Let me express my appreciation for the support you extended to the Region IX Office last fiscal year. To expedite our review cycle, FTA has established a 60-day national goal for approving all grant applications.
This 60-day goal requires an early confirmation by the Region that a grant application is complete. The Region will no longer begin our review process by advancing incomplete grant applications into our TEAM system. You may continue to use TEAM to develop your application and we highly recommend that you begin by contacting Ingrid Libao to receive a project/grant number for use in identifying the application. An e-mail request that describes the type of application with recipient contact information is preferred. The number you will receive will be particularly useful in starting the process to transfer flexible funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
After receiving an identification number, we also recommend that you make early contact with your transportation representative on any controversial or unusual aspect to your application. Early discussion of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance is recommended. Also, once your application is complete (as described below), please contact your transportation representative to have your application reviewed to allow the assignment of your project/grant number in the TEAM system. If the application is determined to be complete or acceptable for advancement, it will be assigned into TEAM thus allowing formal submission by the grantee of the application. As a result, FTA application review will be composed of a two-stage process requiring pre-review by the transportation representative in advance of the grantee's formal submission of the application and then overall review prior to award. Please be aware that all FTA requirements must be met and that any approval for application advancement is not an indication that our review is complete or that any item may not be subject to further review. Additional requests for information or adjustments to the application may be required at any time prior to the award of the grant.
Once the application has been formally submitted, the 60-day processing time will begin. FTA will then submit the application to the Department of Labor for a certification under Section 5333(b).
A complete application, for the purposes of a formal submission to TEAM, consists of:
Projects in a federally approved transportation improvement program or unified work program;
All necessary FTA NEPA/Section 4(f)/Section 106 findings except in the case of categorical exclusions where sufficient documentation is presented for a FTA finding with the grant award;
Adequate project descriptions as further described below:
- Identify each sub-recipient and provide contact information;
- Identify the amount and type of funding to be awarded to each grant recipient or sub-recipient
- Describe the types of activities that are going to be undertaken with the funds. Provide a general project description
- Identify the location of the activities;
- Identify all service providers that will use the project in transit operations; Clarify whether the service provider is a subrecipient or a contractor;
- Identify other transit providers in the service area, either competing with, feeding into, or providing service adjacent to the funded service;
- Identify all labor organizations representing employees of the recipient, any subrecipients and any employees of other transportation providers in the service area of the project as identified under number f);
- For Job Access and Reverse Commute applications identify the population of the urbanized area served by the project;
- Provide contact information (name, address, phone, and fax number) for all recipient/sub-recipient(s) and for all unions representing employees of the grant recipient as well as other transit providers as identified under number 6;
Secure local share;
Budget line-items with the clear identification of all federal share amounts e.g., 80%, 90% etc., funding sources e.g., CMAQ, STP, etc., and ADA/CAA-increased federal share projects;
Budget line-item descriptions and quantities that match the federally approved transportation improvement program or unified work program;
Federally approved transportation improvement program or unified work program line-item identification number and amendment number;
Current civil rights submissions;
Flex-fund transfer from FHWA or state transportation department request to FHWA for Federal-aid Highway fund transfer to FTA;
Milestones for all activities and,
Certifications and assurances.
The FTA circulars referenced below contain more information regarding application contents and complete applications. Formula and Capital Investment grant applications should be prepared in conformance with the following FTA Circulars:
- Program Guidance and Application Instructions for Metropolitan Planning Program Grants - C8100.1B, October 25, 1996;
- Urbanized Area Formula Program: Grant Application Instructions - C9030.1C, October 1, 1998;
- Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions - C9040.1E, October 1, 1998;
- Section 5310 Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program Guidance and Application Instructions C9070.1E, October 1, 1998; and Section 5309 Capital Program Grant Application Instructions - C9300.1A, October 1, 1998.
All of the above circulars as well as guidance on preparation of applications for State Planning and Research funds may be obtained from the FTA website (http://www.fta.dot.gov/).
Note, we will continue to limit multiple grant applications and request the submission of one grant application per program section annually. Also, we have begun a review of our outstanding grant applications with the intention of eliminating those applications in our database that have not had resolution of outstanding issues for over one year.
We expect that this will be another record breaking year and we appreciate your effort assisting the Region. If you have questions regarding these changes please contact your transportation representative or Mr. Raymond Sukys, Director of Planning and Program Development at Ray.Sukys@dot.gov or (415) 744-3115.
Leslie T. Rogers