Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and Solicitation of Project Proposals.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the availability of $2,000,000 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Public Transportation Innovation Program (49 U.S.C. 5312) funds for the redesign of the transit bus operator compartment to improve operator and public safety. Bus operator assaults have been increasing. On July 6, 2015, the Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS) published report 14-01, ``Reinventing and Mitigating Transit Worker Assaults in the Bus and Rail Transit Industry,'' (14-01 Report) highlighting news articles documenting bus operator assaults. The report recommended incorporating measures such as installing protective barriers and educating the workforce in conflict resolution tactics. This NOFO provides an opportunity to reevaluate the bus operator compartment and develop innovative solutions to the space around the bus operator with the purpose to not just increase safety, but also to improve bus operator efficiency and passenger accessibility. FTA is seeking to fund cooperative agreements to engage in the research and development of new transit bus operator compartment designs in partnership with bus manufacturers, technology vendors, vehicle engineering and design firms, and transit agencies. The major goals of this program are to support a redesign of the bus operator compartment that improves bus operator and public safety, and to improve bus operator access to key vehicle instruments and controls without hindering the accessibility of the bus. Transit agency partners would have an important role to test a promising compartment redesign. This research will apply only to transit buses that are 40 ft. or longer, and almost exclusively used for local, fixed-route public transportation revenue service. An eligible lead applicant and eligible project partners and subrecipients under this program may include, but are not limited to, providers of public transportation; State and local governmental entities; departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Government, including Federal laboratories; private or non-profit organizations; institutions of higher education; and technical and community colleges. This notice solicits competitive proposals to address the objectives described under the Program Description of this notice, provides instructions for submitting proposals, describes criteria FTA will use to identify meritorious proposals for funding, and the process to apply for funding. This announcement is also available at: https:// www.transit.dot.gov/grants. A synopsis of this funding opportunity will be posted in the FIND module of the government-wide electronic grants at http:// www.grants.gov. The funding Opportunity ID is FTA-2020-003-TRI-BCP and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number for FTA's Public Transportation Innovation Program (49 U.S.C. 5312) is 20.530.