Notice of request for comments.
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, and its implementing regulations, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) hereby announces that it is seeking renewal of the following currently approved information collection activities. Before submitting this information collection requirements for clearance by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), FTA is soliciting public comment on specific aspects of the activities identified below. Title: 49 U.S.C. Section 5307--Urbanized Area Formula Program. OMB Number: 2132-0502. Background: 49 U.S.C. 5307 The Urbanized Area Formula Funding program (49 U.S.C. 5307) makes Federal resources available to urbanized areas and to Governors for transit capital and operating assistance and for transportation related planning in urbanized areas. An urbanized area is a Census-designated area with a population of 50,000 or more as determined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Funding is made available to designated recipients, which must be public bodies with the legal authority to receive and dispense Federal funds. Governors, responsible local officials and publicly owned operators of transit services are required to designate a recipient to apply for, receive, and dispense funds for urbanized areas pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 5307(a)(2). The Governor or Governor's designee is the designated recipient for urbanized areas between 50,000 and 200,000. Eligible activities include planning, engineering, design and evaluation of transit projects and other technical transportation- related studies; capital investments in bus and bus-related activities such as replacement of buses, overhaul of buses, rebuilding of buses, crime prevention and security equipment and construction of maintenance and passenger facilities; and capital investments in new and existing fixed guideway systems including rolling stock, overhaul and rebuilding of vehicles, track, signals, communications, and computer hardware and software. All preventive maintenance and some Americans with Disabilities Act complementary paratransit service costs are considered capital costs. For urbanized areas with populations less than 200,000, operating assistance is an eligible expense. For urbanized areas with 200,000 in population and over, funds are apportioned and flow directly to a designated recipient selected locally to apply for and receive Federal funds. For urbanized areas under 200,000 in population, the funds are apportioned to the Governor of each state for distribution. With the passing of Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, the 100 Bus Rule was been expanded to include demand response service, excluding ADA complementary paratransit service. An exception to the 100 Bus Rule has been added as well. If a public transportation system executes a written agreement with one or more other public transportation systems within the urbanized area to allocate funds by a method other than by measuring vehicle revenue hours, each public transportation system that is part of the written agreement may follow the terms of the written agreement instead of the measured vehicle revenue hours. Under Grant Recipient Requirements, a provision has been added that directs recipients to maintain equipment and facilities in accordance with their transit asset management plan. Recipients are no longer required to expend 1% of their funding for associated transit improvements. However, recipients are still required to submit an annual report listing projects that were carried out in the preceding fiscal year. The Passenger Ferry Grant Program is also available to urbanized areas under the authority provided through 49 U.S.C. 5307 (section 5307). This program provides discretionary opportunity to capital projects. Capital projects include, but are not limited to, the purchase, replacement, or rehabilitation of ferries and terminals and related equipment. Funds may not be used to fund operating expenses, planning, or preventive maintenance. Respondents: State and local government, business or other for- profit institutions and non-profit institutions. Estimated Annual Burden on Respondents: Approximately 50 hours for each of the 2,245 respondents. Estimated Total Annual Burden: 67,250 hours. Frequency: Annual.