTA Response: FTA understands the comments that the proposed 
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) category is insufficiently 
defined and therefore withdraws the above proposal. FTA will reconsider 
its definitions for capital expenditure reporting, and provide a more 
comprehensive proposal for public comment in a future report year.

(e) Operating Expenses (F-30) Form

    FTA proposed to combine the object classes for Fuels and Lubricants 
and Tires and Lubes, as well as the object classes for Taxes and 
Miscellaneous Expenses. FTA also proposed to: (1) Eliminate the 
reporting of Fuels and Lubes object classes under the Non-Vehicle 
Maintenance and General Administration operating functions; (2) 
eliminate reporting of the Utilities object class under the Non-Vehicle 
Maintenance operating function; and (3) only permit the Casualty and 
Liability and Miscellaneous Expenses object classes to be reported 
under the General Administration operating function.
    FTA received three comments, all objecting to various parts of the 
proposal that would have unintended consequences. Two of the comments 
specifically recommended that Fuels and Lubricants be retained as a 
separate object class. One of the comments noted that restricting the 
reporting of Casualty and Liability object class to the General 
Administration function was in conflict with the guidance in the 
Uniform System of Accounts (USOA). One comment suggested that all 
object classes for which there is not a specific interest should be 
consolidated into a single object class for Other Expenses.
    FTA Response: FTA withdraws its proposal for combining object 
classes. FTA will evaluate the suggestion to consolidate unneeded 
object classes into a single object class for Other Expenses, and 
consider proposing it as an amendment for public comment in a future 
report year. FTA will also only restrict certain object classes to 
being reported under certain functions to the extent that those 
restrictions are explicitly defined in the Uniform System of Accounts.

(f) Operating Expenses Summary (F-40) Form

    FTA proposes to eliminate collecting Funds Not Applied, 
Depreciation, Amortization of Intangibles, Interest Expenses, Leases, 
and Reconciling Items. FTA received two comments objecting to these 
changes. Both comments suggested that these items should be retained, 
along with a requirement that these lines must be used to reconcile a 
transit provider's NTD report with their audited, published accounts.
    FTA Response: FTA agrees with the commenters and withdraws its 
proposal. FTA will consider proposing an amendment to require the use 
of the F-40 Form to reconcile a reporter's NTD reports and their 
audited published accounts for a future report year.

[[Page 45799]]

(g) Operator's Wages (F-50) Form

    FTA proposed to discontinue this form, and received one comment in 
favor of this proposal.
    FTA Response: FTA adopts the proposal. The F-50 form will be 
eliminated for the 2008 Report Year.

(h) Service (S-10) Form

    FTA proposed to replace the reporting of Total Actual Hours and 
Total Actual Miles with the reporting of Deadhead Hours and Deadhead 
Miles. Additionally, FTA proposed to eliminate the reporting of Charter 
Service Hours and of School Bus Hours and to add the reporting of Other 
Hours and Other Miles.
    FTA received one comment in support of these changes. Another 
comment supported the proposal, but recommended that Other Hours and 
Other Miles be dropped from the form entirely, as this information was 
unnecessary. One comment from a very large transit provider objected 
that the reporting of Deadhead Hours and Deadhead Miles would be overly 
burdensome, and recommended retaining the reporting of Total Actual 
Hours and Total Actual Miles.
    FTA Response: FTA agrees with the last commenter, and will retain 
the reporting of Total Actual Hours and Total Actual Miles. In order to 
facilitate FTA's desire to reduce the confusion surrounding the 
definition of Total Actual Hours and Total Actual Miles on the S-10 
Form, FTA will add auto-calculated lines for Deadhead Hours and 
Deadhead Miles on the S-10 Form for the 2008 Report Year. This will not 
impact reporting burden, and will clarify the relationship between 
Revenue Hours and Total Actual Hours and between Revenue Miles and 
Total Actual Miles. FTA withdraws its proposal to replace Charter Hours 
and Schoolbus Hours with Other Hours and Other Miles.
    FTA also proposed to eliminate collecting information on Deadhead 
Hours, Deadhead Miles, Time Service Begins and Time Service Ends for 
vanpool, jitney, and p[uacute]blico services. FTA also proposed to drop 
reporting of peak data on service times and vehicles in operation for 
ferryboat, aerial tramway, jitney, and p[uacute]blico services. 
Finally, FTA proposed to exempt rail systems with 9 or fewer rail 
vehicles operated in maximum service (peak hour service) from the 
requirement to report Average Weekday Unlinked Passenger Trips and 
Actual Passenger Car Revenue Miles by four time categories: Weekday AM 
Peak, Weekday Midday, Weekday PM Peak and Weekday Other.
    FTA received no comments on these proposals.
    FTA Response: FTA adopts the above proposals. These requirements 
will appear in the 2008 Annual Manual.

(i) Employee Resources (R-10) Form

    FTA proposed to add reporting of Paid Non-Work Hours to this form. 
This data was previously reported on the F-50 Form, which is being 
dropped.
    FTA received two comments objecting to this proposal, arguing that 
the proposal is burdensome and that there is no compelling interest in 
collecting data on pay for work hours vs. non-work hours.
    FTA Response: FTA withdraws this proposal.

(j) Maintenance Performance (R-20) Form

    FTA proposed to drop the reporting requirement for Total Labor 
Hours for Inspection and Maintenance, as this information is already 
reported in the R-10 Form. FTA also proposed to require that this form 
be completed by transit providers for purchased transportation service, 
as it is currently only required for directly operated services. FTA 
received two comments in favor of this proposal.
    FTA Response: FTA adopts the proposal to eliminate the reporting 
requirement for Total Labor Hours for Inspection and Maintenance for 
the 2008 Report Year. FTA defers adopting the proposal to make this 
form required for purchased transportation services until the 2009 
Report Year. This guidance will be reflected in the 2008 Annual Manual 
and the 2009 Annual Manual, respectively.

(k) Energy Consumption (R-30) Form

    FTA proposed to drop the lines on this form for certain rarely-used 
fuels, specifically, Methanol, Bunker Fuel, and Grain Additive. These 
fuels would still be reportable under the Other Fuels category. FTA 
also proposed to require that this form be completed for purchased 
transportation services (it is currently only required for directly 
operated services).
    FTA received one comment in support of this proposal, with the 
caveat that it should not be made effective until the 2009 Report Year.
    FTA Response: FTA agrees to adopt the above proposal, effective in 
the 2009 Report Year. This guidance will be reflected in the 2009 
Annual Manual.

(l) Stations and Maintenance Facilities (A-10) Form

    FTA proposed to require expanded reporting of the multi-modal 
nature of transit stations. FTA also proposed to require motorbus, 
trolleybus, and light rail services to report the number of stops and 
shelters in their systems.
    FTA received two comments objecting to the above proposal as being 
overly burdensome, and as raising a number of difficult issues in 
defining exactly what facilities should be reported.
    FTA Response: FTA withdraws this proposal. FTA will re-evaluate the 
concerns regarding definitions of this proposal and ways to minimize 
the reporting burden of this proposal for a future report year.

(m) Transit Way Mileage (A-20) Form

    FTA proposed to merge this form with the Fixed Guideway Segments 
Form (S-20 Form). FTA received two comments objecting that although the 
forms both collect data on fixed guideways, merging the different data 
elements of the two forms would create a significant increase in 
reporting burden. Additionally, while a large number of fixed guideways 
are included on both forms, some fixed guideways (e.g. sidings and 
parallel tracks) only appear on the A-20 Form, whereas other fixed 
guideways (e.g. HOV lanes) only appear on the S-20 Form.
    FTA Response: FTA withdraws this proposal. FTA will re-evaluate 
ways to eliminate the duplicate data collections on the A-20 and S-20 
forms while minimizing reporting burden for a future report year.

(n) Revenue Vehicle Inventory (A-30) Form

    FTA proposed to simply collect whether the vehicles are compliant 
with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA Accessible), and to not 
separately collect those vehicles that are ADA Accessible by virtue of 
having lifts and those that are ADA Accessible by virtue of having 
ramps or low floors. FTA also proposed to stop collecting Total Miles 
on Active Vehicles During this Time Period, as this information is 
infrequently used, is duplicative of information on total miles 
collected on the S-10 Form, and cannot be used as a measure of total 
miles from the previous year. FTA noted that it was retaining 
collection of Average Lifetime Miles per Active Vehicle as a measure of 
asset condition and age.
    FTA received two comments in support of this proposal. A third 
comment also asked FTA to consider allowing reporters to estimate the 
Average Lifetime Miles per Active Vehicle when the vehicles have been 
acquired through a merger with a private operator, and the actual 
mileage is not available.

[[Page 45800]]

    FTA Response: FTA adopts its proposal, but will defer 
implementation until the 2009 Report Year. This guidance will appear in 
the 2009 Annual Manual. FTA also adopts the commenter's suggestion for 
allowing estimation of Average Lifetime Miles per Active Vehicle in the 
case described. That guidance will appear in the 2008 Annual Manual.

Federal Funding Allocation (FFA-10) Form

    FTA proposes to make this form required for all transit providers 
serving more than one urbanized area, or an urbanized area and a non-
urbanized area in order to support the apportionment of Small Transit-
Intensive Cities (STIC Grants.)
    FTA received two comments in support of this proposal.
    FTA Response: FTA adopts this proposal for the 2008 Report Year. 
This guidance will appear in the 2008 Annual Manual.

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 1st day of July, 2008.
James S. Simpson,
Administrator.
 [FR Doc. E8-18090 Filed 8-5-08; 8:45 am]
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