Formula Grants for Rural Areas: Guidance and Application Instructions, 59415-59419 [2013-23435]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 187 / Thursday, September 26, 2013 / Notices Communications and External Affairs at 206–716–1150 or gantsc@ consultant.wsdot.wa.gov at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting in order for WSDOT to make necessary arrangements. Comments received during the initial scoping process held January 22– February 22, 2013 will be considered in the preparation of this EIS. To ensure that the full range of issues related to this proposed action is addressed, and all significant issues identified, new or additional comments and suggestions are invited from interested parties during the second scoping period. Comments concerning this proposal will be accepted at the public meetings or can be sent by mail to I–90 Tolling Project, Attention: Angela Angove, 999 Third Avenue, Suite 2200, Seattle, WA 98104 or email sent to i90EIScomments@wsdot.wa.gov. Comments must be received by November 6, 2013 to be included in the formal scoping record. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this program.) Authority: 23 U.S.C. 139, 23 CFR 771, and 40 CFR 1500–1508 Dated: September 20, 2013. Daniel M. Mathis, Division Administrator, Olympia, WA. [FR Doc. 2013–23446 Filed 9–25–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration [Docket No. FTA–2013–0023] Formula Grants for Rural Areas: Guidance and Application Instructions Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of Availability of Proposed Circular and Request for Comments. AGENCY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has placed in the docket and on its Web site, proposed guidance in the form of a circular, to assist recipients in their implementation of the section 5311 Rural Area Formula Program. The purpose of this proposed circular is to provide recipients of FTA financial assistance with updated instructions and guidance on program administration and the grant application process. The proposed revisions to the existing circular are a result of changes tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:19 Sep 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 made to the Rural Area Formula Program by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP– 21). By this notice, FTA invites public comment on the proposed circular. DATES: Comments must be submitted by November 25, 2013. Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable. ADDRESSES: Please submit your comments by only one of the following methods, identifying your submission by docket number FTA–2013–0023. All electronic submissions must be made to the U.S. Government electronic site at http://www.regulations.gov. (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. (2) Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. (3) Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. (4) Fax: 202–493–2251. Instructions: You must include the agency name (Federal Transit Administration) and Docket number (FTA–2013–0026) for this notice at the beginning of your comments. Submit two copies of your comments if you submit them by mail. For confirmation that FTA received your comments, include a self-addressed stamped postcard. All comments received will be posted without change to www.regulations.gov including any personal information provided and will be available to internet users. You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement published in the Federal Register on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477) or http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents and comments received, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave SE., Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For program questions, Lorna Wilson, Office of Transit Programs, Federal Transit Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Room E46–305, Washington, DC, 20590, phone: 202–366–0893 or email: Lorna.Wilson@dot.gov. For legal questions, Bonnie Graves, Office of PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59415 Chief Counsel, same address, room E56– 306, phone: 202–366–4011, or email: Bonnie.Graves@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Overview II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis A. Chapter I—Introduction and Background B. Chapter II—Program Overview C. Chapter III—General Program Information D. Chapter IV—Program Development E. Chapter V—Program Management and Administrative Requirements F. Chapter VI—State Management Plan G. Chapter VII—Appalachian Development Public Transportation Assistance Program H. Chapter VIII—Intercity Bus I. Chapter IX—Rural Transportation Assistance Program J. Chapter X—Public Transportation on Indian Reservations K. Chapter XI—Other Provisions L. Appendices I. Overview This notice provides a summary of proposed changes to FTA Circular 9040.1F, ‘‘Non-urbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions.’’ The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21, Pub. L. 112–141), signed into law on July 6, 2012, renamed the Section 5311 program as the Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program. Generally the Section 5311 program provides formula funding to States and Indian Tribes for the purpose of supporting public transportation in areas with a population of less than 50,000. Funding may be used for capital and planning projects, job access reverse commute projects, operating assistance and administration expenses. FTA is updating the existing circular, 9040.1F, published on April 1, 2007, to reflect changes in the law. Because MAP–21 amended the name of the section 5311 program from the Formula Grants for Other Than Urbanized Area Program to the Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program, the word ‘‘rural’’ replaces ‘‘non-urbanized area’’ or ‘‘other than urbanized area’’ throughout the proposed circular. Under MAP–21, the changes to this program include changes to the formula, eligible activities, and to the set-asides that support other rural transit programs within this section, such as the Tribal Transit Program. These changes are described below. MAP–21 made several significant changes to Federal transit law that are applicable across all of FTA’s financial assistance programs and reflected in the proposed circular. These changes E:\FR\FM\26SEN1.SGM 26SEN1 59416 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 187 / Thursday, September 26, 2013 / Notices further several important goals of FTA and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Most notably, MAP–21 grants FTA significant new authority to oversee and regulate the safety of public transportation systems throughout the United States. MAP–21 also puts new emphasis on restoring and replacing the Nation’s aging public transportation infrastructure by establishing a new State of Good Repair Formula Program and new asset management requirements, and aligning Federal funding with key performance goals and tracking recipients’ progress towards these goals. Finally, MAP–21 improves the efficiency of program administration through program consolidation and streamlining. In addition to MAP–21 updates addressed above and outlined below, the proposed circular updates the organization and wording of the existing circular to improve clarity and to achieve consistency with FTA’s other circulars and to reflect other changes made by MAP–21, specifically to the 5311 program. When adopted, the final circular will supersede the existing circular. This document does not include the proposed circular on which FTA seeks comment; however, an electronic version is available on FTA’s Web site, at www.fta.dot.gov. Paper copies may be obtained by contacting FTA’s Administrative Services Help Desk, at (202) 366–4865. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis A. Chapter I—Introduction and Background Chapter I of the circular is an introductory chapter that covers general information about FTA, provides a brief history of the 5311 program, and defines terms applicable across all FTA programs. The proposed circular updates the definitions section to include changes and additions made by MAP–21. The following statutory definitions were amended or added by MAP–21, and are included in the proposed circular: Associated transit improvements (previously ‘‘transit enhancements’’); bus rapid transit (BRT) system; commuter highway vehicle or vanpool vehicle; disability; fixed guideway; job access and reverse commute project; private provider of public transportation by vanpool; public transportation; regional transportation planning organization; and senior. Non-statutory definitions for terms that are unclear or currently undefined have also been added to this section. Where applicable, we have used the same definitions VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:19 Sep 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 found in rulemakings or other circulars to ensure consistency. We have also added a definition for ‘‘electronic grant management system’’ and removed references to the current system— TEAM—in anticipation of a new system, currently under development. FTA proposes revising the program history section to incorporate a summary of changes made by MAP–21. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter I. B. Chapter II—Program Overview Chapter II provides an overview of the Section 5311 program. Proposed changes to this chapter reflect changes in the law. The chapter begins with a summary of the statutory authority for Section 5311, and includes a discussion of new and redefined activities for this program, including takedowns for the new Appalachian Development Public Transportation Assistance Program, the Rural Transit Assistance Program, and the revised Tribal Transit Program which includes both formula and discretionary funding; planning; and job access and reverse commute projects. This section also describes the new formula factors by which Section 5311 funds are apportioned. FTA proposes updating the program goals section, by adding three additional goals of the program: Providing financial assistance to help carry out national goals related to mobility for all, including seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-income individuals; increasing availability of transportation options through investments in intercity bus services; and encouraging mobility management, employment-related transportation alternatives, joint development practices, and transit-oriented development. FTA proposes amending the section on the relationship to other FTA programs to include a brief discussion of programs repealed by MAP–21 but for which funding may still be available. These programs include: Clean Fuels Grant Program (former section 5308); Bus and Bus Facilities Discretionary Program (former section 5309(b)(3)); Job Access and Reverse Commute Program (former section 5316); New Freedom Program (former section 5317); and Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in the Parks Program (former section 5320). Funds previously authorized for programs repealed by MAP–21 remain available for their originally authorized purposes until the period of availability expires, the funds are fully expended, the funds are rescinded by Congress, or the funds are otherwise reallocated. PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Also included in this section is a brief discussion of the relationship between the Section 5311 Program and other programs that are either new or were significantly modified by MAP–21, including: Urbanized Area Formula Program (section 5307); State of Good Repair Formula Program (section 5337); Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Program (section 5339); Transit Oriented Development Pilot Program (section 20005(b) of MAP–21); Transportation Alternatives Program (23 U.S.C. 213(b)); Federal Lands Access Program (23 U.S.C. 204); and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) flexible funds. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter II. C. Chapter III—General Program Information This chapter provides general information about the 5311 program. This chapter specifically discusses apportionments under the program, eligible uses of program funds, and matching requirements. As stated previously, Congress amended the formula by which Section 5311 program funds are apportioned. Under previous authority, 80 percent of funds were allocated to States on the basis of rural area population, and the remaining 20 percent of funds were allocated on the basis of the land area within the rural area. Under MAP–21, 83.15 percent of available funds are apportioned on the basis of these two factors, while 16.85 percent of funds are apportioned on the basis of land area, vehicle revenue miles and the number of low-income individuals in rural areas. Vehicle revenue miles are a new formula factor and the low-income individuals factor reflects that job access and reverse commute projects are now eligible activities under the Section 5311 program. In addition to funds made available to States under Section 5311, funds authorized for the Section 5340 growing States formula will be apportioned to States for use in rural areas. Funding for oversight, the Rural Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP), Tribal Transit Program, and the new Appalachian Development Public Transportation Assistance Program will be taken off the total amount available to carry out the Section 5311 Program in each fiscal year before amounts are apportioned to the States. FTA proposes clarifying the provisions related to transferring funds between programs. We propose maintaining the transfer provision language for transfer of Section 5316 (Job Access and Reverse Commute) and Section 5317 (New Freedom), since E:\FR\FM\26SEN1.SGM 26SEN1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 187 / Thursday, September 26, 2013 / Notices many areas continue to have FY 12 and earlier funds available for obligation and expenditure. Funds made available for the Appalachian Development Public Transportation Assistance Program may be transferred to FHWA if a State provides documentation to the FTA regional office that includes: a description of the notice and comment process used to establish stakeholder involvement (i.e. State, local transit operators, and local MPO), a statement that the funds cannot be used for operating expenses, and a certification that the local transit needs are being addressed. FTA proposes making only clarifying edits to the section on Eligibility. We propose several changes to the section on Eligible Activities. MAP–21 reduced the amount of administrative funds available to the State, from 15 percent to 10 percent, but added planning activities as an eligible expense. Administrative funds may be used for to administer the program and provide technical assistance to subrecipients, including project planning, program and management development, public transportation coordination activities, and research the State considers appropriate to promote effective delivery of public transportation to rural areas. In addition, States may use up to 0.5 percent of the Section 5311 apportionment to pay for 80 percent of the costs of safety certification training for employees directly responsible for safety oversight. As stated previously, planning is a new eligible expense under MAP–21. The planning activities undertaken with Section 5311 funds are in addition to those awarded to the State under Section 5305 and must be used specifically for rural area needs. The Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) Program, (former Section 5316), was repealed by MAP–21; however, job access and reverse commute projects are now eligible under the Section 5311 program. A job access reverse commute project is a ‘‘transportation project to finance planning, capital, and operating costs that support the development and maintenance of transportation services designed to transport welfare recipients and eligible low-income individuals to and from jobs and activities related to their employment, including transportation projects that facilitate the provision of public transportation services from urbanized areas and rural areas to suburban employment locations.’’ 49 U.S.C. 5302(9). Each potential project must be for the ‘‘development’’ or ‘‘maintenance’’ of transportation services designed to transport welfare recipients and eligible VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:19 Sep 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 low-income individuals to and from jobs and employment-related activities. FTA defines ‘‘development of transportation services’’ to mean new projects that were not in service on October 1, 2012. New job access and reverse commute projects may include the expansion or extension of an existing service, so long as the new service is designed to support the target populations; such projects are not required to be solely for the use of the target populations. ‘‘Maintenance of transportation services’’ means projects that continue and maintain job access or reverse commute projects that received funding under the former JARC (Section 5316) program. Projects funded under the former Section 5316 program must be eligible under Section 5311 in order to continue to receive funding. On April 22, 2013, FTA published the proposed circular for the Urbanized Area Formula program for notice and comment. In that circular, FTA proposed to amend the list of eligible job access and reverse commute projects under the section 5307 program. The comment period on that circular has closed, and FTA is in the process of reviewing comments and developing a final circular. Because the circular for the Section 5307 program is not yet final, and job access and reverse commute projects are in both the Sections 5307 and 5311, FTA is proposing the same list of eligible job access and reverse commute projects in this circular for the Rural Areas program. Comments are welcome in response to this publication; however, duplicate comment submissions are not necessary as the comments received in response to the earlier circular will be considered when establishing the final list of eligible job access and reverse commute projects under both the Section 5307 and Section 5311 programs. Although job access and reverse commute projects under Section 5311 are not required to be developed through a coordinated planning process, the project must be identified by the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) and the designated recipient as a job access and reverse commute project in the designated recipient’s annual program of projects, which must be developed in consultation with interested parties, published with the opportunity for comments, and is subject to a public hearing. The unobligated carryover balances of FY 2012 and older JARC program funds may be obligated through the period of availability, but must follow the SAFETEA–LU requirements. For example, Section 5316 JARC projects must be derived from a locally PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59417 developed, coordinated public transithuman services transportation plan and must also be selected by the designated recipient through an area-wide or statewide competitive selection process. Although not required by law, FTA encourages recipients to continue to use the coordinated planning process to identify and develop job access and reverse commute projects for funding under Section 5311, as amended by MAP–21. The Federal share of capital and planning projects is 80 percent, and the Federal share for operating projects is 50 percent. Prior to MAP–21, vehiclerelated equipment to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Clean Air Act (CAA) was funded at 90 percent. FTA administratively ‘‘blended’’ the 80 percent Federal share for revenue vehicles with the 90 percent share for equipment to reach an 83 percent Federal share for revenue vehicles that were compliant with the ADA or the CAA. Under MAP–21, the Federal share is now 85 percent for these vehicles. In addition, the 90 percent Federal share for vehicle-related equipment and facilities acquired for purposes of complying or maintaining compliance with the CAA or required by the ADA continues. MAP–21 codified the ‘‘Intercity Pilot Match Program’’ established by FTA in March 2007, which permits the cost of an unsubsidized portion of privately provided intercity bus service that connects feeder service to be used as inkind local match for the intercity bus projects. For the costs to be eligible for a recipient’s local share, the recipient and the provider must have entered into a legally binding agreement requiring the provider to use the rolling stock in the recipient’s service area. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter III. D. Chapter IV—Program Development Generally, FTA has made only clarifying edits to this chapter. There are two areas of significant change from C 9040.1F: The addition of information on the new performance based planning approach under MAP–21, and revisions to the program of projects section. MAP–21’s new broad performance management program supports seven national performance goals as well as the general purposes of Federal transit law described in 49 U.S.C. 5301. The performance management framework attempts to improve project decisionmaking through performance-based planning and programming and through fostering a transparent and accountable decision-making process for MPOs, States, and providers of public transportation. States may establish or E:\FR\FM\26SEN1.SGM 26SEN1 59418 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 187 / Thursday, September 26, 2013 / Notices designate regional transportation planning organizations to carry out the statewide planning process, with an emphasis on addressing the rural needs of nonmetropolitan areas of the State. If a State elects not to establish or designate a regional transportation planning organization, the State must consult with affected nonmetropolitan local officials to determine projects that may be of regional significance. As for the program of projects, FTA proposes to eliminate Category C, which was typically used for program reserve. Given that Section 5311 funds are available for obligation for a total of three years, if the State does not have a project identified that fits in either Category A or B, FTA recommends the funds remain unobligated until future needs arise. Second, FTA proposes updating the ‘‘revisions to the program of projects section’’ to provide flexibility to States to make minor revisions without having to necessarily obtain FTA’s prior approval. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter IV. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES E. Chapter V—Program Management and Administrative Requirements Many of the proposed amendments to this chapter are clarifying in nature. Areas of substantive edits include an increase in the threshold for small purchases to $150,000 (up from $100,000) and inclusion of the statutory change that permits multiyear rolling stock contracts for which the recipient has an option to buy additional rolling stock or replacement parts to be up to 5 years for bus procurements and up to 7 years for rail procurements, provided the option does not allow for significant changes or alterations to the rolling stock. For consistency across circulars, we propose adding a paragraph on the transit vehicle manufacturer disadvantaged business enterprises program. This paragraph contains the same information as the proposed urbanized area formula program circular, 9030.1E. We also propose adding a paragraph each on the FTA electronic grant management system, the system for award management (SAM) requirements, and DUNS registration requirements. We have also added a paragraph describing the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) requirement that each recipient report information about each first tier sub-award over $25,000 by the end of the month following the month the direct recipient makes any sub-award or obligation. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter V. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:19 Sep 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 F. Chapter VI—State Management Plan Chapter VI addresses the State Management Plan, a document describing state policies and procedures for administering state-managed portions of the Section 5311 program. There are two substantive changes to this chapter. First, under intercity bus transportation, we state that if the inkind provision is used for local match, the State must document the process used to validate the source of the inkind match, and the unsubsidized segment of the intercity bus service. Second, and consistent with changes to Section 5310, formula grants for the enhanced mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities, effective with FY 2013, Section 5310 funds may not be transferred to Section 5311. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter VI. G. Chapter VII—Appalachian Development Public Transportation Assistance Program FTA proposes a new chapter in this circular: Appalachian Development Public Transportation Assistance Program (ADTAP). Under MAP–21, this new formula program is funded as a takedown from funds made available for the Section 5311 program, with $20 million available for projects in the Appalachian Region. Funds for this program are available to support public transportation service in West Virginia and eligible counties in 12 other States: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Funds are available for grants for any purpose eligible under Section 5311, which includes capital, operating, planning, job access and reverse commute projects, and administrative assistance for the Appalachian Region. The formula for this program is based on guidelines established under section 9.5(b) of the Appalachian Regional Commission Code. Funds that cannot be used for public transportation operating expenses may be transferred and used for a highway project if the Governor approves the use in writing after appropriate notice and an opportunity for comment and appeal are provided to affected public transportation providers. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter VII. H. Chapter VIII—Intercity Bus MAP–21 continues the requirement that each State spend no less than 15 percent of its annual Rural Area Formula apportionment for the PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 development and support of intercity bus transportation, unless it can certify, after consultation with affected intercity bus service providers, that the intercity bus service needs of the State are being adequately met. FTA continues to encourage consultation with other stakeholders, such as communities affected by loss of intercity service. MAP–21 codifies the ‘‘Intercity Pilot Match Program’’ established by FTA in March 2007, which permits the cost of an unsubsidized portion of privately provided intercity bus service that connects feeder service to be used as inkind local match for the intercity bus projects. We have included the in-kind match language in this chapter. The section on the Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility Incentive Program is deleted to reflect the repeal of the program by MAP–21. FTA proposes updating the ADA regulations section of this chapter to reflect that as of October 1, 2012, 100 percent of over-the-road buses that provide fixed route service must be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter VIII. I. Chapter IX—Rural Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) The RTAP program continues to provide funding to assist in the design and implementation of training and technical assistance projects, research, and other support services tailored to meet the needs of transit operators in rural areas. FTA does not propose any substantive changes to this chapter. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter IX. J. Chapter X—Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Another proposed new chapter in this circular is Chapter X, Public Transportation on Indian Reservations. Under MAP–21, the Tribal Transit Program has been expanded, and now totals $30 million annually, of which $25 million is for a formula program and $5 million is for a discretionary program. The formula program is funded as a takedown from funds made available for the Section 5311 program. The formula factors include annual vehicle revenue miles and the number of low-income individuals residing on tribal lands. Eligible direct recipients for both the formula and discretionary programs are Federally-recognized Indian tribes. The funds are to be allocated for grants to Indian tribes for any purpose eligible under Section 5311, which includes capital, operating, planning, job access E:\FR\FM\26SEN1.SGM 26SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 187 / Thursday, September 26, 2013 / Notices and reverse commute projects, and administrative assistance for rural public transit services and rural intercity bus service. Section 5311(c)(1) provides that the Secretary shall establish the terms and conditions for the Tribal Transit Program. When Indian tribes receive funds under a State’s Section 5311 program funds, all Federal requirements attach. When Indian tribes receive Tribal Transit funds, they must comply with certain cross-cutting requirements as listed in section 7 of this chapter. FTA proposes that no local match is required for the formula program, or for planning grants made under the discretionary program. We propose a 10 percent local match requirement for discretionary grants made for both capital and operating expenses. In order to be eligible for Tribal Transit funds, Indian tribes must report to the National Transit Database. Information regarding this reporting requirement is in section 13 of this chapter. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter X. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES K. Chapter XI—Other Provisions Chapter XI provides summaries of FTA-specific and other Federal requirements with which Section 5311 recipients must comply. FTA proposes a number of changes to this chapter consistent with changes in the law. Section 5323(b), as amended by SAFETEA–LU, Notice and Public Hearing, was repealed by MAP–21, and FTA has removed discussion of this section from the proposed circular. This section applied to capital projects that would substantially affect a community. FTA notes that while Section 5323 was repealed, there are other requirements for public notice and comment and opportunities for a hearing as part of the environmental review process and various planning processes. We propose streamlining the Environmental Review section, we have added a section on Environmental Justice, we have amended the section on Safety and Security, and we have made clarifying edits to a number of sections. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter XI. L. Appendices The proposed appendices are intended as tools to assist recipients in submitting grant applications. Appendix A provides instructions for preparing grant applications to FTA. In the section on the pre-application stage, we propose revising the ‘‘Environmental Determination’’ paragraph, and we propose adding a new section explaining the documentation requirements for the use of flexible VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:19 Sep 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 funds. The section covering the submission of an application is revised and expanded and is no longer specific to the TEAM system. The FTA address included in the ECHO form is updated. FTA has updated the sample program of projects in appendix B to reflect the 10 percent limit on rural area formula funding spent on planning. Appendix C, addressing Section 5311 budget information, is updated to include coding information for job access and reverse commute and planning grants, as well as the Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program and Appalachian Development Public Transportation Assistance Program. FTA has updated Appendix D, explaining flexible-funding requirements, to reflect changes to the program in MAP–21. Appendix F provides information on the Section 5311(f) in-kind match for intercity bus. Appendix G contains information on how to calculate the capital cost of contracting. FTA seeks comment on the content of the appendices. Peter Rogoff, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2013–23435 Filed 9–25–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–57–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2013–0065; Notice 1] PACCAR Incorporated, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT. ACTION: Receipt of Petition. AGENCY: PACCAR Inc. (PACCAR) has determined that certain model year (MY) 2013 Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks, do not fully comply with paragraph S3.1.3 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 102, Transmission Shift Position Sequence, Starter Interlock, and Transmission Braking Effect. PACCAR has filed an appropriate revised report dated March 1, 2013, pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. SUMMARY: October 28, 2013. Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments on this petition. Comments must refer to the docket and notice number cited at the beginning of DATES: ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59419 this notice and be submitted by any of the following methods: • Mail: Send comments by mail addressed to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. • Hand delivery: Deliver comments by hand to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. The Docket Section is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Federal Holidays. • Electronically: Submit comments electronically by: logging onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web site at http:// www.regulations.gov/. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Comments may also be faxed to (202) 493–2251. Comments must be written in the English language, and be no greater than 15 pages in length, although there is no limit to the length of necessary attachments to the comments. If comments are submitted in hard copy form, please ensure that two copies are provided. If you wish to receive confirmation that your comments were received, please enclose a stamped, selfaddressed postcard with the comments. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Documents submitted to a docket may be viewed by anyone at the address and times given above. The documents may also be viewed on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by following the online instructions for accessing the dockets. DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement is available for review in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477–78). The petition, supporting materials, and all comments received before the close of business on the closing date indicated below will be filed and will be considered. All comments and supporting materials received after the closing date will also be filed and will be considered to the extent possible. When the petition is granted or denied, notice of the decision will be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated below. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. PACCAR’s Petition: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule at 49 CFR Part 556), PACCAR submitted a petition for an exemption from the notification and E:\FR\FM\26SEN1.SGM 26SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 187 (Thursday, September 26, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59415-59419]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-23435]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

[Docket No. FTA-2013-0023]


Formula Grants for Rural Areas: Guidance and Application 
Instructions

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of Proposed Circular and Request for 
Comments.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has placed in the 
docket and on its Web site, proposed guidance in the form of a 
circular, to assist recipients in their implementation of the section 
5311 Rural Area Formula Program. The purpose of this proposed circular 
is to provide recipients of FTA financial assistance with updated 
instructions and guidance on program administration and the grant 
application process. The proposed revisions to the existing circular 
are a result of changes made to the Rural Area Formula Program by the 
Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). By this 
notice, FTA invites public comment on the proposed circular.

DATES: Comments must be submitted by November 25, 2013. Late-filed 
comments will be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: Please submit your comments by only one of the following 
methods, identifying your submission by docket number FTA-2013-0023. 
All electronic submissions must be made to the U.S. Government 
electronic site at http://www.regulations.gov.
    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov 
and follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
    (2) Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (3) Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-
140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern 
time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    (4) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    Instructions: You must include the agency name (Federal Transit 
Administration) and Docket number (FTA-2013-0026) for this notice at 
the beginning of your comments. Submit two copies of your comments if 
you submit them by mail. For confirmation that FTA received your 
comments, include a self-addressed stamped postcard. All comments 
received will be posted without change to www.regulations.gov including 
any personal information provided and will be available to internet 
users. You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement published in 
the Federal Register on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477) or http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents and 
comments received, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or to the U.S. 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave SE., Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, 
DC 20590 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For program questions, Lorna Wilson, 
Office of Transit Programs, Federal Transit Administration, 1200 New 
Jersey Ave. SE., Room E46-305, Washington, DC, 20590, phone: 202-366-
0893 or email: Lorna.Wilson@dot.gov. For legal questions, Bonnie 
Graves, Office of Chief Counsel, same address, room E56-306, phone: 
202-366-4011, or email: Bonnie.Graves@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Overview
II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis
    A. Chapter I--Introduction and Background
    B. Chapter II--Program Overview
    C. Chapter III--General Program Information
    D. Chapter IV--Program Development
    E. Chapter V--Program Management and Administrative Requirements
    F. Chapter VI--State Management Plan
    G. Chapter VII--Appalachian Development Public Transportation 
Assistance Program
    H. Chapter VIII--Intercity Bus
    I. Chapter IX--Rural Transportation Assistance Program
    J. Chapter X--Public Transportation on Indian Reservations
    K. Chapter XI--Other Provisions
    L. Appendices

I. Overview

    This notice provides a summary of proposed changes to FTA Circular 
9040.1F, ``Non-urbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant 
Application Instructions.'' The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st 
Century Act (MAP-21, Pub. L. 112-141), signed into law on July 6, 2012, 
renamed the Section 5311 program as the Formula Grants for Rural Areas 
Program. Generally the Section 5311 program provides formula funding to 
States and Indian Tribes for the purpose of supporting public 
transportation in areas with a population of less than 50,000. Funding 
may be used for capital and planning projects, job access reverse 
commute projects, operating assistance and administration expenses. FTA 
is updating the existing circular, 9040.1F, published on April 1, 2007, 
to reflect changes in the law.
    Because MAP-21 amended the name of the section 5311 program from 
the Formula Grants for Other Than Urbanized Area Program to the Formula 
Grants for Rural Areas Program, the word ``rural'' replaces ``non-
urbanized area'' or ``other than urbanized area'' throughout the 
proposed circular. Under MAP-21, the changes to this program include 
changes to the formula, eligible activities, and to the set-asides that 
support other rural transit programs within this section, such as the 
Tribal Transit Program. These changes are described below.
    MAP-21 made several significant changes to Federal transit law that 
are applicable across all of FTA's financial assistance programs and 
reflected in the proposed circular. These changes

[[Page 59416]]

further several important goals of FTA and the U.S. Department of 
Transportation (DOT). Most notably, MAP-21 grants FTA significant new 
authority to oversee and regulate the safety of public transportation 
systems throughout the United States. MAP-21 also puts new emphasis on 
restoring and replacing the Nation's aging public transportation 
infrastructure by establishing a new State of Good Repair Formula 
Program and new asset management requirements, and aligning Federal 
funding with key performance goals and tracking recipients' progress 
towards these goals. Finally, MAP-21 improves the efficiency of program 
administration through program consolidation and streamlining.
    In addition to MAP-21 updates addressed above and outlined below, 
the proposed circular updates the organization and wording of the 
existing circular to improve clarity and to achieve consistency with 
FTA's other circulars and to reflect other changes made by MAP-21, 
specifically to the 5311 program. When adopted, the final circular will 
supersede the existing circular.
    This document does not include the proposed circular on which FTA 
seeks comment; however, an electronic version is available on FTA's Web 
site, at www.fta.dot.gov. Paper copies may be obtained by contacting 
FTA's Administrative Services Help Desk, at (202) 366-4865.

II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis

A. Chapter I--Introduction and Background

    Chapter I of the circular is an introductory chapter that covers 
general information about FTA, provides a brief history of the 5311 
program, and defines terms applicable across all FTA programs.
    The proposed circular updates the definitions section to include 
changes and additions made by MAP-21. The following statutory 
definitions were amended or added by MAP-21, and are included in the 
proposed circular: Associated transit improvements (previously 
``transit enhancements''); bus rapid transit (BRT) system; commuter 
highway vehicle or vanpool vehicle; disability; fixed guideway; job 
access and reverse commute project; private provider of public 
transportation by vanpool; public transportation; regional 
transportation planning organization; and senior. Non-statutory 
definitions for terms that are unclear or currently undefined have also 
been added to this section. Where applicable, we have used the same 
definitions found in rulemakings or other circulars to ensure 
consistency. We have also added a definition for ``electronic grant 
management system'' and removed references to the current system--
TEAM--in anticipation of a new system, currently under development.
    FTA proposes revising the program history section to incorporate a 
summary of changes made by MAP-21. FTA seeks comment on the content of 
Chapter I.

B. Chapter II--Program Overview

    Chapter II provides an overview of the Section 5311 program. 
Proposed changes to this chapter reflect changes in the law.
    The chapter begins with a summary of the statutory authority for 
Section 5311, and includes a discussion of new and redefined activities 
for this program, including takedowns for the new Appalachian 
Development Public Transportation Assistance Program, the Rural Transit 
Assistance Program, and the revised Tribal Transit Program which 
includes both formula and discretionary funding; planning; and job 
access and reverse commute projects. This section also describes the 
new formula factors by which Section 5311 funds are apportioned.
    FTA proposes updating the program goals section, by adding three 
additional goals of the program: Providing financial assistance to help 
carry out national goals related to mobility for all, including 
seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-income individuals; 
increasing availability of transportation options through investments 
in intercity bus services; and encouraging mobility management, 
employment-related transportation alternatives, joint development 
practices, and transit-oriented development.
    FTA proposes amending the section on the relationship to other FTA 
programs to include a brief discussion of programs repealed by MAP-21 
but for which funding may still be available. These programs include: 
Clean Fuels Grant Program (former section 5308); Bus and Bus Facilities 
Discretionary Program (former section 5309(b)(3)); Job Access and 
Reverse Commute Program (former section 5316); New Freedom Program 
(former section 5317); and Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in the Parks 
Program (former section 5320). Funds previously authorized for programs 
repealed by MAP-21 remain available for their originally authorized 
purposes until the period of availability expires, the funds are fully 
expended, the funds are rescinded by Congress, or the funds are 
otherwise reallocated.
    Also included in this section is a brief discussion of the 
relationship between the Section 5311 Program and other programs that 
are either new or were significantly modified by MAP-21, including: 
Urbanized Area Formula Program (section 5307); State of Good Repair 
Formula Program (section 5337); Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Program 
(section 5339); Transit Oriented Development Pilot Program (section 
20005(b) of MAP-21); Transportation Alternatives Program (23 U.S.C. 
213(b)); Federal Lands Access Program (23 U.S.C. 204); and Federal 
Highway Administration (FHWA) flexible funds. FTA seeks comment on the 
content of Chapter II.

C. Chapter III--General Program Information

    This chapter provides general information about the 5311 program. 
This chapter specifically discusses apportionments under the program, 
eligible uses of program funds, and matching requirements.
    As stated previously, Congress amended the formula by which Section 
5311 program funds are apportioned. Under previous authority, 80 
percent of funds were allocated to States on the basis of rural area 
population, and the remaining 20 percent of funds were allocated on the 
basis of the land area within the rural area. Under MAP-21, 83.15 
percent of available funds are apportioned on the basis of these two 
factors, while 16.85 percent of funds are apportioned on the basis of 
land area, vehicle revenue miles and the number of low-income 
individuals in rural areas. Vehicle revenue miles are a new formula 
factor and the low-income individuals factor reflects that job access 
and reverse commute projects are now eligible activities under the 
Section 5311 program.
    In addition to funds made available to States under Section 5311, 
funds authorized for the Section 5340 growing States formula will be 
apportioned to States for use in rural areas.
    Funding for oversight, the Rural Transportation Assistance Program 
(RTAP), Tribal Transit Program, and the new Appalachian Development 
Public Transportation Assistance Program will be taken off the total 
amount available to carry out the Section 5311 Program in each fiscal 
year before amounts are apportioned to the States.
    FTA proposes clarifying the provisions related to transferring 
funds between programs. We propose maintaining the transfer provision 
language for transfer of Section 5316 (Job Access and Reverse Commute) 
and Section 5317 (New Freedom), since

[[Page 59417]]

many areas continue to have FY 12 and earlier funds available for 
obligation and expenditure. Funds made available for the Appalachian 
Development Public Transportation Assistance Program may be transferred 
to FHWA if a State provides documentation to the FTA regional office 
that includes: a description of the notice and comment process used to 
establish stakeholder involvement (i.e. State, local transit operators, 
and local MPO), a statement that the funds cannot be used for operating 
expenses, and a certification that the local transit needs are being 
addressed.
    FTA proposes making only clarifying edits to the section on 
Eligibility. We propose several changes to the section on Eligible 
Activities. MAP-21 reduced the amount of administrative funds available 
to the State, from 15 percent to 10 percent, but added planning 
activities as an eligible expense. Administrative funds may be used for 
to administer the program and provide technical assistance to 
subrecipients, including project planning, program and management 
development, public transportation coordination activities, and 
research the State considers appropriate to promote effective delivery 
of public transportation to rural areas. In addition, States may use up 
to 0.5 percent of the Section 5311 apportionment to pay for 80 percent 
of the costs of safety certification training for employees directly 
responsible for safety oversight.
    As stated previously, planning is a new eligible expense under MAP-
21. The planning activities undertaken with Section 5311 funds are in 
addition to those awarded to the State under Section 5305 and must be 
used specifically for rural area needs.
    The Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) Program, (former Section 
5316), was repealed by MAP-21; however, job access and reverse commute 
projects are now eligible under the Section 5311 program. A job access 
reverse commute project is a ``transportation project to finance 
planning, capital, and operating costs that support the development and 
maintenance of transportation services designed to transport welfare 
recipients and eligible low-income individuals to and from jobs and 
activities related to their employment, including transportation 
projects that facilitate the provision of public transportation 
services from urbanized areas and rural areas to suburban employment 
locations.'' 49 U.S.C. 5302(9).
    Each potential project must be for the ``development'' or 
``maintenance'' of transportation services designed to transport 
welfare recipients and eligible low-income individuals to and from jobs 
and employment-related activities. FTA defines ``development of 
transportation services'' to mean new projects that were not in service 
on October 1, 2012. New job access and reverse commute projects may 
include the expansion or extension of an existing service, so long as 
the new service is designed to support the target populations; such 
projects are not required to be solely for the use of the target 
populations. ``Maintenance of transportation services'' means projects 
that continue and maintain job access or reverse commute projects that 
received funding under the former JARC (Section 5316) program. Projects 
funded under the former Section 5316 program must be eligible under 
Section 5311 in order to continue to receive funding. On April 22, 
2013, FTA published the proposed circular for the Urbanized Area 
Formula program for notice and comment. In that circular, FTA proposed 
to amend the list of eligible job access and reverse commute projects 
under the section 5307 program. The comment period on that circular has 
closed, and FTA is in the process of reviewing comments and developing 
a final circular. Because the circular for the Section 5307 program is 
not yet final, and job access and reverse commute projects are in both 
the Sections 5307 and 5311, FTA is proposing the same list of eligible 
job access and reverse commute projects in this circular for the Rural 
Areas program. Comments are welcome in response to this publication; 
however, duplicate comment submissions are not necessary as the 
comments received in response to the earlier circular will be 
considered when establishing the final list of eligible job access and 
reverse commute projects under both the Section 5307 and Section 5311 
programs.
    Although job access and reverse commute projects under Section 5311 
are not required to be developed through a coordinated planning 
process, the project must be identified by the metropolitan planning 
organization (MPO) and the designated recipient as a job access and 
reverse commute project in the designated recipient's annual program of 
projects, which must be developed in consultation with interested 
parties, published with the opportunity for comments, and is subject to 
a public hearing.
    The unobligated carryover balances of FY 2012 and older JARC 
program funds may be obligated through the period of availability, but 
must follow the SAFETEA-LU requirements. For example, Section 5316 JARC 
projects must be derived from a locally developed, coordinated public 
transit-human services transportation plan and must also be selected by 
the designated recipient through an area-wide or statewide competitive 
selection process. Although not required by law, FTA encourages 
recipients to continue to use the coordinated planning process to 
identify and develop job access and reverse commute projects for 
funding under Section 5311, as amended by MAP-21.
    The Federal share of capital and planning projects is 80 percent, 
and the Federal share for operating projects is 50 percent. Prior to 
MAP-21, vehicle-related equipment to comply with the Americans with 
Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Clean Air Act (CAA) was funded at 90 
percent. FTA administratively ``blended'' the 80 percent Federal share 
for revenue vehicles with the 90 percent share for equipment to reach 
an 83 percent Federal share for revenue vehicles that were compliant 
with the ADA or the CAA. Under MAP-21, the Federal share is now 85 
percent for these vehicles. In addition, the 90 percent Federal share 
for vehicle-related equipment and facilities acquired for purposes of 
complying or maintaining compliance with the CAA or required by the ADA 
continues.
    MAP-21 codified the ``Intercity Pilot Match Program'' established 
by FTA in March 2007, which permits the cost of an unsubsidized portion 
of privately provided intercity bus service that connects feeder 
service to be used as in-kind local match for the intercity bus 
projects. For the costs to be eligible for a recipient's local share, 
the recipient and the provider must have entered into a legally binding 
agreement requiring the provider to use the rolling stock in the 
recipient's service area. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter 
III.

D. Chapter IV--Program Development

    Generally, FTA has made only clarifying edits to this chapter. 
There are two areas of significant change from C 9040.1F: The addition 
of information on the new performance based planning approach under 
MAP-21, and revisions to the program of projects section.
    MAP-21's new broad performance management program supports seven 
national performance goals as well as the general purposes of Federal 
transit law described in 49 U.S.C. 5301. The performance management 
framework attempts to improve project decision-making through 
performance-based planning and programming and through fostering a 
transparent and accountable decision-making process for MPOs, States, 
and providers of public transportation. States may establish or

[[Page 59418]]

designate regional transportation planning organizations to carry out 
the statewide planning process, with an emphasis on addressing the 
rural needs of nonmetropolitan areas of the State. If a State elects 
not to establish or designate a regional transportation planning 
organization, the State must consult with affected nonmetropolitan 
local officials to determine projects that may be of regional 
significance.
    As for the program of projects, FTA proposes to eliminate Category 
C, which was typically used for program reserve. Given that Section 
5311 funds are available for obligation for a total of three years, if 
the State does not have a project identified that fits in either 
Category A or B, FTA recommends the funds remain unobligated until 
future needs arise. Second, FTA proposes updating the ``revisions to 
the program of projects section'' to provide flexibility to States to 
make minor revisions without having to necessarily obtain FTA's prior 
approval. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter IV.

E. Chapter V--Program Management and Administrative Requirements

    Many of the proposed amendments to this chapter are clarifying in 
nature. Areas of substantive edits include an increase in the threshold 
for small purchases to $150,000 (up from $100,000) and inclusion of the 
statutory change that permits multiyear rolling stock contracts for 
which the recipient has an option to buy additional rolling stock or 
replacement parts to be up to 5 years for bus procurements and up to 7 
years for rail procurements, provided the option does not allow for 
significant changes or alterations to the rolling stock.
    For consistency across circulars, we propose adding a paragraph on 
the transit vehicle manufacturer disadvantaged business enterprises 
program. This paragraph contains the same information as the proposed 
urbanized area formula program circular, 9030.1E. We also propose 
adding a paragraph each on the FTA electronic grant management system, 
the system for award management (SAM) requirements, and DUNS 
registration requirements. We have also added a paragraph describing 
the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) 
requirement that each recipient report information about each first 
tier sub-award over $25,000 by the end of the month following the month 
the direct recipient makes any sub-award or obligation. FTA seeks 
comment on the content of Chapter V.

F. Chapter VI--State Management Plan

    Chapter VI addresses the State Management Plan, a document 
describing state policies and procedures for administering state-
managed portions of the Section 5311 program. There are two substantive 
changes to this chapter. First, under intercity bus transportation, we 
state that if the in-kind provision is used for local match, the State 
must document the process used to validate the source of the in-kind 
match, and the unsubsidized segment of the intercity bus service. 
Second, and consistent with changes to Section 5310, formula grants for 
the enhanced mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities, 
effective with FY 2013, Section 5310 funds may not be transferred to 
Section 5311. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter VI.

G. Chapter VII--Appalachian Development Public Transportation 
Assistance Program

    FTA proposes a new chapter in this circular: Appalachian 
Development Public Transportation Assistance Program (ADTAP). Under 
MAP-21, this new formula program is funded as a takedown from funds 
made available for the Section 5311 program, with $20 million available 
for projects in the Appalachian Region.
    Funds for this program are available to support public 
transportation service in West Virginia and eligible counties in 12 
other States: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New 
York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, 
and Virginia. Funds are available for grants for any purpose eligible 
under Section 5311, which includes capital, operating, planning, job 
access and reverse commute projects, and administrative assistance for 
the Appalachian Region.
    The formula for this program is based on guidelines established 
under section 9.5(b) of the Appalachian Regional Commission Code. Funds 
that cannot be used for public transportation operating expenses may be 
transferred and used for a highway project if the Governor approves the 
use in writing after appropriate notice and an opportunity for comment 
and appeal are provided to affected public transportation providers. 
FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter VII.

H. Chapter VIII--Intercity Bus

    MAP-21 continues the requirement that each State spend no less than 
15 percent of its annual Rural Area Formula apportionment for the 
development and support of intercity bus transportation, unless it can 
certify, after consultation with affected intercity bus service 
providers, that the intercity bus service needs of the State are being 
adequately met. FTA continues to encourage consultation with other 
stakeholders, such as communities affected by loss of intercity 
service.
    MAP-21 codifies the ``Intercity Pilot Match Program'' established 
by FTA in March 2007, which permits the cost of an unsubsidized portion 
of privately provided intercity bus service that connects feeder 
service to be used as in-kind local match for the intercity bus 
projects. We have included the in-kind match language in this chapter.
    The section on the Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility Incentive 
Program is deleted to reflect the repeal of the program by MAP-21. FTA 
proposes updating the ADA regulations section of this chapter to 
reflect that as of October 1, 2012, 100 percent of over-the-road buses 
that provide fixed route service must be accessible to and usable by 
individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use 
wheelchairs. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter VIII.

I. Chapter IX--Rural Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP)

    The RTAP program continues to provide funding to assist in the 
design and implementation of training and technical assistance 
projects, research, and other support services tailored to meet the 
needs of transit operators in rural areas. FTA does not propose any 
substantive changes to this chapter. FTA seeks comment on the content 
of Chapter IX.

J. Chapter X--Public Transportation on Indian Reservations

    Another proposed new chapter in this circular is Chapter X, Public 
Transportation on Indian Reservations. Under MAP-21, the Tribal Transit 
Program has been expanded, and now totals $30 million annually, of 
which $25 million is for a formula program and $5 million is for a 
discretionary program.
    The formula program is funded as a takedown from funds made 
available for the Section 5311 program. The formula factors include 
annual vehicle revenue miles and the number of low-income individuals 
residing on tribal lands. Eligible direct recipients for both the 
formula and discretionary programs are Federally-recognized Indian 
tribes. The funds are to be allocated for grants to Indian tribes for 
any purpose eligible under Section 5311, which includes capital, 
operating, planning, job access

[[Page 59419]]

and reverse commute projects, and administrative assistance for rural 
public transit services and rural intercity bus service.
    Section 5311(c)(1) provides that the Secretary shall establish the 
terms and conditions for the Tribal Transit Program. When Indian tribes 
receive funds under a State's Section 5311 program funds, all Federal 
requirements attach. When Indian tribes receive Tribal Transit funds, 
they must comply with certain cross-cutting requirements as listed in 
section 7 of this chapter.
    FTA proposes that no local match is required for the formula 
program, or for planning grants made under the discretionary program. 
We propose a 10 percent local match requirement for discretionary 
grants made for both capital and operating expenses.
    In order to be eligible for Tribal Transit funds, Indian tribes 
must report to the National Transit Database. Information regarding 
this reporting requirement is in section 13 of this chapter. FTA seeks 
comment on the content of Chapter X.

K. Chapter XI--Other Provisions

    Chapter XI provides summaries of FTA-specific and other Federal 
requirements with which Section 5311 recipients must comply. FTA 
proposes a number of changes to this chapter consistent with changes in 
the law. Section 5323(b), as amended by SAFETEA-LU, Notice and Public 
Hearing, was repealed by MAP-21, and FTA has removed discussion of this 
section from the proposed circular. This section applied to capital 
projects that would substantially affect a community. FTA notes that 
while Section 5323 was repealed, there are other requirements for 
public notice and comment and opportunities for a hearing as part of 
the environmental review process and various planning processes. We 
propose streamlining the Environmental Review section, we have added a 
section on Environmental Justice, we have amended the section on Safety 
and Security, and we have made clarifying edits to a number of 
sections. FTA seeks comment on the content of Chapter XI.

L. Appendices

    The proposed appendices are intended as tools to assist recipients 
in submitting grant applications.
    Appendix A provides instructions for preparing grant applications 
to FTA. In the section on the pre-application stage, we propose 
revising the ``Environmental Determination'' paragraph, and we propose 
adding a new section explaining the documentation requirements for the 
use of flexible funds. The section covering the submission of an 
application is revised and expanded and is no longer specific to the 
TEAM system. The FTA address included in the ECHO form is updated.
    FTA has updated the sample program of projects in appendix B to 
reflect the 10 percent limit on rural area formula funding spent on 
planning. Appendix C, addressing Section 5311 budget information, is 
updated to include coding information for job access and reverse 
commute and planning grants, as well as the Public Transportation on 
Indian Reservations Program and Appalachian Development Public 
Transportation Assistance Program.
    FTA has updated Appendix D, explaining flexible-funding 
requirements, to reflect changes to the program in MAP-21. Appendix F 
provides information on the Section 5311(f) in-kind match for intercity 
bus. Appendix G contains information on how to calculate the capital 
cost of contracting. FTA seeks comment on the content of the 
appendices.

Peter Rogoff,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2013-23435 Filed 9-25-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-P