Responsibilities of Each Party
Recipient (Grantee) Responsibilities
A recipient of FTA Capital Assistance, often referred to as a “grantee,” is responsible for:
- Determining whether a vehicle it plans to acquire is subject to the requirements of Part 665, and if it is, how to achieve compliance with those requirements.
- Certifying to FTA that any new bus model acquired with financial assistance from FTA has been tested in accordance with the requirements of Part 665.
- Certifying that it has received a copy of the applicable Bus Testing Report(s) before expenditure of any FTA funding on a bus.
Note that 49 CFR 665.7(b) states that, “It is the responsibility of the recipient [emphasis added] in dealing with a manufacturer, to determine whether a vehicle to be acquired is subject to these procedures.” While recipients and manufacturers frequently obtain assistance from FTA in evaluating testing requirements, it is still ultimately the recipient’s responsibility to determine whether a bus has satisfied the Bus Testing requirements.
Grantees are strongly encouraged to thoroughly review and understand the applicable Bus Testing Report(s) prior to final acceptance of a bus model. Several grantees have experienced inferior performance and/or expensive, disruptive, embarrassing, and dangerous fleet failures because they did not carefully review the reports on a bus model before final acceptance, which might have given them the opportunity to demand corrective action from the manufacturer.
Recipients are also strongly encouraged (it may become a requirement; check the current Circulars) to ensure that the service life category (e.g., 7-year/200,000-mile) for the bus(es) to be acquired is explicitly specified in the solicitation and grant documents.
Bus Manufacturer Responsibilities
- The responsibilities of a manufacturer of a bus (or other entity scheduling a bus for testing) that will be or is being tested are determined by the Altoona Bus Testing and Research Center and listed on its website at http://www.altoonabustest.com/. While these requirements do not change frequently, manufacturers are nevertheless advised to confirm their responsibilities on the Center’s website or with Center personnel before submitting their bus for testing.
Test Facility Operator Responsibilities
- Establish detailed procedures for carrying out the tests of new and modified bus models.
- Establish and collect fees for the testing of vehicles at the facility.
- Conduct tests of new and modified bus models.
- Prepare and ensure the availability of the official Bus Testing Reports.
- Maintain the Bus Testing Database.
- Establish and oversee the Bus Testing Center.
- Fund the Bus Testing Center.
- Approve the Test Procedures developed by the Testing Center Operator.
- Approve the Time and Fee Schedule for Testing proposed by the Testing Center Operator.
- Pay 80% of the applicable test fee for each bus tested.
- Provide technical assistance to the bus industry in determining Bus Testing Requirements.