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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Final Rule to Streamline Project Management Oversight for Major Capital Projects

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced a final rule amending FTA regulations for Project Management Oversight (PMO) of transit capital investments. The final rule streamlines the PMO regulation by reducing the number of projects subject to FTA project management oversight and modifies the regulation to make it consistent with statutory changes. The final rule published today in the Federal Register.

“The number of transit capital projects and the infrastructure costs associated with them has increased significantly since the PMO program was first authorized in 1987,” said FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams. “This rule tailors the level of FTA oversight to the real costs, complexities, and risks of major capital projects and right-sizes the role of Federal oversight while eliminating unnecessary red tape for state and local leaders.”

The rule redefines a “major capital project” as a new fixed guideway project — or an expansion, rehabilitation or modernization of an existing fixed guideway system — with a total project cost of $300 million or more and with a Federal investment of $100 million or more. The previous threshold defined a major capital project as a project costing $100 million or more but did not include Federal support as a factor.

Under this Administration, DOT has saved $4.37 billion in regulatory costs to the economy and consumers. The Department has also far exceeded the President’s 2-for-1 plan, issuing at its peak 23 regulatory reform actions for every new single regulatory action. To date, DOT has issued 65 regulatory reform actions and only 6 significant regulatory actions.

Federal public transportation law [49 U.S.C. § 5327(d)] requires FTA to maintain a PMO regulation. The rule has not been updated since 1989, and the industry and economic conditions have changed significantly since then.  Other changes to the rule include updates to the elements of the required Project Management Plan that reflect industry best practices.

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