Announcement of Research Program Project Selections.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration announces the selection of research projects funded in support of three Notice of Funding Availability, as authorized under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, and prior legislation. Innovative Safety, Resiliency, and All-Hazard Emergency Response and Recovery Program: The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the selection of Innovative Safety, Resiliency, and All-Hazard Emergency Response and Recovery Program (SRER) Program projects (see Table 1) with Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 and FY 2013 appropriations for FTA's Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment Program. The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012, Public Law 112-55 made $25,000,000 available to carry out innovative research and demonstrations of national significance under 49 U.S.C. 5312. Of that amount, $20,800,000 was made available for innovative safety, resiliency, and all-hazards emergency response and recovery demonstration projects of national significance. An additional $8,200,000 in Section 5312 FY 2013 Research funds was made available for the same purpose for a combined amount of $29,000,000 in funds was made available from Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013. On October 1, 2013, FTA published a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) (78 FR 60369) announcing the availability of funding for SRER. These competitive research program funds will strengthen operational safety of public transportation, help transit systems better withstand natural disasters and other emergencies, and improve emergency response capabilities. Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program: The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the selection of Low or No Emissions Vehicle Deployment Program (LONO) projects (see Table 2) with Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 and FY 2014 appropriations for deployment of low or no emission transit buses. The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Public Law 112-141, July 6, 2012, amended 49 U.S.C. 5312 to add a new paragraph (d)(5) authorizing FTA to make grants to finance eligible projects under the LONO Program. The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013, (also referred to as the Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013) Public Law 113-6, March 26, 2013, made available $24,900,000 in FY 2013 (after sequestration) funds to carry out the LONO Program. Of that amount, $21,600,000 was made available for transit buses and $3,300,000 was made available for supporting facilities and related equipment. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, Public Law 113-76, January 17, 2014, made available $30,000,000 in FY 2014 to carry out the LONO Program. Of that amount, a minimum of $4,000,000 was made available for supporting facilities and related equipment. On January 9, 2014, FTA published a NOFA (79 FR 1668) announcing the availability of funding for the LONO program. The main purpose of the LONO Program is to deploy the cleanest and most energy efficient U.S.-made transit buses that have been largely proven in testing and demonstrations but are not yet widely deployed in transit agency fleets. The LONO Program provides funding for transit agencies for capital acquisitions and leases of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, including acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities such as recharging, refueling, and maintenance facilities. Bus Efficiency Enhancements Research and Demonstrations: The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the selection of five projects totaling $3,000,000 for Bus Efficiency Enhancements Research and Demonstrations (BEERD) program (see Table 3). On June 28, 2013, FTA published a Request for Proposals (RFP) on www.grants.gov and FTA's Web site announcing the availability of $3,000,000 of FY 2012 Section 5312/5314 National Research Program discretionary funds for innovative research, development, and demonstration projects targeting bus efficiency enhancements, specifically enhanced electrification of accessories, and improvements in thermal management of transit bus bodies. These projects will reduce energy use by transit buses and will have favorable impacts on meeting the needs of the riding public, public transportation operators, and the American bus industry and its supplier base. They will advance the DOT's research goals, which include but are not limited to improving safety, enhancing the state of good repair of public transit systems, providing more effective and efficient public transportation service, increasing capital and operating efficiencies, developing and deploying advanced vehicle designs and technology, reducing harmful emissions, and increasing energy efficiency. These projects also support an overarching FTA goal of developing and deploying new and innovative ideas, practices, and approaches for transit buses.