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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:

States and other applicants should consider submitting a single supplemental form that includes multiple activities to be evaluated as a consolidated proposal. If a State or other applicant chooses to submit separate proposals, each proposal must be submitted using a separate SF-424 and supplemental form.

Answer:

Applicants may provide a scalable option or the minimum fundable amount within their submission. FTA may award an amount that is less than the amount requested, provided it will fund a project of independent utility.

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No. There is no requirement for Section 5310 grants to go to Department of Labor for certification under MAP-21

Answer:

There is no minimum or maximum application amount.  However not more than 10 percent may be awarded to a single grantee. Depending on the applications received, FTA may cap awards at a particular amount to ensure a diversity of funded projects.

Answer:

Yes, when the passengers are individuals with disabilities and the service is part of the coordinated plan.  For purposes of the section 5310 program, FTA has adopted the definition of “disability” as that found in section 3(1) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12102).  Section 510 of the ADA (42 U.S.C. 12210) provides that the term “individual with a disability" does not include an individual who is currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs, when the covered entity acts on the basis of such use.  However, a person may be considered an individual with a disability if the person has successfully completed a supervised drug rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs; has otherwise been rehabilitated successfully and is no longer engaging in such use; is participating in a supervised rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in such use; or is erroneously regarded as engaging in such use, but is not engaging in such use.

In other words, an individual who is not currently using illegal drugs but who is addicted to drugs, has a history of addiction, or who is regarded as being addicted has an impairment under the ADA. In order for an individual's drug addiction to be considered a disability under the ADA, it would have to pose a substantial limitation on one or more major life activities.

A person whose addiction to drugs poses a substantial limitation on one or more major life activities is a person with a disability and is eligible to receive transportation through the section 5310 program, including to a drug treatment center.  Recipients are reminded that all section 5310 activities must be part of a locally developed, coordinated plan.

Answer:

It may be possible. However, there are several statutory requirements that need to be met and may preclude the designated recipient from receiving 100% of the area’s apportionment. First, the designated recipient must certify that all projects (including the acquisition of buses) are in a locally developed coordinated plan that was developed and approved by people with disabilities, seniors and the other stakeholder groups as noted in the FTA C9070.1G circular Chapter III 3.b. Second, the designated recipient must certify that at least 55 percent of its apportionment is being used for traditional capital 5310 projects carried out by an eligible recipient or subrecipient. In order for a public entity, such as the designated recipient, to be eligible to administer traditional 5310 projects, it would need to meet one of the following conditions and document it in its application to FTA as well as its program management plan:

  1. is approved by the state to coordinate services for seniors and individuals with disabilities; or
  2. certifies that there are no nonprofit organizations readily available in the area to provide the services. By services, we mean 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.

The remainder of the area’s apportionment can be spent on any of eligible types of projects listed in the statute and described in more detail in the circular. Buses are certainly eligible and the designated recipient, as a public entity, could administer those projects. However, the region should confirm that the acquisition of buses and the proposed service they will be used to provide are both (1) included in the coordinated plan and (2) eligible under the program (eligibility is listed in 49 USC 5310 (b)).

Answer:

For letters that require an official response, address the letter to the Acting Administrator at Federal Transit Administration 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE Washington, DC 20590. For letters that you wish to have considered as a part of the application, address the letters to the FTA Program Manager.

Answer:

Under the Formula Grants for the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities (Section 5310) program, 49 U.S.C. 5310(b)(4) provides that the acquisition of public transportation services is an eligible capital expense.  FTA circular 9070.1G provides, on page III-11, the following:

e. Acquisition of transportation services under a contract, lease, or other arrangement. This may include acquisition of ADA-complementary paratransit services when provided by an eligible recipient or subrecipient as defined in section 5 of this chapter, above. Both capital and operating costs associated with contracted service are eligible capital expenses. User-side subsidies are considered one form of eligible arrangement. Funds may be requested for contracted services covering a time period of more than one year. The capital eligibility of acquisition of services as authorized in 49 U.S.C. 5310(b)(4) is limited to the Section 5310 program;

Acquisition of public transportation service, previously known as purchase of service, is the procurement of third party public transportation service by either a recipient or subrecipient.  Passing funds through from the recipient to the subrecipient for an operating project is not considered an acquisition of service.  Additionally, passing funds from a recipient to a subrecipient who in turn passes the funds onto a non-profit agency is not considered an acquisition of service. Only service that is competitively procured is considered an acquisition of service.

Answer:

If an applicant is a direct recipient of FTA funds, then the application should be submitted to the FTA directly. States do not review the applications once they are submitted to FTA. If selected, the project will need to be added to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program in cooperation with the MPO and/or state DOT.

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The state should submit separate proposals on behalf of its small urbanized and rural areas. Each proposal should have its own SF-424 and supplemental form.

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The narrative should provide a complete explanation of the need for replacement buses, including any relevant supporting information. Attachments, such as a fleet inventory, vehicle status report, or other documentation, may be used to support the statements in the narrative response.

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FTA has defined the criteria for Demonstration of Need in the NOFO, including specific guidance for expansion projects.

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Pre-award authority starts on the day the projects are announced on FTA’s website. Projects will not be eligible for reimbursement for expenses incurred prior to the date of announcement.

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Please enter a date prior to the facility construction date, such as 01/01/1900, to allow the form to validate. 

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The FTA Administrator will announce the final project selections on the FTA website.

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Eligible applicants are:

  • designated recipients
  • states and local governmental authorities
  • private nonprofit organizations
  • operators of public transportation
Answer:

Not for the ICAM Pilot Program funding. And, not necessarily for the HSCR Program Funding either. However, applicants for the HSCR will likely be a recipient of 5310 funding as they are required to have a Coordinated Human Service Transportation Plan.

Answer:

Only applicants seeking funding for project proposals under the HSCR Funding.

Answer:

No. Riders requiring accessible vehicles cannot be charged a higher fare. The cost of providing accessible vehicles must be borne by the county’s Guaranteed Ride Home Program.

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