Expedited Project Delivery Pilot Program - Section 3005(b)
The EPD Pilot Program, authorized by Section 3005(b) of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), is aimed at expediting delivery of new fixed guideway capital projects, small starts projects, or core capacity improvement projects. These projects must utilize public-private partnerships, be operated and maintained by employees of an existing public transportation provider, and have a federal share not exceeding 25 percent of the project cost. FTA will notify applicants in writing within 120 days after the receipt of a complete application whether the application has been approved.
On July 28, 2020, FTA announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Expedited Project Delivery (EPD) Pilot Program. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until up to eight grants are awarded, subject to funding availability.
On Wednesday, August 26, 2020, FTA hosted a webinar to provide information on the EPD Pilot Program.
Applicants must use the EPD Pilot Program application.
The EPD Pilot Program streamlines project delivery of new transit infrastructure that meets program requirements. It encourages innovative partnerships and funding so projects can be completed more quickly.
Eligible projects are new fixed guideway capital projects, small start projects, or core capacity improvement projects that have not entered into a full funding grant agreement with FTA. The law defines these types of eligible projects for the EPD Pilot Program in a manner similar to, but not entirely the same as, FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program. Applicants should therefore read the NOFO carefully to understand the EPD Pilot Program project eligibility. New fixed guideway capital projects or small start projects may include the acquisition of real property, the initial acquisition of rolling stock for the system, the acquisition of right-of-way, and relocation. Core capacity improvement projects may include the acquisition of real property, the acquisition of rights-of-way, double tracking, signalization improvements, electrification, expanding system platforms, acquisition of rolling stock associated with corridor improvements increasing capacity, construction of infill stations, and such other capacity improvements as FTA determines are appropriate to increase the capacity of an existing fixed guideway system corridor by not less than 10 percent.
State or local government authorities who must demonstrate:
- Legal, financial, and technical capacities to carry out the eligible project, including the safety and security aspects of the eligible project;
- Satisfactory continuing control over the use of the equipment or facilities;
- The technical and financial capacity to maintain new and existing equipment and facilities;
- That they have qualified advisors providing guidance on the terms and structure of the project who are independent from investors in the project; and
- That the existing public transportation system is in a state of good repair.
- This requirement may be waived by FTA if the project meets the definition of a core capacity improvement project, and FTA determines that the eligible project will allow the applicant to make substantial progress in achieving a state of good repair.
Application and Selection Process
FTA provides technical assistance to potential grant applicants including working with them to understand the program requirements and develop a complete application package. Per the NOFO, the complete applications must be submitted electronically via FTA’s EPD Pilot Program secure application submission site and must include responses to all sections, forms, and attachments, unless indicated as optional. Only the information submitted to the application site will be used to determine the applicant and project eligibility for the EPD Pilot Program and to evaluate the proposal against the criteria described in the NOFO.
Once an application is submitted, FTA will review the completeness of the application. This is a high-level review to determine if any requested information is missing or incomplete. If the submitted application is missing requirements, or requirements are not complete, then the application will be denied, and therefore not progress to the next phase. The project sponsor may resubmit their application once they believe they have addressed the incomplete item(s), per the NOFO.
An application that is deemed complete will advance to the 120-day statutory review phase, which includes a detailed review of the application and coordination with the Office of the Secretary of Transportation for their consideration of FTA’s recommended action. During this phase, FTA will hold regularly scheduled meetings with the applicant to exchange feedback, gain clarifications on any issues or concerns, request updated documentation and discuss the progress of the application. Within 120 days, FTA will notify the project sponsor with one of the following:
- Selected/Approval for a:
- Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA): The development of an FFGA will be recommended if the project sponsor’s application fully meets the eligibility requirements in the NOFO. With the FFGA, FTA commits to a specific dollar amount of EPD Pilot Program funding for the project scope as presented in the project sponsor’s application, and contingent on the availability of funding. Congressional notice will be given 30 days in advance of issuing an FFGA.
- Letter of Intent (LOI): If certain conditions have not been met for an application deemed worthy of selection, FTA will issue a LOI. A LOI contains a list of conditions that have been identified from FTA’s review of the project sponsor’s application. Once the LOI conditions are met, the project can be considered for a FFGA. With a LOI, FTA commits to a specific dollar amount of EPD Pilot Program funding for the project scope as presented in the project sponsor’s application, and contingent on the availability of funding. A LOI and its commitment of federal funding will expire after two years if conditions are not met. Congressional notice will be given 30 days in advance of issuing a LOI. If the project advances to the development of an FFGA, FTA will provide a second congressional notice 30 days before the award of the grant agreement.
- Not Selected/Disapproval: If the application does not meet the requirements of the NOFO, FTA’s written notice will include a detailed explanation of the reasons for the disapproval.
Allocation of Funding
New Update! A total of $325 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, FY 2020, FY 2019, FY 2017 and FY 2016 funds are available, of which $100 million is currently available for allocation. FTA has made two allocations totaling $225 million, to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in San Jose, California, for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Silicon Valley Phase II project. Any project sponsor that receives or has already received an allocation of EPD funds must still submit the formal application outlined in the NOFO to receive the grant.
The federal share of project costs under this program is limited to 25 percent.
The contents of this page do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This guidance is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies. Grantees and subgrantees should refer to FTA’s statutes and Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for applicable requirements of the EPD Pilot Program.