You are here

Vehicle Procurement

Number 2009-02

May 6, 2009

Mass Mailout Number III-2009-02

Subject:  Vehicle Procurement

Dear Transit Colleague:

Federal Transit Administration would like to bring to your attention the following useful information on vehicle procurement under Chapter 5, Paragraph 4 of FTA Circular 4220.1F, titled “State or local Governments purchasing schedules” or purchasing contracts under paragraph 7 titled “Existing Contracts” commonly referred to as “piggybacking.


A grantee may purchase vehicles under an existing contract if that original contract contains an assignability provision that permits the assignment of all or a portion of the specified deliverables.  The option quantity must have been originally advertised, competed, evaluated, and awarded.  Some refer to this process as “piggybacking.”

Five-Year Limitation:  Grantee may not exercise that option later than five (5) years after the date of its original contract.


FTA uses the term “state or local government purchasing schedule” to mean an arrangement that a State or local government has established with several or many vendors in which those vendors agree to provide essentially an option to the State or local government, and its subordinate government entities, to acquire specific property or services in the future at established prices.  These arrangements are somewhat similar to the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Cooperative Purchasing Program available for Federal Government use.  If the State or local government wishes to permit others to use its schedules, the State or local government might seek the agreement of the vendor to provide the listed property or services to others with access to the schedules, or it may permit the vendor to determine whether or not it wishes to do so.

All FTA and Federal Requirements Apply.  When obtaining property or services in this manner, the recipient must ensure all Federal requirements, required clauses, and certifications (including Buy America) are properly followed and included, whether in the master intergovernmental contract or in the recipient's purchase document.  One way of achieving compliance with FTA requirements is for all parties to agree to append the required Federal clauses in the purchase order or other document that effects the recipient’s procurement.  When buying from these schedules, the recipient should obtain Buy America certification before entering into the purchase order.  If the product to be purchased is Buy America compliant, there is no problem.  If the product is not Buy America compliant, the recipient will need to obtain a waiver from FTA before proceeding. 

For further information, please refer to FTA Circular 4220.1F, Best Practices Procurement Manual and FTA Circular 5010.1D.


Letitia A. Thompson

Regional Administrator

Updated: Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Submit Feedback >