[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 162 (Wednesday, August 21, 2013)]
[Pages 51812-51815]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-20278]



Federal Transit Administration

Urbanized Area Formula Grants; Passenger Ferry Grant Program

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA): Solicitation of Project 
Proposals for the Passenger Ferry Grant Program.


SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the 
availability of Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Grant program funds 
in support of the Discretionary Passenger Ferry Grant program. This 
grant opportunity will be funded using $29.9 million in FY 2013 
Urbanized Area Formula Grants program funds authorized by the Moving 
Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Public Law 112-
141, July 6, 2012.
    The Passenger Ferry Grant program (Ferry program), as authorized, 
is available to urbanized areas for the same general authority provided 
under 49 U.S.C. 5307 (Section 5307). However, within the authority 
provided to the Secretary of Transportation to develop a competitive 
process, FTA is limiting this discretionary opportunity to capital 
projects. These funds constitute a core investment in the enhancement 
and revitalization of public ferry systems in the Nation's urbanized 
areas. This notice solicits proposals to compete for Fiscal Year (FY) 
2013 funding under the Ferry program and may include additional funds 
made available under future appropriations.
    This notice also includes priorities established by FTA for these 
discretionary funds, criteria FTA will use to identify meritorious 
projects for funding, and the process to apply for funding. 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 this funding 
opportunity will be posted in the FIND module of the government-wide 
electronic grants (GRANTS.GOV) Web site at http://www.grants.gov.

DATES: Complete proposals for Ferry program projects must be submitted 
by 11:59 p.m. EDT on October 21, 2013. All proposals must be submitted 
electronically through the GRANTS.GOV APPLY function. Any agency 
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/grants/13093_3561.html 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 program-specific questions, please contact 
Vanessa Williams, Office of Program Management, (202) 366-4818, email: 
[email protected]. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDD/


Table Of Contents

A. FTA Ferry Program Authority
B. Program Description and Purpose
C. Program Information
    1. Eligible Proposers
    2. Eligible Projects
    3. Cost Sharing and Matching
    4. Eligible Sources of Match
D. Proposal Submission Process
E. Proposal Information
F. Proposal Content
G. Evaluation Criteria
H. Review and Selection Process
I. Award Information
J. Award Administration
K. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information
Appendix A: Registration in GRANTS.GOV

A. FTA Ferry Program Authority

    Section 5307(h) of Title 49, United States Code, as established by 
MAP-21, authorizes FTA's Passenger Ferry Grant program. The program 
authorizes FTA to solicit grant applications and make grants for 
eligible projects on a competitive basis subject to the Section 5307 
terms and conditions, unless noted otherwise in the competitive 

B. Program Description and Purpose

    Improving and maintaining the Nation's public ferry systems is a 
key strategic goal of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and 
FTA. The Ferry program is intended to contribute to the improvement of 
the condition of the public ferry systems by providing financial 
assistance for capital projects. As part of the program and as 
evidenced in the criteria established for the program, FTA intends to 
prioritize ferry projects that aim to improve a system's state of good 
repair and that support the connection of ferry service with multiple 
modes of transportation, including but not limited to: rail, bus, 
intercity bus, and private transportation providers.

C. Program Information

1. Eligible Proposers

    Eligible proposers and eventual grant applicants under this 
initiative must be eligible direct recipients of Section 5307 funds 
engaged in providing a public transportation passenger ferry service. 
Ferry systems that accommodate cars must also accommodate walk-on 

2. Eligible Projects

    Under this competitive program, eligible projects are capital 
projects including ferries, terminals, and related infrastructure. 
Capital projects include, but are not limited to, the purchase, 
replacement, or rehabilitation of, ferries and terminals and related 
equipment. Funds made available under this Notice of Funding 
Availability (NOFA) may not be used to fund operating expenses, 
planning, or preventive maintenance. FTA's Section 5307 formula funds 
may be used for these activities.

3. Cost Sharing or Matching

    Costs will be shared at the following ratio:
    i. The Federal share is 80 percent for capital projects with 
exceptions explained below:
    [cir] The Federal share is 85 percent for net project costs for 
acquiring vehicles (including clean-fuel or alternative fuel) 
attributable to compliance with the Clean Air Act (CAA) or attributable 
to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
    [cir] The Federal share is 90 percent for net project costs for 
vehicle-related equipment or facilities (including clean-fuel or 
alternative-fuel vehicle-related equipment or facilities) attributable 
to compliance with the Clean Air Act (CAA) or Americans with 
Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
    FTA considers vehicle-related equipment to be equipment on and 
attached to the vehicle. The award recipient may itemize the cost of 
specific, discrete, vehicle-related equipment being purchased to be in 
compliance with ADA or CAA.

4. Eligible Sources of Match

    After the appropriate Federal share is established, the applicant 
must provide the local share of the net project cost in

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cash (or in-kind) and must document in its grant application the source 
of the local match. The local match may include:
    i. Cash from non-governmental sources other than revenues from 
providing public transportation services;
    ii. Non-farebox revenues from the operation of public 
transportation service, such as the sale of advertising and concession 
revenues. A voluntary or mandatory fee that a college, university, or 
similar institution imposes on all its students for free or discounted 
transit service is not farebox revenue;
    iii. Amounts received under a service agreement with a State or 
local social service agency or private social service organization;
    iv. Undistributed cash surpluses, replacement or depreciation cash 
funds, reserves available in cash, or new capital;
    v. Amounts appropriated or otherwise made available to a department 
or agency of the Government (other than the U.S. Department of 
Transportation); and
    vi. In-kind contribution such as the market value of in-kind 
contributions integral to the project may be counted as a contribution 
toward local share.
    vii. Revenue bond proceeds for a capital project, with prior FTA 
    viii. Transportation Development Credits (formerly referred to as 
Toll Revenue Credits).

D. Proposal Submission Process

    Project proposals must be submitted electronically through http://
www.GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. on October 21, 2013. 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 Applicant and Proposal Profile 
supplemental form for the Passenger Ferryboat program (supplemental 
form) found on the FTA Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/grants/13093_3561.html. The supplemental form provides guidance and a 
consistent format for proposers to respond to the criteria outlined in 
this NOFA. Once completed, the supplemental form must be placed in the 
attachments section of the SF 424 Mandatory form. Proposers must use 
the supplemental form designated for the Ferry program 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 confirmations of successful validation 
are not received and a notice of failed validation or incomplete 
materials is received, the applicant must address the reason for the 
failed validation, as described in the email notice, and resubmit 
before the submission deadline. If making a resubmission for any 
reason, include all original attachments regardless of which 
attachments were 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/grants/13093_3561.html. Important: FTA urges 
proposers to submit their applications at least 72 hours prior to the 
due date to allow time to receive the validation messages 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 at http://www.GRANTS.GOV. Deadlines will not be 
extended due to scheduled maintenance or outages.
    Proposers 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. Registered proposers 
may still be required to take steps to keep their registration up to 
date before submissions can be made successfully: (1) Registration in 
the System for Award Management (SAM) is renewed annually and (2) 
persons making submissions on behalf of the Authorized Organization 
Representative (AOR) must be authorized in GRANTS.GOV by the AOR to 
make submissions. Instructions on the GRANTS.GOV registration process 
are listed in Appendix A.
    Proposers may submit one proposal for each project or one proposal 
containing multiple projects. Proposers submitting multiple projects in 
one proposal must be sure to clearly define each project by completing 
a supplemental form for each project. Supplemental forms must be added 
within the proposal by clicking the ``add project'' button in Section 
II of the supplemental form.
    Information such as proposer name, Federal amount requested, local 
match amount, description of areas served, etc. may be requested in 
varying degrees of detail on both the SF 424 form and supplemental 
form. Proposers must fill in all fields unless stated otherwise on the 
forms. Proposers 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 the 
Ferry program funding:

E. Proposal Information

    1. Name of applicant and, if applicable, the specific ferry agency 
submitting the application.
    2. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) 
    3. Contact information including: Contact name, title, address, 
congressional district, fax and phone number, and email address if 
    4. Description of public transportation services including areas 
currently served by the ferry system, if any.
    5. Name of person (s) authorized to apply on behalf of the system 
(attach a signed transmittal letter) must accompany the proposal.

F. Proposal Content

    For complete and up to date guidance on the project information and 
project evaluation criteria that must be documented, refer to the 
applicable program on the FTA Web site: http://www.fta.dot.gov/grants/13093_3561.html. At a minimum, every proposal must:
    1. Submit an SF-424 with the correct supplemental form attached.
    2. State the project title and describe the project scope to be 
funded in the executive summary.
    3. Address whether project will need a Buy America waiver.
    4. Choose the type of service provided, project type and fleet 
    5. Address each evaluation criterion separately, demonstrating how 
the project responds to each criterion.
    6. Provide a line-item budget for the total project, with enough 
detail to indicate the various key components of the project. As FTA 
may elect to fund only part of some project proposals, the budget 
should provide for the minimum amount necessary to fund specific 
project components of independent utility.

[[Page 51814]]

    7. Provide the Federal amount requested.
    8. Document the matching funds, including amount and source of the 
match (may include local or private sector financial participation in 
the project).
    9. Provide support documentation, including 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.
    10. Address whether other Federal funds have been sought for the 
    11. Provide a project time-line, including significant milestones 
such as the date anticipated to issue a request for proposals for the 
project components or contract for purchase of ferry(s), and actual or 
expected delivery date or notice of request for proposal and notice to 
proceed for capital replacement/rehabilitation projects.
    12. Provide Congressional district information for the project's 
place of performance.

G. Evaluation Criteria

    Projects will be evaluated by FTA based on the proposals submitted 
according to the following criteria. Each proposer is encouraged to 
demonstrate the responsiveness of a project to any and all criteria 
with the most relevant information that the proposer can provide, 
regardless of whether such information has been specifically requested, 
or identified in this notice.

1. Demonstration of Need

    FTA will evaluate each project to determine its need for resources. 
In addition to the project-specific criteria below, it will include 
evaluating the project's impact on service delivery and whether the 
project represents a one-time or periodic need that cannot reasonably 
be funded from FTA program formula allocations or State and/or local 
    i. For vessel replacement or rehabilitation projects:
     The age of the asset to be replaced or rehabilitated by 
the proposed project, relative to its useful life.
     Condition and performance of the asset to be replaced by 
the proposed project, as ascertained through inspections or otherwise, 
if available.
    ii. For infrastructure (facility) improvements or related-equipment 
     The age of the facility or equipment to be rehabilitated 
or replaced relative to its useful life.
     The degree to which the proposed project will enable the 
agency to improve the maintenance and condition of the agency's fleet 
and/or other related ferry assets.
    iii. For expansion requests (vessel or facility-related):
     The degree to which the proposed project addresses a 
current capacity constraint that is limiting the ability of the agency 
to provide reliable service, meet ridership demands, or maintain 
vessels and related-equipment in a state of good repair.
    In this section, the proposal should also demonstrate the needs of 
the ferry passengers and discuss how the proposed project will address 
the identified needs.

2. Demonstration of Benefits

    In this section, proposals should identify expected project 
benefits. Possible examples include how the project: will improve the 
state of good repair of the system, impact ridership, increase 
reliability of service, improve operations or maintenance capabilities, 
or provide more mobility options, intermodal connections, or economic 
benefits to the community. Benefits can be demonstrated quantifiably or 
qualitatively. Proposers should document, explain or show the benefits 
in whatever format is reasonable to present them.

3. Planning and Local/Regional Prioritization

    In this section, the applicant should describe how the proposed 
project is consistent with planning documents and local priorities. 
This will involve assessing whether:
    i. The project is consistent with the transit priorities identified 
in the long-range plan and/or contingency/illustrative projects. 
Proposer should note if the project could not be included in the 
financially constrained Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP)/Statewide 
Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) due to lack of funding (if 
selected, project must be in federally approved STIP before grant 
    ii. Local support is demonstrated by availability of local match 
for this and/or related projects and letters of support.
    iii. In an area with both ferry and other public transit operators, 
the proposal demonstrates coordination with and support of other 
related projects within the proposer's Metropolitan Planning 
Organization (MPO) or the geographic region within which the proposed 
project will operate.

4. Project Readiness

    In this section, the applicant should describe the extent to which 
the project is ready to be implemented. This will involve assessing 
    i. The project is a Categorical Exclusion (CE) or required 
environmental work has been initiated or completed for construction 
projects requiring an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS).
    ii. Project implementation plans are ready, including initial 
design of facility projects.
    iii. The TIP/STIP can be amended (evidenced by MPO/State 
    iv. Project funds can be obligated and the project implemented 
quickly, if selected.
    v. The project will require a Buy America waiver.
    The applicant demonstrates the ability to carry out the proposed 
project successfully.

5. Technical, Legal, and Financial Capacity To Implement the Particular 
Project Proposed

    In this section, the applicant should address all of the following 
    i. The proposer has the technical capacity to administer the 
    ii. There are no outstanding legal, technical, or financial issues 
with the proposer that would make this a high-risk project to implement 
    iii. The proposer has good financial systems in place that meet 
generally acceptable accounting standards that can be audited and has 
identified the source of local match if selected (no deferred local 
share will be allowed).
    iv. The grantee is in fundable status for grant-making purposes.

6. Connectivity to Other Modes of Transportation

    The proposals should include information about transfer connections 
to other modes of transportation, including but not limited to: rail, 
bus, intercity bus, and private transportation providers. Supporting 
documentation should include data that supports the number of trips 
(passengers and vehicles), the number of walk-on passengers, and 
transfers to other modes (if applicable).

H. 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

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the evaluation process to clarify information contained within the 
    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 of other Federal funding for ferries may be 
considered in FTA's award decisions. FTA expects to announce the 
selected projects and notify successful proposers by September 2013.

I. Award Information

    Ferry program funds are available to eligible direct recipients of 
Section 5307 funds. There is no minimum or maximum grant award level; 
however, FTA intends to fund as many meritorious projects as possible. 
Only proposals from eligible recipients for eligible activities will be 
considered for funding. Due to funding limitations, proposers that are 
selected for funding may receive less than the amount originally 
requested. In those cases, applicants must be able to demonstrate that 
the proposed projects are still viable and can be completed with the 
amount awarded.

J. Award Administration

1. Award Notices

    At the time the project selections are announced, FTA will extend 
pre-award authority for the selected projects. There is no blanket pre-
award authority for these projects before announcement.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

i. Grant Requirements
    If selected, awardees will apply for a grant through FTA's 
Transportation Electronic Awards Management System (TEAM) and adhere to 
the customary FTA grant requirements of the Section 5307 Urbanized Area 
Formula Grant program, including those of FTA Circular 9030.1E, 
Circular 5010.1D, and the labor protections of 49 U.S.C. Section 
5333(b). All discretionary grants, regardless of award amount, will be 
subject to the Congressional Notification and release process. 
Technical assistance regarding these requirements is available from 
each FTA regional office.
ii. Buy America
    FTA requires that all capital procurements meet FTA's Buy America 
requirements that require all iron, steel, or manufactured products be 
produced in the U.S., to help create and protect manufacturing jobs in 
the U.S. The Ferry program will have a significant economic impact 
toward meeting the objectives of the Buy America law. The Buy America 
requirements can be found in 49 CFR Part 661. Any proposal that will 
require a waiver must identify the items for which a waiver will be 
sought in the application. Applicants should not proceed with the 
expectation that waivers will be provided.
iii. Planning
    FTA encourages proposers to notify the appropriate State 
Departments of Transportation and MPOs in areas likely to be served by 
the project funds made available under these initiatives and programs. 
Selected projects must be incorporated into the long-range plans and 
transportation improvement programs of States and metropolitan areas 
before they are eligible for FTA funding.
iv. 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 may 
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.
v. Reporting
    Post-award reporting requirements include submission of Federal 
Financial Reports and Milestone Reports in TEAM on a quarterly basis 
for all projects.

K. 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 C.
    Complete applications must be submitted through GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 
p.m. EDT on October 21, 2013. Contact information for FTA's regional 
offices can be found on FTA's Web site at www.fta.dot.gov.

Therese W. McMillan,
Deputy Administrator.

Appendix A

Registering in SAM and GRANTS.GOV

Registration in Brief

    Registration takes approximately 3-5 business days, but allow 4 
weeks for completion of all steps.

STEP 1: Obtain DUNS Number

    Same day. If requested by phone (1-866-705-5711) DUNS is 
provided immediately. If your organization does not have one, you 
will need to go to the Dun & Bradstreet Web site at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform [EXIT Disclaimer] to obtain the number. 
*Information for Foreign Registrants.*Webform requests take 1-2 
business days.

STEP 2: Register With SAM

    Three to five business days or up to two weeks. If you already 
have a TIN, your SAM registration will take 3-5 business days to 
process. If you are applying for an EIN please allow up to 2 weeks. 
Ensure that your organization is registered with the System for 
Award Management (SAM) at System for Award Management (SAM). If your 
organization is not, an authorizing official of your organization 
must register.

STEP 3: Username & Password

    Same day. Complete your AOR (Authorized Organization 
Representative) profile on Grants.gov and create your username and 
password. You will need to use your organization's DUNS Number to 
complete this step. https://apply07.grants.gov/apply/OrcRegister.

STEP 4: AOR Authorization

    *Same day. The E-Business Point of Contact (E-Biz POC) at your 
organization must login to Grants.gov to confirm you as an 
Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). Please note that there 
can be more than one AOR for your organization. In some cases the E-
Biz POC is also the AOR for an organization. *Time depends on 
responsiveness of your E-Biz POC.

STEP 5: Track AOR Status

    At any time, you can track your AOR status by logging in with 
your username and password. Login as an Applicant (enter your 
username & password you obtained in Step 3) using the following 
link: applicant--profile.jsp.

[FR Doc. 2013-20278 Filed 8-20-13; 8:45 am]