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Responsibilities of Recipients and Manufacturers

The contents of this page do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This page is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies. Recipients and subrecipients should refer to FTA’s statutes and regulations for applicable bus testing requirements.
A midsize bus during testing at the Bus Testing Center.

FTA Grant Recipient (Grantee) Responsibilities

A recipient of FTA financial assistance under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53, often referred to as a “grantee,” is responsible for:

  • Determining whether a vehicle it plans to acquire is subject to the requirements of 49 CFR Part 665 (Part 655) 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 per 49 CFR 665.7(b), it is the responsibility of the recipient 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 ultimately the recipients’ responsibility to determine whether a bus model 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 report(s) on a bus model before final acceptance, which might have given them the opportunity to make a different vehicle selection or demand corrective action from the manufacturer.

FTA Circular C5010.1E, Award Management Requirements, requires recipients to specify the expected minimum useful life (i.e., the “service life category” that a bus was tested in (e.g., 7-year/200,000-mile)) in invitations for bids.

Bus Manufacturer Responsibilities

Bus manufacturers are responsible for:

  • Complying with Bus Testing and all other applicable FTA requirements on sales or leases funded by FTA grant funding.
  • Providing a test unit that is substantially representative of future production units.
  • Accurately representing the test unit in the manufacturer’s request for testing authorization.  
  • Adhering to requirements of the Contract for Testing.
  • Accurately representing the status and results of testing.

Test Facility Operator Responsibilities

The Operator of the Bus Testing Facility is responsible for:

  • Establishing detailed procedures for carrying out the tests of new and modified bus models.
  • Establishing and collecting fees for the testing of vehicles at the facility. 
  • Conducting tests of new and modified bus models.
  • Preparing and ensuring the availability of the official Bus Testing Reports.
  • Maintaining the Bus Testing Database.

FTA Responsibilities

FTA is responsible for:

  • Providing overall strategic management of the Bus Testing Program.
  • Establishing and overseeing the Bus Testing Center.
  • Awarding and managing funding for the Bus Testing Center.
  • Approving the Test Procedures developed by the Testing Center Operator.
  • Approving the Time and Fee Schedule for Testing proposed by the Testing Center Operator.
  • Paying 80% of the applicable test fee for each bus tested (supplemental or repeated tests, if required, may not be eligible for the subsidy).
  • Providing technical assistance to the bus industry in determining Bus Testing Requirements.
  • Authorizing buses to begin testing.
  • When applicable, determining whether a manufacturer’s corrective action to address a failure during testing is acceptable as a “corrected” failure.