Applications for Funding Under Intelligent Transportation Systems Operational Testing To Mitigate Congestion Program, 75806-75810 [E6-21460]

Download as PDF 75806 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 242 / Monday, December 18, 2006 / Notices jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES members within the EMS community from a wide array of national organizations and the public. Members will be selected for their individual expertise and to reflect a balanced representation of interests from across the EMS community, but no member will represent a specific organization. To the extent practical, the final council membership shall assure representation from the following: ➢ Volunteer EMS ➢ Fire-based (career) EMS ➢ Private (career non-fire) EMS ➢ Hospital-based EMS ➢ Tribal EMS ➢ Air Medical EMS ➢ Local EMS service director/ administrators ➢ EMS Medical Directors ➢ Emergency Physicians ➢ Trauma Surgeons ➢ Pediatric Emergency Physicians ➢ State EMS Directors ➢ State Highway Safety Directors ➢ EMS Educators ➢ Public Safety Call-taker/Dispatcher (911) ➢ EMS Data Managers ➢ EMS Researchers ➢ Emergency Nurses ➢ Hospital Administration ➢ Public Health ➢ Emergency Management ➢ State Homeland Security Directors ➢ Consumers (not directly affiliated with an EMS or healthcare organization) ➢ State or local legislative bodies (e.g. city/county councils; state legislatures) This document gives notice to potential participants of the process and affords them the opportunity to apply for membership on NEMSAC. The application procedure is set forth below. In addition, NHTSA invites commentors to suggest or nominate potential members. The NHTSA is aware that there are many more potential organizations and participants than there are membership positions on NEMSAC. It is important to recognize that interested parties who are not selected for NEMSAC membership can make valuable contributions to the work of NEMSAC in several ways. For example, the person or organization may request to be placed on the NEMSAC mailing list, submit written comments to the advisory council, and attend NEMSAC meetings. Time will be set aside during each meeting for the purpose of permitting public comment, consistent with NEMSAC’s need for sufficient time to complete its deliberations. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:16 Dec 15, 2006 Jkt 211001 E. Applications for Membership DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Each application for membership or nomination to the advisory council must include the following: (1) A brief resume or letter (no more than one page) demonstrating the applicant or nominee’s knowledge of EMS projects or programs and why he or she is interested in serving on the advisory council (please note, resumes or letters will be posted in the public docket and therefore should not contain personal information such as date of birth, etc). (2) The name of the applicant or nominee and which interest(s)/ component(s) of the EMS community (identified above in Section D) he or she would represent. (3) Evidence that the applicant or nominee represents those interest(s)/ component(s) of the EMS community (identified above in Section D). (4) A written commitment that the applicant or nominee would participate in good faith. Since all comments and/ or applications for membership or nominations for membership on the advisory council will be posted on the Public Docket, we encourage you to include only that information you are willing to provide for the public docket and submit your application electronically using the docket number provided on this notice through the DOT online Document Management System found at: http://dms.dot.gov/ submit. Every effort will be made to select advisory council members who are objective. A balanced membership is needed and weight will be given to a variety of factors including, but not limited to, geographical distribution, gender, minority status, organization, and expertise. Members of the advisory council may receive travel and per diem, as allowed by Federal regulations and U.S. Department of Transportation policy. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration F. Duration Two years from the establishment of the advisory council charter. Issued on: December 13, 2006. Mary E. Peters, Secretary. [FR Doc. E6–21522 Filed 12–15–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Forum on Human Factors Research Necessary To Support Advanced Vehicle Safety Technologies; Correction National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT. ACTION: Meeting notice; correction. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NHTSA published a document in the Federal Register of November 20, 2006, concerning a meeting notice for a forum on Human Factors Research Necessary to Support Advanced Vehicle Safety Technologies. The document did not contain the Docket Number. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Perel, 202–366–5675. Correction Federal Register of November 20, 2006, on page 67203, in the first column, correct the ‘‘NHTSA Docket Number’’ caption to read: NHTSA Docket No. NTSA–2006–26286. Dated: December 7, 2006. Joseph N. Kanianthra, Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety Research. [FR Doc. 06–9735 Filed 12–15–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–M DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Research and Innovative Technology Administration Applications for Funding Under Intelligent Transportation Systems Operational Testing To Mitigate Congestion Program Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of solicitation for applications for funding under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Intelligent Transportation Systems— Operational Testing to Mitigate Congestion Program. AGENCY: SUMMARY: In May 2006, the U.S. Department of Transportation (the Department) announced its National Strategy to Reduce Congestion on America’s Transportation Network (the Congestion Initiative), a bold and comprehensive national program to reduce congestion on the Nation’s roads, rails, runways, and waterways. One major component of the Congestion Initiative is the Urban Partnership E:\FR\FM\18DEN1.SGM 18DEN1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 242 / Monday, December 18, 2006 / Notices Agreement (UPA). By separate notice in the Federal Register, the Department has solicited metropolitan areas to enter into UPAs to demonstrate strategies with a combined track record of effectiveness in reducing traffic congestion. See Applications for Urban Partnership Agreements as Part of Congestion Initiative, (71 FR 71231) dated December 8, 2006. To support this national strategy, the Department intends to award cooperative agreements to one or more successful jurisdictions to operationally test, demonstrate, and evaluate region-wide innovative technology based congestion mitigation strategies. The purpose of this notice is to solicit proposals by metropolitan areas to the Intelligent Transportation Systems Operational Testing to Mitigate Congestion (ITS-OTMC) Program for funding the implementation of innovative congestion-reducing technologies. The Department may provide successful jurisdictions up to $100 million over three years through the ITS-OTMC Program in support of innovative technology-based strategies to reduce congestion. This notice is one of three solicitations being issued by the Department in connection with the Congestion Initiative. See below ‘‘SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Coordination with Other Congestion Initiative Solicitations.’’ DATES: Applicants wishing to receive funding under the ITS–OTMC Program must submit their applications on or before April 30, 2007. Late-filed applications to the ITS–OTMC Program will be considered to the extent practical. Application Submission: Applicants wishing to apply for funding under the ITS–OTMC Program may file their applications online at http:// www.grants.gov under Funding Opportunity Number DTFH61–07–RA– 00111. The grant synopsis is available at http://www.grants.gov. The full announcement is expected to be available on http:www.grants.gov no later than January 15, 2007. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Please address questions concerning this notice to Brian Cronin, Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, at (202) 366–8841 or via e-mail at brian.cronin@dot.gov. Please address questions concerning the required SF 424 form to Sarah Tarpgaard, Office of Acquisition Management, Federal Highway Administration, at (202) 366– 5750 or via e-mail at VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:16 Dec 15, 2006 Jkt 211001 sarah.tarpgaard@dot.gov. Please address legal questions to Grace Reidy, Esq., Office of the Chief Counsel, Federal Highway Administration, at (202) 366– 6226 or via e-mail at grace.reidy@dot.gov. RITA and FHWA offices are located at 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours for RITA and the FHWA are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except on Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. The Department’s Congestion Initiative and Urban Partnership Agreement Crisis of Congestion. Traffic congestion affects virtually every aspect of peoples’ lives—where people live, work, shop, and how much they pay for goods and services. According to 2003 figures, in certain metropolitan areas the average rush hour driver loses as many as 93 hours per year to travel delay—the equivalent of more than two weeks of work, amounting annually to a virtual ‘‘congestion tax’’ as high as $1,598 per traveler in wasted time and fuel.1 Nationwide, congestion imposes costs on the economy of over $65 billion per year,2 a figure that has more than doubled since 1993, and that would be even higher if it accounted for the significant cost of unreliability to drivers and businesses, the environmental impacts of idle-related auto emissions, or increased gasoline prices. Traffic congestion also has a substantial negative impact upon the quality of life of many American families. In a 2005 survey, for example, 52 percent of Northern Virginia commuters reported that their travel times to work had increased in the past year,3 leading 70 percent of working parents to report having insufficient time to spend with their children and 63 percent of respondents to report having insufficient time to spend with their spouses.4 Nationally, in a 2005 survey conducted by the National League of Cities, 35 percent of U.S. citizens reported traffic congestion as the most deteriorated living condition in their city over the past five years; 85 percent responded that traffic congestion was as bad or worse than the previous year.5 1 Texas Transportation Institute (‘‘TTI’’), 2005 Urban Mobility Report, May 2005 (http:// tti.tamu.edu/documents/mobility_report_2005.pdf), Tables 1 and 2. 2 TTI, 2005 Urban Mobility Report, p. 1. 3 Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance 2005 Survey (http://www.nvta.org/ content.asp?contentid=1174). 4 Virginia Department of Transportation. 5 National League of Cities survey of cities (2005). PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 75807 Similarly, in a 2001 survey conducted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, 79 percent of Americans from ten metropolitan areas reported that congestion has worsened over the past five years; 50 percent believe it has become ‘‘much worse.’’ 6 The Urban Partnership Agreement. In May 2006, the Department announced its Congestion Initiative, a bold and comprehensive national program to reduce congestion on the Nation’s roads, rails, runways, and waterways. One major component of the Congestion Initiative is the UPA. Through UPAs, the Department plans to partner with certain metropolitan areas or ‘‘Urban Partners’’ to demonstrate four strategies with a combined track record of effectiveness in reducing traffic congestion. The four strategies are known as the ‘‘Four Ts’’, which are: 1. Tolling: Implementing a broad congestion pricing or variable toll demonstration; 2. Tansit: Creating or expanding express bus services, bus rapid transit (BRT) or other innovative commuter transit services, which would benefit from the free-flow traffic conditions generated by pricing; 3. Telecommuting: Securing agreements from major area employers to establish or expand telecommuting and flex scheduling programs; and 4. Technology & Operations: Using cutting edge technological and operational approaches to improve transportation system performance. In return for their commitment to adopt innovative, system-wide solutions to traffic congestion, the Department, to the maximum extent possible, would support its Urban Partners with the Department’s financial resources (including a combination of grants, loans, and borrowing authority), regulatory flexibility and dedicated expertise and personnel. Congestion Pricing. The most innovative—and often misunderstood— component of the UPA is congestion pricing. Congestion pricing leverages the principles of supply and demand to manage traffic. It does this by charging drivers a user fee that varies by traffic volumes or time of day, thus managing highway resources in a manner that promotes free-flow traffic conditions on highways at all times. Congestion pricing achieves free-flow conditions by shifting purely discretionary rush hour highway travel to other transportation modes or to off-peak periods, taking advantage of the fact that many rush hour drivers on a typical urban highway 6 U.S. Conference of Mayors survey on traffic congestion (2001). E:\FR\FM\18DEN1.SGM 18DEN1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES 75808 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 242 / Monday, December 18, 2006 / Notices are not commuters. By removing a fraction of the vehicles from a congested rush hour roadway, congestion pricing enables the system to flow much more efficiently, allowing more cars to move through the same physical space. Similar variable charges have been successfully utilized in other industries (airline tickets, cell phone rates, and electricity, for example), and there is a consensus among economists that congestion pricing represents the single most viable approach to reducing traffic congestion. Congestion pricing benefits drivers and businesses by reducing delays and stress, increasing the predictability of trip times, and allowing for more deliveries per hour. It benefits mass transit by improving transit speeds and the reliability of transit service, increasing transit ridership, and lowering costs for transit providers. It benefits State and local governments by improving the quality of transportation services without tax increases or large capital expenditures, providing additional revenues for funding transportation, retaining businesses and expanding the tax base. It saves lives by shortening incident response times for emergency responders. And it benefits society as a whole by reducing fuel consumption and vehicle emissions, allowing for more efficient land use decisions, reducing housing market distortions, and expanding opportunities for civic participation. Congestion pricing is no longer simply a theory; it has demonstrated positive results both in the U.S. and around the world. Successful American applications of congestion pricing include California’s SR–91 between Anaheim and Riverside, portions of I–15 outside of San Diego, and Express Lanes on I–394 between downtown Minneapolis and the western suburbs, all of which have enabled congestionfree rush hour commuting and proven popular with drivers of all income levels. Internationally, congestion pricing has yielded dramatic reductions in traffic congestion and increases in travel speeds in Singapore, London, and Stockholm. Notably, a small reduction in vehicles can yield dramatic improvements in traffic, as demonstrated by a British study, which projected that a 9 percent drop in traffic could yield a 52 percent drop in congestion delay.7 This same dynamic plays out in metropolitan areas every August, as family vacations lead to a 7 Department of Transport, U.K., Feasibility Study of Road Pricing in the U.K.: A Report to the Secretary of State for Transport, Road Price Steering Group, Chapter 4, Figure 3. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:16 Dec 15, 2006 Jkt 211001 minor decrease in rush hour drivers, which substantially reduces area traffic congestion. Transit. Another critical congestionreducing strategy to be incorporated into UPAs is increasing the quality and capacity of peak-period transit service in order to offer a more attractive alternative to automobile travel and to accommodate peak-period commuters who elect to switch to transit in response to the adoption of congestion pricing. Congestion pricing and public transportation convey mutual benefitsroad pricing benefits public transportation by improving transit speeds and the reliability of transit service, increasing transit ridership, lowering costs for transit providers, and expanding the source of revenue that may be used for transit, while public transportation benefits road pricing by absorbing commuters who shift their travel from automobile to bus or rail. By replacing congested traffic with freeflowing conditions on major routes, congestion pricing will improve the speed and productivity of current express bus services, making them more attractive to commuters while reducing their operating costs. Reducing congestion will also facilitate rapid deployment of innovative, highperformance BRT operations in major corridors, which require only modest investments in new vehicles and passenger facilities that may be eligible for financial support through the Department’s various funding mechanisms. Improving the performance and variety of peak-period transit commuting options through a combination of congestion pricing and limited capital investment will provide significant benefits to current transit riders, while improving transit’s effectiveness in reducing peak-period auto travel and providing the expanded passenger-carrying capacity necessary to accommodate shifts to transit commuting induced by the imposition of congestion pricing. Telecommuting. The third critical congestion-reducing strategy for Urban Partners to adopt is promoting increased use of telecommuting and flexible work scheduling, in order to reduce peakperiod commuting and shift some commuting travel to ‘‘shoulder’’ or offpeak hours. Telecommuting can eliminate some peak-period commuting travel by using computer and electronic communications technology to enable certain employees to work from their homes or nearby telecommuting centers on predetermined (often regularly scheduled) workdays, or in some cases on a full-time basis. Flexible work PO 00000 Frm 00101 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 schedules allow employees to shift their commute trips from the peak period to less congested hours. The most promising means to achieve these objectives is for public officials representing Urban Partners to secure agreements from major employers in their metropolitan areas to establish or expand telecommuting programs, and to offer flexible work schedules to the maximum number of their employees. The Department and local transportation planning agencies can offer technical and logistical support to employers for designing, implementing, and monitoring the effectiveness of telecommuting programs and flexible work scheduling. Technology. Technology makes possible congestion pricing, which differs from traditional tolling in two material respects: (1) Instead of charging a fixed fee, congestion pricing manages traffic by charging drivers a user fee that varies by traffic volumes or time of day, thus balancing supply and demand; and (2) unlike traditional tolling, congestion fees are collected electronically at highway speeds. With variable pricing, technology affords highway managers the flexibility of setting user fees by time of day or ‘‘dynamically’’—by increasing or decreasing fees depending on traffic volumes to maximize throughput and the free flow of traffic. Technology facilitates this variability by enabling the collection of user fees at highway speeds through the use of transponders, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), or cameras. With transponders, or ‘‘tags,’’ tolls may be collected as vehicles pass under overhead antennae. With GPS technology, like that used on Germany’s autobahns, an in-vehicle device records charges based on the vehicle’s location, and periodically uploads a summary of charges to a processing center along with payments. Technology can also provide options for occasional users of these roads to prepay for their trip via kiosks or the internet. In addition, technological advancements may enhance the quality of transit service deployed to reduce urban congestion. These technologybased improvements may include lanekeeping devices or longitudinal control designed to enhance spatial efficiency on existing highways, precision docking, signal priority systems for buses, contactless fare collection, realtime travel information (bus arrival times, schedules, etc.), advanced traveler information systems, parking alerts and automatic vehicle locator systems. E:\FR\FM\18DEN1.SGM 18DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 242 / Monday, December 18, 2006 / Notices B. Coordination With Other Congestion Initiative Solicitations This solicitation is one of three solicitations being issued by the Department in connection with this component of the Congestion Initiative. Published separately in the Federal Register, the other two solicitations are: 1. Solicitation of Applications for Urban Partnerships as Part of the Congestion Initiative. See Applications for Urban Partnership Agreements as Part of Congestion Initiative (71 FR 71231), dated December 8, 2006. Through UPAs, the Department plans to partner with certain metropolitan areas or ‘‘Urban Partners’’ in order to demonstrate strategies with proven effectiveness in reducing traffic congestion. 2. Solicitation of Applications to the Value Pricing Pilot (VPP) Program. See Solicitation of Applications to the VPP Program to be published by the Department later this month in the Federal Register. The VPP Program, as reauthorized by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU) (Pub. L. 109–59, Aug. 10, 2005, Section 1604 (a)), supports implementation of a variety of pricing-based approaches for managing congestion on highways. The solicitation for the VPP Program will align the program with the Congestion Initiative to support metropolitan areas in implementing broad congestion pricing strategies in the near term. Please note: Applicants for funding under the ITS–OTMC and/or VPP Programs that also wish to become an Urban Partner must respond to each solicitation separately. However, the Department will accept identical copies of a single application as long as it satisfies the requirements of each relevant solicitation. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES C. The Department’s ITS Program Since enactment of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) (Pub. L. 102–240, Dec. 18, 1991), the Department has been administering the ITS Program. A primary objective of the ITS Program is the research, development and operational testing of systems and strategies to reduce congestion in urban areas (SAFETEA–LU, Section 5305). As a result, the program has focused considerable attention on the development of various products oriented towards congestion mitigation, such as electronic toll collection, advanced real-time adaptive traffic signals, transit signal priority systems, innovative surveillance systems, improved incident detection and response systems, advanced transit VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:16 Dec 15, 2006 Jkt 211001 management systems, and multi-modal traveler information systems. These and other congestion-mitigation strategies have been shown to be very effective in improving overall traffic operations and reducing congestion. In reauthorizing the ITS Program, SAFETEA–LU, section 5306, requires the Secretary to continue to invest in technologies and systems that can aid in reducing metropolitan congestion by not less than five percent by 2010. Given the increasing demand on the Nation’s surface transportation system, this ambitious goal will require bold, innovative approaches. D. The ITS–OTMC Program Objective. The overall objective of the ITS–OTMC Program is to facilitate, in connection with the Congestion Initiative, the operational testing of innovative and aggressive congestion reduction strategies incorporating ITS systems that can demonstrate measurable reductions in congestion levels in the testing areas. In its discretion, the Department may provide up to $100 million over three years through the ITS–OTMC Program which the Department established as part of the ITS Program. In order to support the objectives of the Congestion Initiative, the Department is seeking applications for the operational testing and evaluation of innovative uses of technology to address congestion on a specific facility or facilities, such as a corridor, an urban area or region. Accordingly, qualifying projects must be expected to directly result in significant, broad, and near-term congestion relief. Projects that the Department will consider may include demand management pricing strategies, advanced traffic signal control, innovative incident detection and management strategies, integrated corridor management, parking management tied to transit service, high occupancy/toll (HOT) lanes, managed lanes, ramp control, lane-keeping devices or longitudinal control designed to enhance spatial efficiency on existing highways, precision docking, signal priority systems for buses, contactless fare collection, real-time travel information (bus arrival times, schedules, emergency information to first-responders, etc.), advanced traveler information systems,8 parking alerts or automatic vehicle locator systems. 8 Advanced traveler information systems include web or wireless access to route-specific travel time and toll information; route planning assistance using historical records of congestion by time of day; and communications technologies that gather traffic- and incident-related data from a few vehicles traveling on a roadway and then publish PO 00000 Frm 00102 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 75809 The Department encourages the submission of project proposals that contain technologies which support pricing strategies. Projects that use technology to support and combine congestion mitigation strategies (such as congestion pricing, expansion of transit capacity, and telecommuting) are encouraged. Project applications should demonstrate that proposed strategies will be implemented in a relatively short time frame (e.g., within 12 to 18 months from the date of procurement). Project Costs Eligible for Grant Funding. The Department will provide up to the statutorily allowable 80 percent share of the estimated costs of an approved project. Funds available for the ITS–OTMC Program are intended to support the implementation costs of the proposed operational testing. Costs of planning, testing, managing, operating, demonstrating, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting are eligible for reimbursement. The Department will evaluate the allowability of proposed costs in accordance with OMB Circular A–87 Cost Principles for State and Local Governments. 1. Pre-Implementation Planning and Design Costs. Eligible preimplementation costs include: planning, public participation, consensus building, marketing, impact assessment, modeling, financial planning, development of concepts of operations, technology assessments and specifications, and environmental work and other pre-implementation work that relates to the establishment of a project participating in the ITS–OTMC Program.9 2. Implementation Costs. Eligible costs include those for equipment, installation, managing, operating, demonstrating evaluating, and reporting on the ITS–OTMC Program, including administrative and operational costs, enforcement costs, costs of monitoring and evaluating project operations, and costs of continuing public relations activities during the period of implementation. Who is Eligible to Apply? Competition is limited to State or local governments or public authorities, such as State departments of transportation, transit authorities and tolling agencies. Although project agreements must be with the aforementioned public entities, those entities may partner with private that information to drivers via mobile phones, incar units or dynamic message signs. 9 While planning and design costs are eligible expenses, the expectation is that these projects have been well thought out and that the proposing jurisdiction has already completed the preliminary planning to quickly move to deployment. E:\FR\FM\18DEN1.SGM 18DEN1 75810 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 242 / Monday, December 18, 2006 / Notices jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES tolling authorities, for-profit companies, and non-profit organizations. E. Contents of Application for ITS– OTMC Program Below is the minimum set of application requirements. The full set of application requirements will be detailed in the full announcement which will be available by January 15, 2007, on http://www.grants.gov under Funding Opportunity Number DTFH61– 07–RA–00111. An application shall consist of the following materials: • Standard Form (SF) 424 • SF 424A • SF 424B • SF LLL • Grants.gov Lobbying Form • Attachments Form (each as further described below): Æ Part I: Background, Problem and Technical Approach Æ Part II: Demonstration Value Æ Part III Budget Application Detail Part I: Background, Problem and Technical Approach. This section should include the following information: 1. The name, title, e-mail address and phone number of the person who will act as the point of contact on behalf of the applicant; 2. A description of the partner agency, authority, or authorities requesting funding; 3. The Congressional District or Districts in which the project will be implemented; 4. Identification of the lead agency and a description of the roles for each public agency or agencies that will be responsible for operating, maintaining, and enforcing the operational testing project, if applicable; 5. A management and staffing plan for all partner agencies; 6. A description of the ITS congestion mitigation technologies to be operationally tested; 7. Identification of the facilities that will be covered by the operational test; 8. A plan, including timeline broken down by phases, for implementing ITS congestion mitigation technologies; 9. A description of the anticipated effects of the ITS congestion mitigation technologies on reducing congestion, altering travel behavior, and encouraging the use of multiple transportation modes; 10. Plans for monitoring and evaluating operational testing projects, including plans for collection and analysis, before and after assessment, and long term monitoring and documenting of project effects; 10 10 The Department will be selecting an independent evaluator for all projects selected. The VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:16 Dec 15, 2006 Jkt 211001 11. Plans for meeting all Federal, State, and local legal and administrative requirements for project implementation, including relevant Federal-aid planning and environmental requirements; 12. A discussion of previous public involvement, including public meetings, in the demonstration of the proposed ITS operational test to mitigate congestion. Any expressions or declarations of support from public officials, industry, or the public. Future plans for involving key affected parties, coalition building, and media relations, and more broadly for ensuring adequate public and private sector involvement prior to implementation (applicants are encouraged to provide more than just letters of support, but instead reference any implemented policies and/or legislation that will enable successful implementation); and 13. A description of private entities, if any, involved in the project and the applicants arrangements therewith, including any cost sharing or debt retirement arrangements associated with revenues. Part II: Operational Testing Value. This section should describe the ‘‘Operational Testing value’’ of the proposed project. Operational Testing value is the extent to which the project demonstrates to other states, metropolitan areas, and other jurisdictions the potential of ITS technology to solve congestion problems. Operational Testing value is enhanced by taking advantage of the complementarities among different congestion mitigation strategies (such as congestion pricing, expansion of transit capacity, and telecommuting). The application should describe how the various parts of the overall congestion reduction strategy interact to enhance their overall effectiveness in reducing congestion. The application should also discuss what elements of the applicant’s strategy are novel, and how the applicant believes these elements hold promise to reduce congestion in other metropolitan areas. Part III: Budget. This section should contain the following information: 11 1. A budget itemized by task, phase and funding year; 2. A finance and revenue plan, including a budget for capital and operating costs; a description of all funding sources, planned expenditures, recipient shall agree to support the independent evaluator in collecting and providing access to the necessary data. 11 If such information is not fully developed at the time an application is submitted, an application may still be considered by the Department in its discretion. PO 00000 Frm 00103 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and proposed uses of revenues; and a clear tabulation of Federal funds requested and proposed match.12 F. ITS–OTMC Program Selection Criteria Proposals will be evaluated based on (i) the project’s operational testing value, (ii) the project’s estimated impact on congestion, (iii) the project’s technical merit, and (iv) the project’s management approach and schedule, and (v) whether the jurisdiction in which the project is located has been designated an Urban Partner. The overall budget, as well as the level of funding match being proposed, will also be considered in the evaluation. Priority will be given to acceptable proposals submitted by Urban Partners. G. Number of Awards and Funding A maximum total amount of $100 million in Federal funds may be obligated over three years to the selected ITS–OTMC projects. Final budgets will be negotiated upon selection. H. Miscellaneous Successful applicants will enter into a cooperative agreement with the Department. The cooperative agreement will define the project scope, schedule and budget. Cooperative agreements between the Department and successful applicants will be subject to the Department’s regulations at 49 CFR Part 18, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments, metropolitan and statewide planning requirements located at 23 U.S.C. 135(c)(1), (e)(2)(B), (f)(1)(B)(ii)(I) and (II), (f)(3)(A) and (B), and 49 U.S.C. 5323(1). (Authority: Pub. L. 109–59). Issued on: December 12, 2006. John A. Bobo, Jr., Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration. [FR Doc. E6–21460 Filed 12–15–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P 12 Please note: Federal funds are restricted to 80 percent of total project costs. A minimum of 20 percent of the total cost of the project must be from non-Federally derived funding sources and must consist of either cash, substantial equipment or facilities contributions that are wholly utilized as an integral part of the project or personnel services dedicated full-time to the proposed operational test for a substantial period, as long as such personnel are not otherwise supported with Federal funds. The non-Federally derived funding may come from state, local government, or private sector partners. E:\FR\FM\18DEN1.SGM 18DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 242 (Monday, December 18, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 75806-75810]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-21460]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Research and Innovative Technology Administration


Applications for Funding Under Intelligent Transportation Systems 
Operational Testing To Mitigate Congestion Program

AGENCY: Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of solicitation for applications for funding under the 
U.S. Department of Transportation's Intelligent Transportation 
Systems--Operational Testing to Mitigate Congestion Program.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In May 2006, the U.S. Department of Transportation (the 
Department) announced its National Strategy to Reduce Congestion on 
America's Transportation Network (the Congestion Initiative), a bold 
and comprehensive national program to reduce congestion on the Nation's 
roads, rails, runways, and waterways. One major component of the 
Congestion Initiative is the Urban Partnership

[[Page 75807]]

Agreement (UPA). By separate notice in the Federal Register, the 
Department has solicited metropolitan areas to enter into UPAs to 
demonstrate strategies with a combined track record of effectiveness in 
reducing traffic congestion. See Applications for Urban Partnership 
Agreements as Part of Congestion Initiative, (71 FR 71231) dated 
December 8, 2006. To support this national strategy, the Department 
intends to award cooperative agreements to one or more successful 
jurisdictions to operationally test, demonstrate, and evaluate region-
wide innovative technology based congestion mitigation strategies.
    The purpose of this notice is to solicit proposals by metropolitan 
areas to the Intelligent Transportation Systems Operational Testing to 
Mitigate Congestion (ITS-OTMC) Program for funding the implementation 
of innovative congestion-reducing technologies. The Department may 
provide successful jurisdictions up to $100 million over three years 
through the ITS-OTMC Program in support of innovative technology-based 
strategies to reduce congestion.
    This notice is one of three solicitations being issued by the 
Department in connection with the Congestion Initiative. See below 
``SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Coordination with Other Congestion 
Initiative Solicitations.''

DATES: Applicants wishing to receive funding under the ITS-OTMC Program 
must submit their applications on or before April 30, 2007. Late-filed 
applications to the ITS-OTMC Program will be considered to the extent 
practical.
    Application Submission: Applicants wishing to apply for funding 
under the ITS-OTMC Program may file their applications online at http:/
/www.grants.gov under Funding Opportunity Number DTFH61-07-RA-00111. 
The grant synopsis is available at http://www.grants.gov. The full 
announcement is expected to be available on http:www.grants.gov no 
later than January 15, 2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Please address questions concerning 
this notice to Brian Cronin, Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint 
Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, at 
(202) 366-8841 or via e-mail at brian.cronin@dot.gov. Please address 
questions concerning the required SF 424 form to Sarah Tarpgaard, 
Office of Acquisition Management, Federal Highway Administration, at 
(202) 366-5750 or via e-mail at sarah.tarpgaard@dot.gov. Please address 
legal questions to Grace Reidy, Esq., Office of the Chief Counsel, 
Federal Highway Administration, at (202) 366-6226 or via e-mail at 
grace.reidy@dot.gov. RITA and FHWA offices are located at 400 Seventh 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours for RITA and the FHWA 
are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except on 
Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. The Department's Congestion Initiative and Urban Partnership 
Agreement

    Crisis of Congestion. Traffic congestion affects virtually every 
aspect of peoples' lives--where people live, work, shop, and how much 
they pay for goods and services. According to 2003 figures, in certain 
metropolitan areas the average rush hour driver loses as many as 93 
hours per year to travel delay--the equivalent of more than two weeks 
of work, amounting annually to a virtual ``congestion tax'' as high as 
$1,598 per traveler in wasted time and fuel.\1\ Nationwide, congestion 
imposes costs on the economy of over $65 billion per year,\2\ a figure 
that has more than doubled since 1993, and that would be even higher if 
it accounted for the significant cost of unreliability to drivers and 
businesses, the environmental impacts of idle-related auto emissions, 
or increased gasoline prices.
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    \1\ Texas Transportation Institute (``TTI''), 2005 Urban 
Mobility Report, May 2005 (http://tti.tamu.edu/documents/mobility_
report_2005.pdf), Tables 1 and 2.
    \2\ TTI, 2005 Urban Mobility Report, p. 1.
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    Traffic congestion also has a substantial negative impact upon the 
quality of life of many American families. In a 2005 survey, for 
example, 52 percent of Northern Virginia commuters reported that their 
travel times to work had increased in the past year,\3\ leading 70 
percent of working parents to report having insufficient time to spend 
with their children and 63 percent of respondents to report having 
insufficient time to spend with their spouses.\4\ Nationally, in a 2005 
survey conducted by the National League of Cities, 35 percent of U.S. 
citizens reported traffic congestion as the most deteriorated living 
condition in their city over the past five years; 85 percent responded 
that traffic congestion was as bad or worse than the previous year.\5\ 
Similarly, in a 2001 survey conducted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, 
79 percent of Americans from ten metropolitan areas reported that 
congestion has worsened over the past five years; 50 percent believe it 
has become ``much worse.'' \6\
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    \3\ Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance 2005 Survey 
(http://www.nvta.org/content.asp?contentid=1174).
    \4\ Virginia Department of Transportation.
    \5\ National League of Cities survey of cities (2005).
    \6\ U.S. Conference of Mayors survey on traffic congestion 
(2001).
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    The Urban Partnership Agreement. In May 2006, the Department 
announced its Congestion Initiative, a bold and comprehensive national 
program to reduce congestion on the Nation's roads, rails, runways, and 
waterways. One major component of the Congestion Initiative is the UPA. 
Through UPAs, the Department plans to partner with certain metropolitan 
areas or ``Urban Partners'' to demonstrate four strategies with a 
combined track record of effectiveness in reducing traffic congestion. 
The four strategies are known as the ``Four Ts'', which are:
    1. Tolling: Implementing a broad congestion pricing or variable 
toll demonstration;
    2. Tansit: Creating or expanding express bus services, bus rapid 
transit (BRT) or other innovative commuter transit services, which 
would benefit from the free-flow traffic conditions generated by 
pricing;
    3. Telecommuting: Securing agreements from major area employers to 
establish or expand telecommuting and flex scheduling programs; and
    4. Technology & Operations: Using cutting edge technological and 
operational approaches to improve transportation system performance.
    In return for their commitment to adopt innovative, system-wide 
solutions to traffic congestion, the Department, to the maximum extent 
possible, would support its Urban Partners with the Department's 
financial resources (including a combination of grants, loans, and 
borrowing authority), regulatory flexibility and dedicated expertise 
and personnel.
    Congestion Pricing. The most innovative--and often misunderstood--
component of the UPA is congestion pricing. Congestion pricing 
leverages the principles of supply and demand to manage traffic. It 
does this by charging drivers a user fee that varies by traffic volumes 
or time of day, thus managing highway resources in a manner that 
promotes free-flow traffic conditions on highways at all times. 
Congestion pricing achieves free-flow conditions by shifting purely 
discretionary rush hour highway travel to other transportation modes or 
to off-peak periods, taking advantage of the fact that many rush hour 
drivers on a typical urban highway

[[Page 75808]]

are not commuters. By removing a fraction of the vehicles from a 
congested rush hour roadway, congestion pricing enables the system to 
flow much more efficiently, allowing more cars to move through the same 
physical space. Similar variable charges have been successfully 
utilized in other industries (airline tickets, cell phone rates, and 
electricity, for example), and there is a consensus among economists 
that congestion pricing represents the single most viable approach to 
reducing traffic congestion.
    Congestion pricing benefits drivers and businesses by reducing 
delays and stress, increasing the predictability of trip times, and 
allowing for more deliveries per hour. It benefits mass transit by 
improving transit speeds and the reliability of transit service, 
increasing transit ridership, and lowering costs for transit providers. 
It benefits State and local governments by improving the quality of 
transportation services without tax increases or large capital 
expenditures, providing additional revenues for funding transportation, 
retaining businesses and expanding the tax base. It saves lives by 
shortening incident response times for emergency responders. And it 
benefits society as a whole by reducing fuel consumption and vehicle 
emissions, allowing for more efficient land use decisions, reducing 
housing market distortions, and expanding opportunities for civic 
participation.
    Congestion pricing is no longer simply a theory; it has 
demonstrated positive results both in the U.S. and around the world. 
Successful American applications of congestion pricing include 
California's SR-91 between Anaheim and Riverside, portions of I-15 
outside of San Diego, and Express Lanes on I-394 between downtown 
Minneapolis and the western suburbs, all of which have enabled 
congestion-free rush hour commuting and proven popular with drivers of 
all income levels. Internationally, congestion pricing has yielded 
dramatic reductions in traffic congestion and increases in travel 
speeds in Singapore, London, and Stockholm. Notably, a small reduction 
in vehicles can yield dramatic improvements in traffic, as demonstrated 
by a British study, which projected that a 9 percent drop in traffic 
could yield a 52 percent drop in congestion delay.\7\ This same dynamic 
plays out in metropolitan areas every August, as family vacations lead 
to a minor decrease in rush hour drivers, which substantially reduces 
area traffic congestion.
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    \7\ Department of Transport, U.K., Feasibility Study of Road 
Pricing in the U.K.: A Report to the Secretary of State for 
Transport, Road Price Steering Group, Chapter 4, Figure 3.
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    Transit. Another critical congestion-reducing strategy to be 
incorporated into UPAs is increasing the quality and capacity of peak-
period transit service in order to offer a more attractive alternative 
to automobile travel and to accommodate peak-period commuters who elect 
to switch to transit in response to the adoption of congestion pricing.
    Congestion pricing and public transportation convey mutual 
benefits-road pricing benefits public transportation by improving 
transit speeds and the reliability of transit service, increasing 
transit ridership, lowering costs for transit providers, and expanding 
the source of revenue that may be used for transit, while public 
transportation benefits road pricing by absorbing commuters who shift 
their travel from automobile to bus or rail. By replacing congested 
traffic with free-flowing conditions on major routes, congestion 
pricing will improve the speed and productivity of current express bus 
services, making them more attractive to commuters while reducing their 
operating costs. Reducing congestion will also facilitate rapid 
deployment of innovative, high-performance BRT operations in major 
corridors, which require only modest investments in new vehicles and 
passenger facilities that may be eligible for financial support through 
the Department's various funding mechanisms. Improving the performance 
and variety of peak-period transit commuting options through a 
combination of congestion pricing and limited capital investment will 
provide significant benefits to current transit riders, while improving 
transit's effectiveness in reducing peak-period auto travel and 
providing the expanded passenger-carrying capacity necessary to 
accommodate shifts to transit commuting induced by the imposition of 
congestion pricing.
    Telecommuting. The third critical congestion-reducing strategy for 
Urban Partners to adopt is promoting increased use of telecommuting and 
flexible work scheduling, in order to reduce peak-period commuting and 
shift some commuting travel to ``shoulder'' or off-peak hours. 
Telecommuting can eliminate some peak-period commuting travel by using 
computer and electronic communications technology to enable certain 
employees to work from their homes or nearby telecommuting centers on 
predetermined (often regularly scheduled) workdays, or in some cases on 
a full-time basis. Flexible work schedules allow employees to shift 
their commute trips from the peak period to less congested hours. The 
most promising means to achieve these objectives is for public 
officials representing Urban Partners to secure agreements from major 
employers in their metropolitan areas to establish or expand 
telecommuting programs, and to offer flexible work schedules to the 
maximum number of their employees. The Department and local 
transportation planning agencies can offer technical and logistical 
support to employers for designing, implementing, and monitoring the 
effectiveness of telecommuting programs and flexible work scheduling.
    Technology. Technology makes possible congestion pricing, which 
differs from traditional tolling in two material respects: (1) Instead 
of charging a fixed fee, congestion pricing manages traffic by charging 
drivers a user fee that varies by traffic volumes or time of day, thus 
balancing supply and demand; and (2) unlike traditional tolling, 
congestion fees are collected electronically at highway speeds. With 
variable pricing, technology affords highway managers the flexibility 
of setting user fees by time of day or ``dynamically''--by increasing 
or decreasing fees depending on traffic volumes to maximize throughput 
and the free flow of traffic. Technology facilitates this variability 
by enabling the collection of user fees at highway speeds through the 
use of transponders, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), or cameras. With 
transponders, or ``tags,'' tolls may be collected as vehicles pass 
under overhead antennae. With GPS technology, like that used on 
Germany's autobahns, an in-vehicle device records charges based on the 
vehicle's location, and periodically uploads a summary of charges to a 
processing center along with payments. Technology can also provide 
options for occasional users of these roads to prepay for their trip 
via kiosks or the internet.
    In addition, technological advancements may enhance the quality of 
transit service deployed to reduce urban congestion. These technology-
based improvements may include lane-keeping devices or longitudinal 
control designed to enhance spatial efficiency on existing highways, 
precision docking, signal priority systems for buses, contactless fare 
collection, real-time travel information (bus arrival times, schedules, 
etc.), advanced traveler information systems, parking alerts and 
automatic vehicle locator systems.

[[Page 75809]]

B. Coordination With Other Congestion Initiative Solicitations

    This solicitation is one of three solicitations being issued by the 
Department in connection with this component of the Congestion 
Initiative. Published separately in the Federal Register, the other two 
solicitations are:
    1. Solicitation of Applications for Urban Partnerships as Part of 
the Congestion Initiative. See Applications for Urban Partnership 
Agreements as Part of Congestion Initiative (71 FR 71231), dated 
December 8, 2006. Through UPAs, the Department plans to partner with 
certain metropolitan areas or ``Urban Partners'' in order to 
demonstrate strategies with proven effectiveness in reducing traffic 
congestion.
    2. Solicitation of Applications to the Value Pricing Pilot (VPP) 
Program. See Solicitation of Applications to the VPP Program to be 
published by the Department later this month in the Federal Register. 
The VPP Program, as reauthorized by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, 
Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) 
(Pub. L. 109-59, Aug. 10, 2005, Section 1604 (a)), supports 
implementation of a variety of pricing-based approaches for managing 
congestion on highways. The solicitation for the VPP Program will align 
the program with the Congestion Initiative to support metropolitan 
areas in implementing broad congestion pricing strategies in the near 
term.

    Please note: Applicants for funding under the ITS-OTMC and/or 
VPP Programs that also wish to become an Urban Partner must respond 
to each solicitation separately. However, the Department will accept 
identical copies of a single application as long as it satisfies the 
requirements of each relevant solicitation.

C. The Department's ITS Program

    Since enactment of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency 
Act of 1991 (ISTEA) (Pub. L. 102-240, Dec. 18, 1991), the Department 
has been administering the ITS Program. A primary objective of the ITS 
Program is the research, development and operational testing of systems 
and strategies to reduce congestion in urban areas (SAFETEA-LU, Section 
5305). As a result, the program has focused considerable attention on 
the development of various products oriented towards congestion 
mitigation, such as electronic toll collection, advanced real-time 
adaptive traffic signals, transit signal priority systems, innovative 
surveillance systems, improved incident detection and response systems, 
advanced transit management systems, and multi-modal traveler 
information systems. These and other congestion-mitigation strategies 
have been shown to be very effective in improving overall traffic 
operations and reducing congestion. In reauthorizing the ITS Program, 
SAFETEA-LU, section 5306, requires the Secretary to continue to invest 
in technologies and systems that can aid in reducing metropolitan 
congestion by not less than five percent by 2010. Given the increasing 
demand on the Nation's surface transportation system, this ambitious 
goal will require bold, innovative approaches.

D. The ITS-OTMC Program

    Objective. The overall objective of the ITS-OTMC Program is to 
facilitate, in connection with the Congestion Initiative, the 
operational testing of innovative and aggressive congestion reduction 
strategies incorporating ITS systems that can demonstrate measurable 
reductions in congestion levels in the testing areas. In its 
discretion, the Department may provide up to $100 million over three 
years through the ITS-OTMC Program which the Department established as 
part of the ITS Program. In order to support the objectives of the 
Congestion Initiative, the Department is seeking applications for the 
operational testing and evaluation of innovative uses of technology to 
address congestion on a specific facility or facilities, such as a 
corridor, an urban area or region. Accordingly, qualifying projects 
must be expected to directly result in significant, broad, and near-
term congestion relief. Projects that the Department will consider may 
include demand management pricing strategies, advanced traffic signal 
control, innovative incident detection and management strategies, 
integrated corridor management, parking management tied to transit 
service, high occupancy/toll (HOT) lanes, managed lanes, ramp control, 
lane-keeping devices or longitudinal control designed to enhance 
spatial efficiency on existing highways, precision docking, signal 
priority systems for buses, contactless fare collection, real-time 
travel information (bus arrival times, schedules, emergency information 
to first-responders, etc.), advanced traveler information systems,\8\ 
parking alerts or automatic vehicle locator systems.
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    \8\ Advanced traveler information systems include web or 
wireless access to route-specific travel time and toll information; 
route planning assistance using historical records of congestion by 
time of day; and communications technologies that gather traffic- 
and incident-related data from a few vehicles traveling on a roadway 
and then publish that information to drivers via mobile phones, in-
car units or dynamic message signs.
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    The Department encourages the submission of project proposals that 
contain technologies which support pricing strategies. Projects that 
use technology to support and combine congestion mitigation strategies 
(such as congestion pricing, expansion of transit capacity, and 
telecommuting) are encouraged. Project applications should demonstrate 
that proposed strategies will be implemented in a relatively short time 
frame (e.g., within 12 to 18 months from the date of procurement).
    Project Costs Eligible for Grant Funding. The Department will 
provide up to the statutorily allowable 80 percent share of the 
estimated costs of an approved project. Funds available for the ITS-
OTMC Program are intended to support the implementation costs of the 
proposed operational testing. Costs of planning, testing, managing, 
operating, demonstrating, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting are 
eligible for reimbursement. The Department will evaluate the 
allowability of proposed costs in accordance with OMB Circular A-87 
Cost Principles for State and Local Governments.
    1. Pre-Implementation Planning and Design Costs. Eligible pre-
implementation costs include: planning, public participation, consensus 
building, marketing, impact assessment, modeling, financial planning, 
development of concepts of operations, technology assessments and 
specifications, and environmental work and other pre-implementation 
work that relates to the establishment of a project participating in 
the ITS-OTMC Program.\9\
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    \9\ While planning and design costs are eligible expenses, the 
expectation is that these projects have been well thought out and 
that the proposing jurisdiction has already completed the 
preliminary planning to quickly move to deployment.
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    2. Implementation Costs. Eligible costs include those for 
equipment, installation, managing, operating, demonstrating evaluating, 
and reporting on the ITS-OTMC Program, including administrative and 
operational costs, enforcement costs, costs of monitoring and 
evaluating project operations, and costs of continuing public relations 
activities during the period of implementation.
    Who is Eligible to Apply? Competition is limited to State or local 
governments or public authorities, such as State departments of 
transportation, transit authorities and tolling agencies. Although 
project agreements must be with the aforementioned public entities, 
those entities may partner with private

[[Page 75810]]

tolling authorities, for-profit companies, and non-profit 
organizations.

E. Contents of Application for ITS-OTMC Program

    Below is the minimum set of application requirements. The full set 
of application requirements will be detailed in the full announcement 
which will be available by January 15, 2007, on http://www.grants.gov 
under Funding Opportunity Number DTFH61-07-RA-00111. An application 
shall consist of the following materials:
     Standard Form (SF) 424
     SF 424A
     SF 424B
     SF LLL
     Grants.gov Lobbying Form
     Attachments Form (each as further described below):
    [cir] Part I: Background, Problem and Technical Approach
    [cir] Part II: Demonstration Value
    [cir] Part III Budget Application Detail
    Part I: Background, Problem and Technical Approach. This section 
should include the following information:
    1. The name, title, e-mail address and phone number of the person 
who will act as the point of contact on behalf of the applicant;
    2. A description of the partner agency, authority, or authorities 
requesting funding;
    3. The Congressional District or Districts in which the project 
will be implemented;
    4. Identification of the lead agency and a description of the roles 
for each public agency or agencies that will be responsible for 
operating, maintaining, and enforcing the operational testing project, 
if applicable;
    5. A management and staffing plan for all partner agencies;
    6. A description of the ITS congestion mitigation technologies to 
be operationally tested;
    7. Identification of the facilities that will be covered by the 
operational test;
    8. A plan, including timeline broken down by phases, for 
implementing ITS congestion mitigation technologies;
    9. A description of the anticipated effects of the ITS congestion 
mitigation technologies on reducing congestion, altering travel 
behavior, and encouraging the use of multiple transportation modes;
    10. Plans for monitoring and evaluating operational testing 
projects, including plans for collection and analysis, before and after 
assessment, and long term monitoring and documenting of project 
effects; \10\
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    \10\ The Department will be selecting an independent evaluator 
for all projects selected. The recipient shall agree to support the 
independent evaluator in collecting and providing access to the 
necessary data.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    11. Plans for meeting all Federal, State, and local legal and 
administrative requirements for project implementation, including 
relevant Federal-aid planning and environmental requirements;
    12. A discussion of previous public involvement, including public 
meetings, in the demonstration of the proposed ITS operational test to 
mitigate congestion. Any expressions or declarations of support from 
public officials, industry, or the public. Future plans for involving 
key affected parties, coalition building, and media relations, and more 
broadly for ensuring adequate public and private sector involvement 
prior to implementation (applicants are encouraged to provide more than 
just letters of support, but instead reference any implemented policies 
and/or legislation that will enable successful implementation); and
    13. A description of private entities, if any, involved in the 
project and the applicants arrangements therewith, including any cost 
sharing or debt retirement arrangements associated with revenues.
    Part II: Operational Testing Value. This section should describe 
the ``Operational Testing value'' of the proposed project. Operational 
Testing value is the extent to which the project demonstrates to other 
states, metropolitan areas, and other jurisdictions the potential of 
ITS technology to solve congestion problems. Operational Testing value 
is enhanced by taking advantage of the complementarities among 
different congestion mitigation strategies (such as congestion pricing, 
expansion of transit capacity, and telecommuting).
    The application should describe how the various parts of the 
overall congestion reduction strategy interact to enhance their overall 
effectiveness in reducing congestion. The application should also 
discuss what elements of the applicant's strategy are novel, and how 
the applicant believes these elements hold promise to reduce congestion 
in other metropolitan areas.
    Part III: Budget. This section should contain the following 
information: \11\
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    \11\ If such information is not fully developed at the time an 
application is submitted, an application may still be considered by 
the Department in its discretion.
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    1. A budget itemized by task, phase and funding year;
    2. A finance and revenue plan, including a budget for capital and 
operating costs; a description of all funding sources, planned 
expenditures, and proposed uses of revenues; and a clear tabulation of 
Federal funds requested and proposed match.\12\
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    \12\ Please note: Federal funds are restricted to 80 percent of 
total project costs. A minimum of 20 percent of the total cost of 
the project must be from non-Federally derived funding sources and 
must consist of either cash, substantial equipment or facilities 
contributions that are wholly utilized as an integral part of the 
project or personnel services dedicated full-time to the proposed 
operational test for a substantial period, as long as such personnel 
are not otherwise supported with Federal funds. The non-Federally 
derived funding may come from state, local government, or private 
sector partners.
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F. ITS-OTMC Program Selection Criteria

    Proposals will be evaluated based on (i) the project's operational 
testing value, (ii) the project's estimated impact on congestion, (iii) 
the project's technical merit, and (iv) the project's management 
approach and schedule, and (v) whether the jurisdiction in which the 
project is located has been designated an Urban Partner. The overall 
budget, as well as the level of funding match being proposed, will also 
be considered in the evaluation. Priority will be given to acceptable 
proposals submitted by Urban Partners.

G. Number of Awards and Funding

    A maximum total amount of $100 million in Federal funds may be 
obligated over three years to the selected ITS-OTMC projects. Final 
budgets will be negotiated upon selection.

H. Miscellaneous

    Successful applicants will enter into a cooperative agreement with 
the Department. The cooperative agreement will define the project 
scope, schedule and budget. Cooperative agreements between the 
Department and successful applicants will be subject to the 
Department's regulations at 49 CFR Part 18, Uniform Administrative 
Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local 
Governments, metropolitan and statewide planning requirements located 
at 23 U.S.C. 135(c)(1), (e)(2)(B), (f)(1)(B)(ii)(I) and (II), (f)(3)(A) 
and (B), and 49 U.S.C. 5323(1).

(Authority: Pub. L. 109-59).


    Issued on: December 12, 2006.
John A. Bobo, Jr.,
Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration.
[FR Doc. E6-21460 Filed 12-15-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-P