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Frequently Asked Questions

View frequently asked questions on this topic below. Perform a word search to narrow your content or, if this topic has sub-categories, select based on your interest from the drop-down list. Answers to frequently asked questions are provided as guidance.

Answer:

FTA does not have a mechanism to facilitate partnering.  But we encourage all applicants, and public and private partners to reach out to each other to form teams for this competition.

Answer:

An Early Development Agreement (EDA) is a document that is developed jointly between the project applicant and FTA. The EDA describes the parameters for implementing PIPP project waiver or modification requests. The EDA will identify the specific roles of all parties, define procedures, and establish timeframes and other conditions under which the project will be administered.

Answer:

No, under MAP-21, given the blending of the two programs, eligible activities for this program include projects that were funded under both the SAFETEA-LU section 5310 and section 5317 programs. In addition to the blending , one new type of eligible project was included under MAP-21. See (B) below.

Specifically, section 5310 now authorizes grants for: (A) public transportation projects planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities when public transportation is insufficient, inappropriate, or unavailable; (B) public transportation projects that improve access to fixed route service and decrease reliance by individuals with disabilities on complementary paratransit; (C) public transportation projects that exceed the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Action of 1990; and (D) alternatives to public transportation that assist seniors and individuals with disabilities with transportation.

Answer:

Yes, but the waiver or modification requests must be limited to FTA requirements.

Answer:

Workforce development includes activities related to employment or education with a direct linkage to the capital project.  Examples include developing apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and instructional training for public transportation maintenance and operations occupations.  Refer to FTA’s website for additional information.

Answer:

Yes, you may apply to IMI. However, applicants with another pending application should clearly disclose in the application that the applicant is seeking funding for the proposed project from another grant program. In the event the project is selected by the other grant program, the applicant should notify FTA and withdraw the application given the selection and duplication of applications. FTA will not award funding from two sources for the same scope of work. Additionally, DOT funds from another source cannot be used to support the local match requirement for IMI projects.

Answer:

Yes. A report is required one year after the completion of construction of a PIPP project. For projects that involve a private entity in the operations or maintenance of the project, a second report is required two years after the project begins revenue operations. Project sponsors will be responsible for submitting an independently prepared report that summarizes lessons learned from implementation of approved waiver or modification requests and from the PIPP process. These reports will evaluate the success of the process, its overall impact on the project, and recommend whether the waivers or modifications should be made routine through statutory or regulatory changes. The report should include an explanation of how the changes improved the delivery of the project.

Answer:

No. School buses are not eligible.

Answer:

No. There is no requirement for projects that go beyond the requirements of the ADA to be new.

Answer:

Appropriate data will vary according to the scope and goals of the proposed project.  Applicants should consider the feasibility of obtaining and sharing data in preparing their proposals. In addition, appropriate data should be collected to support evaluation of the demonstrated system.  The following is an illustrative list of possible data types and elements:

  • Vehicle performance data with respect to operations and maintenance (e.g., dwell time, total service provided (vehicle-miles/vehicle-hours), percentage of automated vs manual operation, fuel efficiency, battery life, emissions, travel times, and average vehicle speed)
  • Automation component and system data (e.g., number and types of sensors and actuators, human-machine interface [HMI] design, confidence information in object detection and classification)
  • Safety data (e.g., notifications, disengagements, emergency driver takeover, incidents, and edge cases/near-misses, rules-of-the-road compliance; boarding and alighting incidents)
  • Costs (e.g., vehicle procurement, operation, maintenance, storage; infrastructure improvements; labor and training; other ongoing operational costs; vehicle out-of-service time)
  • Mobility impacts (e.g., passenger counts, percentage of scheduled trips completed, on-time arrival, average passenger wait time, and major origin-destination patterns, and rider demographics)
  • Human factors (e.g., on-board attendant experience and alertness, customer experience and satisfaction, accessibility metrics, and passenger safety metrics)
  • Data from ancillary systems that support non-driving bus operator functions (e.g., fare collection, ramp deployment and retraction, wheelchair securement, occupant detection, and passenger information assistance)
  • Infrastructure and system performance data (e.g., vehicle-to-infrastructure [V2I] communications and equipment, congestion, average traffic speed)
  • Cybersecurity (e.g., cybersecurity assessments [which may include threat analysis and risk assessment (TARA) results, cybersecurity mitigation measures, penetration testing results, etc.], incident frequency and response time, vulnerability data, staffing/training levels)
Answer:

The applicant may choose whether to provide one or multiple DMPs. Whichever approach they decide, the applicant should clearly indicate how the data collected addresses the goals of each area (see Section 1 of the DMP instructions).

Answer:

Yes. MAP-21 requires that at least 55 percent of the grantee’s section 5310 apportionment be used for traditional 5310 projects: capital public transportation projects planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities when public transportation is insufficient, inappropriate, or unavailable. Thus, the most that could be spent on operating assistance is 45 percent, but this is a maximum and not a minimum. Note: Acquisition of public transportation service is considered a capital expense under the program.

Answer:

Please visit FTA’s Private Sector Participation website.

For any additional questions:

  • For program matters, contact Tom Yedinak, Private Sector Liaison, Office of Budget and Policy, (202) 366-5137, Tom.Yedinak@dot.gov 
  • For legal matters, contact Bonnie Graves, Attorney-Advisor, Office of Chief Counsel, (202) 366-4011 or Bonnie.Graves@dot.gov
Answer:

Applicants should provide as much detail as possible for their proposed approach to data storage and data sharing with USDOT.  At a minimum, they should provide separate line items that estimate (1) the cost of data storage and (2) the cost of data analytics or analyses.  These cost estimates should be included whether they are proposing to use an applicant system, a U.S. DOT managed system (e.g. SDC), or a third party system (see Section 3.4 of the DMP instructions).

Answer:

Yes. Mobility management is defined as an eligible capital expense under Section 5302, Definitions. Section 5310 will continue to list Mobility Management and coordination programs among public transportation providers and other human service agencies providing mobility management as an eligible capital expense.

Answer:

Workforce development match for CAA and ADA projects is still 80% federal, 20% local.

Answer:

Yes, as defined as replacement of a vehicle’s propulsion system, including replacing a propulsion system with a propulsion system of a different type (e.g., replacing a diesel engine with an electric battery propulsion system). Rolling stock repowering is permitted for buses that have met at least 40 percent of their useful life; in which case, it must be designed to permit the bus to meet its useful life requirements. Rolling stock repowering is permitted as part of a rebuild; in which case, it must extend the useful life by at least 4 years.

Answer:

In order for a Mobility Management project to be an eligible “traditional” 5310 project and be considered for the 55 percent threshold, it must be : 1) be a project planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities when public transportation is insufficient, unavailable, or inappropriate; 2) carried out by and eligible subrecipient and; 3) included in a locally developed coordinated transit human-services transportation plan.

Answer:

The Section 5310 program circular treats travel training as a component of mobility management, which is considered a capital expense and is eligible for up to 80 percent Federal match.

Answer:

Administrative costs must be directly related to implementing or overseeing a project.  For examples of eligible administrative costs, refer to 2 CFR Part 225, Appendix B to Part 225 - Selected Items of Cost.

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