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Low or No Emission Grants FAQs

To view a set of frequently asked questions, select a topic and category based on your interest area. Perform a word search or choose a topic from the list.

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Are partial awards possible under this program or is it all or nothing?

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Yes.  Remanufactured vehicles are vehicles that have undergone substantial structural, mechanical or electrical rebuilding, restoration or updating by a third party and then are sold or leased to a transit agency.  For the purposes of the Low-No Program, remanufactured vehicles include vehicles that have been converted from a traditional power source to a low or no emission power source.

If an applicant includes remanufactured vehicles in the application, whether as a partnership with a remanufacturer or through a proposed competitive procurement, the application must address how the project will meet the remanufactured vehicle requirements identified in FTA Circular C.5010.1E --Award Management Requirements. This information should be addressed as a part of the project implementation plan and includes the following:

  1. Procurement. The recipient must identify in their application and procurement their intent to purchase previously-owned and/or remanufactured vehicles.  As part of the bid or proposal the recipient must obtain certification and documentation ascertaining that applicable Bus Testing and Buy America requirements have been met by the original owner or remanufacturer.
  2. Useful Life. The grant application and procurement of a previously-owned vehicle must identify the applicable useful life for the vehicle.
  3. Bus Testing. The original vehicles must have met the Bus Testing Requirements in place at the time of acquisition by the original owner. 
  4. Buy America. The original vehicles must have met the Buy America requirements in place at the time of acquisition by the original owner.  Remanufactured vehicles must meet the applicable Buy America requirements for rolling stock for all new components and subcomponents added or replaced on the vehicle. 
  5. DBE Requirements. When a remanufacturer responds to a solicitation for new, or remanufactured vehicles, with a vehicle that has post-production alterations or retro-fitting to provide a “like new” vehicle, the remanufacturer is considered a transit vehicle manufacturer and must comply with the DOT DBE regulations.
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Planning studies are not eligible for Low-No funds. However, data collection and analysis directly related to the implementation of the proposed project is eligible.

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No. The only required reports are Federal Financial and Milestone Reports. These reports are submitted electronically using FTA’s electronic grants management system. FTA encourages recipients to continually evaluate performance of electric vehicles and to share information on their operation and performance within the transit industry.

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Eligible applicants include designated recipients, states, local governmental authorities, and Indian tribes. Eligible subrecipients may partner with eligible recipients but cannot be the primary applicant.

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An eligible recipient may partner with other entities that will assist in implementing the project. If an application that includes a partnership is awarded, then the competition itself fulfills the competitive procurement requirement. This provision only applies to the Low-No Program. Please refer to the Eligible Applicants and Project Implementation Strategy sections in the NOFO for additional information.

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Yes, this is allowable. Projects will be evaluated on a project by project basis regardless of how they are submitted to grants.gov.

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CNG vehicles are eligible, but CNG-powered vehicles may not be rated as highly as other alternative fuel projects that have lower emission than CNG. Propane-powered vehicles are also eligible. Please refer to Eligible Projects section in the NOFO. Proposed vehicles must make greater reductions in energy consumption and harmful emissions, including direct carbon emissions, than comparable standard buses or other low or no emission buses (49 USC 5339(c)(5)(A).

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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.

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An applicant must use the pdf supplemental form that is provided at Grants.gov or on FTA’s website. Other formats will not be accepted.

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States and other eligible applicants may submit consolidated proposals for projects in urbanized areas. Proposals may contain projects to be implemented by recipients or sub-recipients. If a single project proposal involves multiple providers, the proposal must include a detailed statement regarding the role of each provider in implementing the project.

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No. School buses are not eligible.

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The Low-No Program is for capital projects only. Studies and planning efforts are not eligible expenses. However, a project proposal may include project administration costs directly related to the deployment of eligible vehicles in revenue service.

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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.

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Both types of projects are eligible under the Low-No Program. However, facilities projects must directly support low-no buses.

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All vehicles must complete Altoona testing prior to receiving FTA funds. Applicants should specify whether their intended bus models have already completed testing, and if not, provide a proposed timeline for completing FTA’s Bus Testing requirements and provide assurance that the proposed model will successfully complete testing prior to deployment. This information should be included in the Project Implementation Strategy section. In no case will FTA reimburse an agency for costs associated with vehicles that have not completed testing.

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It depends on how it is related to the project. Data collection could qualify as incidental project management expenses associated with a Low-No partnership. Applicants would need to define how these expenses are a part of the project implementation strategy and are directly associated with acquiring these vehicles and deploying them in regular service.

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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.

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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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An applicant can choose either option; however, we recommend separate submissions for multiple urban agencies.

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