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TrAMS Frequently Asked Questions

TrAMS: FTA’s New Grants System

This page is a compilation of questions and answers resulting from a series of webinars and changes made to TrAMS resulting from your feedback. Learn more by selecting from the list of questions below.

General Questions:

Access to TrAMS:

Amendments to TEAM Awards in TrAMS:

Transitioning from TEAM to TrAMS:

Training and Technical Assistance:

TrAMS Functionality:

TrAMS and Related Systems:


Why is FTA replacing TEAM with a new grants system?

TEAM was first deployed in 1998 and lacks many of the more modern information technology capabilities that are now commonplace in grantmaking systems. TrAMS will provide a more efficient, user-friendly, and flexible tool to award and manage grants and cooperative agreements. It will provide more useful information, and it will strengthen the integrity and consistency of our grants award and management process.

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When will TrAMS go live?

TrAMS is anticipated to deploy in Federal Fiscal Year 2016. (Updated 5/20/2015)

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Will TEAM remain active after TrAMS is deployed?

Yes. However, TEAM is only expected to remain available for a defined period of time; the duration has yet to be determined. TEAM will remain open for those with active TEAM accounts and the information will be read-only and individuals will not be able to apply for grants report on grants, or perform any other functions in TEAM.

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Is TrAMS replacing ECHO?

No. Grantees will continue to use ECHO for reimbursement for awards made under TEAM and TrAMS.

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Access to TrAMS

Who will be granted access to TrAMS?

Recipients of FTA funding who currently do business in TEAM or who will do business in TrAMS to apply for or manage FTA grants or cooperative agreements will be provided access to TrAMS.

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Will current TEAM users need to fill out a user access form and/or redo my delegation of authority forms?

No. If you currently have an account in TEAM, your account information will be migrated into TrAMS. TrAMS will set up your account and assign the roles that you currently have under TEAM, including delegations. Your account must be in “active” status when migration occurs (Updated 5/20/2015)

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Will I need to obtain a new username and password?

Yes. TrAMS will assign you a new user name; this will be your (work) email address that is currently listed in TEAM. The first time you log in to the new system, it will prompt you to set your own password.

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Will I have the same permissions in TrAMS that I do in TEAM?

Yes. FTA intends to cross-walk users’ TEAM roles with the comparable role in TrAMS.

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Will other agencies be able to view my agency’s information in TrAMS?

Yes. Similar to TEAM, other agencies may view your information only if your agency agreed to grant that agency access to your organization’s content.

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Will I be able to give a consultant permission to do work on behalf of my agency in TrAMS?

Yes. Your agency User Manager can assign user access to TrAMS. (Added 5/20/2015)

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Will TrAMS contain personal identifying information (PII)?

No.

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Where can I find instructions and frequently asked questions about how to establish a TrAMS User Manager?

You can find all of the associated documents on the TrAMS Guidance page.

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Amendments to TEAM Awards in TrAMS

What types of amendments to TEAM awards in TrAMS may I make?

There are four cases where amendments may be considered:

  1. Recipients can create a “zero dollar” amendment to TEAM awards to move funds between existing scope codes, including adding new ALIs to existing scope codes, provided it does not increase the scope of work that requires a new DOL certification. The amendment may include zeroing out funds from existing scope codes as long as no additional funds (local or federal) increase the overall award budget and the matching requirement does not change.  
  2. Recipients can create amendments to deobligate funds from TEAM grants.
  3. Recipients can create close-out amendments. 
  4. In limited cases, recipients can create amendments to obligate additional funds (see below questions).

When can I amend TEAM awards in TrAMS to add (obligate) additional funds?

Recipients, except in several limited cases outlined below, must initiate new grants in TrAMS rather than amending TEAM grants to add additional funding.  When in doubt as to whether an amendment to an award meets the limitations below, please contact your FTA point of contact for additional direction. FTA limits amendments to add funds to TEAM awards as follows: 

  1. Recipients can create amendments to TEAM awards to add funds associated with existing Full Funding Grant Agreements or larger capital investments covered under a similar Project Construction Grant Agreement. Funds may include prior year and FY 2016 and beyond funding necessary to satisfy the agreement.  
  2. For recipients that were only able to obligate a portion of their FY 2015 funding in TEAM, they may create amendments to those TEAM awards to complete the activity by adding their final portion of FY 2015 funding.  These actions must use existing scope codes and existing ALIs. For example, amendments may be used where the activity was previously identified as a non-add scope or other budget activity. No new scope codes and no new ALIs may be added to increase the award budget or scope of work of a TEAM award.  FY 2016 funds must be used in a new grant.

Why is there an Amendment restriction in place for TEAM awards?

With the passage of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, new cross-cutting requirements apply to all funds not obligated by February 16, 2016.   (See FTA’s Notice of Transit Program Changes, Authorized Funding Levels and Implementation of Federal Public Transportation Law as Amended by the FAST Act and FTA Fiscal Year 2016 Apportionments, Allocations, Program Information and Interim Guidance, published in the Federal Register February 16, 2016).   This restriction therefore ensures FTA and the recipients can appropriately track requirements based on the type of award and prevents combining funds with different requirements.

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Transitioning from TEAM to TrAMS

Will my organizational information and grants and associated attachments be migrated from TEAM to TrAMS?

Yes. All active organizational information, and all active grants and cooperative agreements will be migrated from TEAM to TrAMS along with attachments related to organizations and their grants.

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Will my closed grants also be migrated from TEAM to TrAMS?

Yes. Closed grants will also be migrated and can be re-opened in TrAMS if necessary.

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Will my grant identification number (Project Numbers) change to a new number to be consistent with the new TrAMS Federal Award Identification Number (FAIN)?

No. All TEAM grant awards that are migrated over to TrAMS will retain the original grant identification number. You can search, run reports, and draw down funds using the TEAM identification number. (Added 5/20/2015)

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Will I be able to implement budget revisions to my grants that have been migrated from TEAM to TrAMS?

Yes, you will still be able to make budget revisions, consistent with rules of Circular 5010, to any active TEAM grant migrated into TrAMS.

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Will I be able to implement grant closeouts to my grants that have been migrated from TEAM to TrAMS or do we have to close out all grants before TrAMS goes live?

Yes. It is expected that the majority of active grants currently in TEAM will be migrated over to TrAMS. Therefore you do not need to close out all active grants prior to TrAMS; we expect active TEAM grants will be closed out in the future in the new TrAMS system.

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Will ECHO draws be suspended during the transition from TEAM to TrAMS?

No. In general, there will be no disruption of recipients ability to request reimbursements via ECHO during the transition, however FTA will need to close ECHO for a very short period of time to complete financial reconciliation just like we do at the end of every fiscal year to do year end close out. We will notify users well in advance of when this will occur.

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Will the FPC codes used in TEAM translate in TrAMS?

Yes. TrAMS will recognize the FPC codes that are associated TEAM awards migrated over to TrAMS. Additionally FPC codes will continue to exist for new TrAMS created awards. You will still be able to make FPC fund transfers to TEAM grants migrated to TrAMS. (Updated 5/20/2015)

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Will TrAMS include the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers in the grant award?

Yes. You can see it when you populate the view print of your awards.

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Training and Technical Assistance

Will FTA provide training?

Yes. FTA will provide training on all aspects of doing business in TrAMS Training will include live, hands-on workshops, webinars and recordings in addition to guidance and technical assistance documents. Visit the TrAMS Training page for more information.

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Will there be a TrAMS user manual or other guidance I can read?

Yes. Similar to TEAM there will be a User Guide with visual and step by step narrative. FTA will also develop a dictionary of data elements in TrAMS, and other guidance on how to develop your applications as well as reports on awarded grants.

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Does FTA plan to update its circulars to accommodate TrAMS?

Yes. FTA will update its Circular 5010.1D, “Grant Management Requirements” and may update other circulars to change references from TEAM to TrAMS and to ensure that information in our circulars is consistent with new grantmaking procedures put in place in TrAMS.

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Will FTA provide a TrAMS help desk?

Yes. Similar to TEAM, there will be a TrAMS help desk, email, and 1-800 number to provide technical assistance.

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TrAMS Functionality

Will I be able to use TrAMS with different browsers?

Yes. TrAMS will work well with the following common browsers: Internet Explorer (for the best user experience, a version higher than 8 is optimal, but you can still use prior versions), Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. It is anticipated to function correctly on mobile devices including iPhone, iPad, Blackberries, and Android devices. (Revised 1/2015)

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Will TrAMS be available 24/7?

Yes.

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Will I receive automatic alerts from the system?

Yes. TrAMS functions to send automatic alerts when you have business to perform in TrAMS, such as when FTA has reviewed a draft application and is returning it to you with comments and requests changes, or when your organization needs to execute an awarded grant or submit a required report.

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Will the system contain up-to-date grantee profile information?

Information about FTA grantees will be automatically imported from the System for Award Management (SAM) the website that contains information on all recipients of Federal financial assistance. If information about your organization is incorrect in SAM you will need to correct it in SAM. Visit the SAM website at: https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/#1.

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Will I be able to import data from spreadsheets into TrAMS?

It is not anticipated that there will be an upload feature to import applications. FTA is exploring upload functionality, but is not anticipated at go-live. (Revised 5/20/2015)

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Will I be able to run reports and generate data tables using TrAMS?

Yes. You will have access to run reports and generate data similar to TEAM data queries functions; which reports you can general will depend on your role in the system.

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Will I be able to combine funding from multiple programs in a single grant application or will I need to create separate grant applications, one for each funding program?

Yes. In TrAMS you may have the opportunity to consolidate grant application that contains funding from multiple programs. When an application contains more than one fund program it is referred to as a “super grant.” FTA will issue guidance outlining when you might consider using a super grant option and what you might consider. To review the draft guidance on super grants, visit the TrAMS Guidance page. (Revised 1/2015)

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How will information about transit projects be captured in TrAMS?

Individuals drafting applications in TrAMS will be asked to identify the Projects that will receive FTA financial assistance. An application created in TrAMS must identify at least one Project, or have more than one Project, if necessary. Each Project is a record; therefore in TrAMS you can run reports and search on the Project record. (Revised 1/2015)

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Will TrAMS include validation checks that might stop me from transmitting or submitting an application or receiving FTA funds?

Yes. In a few instances, TrAMS will include “hard stops” to ensure that an application has met all requirements before FTA can process the application. In other instances, TrAMS will provide “soft stops” or warning messages to indicate you may be missing information. FTA will issue guidance to list out where each might occur.

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Will I be able to upload attachments that have a large file size?

Yes. TEAM allows document uploads up to 6 MB; in TrAMS you will be able to upload attachments up to 1 Gig. Large file sizes that are extremely voluminous ones (such as large Environmental Impact Statements) you may consider breaking into several files. (Revised 1/2015)

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Will we still be required to upload Program of Project lists and Split Letters in TrAMS?

Yes. Documents will still be required and can be uploaded at the either the application or agency profile.

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Will I be able to print my application and related documents?

Yes. Similar to TEAM, you can view and print a hard copy of applications and other documents, and the documents will be in “Word” to be easily modified or saved.

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Will TrAMS change how frequently I need to submit milestone progress reports or federal financial reports or the information I submit in these reports?

No. The reporting requirements frequency remains the same as established by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance and through FTA guidance/policy. However in some instance, an application for funds that have different reporting requirements may require you to report more frequently unless otherwise established.

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TrAMS and Related Systems

Will I still draw down on my FTA grant using ECHO?

Yes. ECHO is being modified to communicate with TrAMS and accommodate the changes associated with the system, and will continue to be used for reimbursements/drawdowns.

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Will I still drawdown funds at the application level for my TEAM Grants?

Yes. ECHO will recognize and give you the option to drawdown on a TEAM or a TrAMS grant. (Added 5/20/15)

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Will TrAMS replace Grants.gov?

No. If your organization interested in applying for any one of FTA’s discretionary grants opportunities published in one of FTA’s Notices of Funding Availability, you will need to continue to submit your application via www.grants.gov.

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Will I be able to submit my subaward reports required by the Federal Funding Accountability in Transparency Act (FFATA) in TrAMS?

No. Organizations, such as State Departments of Transportation, who are required to submit subaward reports pursuant to FFATA, will continue to submit this information via www.fsrs.gov. This is an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requirement.

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Will information in TrAMS migrate to www.usaspending.gov?

Yes. TrAMS will automatically transmit information on awarded grants to www.usaspending.gov.

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Can there be a direct feed between my agency’s grant system and TrAMS?

No. At this time.

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Has FTA considered moving to a DOT-wide grants system for all transportation modes to use?

No. At this time, DOT does not intend to establish a DOT-wide grantmaking system.

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Last Updated: May 26, 2015

Updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2017
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