[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 196 (Tuesday, October 13, 2009)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-24479]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Transit Administration
Announcement of Project Selections of Fiscal Year 2009 Recipients
of Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER)
Grants; Response to Comments
AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of project selections; response to comments.
SUMMARY: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)
appropriated $100 million for a new discretionary grant program for
public transportation projects that reduce a transit system's
greenhouse gas emissions or results in a decrease in a transit system's
This notice announces the selection of the grant recipients and
responds to the comments received in response to the request for
comments on the program structure and requirements in FTA's Notice of
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general program information,
contact Walter Kulyk, Office of Mobility Innovation, (202) 366-4995, e-
mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Project selectees should contact the
appropriate FTA Regional Office in Appendix B for application-specific
information and issues.
FTA published a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) on March 24,
2009 (74 FR 12447), seeking program applications for Transit
Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) grants and
inviting interested parties to comment on the program elements as
outlined in the NOFA.
FTA received 224 applications proposing 561 projects, which totaled
over $2 billion. Because of the intense demand for the $100 million,
FTA was unable to fund all eligible applications, and as stated in the
NOFA, to maximize the impact of the program, some applicants were
provided with less than the full amount of funding requested in their
In this notice, FTA is publishing its list of TIGGER program
selectees and responding to comments received in response to the NOFA.
Table of Contents
I. Background and Funding Opportunity Description
II. Basis for Allocation
III. General Program and Award Information
IV. Response to Comments
Appendix A--Table of Allocations
Appendix B--Regional Contact Information
I. Background and Funding Opportunity Description
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) (Pub. L. 111-5)
provided $8.4 billion to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for
transit capital improvements and reinvestment. Of this $8.4 billion,
$100 million was appropriated for a new program to provide funding to
public transit agencies for capital investments to assist in reducing
the energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions of their public
transportation systems. In response, FTA developed the Transit
Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program.
Because of statutory provisions for this ARRA funding, the NOFA
requested that all proposals be submitted by May 22, 2009, while at the
same time seeking comments on the proposed program outline, structure,
and requirements. FTA reviewed the comments received during the comment
period and determined that no substantive changes to the program were
required, although FTA is responding to them in this Notice.
ARRA specified two types of eligible investments under the TIGGER
program: first, for capital investments that will assist in reducing
the energy consumption of a transit system; and, second, for capital
investments that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions of a public
transportation system. Proposals for projects were accepted under
either or both categories. To ensure that the purposes of the ARRA are
met, FTA established a range of funding that will be considered for
approval. Each submitted proposal had to meet a minimum threshold of
$2,000,000. FTA allowed consolidated proposals from transit agencies to
reach this $2,000,000 threshold; thus, individual projects within a
proposal may receive less than $2,000,000. Conversely, to ensure a
variety of funded projects, FTA established a maximum grant amount of
II. Basis for Allocation
This notice allocates all ARRA funding for the TIGGER Program. In
making these allocations, FTA considered both the specific direction
provided in the legislation as well as Congress' and the
Administration's general objectives for accountability and transparency
in the administration of ARRA funds. These objectives include the
prompt and fair distribution of funding, the assurance that funds are
being used for authorized purposes, and that instances of waste, fraud,
and abuse are avoided.
Energy consumption reduction and greenhouse gas reduction projects
were evaluated separately. An applicant could request evaluation under
both criteria if it provided the necessary project measurement
information. Two criteria were specific to energy consumption reduction
projects and one criterion was specific to greenhouse gas reduction
projects. The remaining criteria applied to all projects.
A. Project Evaluation Criteria for Energy Consumption Reduction
FTA evaluated projects on total energy consumption savings
to result from the project, and projected energy savings of the project
as a percentage of the total energy usage of the public transit agency.
B. Project Evaluation Criterion for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction
Evaluated projects based on the total amount of greenhouse gas
reductions projected to result from the project.
C. Project Evaluation Criteria for All Projects FTA
Evaluated all projects on the following criteria:
(1) Return on Investment. This includes the ratio of energy savings
or greenhouse gas reductions per dollar of Federal TIGGER funds
(2) Project Readiness. The Project Is Ready To Implement.
a. Any required environmental work has been initiated for
construction projects requiring an Environmental Finding.
b. Implementation plans are ready, including initial design of
c. The Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) and Statewide
Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) can be amended.
d. Project funding can be obligated and implemented quickly, if
(3) The applicant demonstrates the capacity to carry out the
a. The applicant is in fundable status for the FTA grant program
b. The applicant demonstrates the technical capacity to carry out
the project including the project approach or project management plan.
c. The applicant has systems and internal controls in place that
allow it to separately track and report ARRA funds even used to fund an
d. The applicant has the ability to collect information and
demonstrate the results of the project for at least one year following
project implementation. (But note that useful life criteria apply for
FTA funded assets.)
(4) Project Innovation
The project identifies a unique, significant, or innovative
approach to reducing energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions not
currently in widespread practice within the transit industry or an
approach distinct from the other proposals received by FTA.
(5) The national applicability of the project as an example of
energy savings or greenhouse gas reductions including whether the
project could be replicated by other transit agencies regionally or
D. Review and Selection Process
After screening projects for eligibility, projects were evaluated
based on the established technical criteria. Projects were selected to
build a portfolio of a range of technological solutions and national
applicability that will maximize the impact of the program. Funding
levels, when less that the amount requested, were based on a
determination of the amount required for a viable project.
The allocation of TIGGER Program funding is presented in the
Appendix A of this notice.
III. General Program and Award Information
A. Award Notices
As set forth in the NOFA, FTA pre-screened all proposals to
determine that all required eligibility elements were present. Because
FTA will manage TIGGER grants through FTA's TEAM grant management
system, selectees must work with the appropriate FTA Regional Office to
ensure that they are part of the TEAM grants management system and are
in compliance with the standard Federal requirements contained in 49
U.S.C. Chapter 53 and additional requirements specified in ARRA.
B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Information about the requirements for FTA grant programs funded by
ARRA can be found in Federal Register Notice E9-4745 American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Public Transportation Apportionments,
Allocations and Grant Program Information, (74 FR 9656, March 5, 2009)
and subsequent information posted on FTA's Recovery Act webpage at
1. FTA Grant Requirements
Selectees must comply with the usual and customary FTA grant
requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53, including those of the current
version of FTA Circular 5010 and the FTA Master Agreement.
Discretionary grants greater than $1,000,000 will go through the
Congressional notification process. Technical assistance regarding
these requirements is available from each FTA regional office.
All recipients and their sub-awardees are required to have a Dun
and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number (http://www.dnb.com) and direct recipients must have a current registration in
the Central Contractor Registration database http://www.ccr.gov.
Recipients of ARRA funds must have systems and internal controls
that allow them to separately track and report ARRA funds even if the
funds are being used to fund an existing project/activity.
The Applicant must submit current Certifications and Assurances
prior to receiving a grant. The Applicant must assure 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 must
acknowledge 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 must understand that Federal laws, regulations,
policies, and administrative practices might be modified from time to
time and that could affect the implementation of the project. The
Applicant must agree that the most recent Federal requirements will
apply to the project, unless FTA issues a written determination
2. ARRA Reporting Requirements
As a condition of award, recipients receiving ARRA funds will be
required to report on grant activities on a routine basis. FTA
recipients will be responsible for reporting up-to-date and accurate
grant management information in a milestone status report and financial
status report on a quarterly basis, as well as additional data in
compliance with Sections 1201 and 1512 of the Act. Additionally,
special certifications and grant conditions also will be required of
ARRA grant recipients, such as:
a. One-Time Funding. The Recipient acknowledges that receipt of
ARRA funds is a ``onetime'' disbursement that does not create any
future obligation by the FTA to advance similar funding amounts.
b. Integrity. The Recipient agrees that all data it submits to FTA
in compliance with ARRA requirements will be accurate, objective, and
of the highest integrity.
c. Violations of Law. The Recipient agrees that it and its
subrecipients shall report any credible evidence that a principal,
employee, agent, contractor, subrecipient, subcontractor, or other
person has submitted a false claim under the False Claims Act or has
committed a criminal or civil violation of law pertaining to fraud,
conflict of interest, bribery, gratuity, or similar misconduct
involving ARRA funds.
d. Maintenance of Effort. A Recipient that is a State agrees to
comply with the maintenance of effort certification it has
made in compliance with Section 1201 of ARRA.
e. Emblems. The Recipient agrees to identify projects supported by
FTA by attaching the appropriate emblems as the Federal Government may
f. Reporting Requirements. In addition to other Federal reporting
requirements applicable to the type of project undertaken, the
Recipient agrees to:
(1) Comply with the periodic reporting requirements consistent with
section 1201 of ARRA.
(2) Comply with the quarterly reporting requirements consistent
with section 1512 of ARRA.
The Recipient will report on the use of the funds and on the status
of compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act by submitting
the Standard Form-Performance Progress Report-Recovery form not later
than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter to FTA. The
Recipient agree to obtain a DUNS number (http:[sol][sol]www.dnb.com)
for any first tier subrecipient that does not have a DUNS number, and
agrees to maintain active and current profiles in the Central
Contractor Registration database (http://www.ccr.gov).
3. Special TIGGER Reporting Requirements
A recipient of TIGGER funds must report on an annual basis on all
active TIGGER grants and must submit a final report at the time of
(1) Actual annual energy consumed within the project scope
attributable to the investment, for energy consumption reduction
(2) Actual greenhouse gas emissions within the project scope
attributable to the investment, for greenhouse gas reduction projects;
(3) Actual annual reductions or increases in operating costs
attributable to the investment, for all projects.
4. Planning Requirements
Applicants must notify the appropriate State Department of
Transportation and Metropolitan Planning Organization 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.
5. Period of Availability
ARRA requires that all program funds must be obligated by September
30, 2010. However, to ensure full utilization of program funds, FTA
requires that all TIGGER program funds allocated in this notice be
obligated by March 31, 2010. FTA reserves the right to reallocate
unobligated funds to other TIGGER applications. Under ARRA
requirements, all funds must be disbursed by September 30, 2015. Any
balances remaining after that date will revert to the U.S. Treasury.
IV. Response to Comments
Comment: Can a county submit a grant application that includes a
university as a 'public transit agency' thereby allowing us to address
GHG emissions in a more comprehensive way given that we are facing non-
attainment designation in the upcoming year? We would also like to
include them in any energy efficiency efforts through this grant, as
FTA Response: Proposers may involve universities as project
partners. However, only public transportation agencies are eligible
Comment: Please check the accuracy of the carbon footprint
conversion that you are referring people to in Appendix D of the NOFA.
The carbon footprint of fuel combustion is properly determined
stoichiometrically plus a 1% correction factor for incomplete
combustion. For diesel, EPA's Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/OMS/climate/420f05001.htm shows this calculation in more detail and results
in 22.22 lbs CO2/gal diesel (10.7 kg/gal) and not 9.17 kg/
gal as stated in Appendix D.
FTA Response: Calculations based on values given under the EPA Web
site are acceptable.
Comment: Guidance to applicants is needed from FTA on what
equivalent carbon footprint should be used for diesel combustion during
idle and cold starts because the average value of 22 tons (sic)
CO2/gal is unrealistically low.
FTA Response: Although more CO2 may be emitted during
cold engine starts compared to hot starts, this is because more fuel
may be consumed during and immediately after a cold start. The
(typical) value of 22 pounds CO2/gal is a function of the
carbon content of the fuel itself and is not affected by the amount of
fuel used or changes in operating conditions. Proposers are allowed to
use data from reliable sources that can be substantiated.
Comment: While it is good FTA is supporting green house gas
emissions reductions and energy consumption, this division between the
two areas is arbitrary. FTA should only have one area. This could
negatively impact smaller or medium sized grantees. Under the ``Project
Innovation'' area, the grantee should also provide for an evaluation
and dissemination plan. The results of the effort should be conducted
in a manner others can review the results. Joint projects with
transportation research centers and universities should be encouraged.
Under the ``Reporting Requirements'' the guidance asks for annual
reports; however, the notice does not mention the numbers of years this
data needs to be reported. It would be logical if the reporting
requirement should conclude upon final expenditure of the ARRA funds or
two years after start of the project.
FTA Response: ARRA provides for grants for capital investments that
will assist in reducing the energy consumption or greenhouse gas
emissions of their public transportation systems. It is FTA's intent to
carry out independent evaluation of select projects whose results will
be widely disseminated. Reporting requirements remain until a project
is officially closed.
a. When `evaluating the Green house Gas Emissions reductions, are
you requiring they be performed on a tank to wheel basis or do you want
them performed on a wells to wheels basis?
b. If funds other than these grant funds are used to buy down some
of the cost of the project, will the ROI Evaluation be performed only
assuming the costs applied from the grant funds?
c. Can these grant funds be applied to refueling station
infrastructure construction such as hydrogen (an enabling element of
GHG Reduction)? If so how should they show the long term GHG reduction
associated with the use of this fuel?
d. Can a Transit agency apply for its normal 80% capital bus
subsidy at the cost of a conventional bus and also apply for these
grant funds to supplement the premium incremental cost of an advanced
technology bus? If so will the Return on Investment (ROI) be evaluated
only on the grant request amount?
e. Does the proposal have to identify specifically the buses that
will be taken out of the fleet if the grant is for new buses?
f. Can you be more explicit about what you consider mainstream
technologies and what you consider unique technologies you would like
to see bid on this grant?
a. Evaluation of project proposals was performed on a ``tank to
wheels'' and not on a ``well to wheels'' basis.
b. The Return on Investment (ROI) evaluation criteria only applied
to Federal TIGGER funds invested.
c. Construction costs associated with refueling station
infrastructure are an eligible program item if they are part of a
project also involving the operation of vehicles that need to be
refueled through the use of the station. The calculation of the GHG
reduction associated with the use of the fuel dispensed at the station
would be based on the consumption of the fuel by the vehicle over its
d. A project proposal can include the incremental cost of an
advanced propulsion system, and the associated ROT will be based on
requested TIGGER funding.
e. New buses purchased under the TIGGER program must replace those
that have achieved their FTA useful life criteria.
f. Mainstream technologies are generally those available from
multiple sources and those that have significant operating experience.
Unique technologies were not defined under the TIGGER program to avoid
bias towards any specific technology.
Comment: I have one comment and question. Teaming projects are
encouraged yet it is unclear to me how entities that team transit
agencies, such as consortia, participate in program. My question is,
can a consortia team a number of transit agencies together for a
proposed submission, and then distribute a selected project to the team
of transit agencies? Such teamed projects can gain knowledge and
experience with a new technology in a very beneficial way by a highly
communicative teaming strategy. How do ``teamers'' charge for
FTA Response: Under the TIGGER program, grant recipients are
limited to single public transit agencies who will be responsible for
conducting a project. However, other transit agencies can participate
in a project as subrecipients, and their administrative costs are
eligible if they contribute to the project.
Comment: We remain concerned that in describing eligible expenses
in section 1I.0 of the NOFTA, FTA has excluded fleet expansion,
assuming the impact on transit agency emissions and energy consumption
would be increased. We believe FTA should instead acknowledge that a
fleet expansion, conducted in conjunction with fleet replacement, could
reduce overall emissions and energy consumption where, for example,
eight inefficient buses were replaced with nine highly efficient buses.
The nine new buses in the expanded fleet could still accomplish the
FTA Response: The purpose of the TIGGER program is to encourage
reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction to
the best extent possible without sacrificing service. Fleet expansions
were discouraged under the program as they would reduce the
competitiveness of the proposed project since the incremental energy
use and GHG emission over the life of the expanded fleet would be
higher than a replacement fleet of the original size.
Comment: I believe our organization's experience with advanced
vehicle technology project-management, performance data collection
protocols, project public relations, education, and awareness
campaigns, and all FTA recipient requirements would be a valuable asset
to individual or multiple transit agencies as they develop and
implement Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction
(TIGGER) projects. In this regard, I would like to point out a possible
administrative weakness of the program and suggest a solution.
Typically, transit agencies and the other eligible recipients
listed are not set up to serve as the prime contractor for large
projects involving other transit agencies and other states. A project
involving multi-city deployment with multiple agencies serving as
contractors, for example, would be unwieldy and very difficult to
manage for both the agencies and the FTA. However, this challenge can
be met by an organization like ours, which can serve as the prime
contractor for all of the agencies in this scenario. By providing a
centralized, nonprofit project management team, we can better help the
FTA ensure that multi-agency TIGGER projects are well planned,
executed, reported, and evaluated.
We would like to know if the structure of the program can be
changed to allow us to play this Prime Contractor role for potential
multiple transit agency demonstration projects.
FTA Response: Under ARRA requirements for TIGGER, only public
transit agencies could receive grants directly from FTA.
1. Section IV. A. Project Evaluation Criteria for Energy
Consumption Reduction Projects: FTA will evaluate projects on total
energy consumption savings projected to result from the project, and
projected energy savings of the project as a percentage of the total
energy usage of the public transit agency. Evaluating the project as a
percentage of the total energy usage of the public--transit agency is
inconsistent with the examples given under Section III. B.(3). ``For
example, a project could consist of replacing 10 buses in a 100 vehicle
bus fleet with more energy efficient buses. In this case, measurement
would focus on the 10 vehicles, not the entire fleet''.
2. Section IV C. (4) Project Innovation. The project identifies a
unique, significant, or innovative approach to reducing energy: This
criterion is more consistent with pilot or experimental grant projects
that may not have long term benefits or sustainability. In addition,
this criterion needs specific examples in order to clarify the intent.
Examples given under Section III.B.(3) such as making the buses more
energy efficient are good projects but don't appear to be consistent
with the language provided under Section IV C.(4). We recommend that
this section be reworded to encourage purchasing more energy efficient
buses such as hybrid.
FTA Response: (1) In order to keep comparisons among different
proposals to a common norm, project evaluations were based on total
energy consumption savings from the project and the energy savings of
the project as a percentage of the total energy usage at the public
transit agency. Actual projections on what would be achieved in terms
of energy reduction were limited to what the project introduced and did
not include non-project elements. The examples given were not
inconsistent with this project evaluation approach.
(2) The criterion addressing project innovation was deliberately
worded towards non-biasing a particular project or technology.
Comment: My organization's 15 years of experience with advanced
vehicle technology project management, performance data collection
protocols, project public relations, education, and awareness
campaigns, and all FTA presentation and reporting requirements should
continue to be a valuable asset to the FTA and its transit agency
partners as they develop and implement Transit Investments for
Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) projects. Organizations
like mine are capable of assuring that TIGGER projects are well
planned, executed, and reported. With this in mind, we respectfully
submit two questions: (1) Is our role as a subcontractor to transit
agencies in the development and execution of TIGGER projects an
acceptable one? And (2) If acceptable, will the FTA endorse this role
with interested transit agencies?
FTA Response: (I) It is entirely up to the transit agency seeking
TIGGER funds to form its team and decide what each member of the team
will do. FTA did not limit or suggest how the transit agency should
form its team or conduct
its project. 2. FTA does not endorse any organization for a formal role
in the TIGGER program projects.
Comment: Under the NOFA, can applicants submit proposals that
include plans to purchase transit buses that would fit the goals of the
program, but have not yet gone through Altoona testing, so do not yet
meet FMVSS? The idea is that the prospective vehicle type will have
gone through this testing and be put into service within the funding
FTA Response: FTA did not limit the type of vehicles that can be
purchased. However, the purchase will have to meet the FTA Capital
Program requirements before any Federal funding can be committed. We
also note FTA's long-standing requirement that buses must certify
compliance with applicable FMVSS requirements prior to starting Altoona
Issued on: Oct. 6, 2009.
Peter M. Rogoff,
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[FR Doc. E9-24479 Filed 10-9-09; 8:45 am]
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