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This will vary depending on the complexity of the waiver or modification request and the project. FTA will strive to respond to complete applications within 60 days. If FTA determines an application is incomplete or if FTA has questions, FTA will not wait 60 days to respond, but will notify the applicant as soon as it makes that determination.
The appropriate documentation may vary depending on the source of local match. Examples could include a city council or board resolution to provide local match for the project or a letter from the state attesting to the availability of state funding for the project.
FTA plans to conduct a risk assessment of New Starts and Core Capacity projects prior to entry into the Engineeringphase of its Capital Investment Grants program. FTA may perform updates to the risk assessment and scope, cost, and schedule reviews prior to awarding a construction grant agreement.
For Small Start projects, scope, cost and schedule reviews and a risk assessment may be conducted during the Project Development phase.
No. Operating expenses are not eligible under this program and cannot be counted toward the total project cost in determining the local cost share. Eligible sources of local match include the following:
- cash from non-government sources of that revenues from providing public transportation services;
- revenues derived from the sale of advertising and concessions;
- amounts received under a service agreement with a state or local social service agency or private social service organization;
- revenues generated from value capture financing mechanisms; or
- funds from an undistributed cash surplus; replacement or depreciation cash fund or reserve; new capital; or allowable in-kind contributions.
You do not need to be an existing FTA grantee to compete for this NOFO. As long as you are a provider of public transportation, you are eligible to apply. Please note that if you are not an existing FTA grantee, you will need to become one if selected for award, and will be responsible for compliance with any applicable Federal requirements.
Yes. However, unobligated Section 5310 funds under SAFETEA-LU must be spent in accordance with the program requirements as authorized under SAFETEA-LU. The Program of Projects (POP) must identify which projects are being funded by SAFETEA-LU and which ones are funded by MAP-21.
Readiness will vary depending on the elements of the project development process that are being modified or changed. Generally, a PIPP request for a waiver or modification will be submitted prior to the start of a project, but there may be circumstances later on in the process where funding mechanisms change or some other fundamental issue leads to requesting a waiver or modification under the PIPP.
FTA has continued to refine the technical methods and adjust the probability thresholds it uses to undertake the risk assessment based on historic data from previous projects. When determining the reasonableness of a project sponsor’s cost and schedule, FTA reviews the estimates to determine whether they include reasonable assumptions or whether adjustments need to be made. FTA then examines risks related to the project to determine the appropriate level of contingency needed. FTA will use a 65% probability threshold to determine reasonableness of the cost and schedule estimates.
No. Discounts on costs charged are not considered in-kind contributions and cannot be counted towards local match. Discounts reduce the total project cost, which is used to calculate the federal and local shares.
You can participate by partnering with an organization that is an eligible applicant under the program, such as your local public transportation providers.
Yes. Acquisition of public transportation services is still an eligible capital expense under this section.
As with a waiver or modification request, an applicant may submit a preliminary application to firstname.lastname@example.org and the appropriate FTA Regional Administrator. An application is a short narrative that articulates the basic elements of the applicant's proposed use of PIPP and provides the basis for FTA to offer the applicant a preliminary assessment of the viability of potential experimental features. As the program matures and PIPP waivers or modifications are approved, FTA will also share with the applicant information about lessons learned from previous PIPP projects that may be relevant to the proposed project.
There is no minimum or maximum grant award amount; however, FTA intends to fund as many meritorious projects as possible.
Even if funds have been appropriated or allocated to a New Starts, Small Starts, or Core Capacity project, FTA will not award a construction grant until the following conditions are met and FTA is assured the project is ready:
- The project’s development and design have progressed to the point where its scope, cost, schedule, benefits, and impacts are considered firm and final;
- All non-CIG capital funding for the project is committed;
- All significant third party agreements are completed;
- The project continues to obtain at least a Medium overall rating under the statutory evaluation criteria; and
- The Project Management Plan and subplans have been updated to include a management approach at a sufficient level of development to construct and implement the project.
Yes. VW settlement funds can be used for local match. However, applicants must provide documentation that the funds have been reserved and can be used for the project.
One request for a waiver or modification per phase of a project may be submitted, and a submission may include requests for waivers or modifications of more than one FTA requirement. Allowing a request for a waiver or modification for each phase of a project means a recipient may, for example, submit a request during the project development phase, a second request during the engineering phase, and a third request during construction.
FTA encourages applicants to include all requests for waiver or modification in one submission to streamline the waiver/modification request process.
Due to the competitive nature of this NOFO, FTA is unable to comment in advance on individual ideas from applicants. We are unable to tell you what will be favorable or what will not. We cannot entertain hypothetical situations about your unique ideas. We seek bold and innovative applications from eligible applicants. However, the idea(s) you choose to propose is a business decision that you have to make, realizing that this is a competition for funds.
Acquisition of service occurs in the course of a procurement action resulting in a contract. Generally speaking, a contractor provides service at the request and direction of the designated recipient or subrecipient. The designated recipient or subrecipient establishes the requirements of the service to be performed, such as days, hours, routes, geographic coverage, etc. There is a difference between this contractual relationship and that of a traditional subrecipient relationship. A traditional subrecipient relationship exist when the designated recipient selects an organization such as a nonprofit to provide a service, but the nonprofit determines the characteristics of the service to be provided.
No. However, FTA will include the eligibility of rolling stock for and acquisition of ADA complementary service as Traditional Section 5310 Projects when carried out by eligible subrecipients (or recipient) that can count toward the minimum 55 percent required, so long as the projects are planned, designed and carried out to meet the specific needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities when public transportation is insufficient, unavailable or inappropriate, and the projects are included in the area’s coordination plan. For further information please see the 5310 Circular FTA C9070.G Chapter III pages 11-15.
Each can be considered a separate project. However, it is up to the applicant whether to present multiple related activities as a single project or as multiple independent projects. For projects with multiple components, FTA encourages applicants to identify how the project can be scaled.