[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 47 (Friday, March 9, 2012)]
[Pages 14465-14469]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-5819]



Federal Transit Administration

Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program; Tribal 
Transit Program

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Funding Availability: Solicitation of Grant Proposals 
for FY 2012 Tribal Transit Program Funds.


SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the 
availability of approximately $15 million in funding provided by the 
Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program (Tribal Transit 
Program (TTP)) subject to the availability of funds by Congress, a 
program authorized by Section 3013(c) of the Safe, Accountable, 
Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users 
(SAFETEA-LU). This notice is a national solicitation for project 
proposals and includes the selection criteria and program eligibility 
information for FY 2012 projects.
    The Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011, 
Public Law No.112-30 continues the authorization of the Federal transit 
programs of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) through March 
31, 2012, and provides contract authority for this program equal to 
approximately one half of the amounts available in FY 2011. Subject to 
funding availability by Congress, FTA will fund the TTP with 
approximately $15 million.
    This announcement is available on the FTA Web site at: http://www.fta.dot.gov. FTA may announce final selections on the Web site and 
in the Federal Register. Additionally, a synopsis of the 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 the Tribal Transit Program announced in 
this Notice must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 10, 2012. All 
proposals must be submitted electronically through the GRANTS.GOV APPLY 
function. Any tribe intending to apply should initiate the process of 
registering on the GRANTS.GOV site immediately to ensure completion of 
registration before the submission deadline. Instructions for applying 
can be found on FTA's Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/tribaltransit 
and in the ``FIND'' module of GRANTS.GOV.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact the appropriate FTA Regional 
Office found at http://www.fta.dot.gov for proposal-specific 
information and issues. For general program information, contact Cathy 
Monroe, Tribal Transit Program, (816) 329-3929, email: 
[email protected] or the Office of Program Management at (202) 366-
2053. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDD/FIRS).


Table of Contents

I. Overview
II. Program Purpose
III. Program Information
    A. Eligible Applicants
    B. Eligible Projects
    C. Cost Sharing and Matching
    D. Proposal Content
    E. Evaluation Criteria
    F. Review and Selection Process
IV. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information
Appendix A: FTA Regional Tribal Liaisons
Appendix B: Tribal Transit Program Technical Assistance Contacts

I. Overview

    Section 3013(c) of SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59 (August 10, 2005) 
amended 49 U.S.C. 5311(c) by establishing the Public Transportation on 
Indian Reservations Program (Tribal Transit Program or TTP). This 
program authorizes direct grants ``under such terms and conditions as 
may be established by the Secretary'' to Indian tribes for any purpose 
eligible under FTA's Nonurbanized Area Formula Program, 49 U.S.C. 5311 
(Section 5311 program). Approximately $15 million is expected to be 
available for the Tribal Transit Program discretionary allocation and 
may include other discretionary program funds that become available. 
The total amount of funding available will be contingent on 
Congressional authorization prior to the selection of awardees, and 
based on the timing of such funding becoming available, may also 
include funding appropriated for Fiscal Year 2013.

II. Program Purpose

    TTP funds are to be allocated for grants to Federally-recognized 
Indian tribes for any purpose eligible under the Section 5311 program. 
The Conference Report that accompanied SAFETEA-LU indicated that the 
funds set aside for Indian tribes in the TTP are not meant to replace 
or reduce funds that Indian tribes receive from States through FTA's 
Section 5311 program. TTP funds are meant to complement any 5311 funds 
that applicants may be receiving. Tribal transit funds will be 
competitively allocated to support planning, capital, and operating 
assistance for tribal public transit services.

III. Program Information

A. Eligible Applicants

    Eligible applicants include Federally-recognized Indian tribes or 
Alaska Native villages, groups, or communities as identified by the 
U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). As 
evidence of Federal recognition, a tribe may submit a copy of the most 
up-to-date Federal Register notice published by DOI, BIA: Entities 
Recognized and Eligible to Receive Service from the United States 
Bureau of Indian Affairs. To be an eligible recipient, a tribe must 
have the requisite legal, financial and technical capabilities to 
receive and administer Federal funds under this program. Applicants 
must be registered in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) 
database and maintain an active CCR registration with current 
information at all times during which it has an active

[[Page 14466]]

Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by FTA.

B. Eligible Projects

    Grants can be awarded to eligible applicants located in rural and 
small urban areas with populations under 50,000 not identified as an 
urbanized area by the Bureau of the Census and may be used for public 
transportation capital projects, operating costs of equipment and 
facilities for use in public transportation, planning, and the 
acquisition of public transportation services, including service 
agreements with private providers of public transportation services. 
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 
12101 et seq., public fixed-route operators are required to provide ADA 
complementary paratransit service to individuals who are unable to use 
a fixed route due to their disability or a fixed route being 
inaccessible. Coordinated human service transportation that primarily 
serves seniors and persons with disabilities, but that is not 
restricted from carrying other members of the public, is considered 
available to the general public if it is marketed as public 
transportation. Examples of eligible TTP projects are capital and 
operating expenses for new transit service (e.g. start up), capital and 
operating expenses for continuation or expansions of existing transit 
services, and operational planning. Additionally, eligible applicants 
may apply for planning grants of up to $25,000 for planning studies.

C. Cost Sharing and Matching

    Projects selected for funding under the TTP can be funded up to a 
100 percent Federal share of project costs. However, FTA is interested 
in the tribe's financial commitment to the proposed project and 
requests tribes include a description of their financial commitment to 
the proposed project in the proposal.

D. Proposal Content (All Applicants Must Completely Respond to Items in 
Section D To Be Considered for TTP Funding)

 1. Proposal Submission Process
    Project proposals must be submitted electronically through http://
www.GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 10, 2012. Mail and fax 
submissions will not be accepted.
    A complete proposal submission will consist of at least two files: 
(1) the SF 424 Mandatory form (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV) and (2) the 
Tribal Transit supplemental form found on the FTA Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/tribaltransit.
    The Tribal Transit supplemental form provides guidance and a 
consistent format for applicants to respond to the criteria outlined in 
this Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Once completed, the 
applicant must place the supplemental form in the attachments section 
of the SF 424 Mandatory form. Applicants must use the supplemental form 
designated for TTP and attach it to their submission in GRANTS.GOV to 
successfully complete the application process. A proposal submission 
may contain additional supporting documentation as attachments.
    Within 24-48 hours after submitting an electronic application, the 
applicant should receive three email messages from GRANTS.GOV: (1) 
Confirmation of successful transmission to GRANTS.GOV; (2) confirmation 
of successful validation by GRANTS.GOV; and (3) confirmation of 
successful validation by FTA. If the applicant does not receive 
confirmations of successful validation and instead receives a notice of 
failed validation or incomplete materials, the applicant must address 
the reason for the failed validation or incomplete materials, as 
described in the notice, and resubmit the proposal before the 
submission deadline. If making a resubmission for any reason, the 
applicant must include all original attachments regardless of which 
attachments are updated and check the box on the supplemental form 
indicating this is a resubmission.
    Complete instructions on the application process can be found at 
http://www.fta.dot.gov/tribaltransit. Important: FTA urges applicants 
to submit their project proposals 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. FTA will not 
accept submissions after the stated submission deadline. GRANTS.GOV 
scheduled maintenance and outage times are announced on the GRANTS.GOV 
Web site http://www.GRANTS.GOV. The deadline will not be extended due 
to scheduled maintenance or outages.
    Applicants may submit one proposal for each project or one proposal 
containing multiple projects. Applicants submitting multiple projects 
in one proposal must be sure to clearly define each project by 
completing a supplemental form for each project. Additional 
supplemental forms must be added within the proposal by clicking the 
``add project'' button in Section II of the supplemental form.
    Information, such as applicant name, Federal amount requested, 
description of areas served, and other information may be requested in 
varying degrees of detail on both the SF 424 form and supplemental 
form. Applicants must fill in all fields unless stated otherwise on the 
forms. Applicants should use both the ``Check Package for Errors'' and 
the ``Validate Form'' validation buttons on both forms to check all 
required fields on the forms, and ensure that the Federal and local 
amounts specified are consistent.
    The following information MUST be included on the SF 424 and 
supplemental forms for all requests for TTP funding:
 2. Proposal Information
    i. Name of Federally-recognized tribe and, if appropriate, the 
specific tribal agency submitting the application.
    ii. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) 
number if available. (Note: If selected, applicant will be required to 
provide DUNS number prior to grant award).
    iii. Contact information including: Contact name, title, address, 
congressional district, fax and phone number, and email address if 
    iv. Description of public transportation services including areas 
currently served by the tribe, if any.
    v. Name of person (s) authorized to apply on behalf of the tribe 
(attach a signed transmittal letter) must accompany the proposal.
3. Project Information
    i. Project Description: Indicate the category for which funding is 
requested; i.e., start-ups, continuation, expansion or replacements of 
existing transit services, capital, operational planning, and planning 
studies. Provide a summary description of the proposed project and how 
it will be implemented (e.g., number and type of vehicles, routes, 
service area, schedules, type of services, fixed route or demand 
responsive), route miles (if fixed route), ridership numbers (actual if 
an existing system, estimated if a start up system), major origins and 
destinations, population served, and whether the tribe provides the 
service directly or contracts for services and how vehicles will be 
    ii. Project Timeline: Include significant milestones such as date 
of contract for purchase of vehicle(s), actual or expected delivery 
date of vehicles, and operation of service dates. If applying for 
operational funding, state time period funds will operate the system 
(e.g. one year).

[[Page 14467]]

    iii. Budget: A detailed budget including the Federal amount 
requested for each purpose for which funds are sought and any funding 
from other sources that will be provided. A tribe may allow up to 
fifteen percent of the grant award for planning and the indirect costs 
rate may not exceed ten percent (if necessary add as an attachment).
4. Technical, Legal, Financial Capacity
    Tribes that cannot demonstrate adequate capacity in technical, 
legal and financial areas will not be considered for funding. Every 
proposal MUST describe the tribe's technical, legal, and financial 
capacity to implement the proposed project.
    i. Technical Capacity: Provide examples of the tribe's management 
of other Federal projects. What resources does the tribe have to 
implement the proposed transit project?
    ii. Legal Capacity: Provide documentation or other evidence to show 
that the applicant is a Federally-recognized tribe and has an 
authorized representative to execute legal agreements with FTA on 
behalf of the tribe. If applying for capital or operating funds, does 
the tribe have appropriate Federal or State operating authority?
    iii. Financial Capacity: Does the tribe have adequate financial 
systems in place to receive and manage a Federal grant? Describe the 
tribe's financial systems and controls.

E. Evaluation Criteria

    FTA will divide proposals into three categories for evaluation. The 
three evaluation categories are as follows:
     Start-ups--Proposals for funding of new transit service 
include capital, operating, administration, and planning.
     Continuation of Transit Services--Proposals for funding of 
continuation or expansion of existing transit services include capital, 
operating, administration, and planning.
     Planning--Proposals for planning include funding of 
transit planning studies.
    Applications will be grouped into their respective category for 
review and scoring purposes.
1. Evaluation Criteria for Start-ups and Continuation of Transit 
    i. Planning and Local/Regional Prioritization
    In this section, the applicant should describe how the proposed 
project was developed and demonstrate that there is a sound basis for 
the project and that the applicant is ready to implement the project if 
funded. Information may vary depending upon how the planning process 
for the project was conducted. Planning and local/regional 
prioritization should consider and address the following areas:
    a. Describe the planning document and/or the planning process 
conducted to identify the proposed project.
    b. Provide a detailed project description including the proposed or 
existing service, vehicle and facility needs, and other pertinent 
characteristics of the proposed or existing service implementation.
    c. Identify existing transportation services in and near the 
proposed or existing service area and document in detail whether the 
proposed project will provide opportunities to coordinate service with 
existing transit services, including human service agencies, intercity 
bus services, or other public transit providers.
    d. Discuss the level of support by the community and/or tribal 
government for the proposed project.
    e. Describe how the mobility and client-access needs of tribal 
human service agencies were considered in the planning process.
    f. Describe what opportunities for public participation were 
provided in the planning process and how the proposed transit service 
or existing service has been coordinated with transportation provided 
for the clients of human service agencies, with intercity bus 
transportation in the area, or with any other rural public transit 
    g. Describe how the proposed or existing service complements rather 
than duplicates any currently available services.
    h. Describe the implementation schedule for the proposed project, 
including time frame, staffing, and procurement.
    i. Describe any other planning or coordination efforts that were 
not mentioned above.
    ii. Demonstration of Need:
    In this section, the proposal should demonstrate the transit needs 
of the tribe and discuss how the proposed transit improvements or 
continuation of service will or are addressing the identified transit 
needs. Proposals should include information such as destinations and 
services not currently accessible by transit, needs for access to jobs 
or health care, special needs of seniors and individuals with 
disabilities, income-based community needs, or other mobility needs. If 
the proposal is for funding to continue existing service, applicants 
should include information on ridership, a description of the service, 
including how the existing service is meeting the needs of the tribe, 
how the TTP funds are needed to continue the services currently being 
provided, and a description of how the tribe would be impacted by 
reduced resources, including potential service disruptions, 
cancellation or reduction of service, etc. If an applicant received a 
planning grant in previous fiscal years, it should indicate the status 
of the planning study and how the proposed project relates to that 
    Based on the information provided, the proposals will be rated on 
whether there is a demonstrated need for the project and how well the 
proposed project will fulfill the need.
    iii. Demonstration of Benefits:
    In this section, proposals should identify expected or, in the case 
of existing service, achieved, project benefits. Possible examples 
include increased or sustained ridership and daily trips, improved 
service, improved operations and coordination, and economic benefits to 
the community.
    Benefits can be demonstrated by identifying the population of 
tribal members and non-tribal members in the proposed project service 
area and estimating the number of daily one-way trips the proposed 
transit service will provide or the actual number of individual riders 
and trips on existing service. There may be many other, less 
quantifiable, benefits to the tribe and surrounding community from the 
proposed project. Applicants should document, explain or show the 
benefits in whatever format is reasonable to present them.
    Based on the information provided, proposals will be rated based on 
four factors:
    a. Will the project improve transit efficiency or increase 
    b. Will the project improve or maintain mobility for the tribe?
    c. Will the project improve or maintain access to important 
destinations and services?
    d. Are there other qualitative benefits?
    iv. Note on Continuation of Transit Projects Funded with FY 2006--
FY 2011 TTP funding:
    If an applicant is requesting FY 2012 funding to continue a transit 
service project funded previously with TTP resources, the applicant 
must demonstrate that the project(s) are in an active status. Active 
status means the project is currently operating and the tribe has 
exhibited effective grant management of the project. Applicants should 
describe in the proposal the status of previous TTP awards and grants, 
including services currently being provided and how the requested 
funding will complement the existing

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service or is necessary to maintain the existing services. As part of 
the review process, FTA regional offices will also verify prior year 
management, implementation, and compliance with FTA reporting 
requirements. If the applicant submitted an application for a prior 
year competition and was not selected for funding, the applicant should 
note any impacts to service. The applicant should provide any data that 
would be helpful to project evaluators, e.g., ridership, increased 
service hours, extended service routes, or stops.
    v. Financial Commitment and Operating Capacity:
    In this section, the proposal should identify any other funding 
sources used by the tribe to support existing or proposed transit 
services, including human service transportation funding, Indian 
Reservation Roads, or other FTA programs such as Job Access and Reverse 
Commute, New Freedom, Section 5311, Section 5310, or Section 5309 Bus 
and Bus Facilities. If applicable, the applicant should also describe 
how prior year TTP funds have been spent to date to support the 
    For existing services, the proposal should show how TTP funding 
will supplement (not duplicate or replace) current funding sources. If 
the transit system was previously funded under section 5311 through the 
State's apportionment, describe how requested TTP funding will expand 
available services or continue critical existing services.
    The proposal should describe any other resources the tribe will 
contribute to the project, including in-kind contributions, commitments 
of support from local businesses, donations of land or equipment, and 
human resources, and describe to what extent the new project or funding 
for existing service leverages other funding.
    The applicant should show its ability to manage programs by 
demonstrating the existing programs it administers in any area of 
expertise such as human services. Based upon the information provided, 
the proposals will be rated on the extent to which the proposal 
demonstrates that:
    a. This project provides new services, maintains or complements 
existing service;
    b. TTP funding does not replace existing funding;
    c. The tribe has or will provide non-financial support to project;
    d. The tribe has demonstrated the ability to provide other services 
or manage other programs; and
    e. Project funds are used in coordination with other services for 
efficient utilization of funds.
    vi. Evaluation Criteria for Planning Proposals
    For planning grants, the proposal should describe, in no more than 
three pages, the need for and a general scope of the proposed study. 
The proposal should also address the following:
    a. What is the tribes' long-term commitment to transit?
    b. How will the proposed study implement and/or further tribal 

F. Review and Selection Process

    In addition to other FTA staff that may review the proposals, a 
technical evaluation committee will review proposals under the project 
evaluation criteria. Members of the technical evaluation committee and 
other involved FTA staff reserve the right to screen and rate the 
applications it receives and to seek clarification from any applicant 
about any statement in its application that FTA finds ambiguous and/or 
request additional documentation to be considered during the evaluation 
process to clarify information contained within the proposal.
    After consideration of the findings of the technical evaluation 
committee, the FTA Administrator will determine the final selection and 
amount of funding for each project. Geographic diversity and the 
applicant's receipt and management of other discretionary awards may be 
considered in FTA's award decisions. FTA expects to announce the 
selected projects and notify successful applicants in August 2012.
    Once successful applicants are announced, they will work with the 
appropriate Regional office to develop a grant application consistent 
with the selected proposal in FTA's Transportation Electronic Award 
Management System (TEAM).

IV. Technical Assistance and other Program Information

    This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372, 
``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.'' FTA will consider 
applications for funding only from eligible recipients for eligible 
projects listed in Section III. Due to funding limitations, applicants 
that are selected for funding may receive less than the amount 
    Complete applications must be submitted through GRANTS.GOV by May 
10, 2012. Applicants may receive technical assistance for application 
development by contacting their FTA regional tribal liaison, or the 
National Rural Transportation Assistance Program office. Contact 
information for FTA's regional offices can be found on FTA's Web site 
at www.fta.dot.gov. A list of FTA regional Tribal Liaisons are included 
in Appendix A.

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 6th day of March, 2012.
Peter Rogoff,

Appendix A

                      FTA Regional Tribal Liaisons
Region 1--Boston                     Region 6--Ft. Worth
Regional Tribal Liaisons: Laurie     Regional Tribal Liaison: Lynn
 Ansaldi and Judi Molloy.             Hayes.
States served: Connecticut, Maine,   States served: Arkansas, Louisiana,
 Massachusetts, New Hampshire,        Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.
 Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Region 2--New York                   Region 7--Kansas City, MO
Regional Tribal Liaison: Darin       Regional Tribal Liaisons: Joni
 Allan.                               Roeseler and Cathy Monroe.
States served: New Jersey, New York  States served: Iowa, Kansas,
 New York Metropolitan Office.        Missouri, and Nebraska.
Region 3--Philadelphia               Region 8--Denver
States served: Delaware, Maryland,   Regional Tribal Liaisons: Jennifer
 Pennsylvania, Virginia, West         Stewart and David Beckhouse.
 Virginia, and District of           States served: Colorado, Montana,
 Columbia.                            North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah,
                                      and Wyoming.
Region 4--Atlanta                    Region 9--San Francisco
Regional Tribal Liaison: Tajsha      Regional Tribal Liaison: Eric
 LaShore.                             Eidlin.

[[Page 14469]]

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.
Region 5--Chicago                    Region 10--Seattle
Regional Tribal Liaisons: Joyce      Regional Tribal Liaison: Bill
 Taylor and Angelica Salgado.         Ramos.
States served: Illinois, Indiana,    States served: Alaska, Idaho,
 Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and       Oregon, and Washington.

Appendix B

Technical Assistance Contacts

Alaska Tribal Technical Assistance Program

    Kim Williams, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, P.O. Box 756720, 
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6720, (907) 842-2521, (907) 474-5208, 
[email protected], http://community.uaf.edu/~alaskattac.
    Service area: Alaska.

National Indian Justice Center

    Raquelle Myers, 5250 Aero Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95403, (707) 
579-5507 or (800) 966-0662, (707) 579-9019, [email protected], http://www.nijc.org/ttap.html.
    Service area: California, Nevada.

Tribal Technical Assistance Program at Colorado State University

    Ronald Hall, Rockwell Hall, Room 321, Colorado State University, 
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1276, (800) 262-7623, (970) 491-3502, 
[email protected], http://ttap.colostate.edu/.
    Service area: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah.

Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP)

    Bernie D. Alkire, 301-E Dillman Hall, Michigan Technological 
University, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931-1295, (888) 230-
0688, (906) 487-1834, [email protected], http://www.ttap.mtu.edu/.
    Service area: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, 
Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, 
Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, 
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, 

Northern Plains Tribal Technical Assistance Program

    Dennis Trusty, United Tribes Technical College, 3315 University 
Drive, Bismarck, ND 58504, (701) 255-3285 ext. 1262, (701) 530-0635, 
[email protected], http://www.uttc.edu/forum/ttap/ttap.asp.
    Service area: Montana (Eastern), Nebraska (Northern), North 
Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming.

Northwest Tribal Technical Assistance Program

    Richard A. Rolland, Eastern Washington University, Department of 
Urban Planning, Public & Health Administration, 216 Isle Hall, 
Cheney, WA 99004, (800) 583-3187, (509) 359-7485, [email protected], 
    Service area: Idaho, Montana (Western), Oregon, Washington.

Tribal Technical Assistance Program at Oklahoma State University

    James Self, Oklahoma State University, 5202 N. Richmond Hills 
Road, Stillwater, OK 74078-0001, (405) 744-6049, (405) 744-7268, 
[email protected], http://ttap.okstate.edu/.
    Service area: Kansas, Nebraska (Southern), Oklahoma, Texas.

Other Technical Assistance Resources

National RTAP (National Rural Transit Assistance Program)

    Contact: Patti Monahan, National RTAP, 5 Wheeling Ave, Woburn, 
MA 01801, (781) 404-5015 (Direct), (781) 895-1122 (Fax), (888) 589-
6821 (Toll Free), [email protected], www.nationalrtap.org.

Community Transportation Association of America

    The Resource Center--800-891-0590, http://www.ctaa.org/.

[FR Doc. 2012-5819 Filed 3-8-12; 8:45 am]